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April 23, 2014

Comments

I don't mean to sound condescending, but personally, I think for discipleship in the church, we really need to just use the Bible. It's impossible to improve upon. There are many books I have read that helped me in my Christian walk, but it seems like every time someone creates his or her own stuff for discipleship, discipleship gets ground to a halt. As a missionary, I refuse any longer to use any discipleship material other than the Bible. It is the most effective and efficient way for God to work in people, along with a community of people holding each other accountable. Just my opinion.

#1 thing not to do.

Never ask "Now what?"

Never take Law and Gospel for granted.

The first, and last, thing is to contemplate on how great a fall you've suffered and how great a rescue Christ has effected at how great a cost, and to see how poorly you respond to that grace.

It's not "Well, I'm saved, so that's taken care of, and now finally I can get down to doing some real good works!"

Instead every day should be "For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want...Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

I believe the simplest path for new converts to follow is to memorize the Ten Commandments, and take heed of what they say. Then not only don't do what they forbid but also do the opposite of what they forbid. Instead of stealing, give. Instead of murder, promote well being. Instead of lying about your neighbor, even if an enemy, say kind words and promote any virtues they might have, and so on and on.

I believe most of the New Testament ethics are simply inversions of the Law's negative commands.

Also, there is the Sermon on the Mount which includes instructions for launching a discipleship career that will provide food and clothing in following Jesus (Matthew 6:24-34). Yes, you have to work, but it matters not where. It's what you do while you are there.

I agree with the above comments in that the Bible is THE ultimate guide for how to walk devoutly with the Lord. Of course, it cannot be replaced by any book, no matter how eloquent and skilled its author may be.

However, I still think these kinds of books have a role to play in our society. For many young people, the Bible can be intimidating - in one sense it is an incredibly simple book with an incredibly beautiful theme, on the other hand it is an incredibly complex and deeply profound book with layers of intricacies woven throughout the narrative.

I think books like "Now that I'm a Christian", while never acting as a substitute for the Bible, can certainly act as a gateway or a bridge TO the Bible, something to whet someone's appetite, something that is easily accessible to everyone.

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