“To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Few Scriptures in the New Testament provide such a holistic description of discipleship and the promise of freedom we receive as a result. Let’s look at 3 important aspects of discipleship that ultimately leads to freedom!
Key #1: Faith: First, Jesus is talking to those who believe; everything begins with faith in Christ: faith that Jesus is in control, faith that His words are the truth, and faith that He is our Redeemer. This aspect of our discipleship can be easily overlooked. Without thinking we can say, “Of course I have faith!” but do we really take time to consider if we do right at this very moment? Not just a belief in the knowledge that God is real and that Jesus walked the earth, but a faith where we entrust our lives to Jesus and know that in the current situation (and all situations), He has it all under control. We need to stay strong in our faith as we wait out this pandemic. We can stay strong in our faith during this time by asking God to increase it. “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ ” (Luke 17:5)
Q: Prayer can be an excellent way to stay faithful in these difficult times. Are you remaining in prayer?
Key #2: Know His Teachings: Second, we need to know His teachings. Knowledge of the Scriptures and understanding of God’s commands are prerequisite to being a disciple. For many of us, our entire lives have been turned upside down over the past months, but remaining in the Word is essential. “Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’ ” (John 6:68). Look at the apostle Peter’s commitment and reliance on the Word of God even when so many deserted the words of Jesus and refused to continue to learn from Him (to their loss). Our daily routines may have been disrupted but our conviction to be grounded in the Bible must remain.
Q: Are you taking the time to read His Word?
Key #3: Hold to His Teachings: Third, we must hold to His teachings. If we have faith in Jesus and knowledge of His words then all that remains is action. Isolation can be a dangerous situation; our lack of fellowship opportunities may leave us vulnerable to Satan. We need to act upon our knowledge of the Scriptures. We need to encourage one another daily through modern communications: phone calls, text messages, zoom meetings, and Facebook threads. We need to be sharing our faith with our friends and family by inviting them to our amazing, live-stream services every Sunday. We need to continue “agape”- loving our spouses, parents, children and friends.
Q: Are you living out your discipleship even in the pandemic?
Q: Where in your home is your agape love being challenged?
Do we want to be set free? The feeling of complete freedom from everything that would attempt to hold us down? Ultimately, if we live out this Scripture, we will be set free. This is a promise from Jesus. We will have freedom from our sins, our worries, and our corona-virus anxieties. We need to make sure that our faith is strong, our Bible study is consistent, and our lives are seasoned with salt. Consider this small passage, these humble thoughts, and a couple of introspective questions. Let’s take these keys from Jesus and unlock our freedom.