In the life of Jesus, we see unstained love and faultless meekness, both are expressions of his boundless strength and sovereign power. Never was any man so full of compassion and so bold for truth. His love, kindness, and grace were not the result of moral weakness or passivity. His very life was a repudiation of sin and a demonstration of holy moral perfection. In all of his characteristics the light of truth shone as it never had before. Some see Jesus’s love, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness as weakness. Too often, we often allow the world to define a man’s virtue for us rather than the true standard—the man Christ Jesus.
Every Christian is to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and long see the character of Jesus reflected in their life. The Bible refers to following Christ in this way as discipleship. Thus, the vital question for every man who longs to be a disciple of Christ and to disciple his family, is how? After all, the ethics of the Kingdom of Christ are not intuitive to sinful man. Below are three biblical non-negotiables for any man who desires to be a faithful disciple of Jesus and lead his family to do the same.
- Fixate on Jesus
“Follow me” is one of the favorite phrases of Jesus (Matt 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, 10:38, 16:24, 19:21, 19:28, Mark 1:17, 2:14, 8:34, 10:21, Luke 5:27, 9:23, 9:59, 18:22, John 1:43, 8:12, 10:27, 12:26, 21:19, 21:22). Nothing is more basic to being a disciple than fixating your life on Jesus and his gospel and plodding ahead in his direction. Discipleship often involves the sacrifice of comfort and security, and sometimes even family ties and affection (Luke 9:58, 60, 62). Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Obedience severed from faith in Christ is not true obedience (Rom 1:15, 16:26). Only fixated on Jesus will we ever walk in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal 2:14).
- Commit to Church
Discipleship is relational because at its heart is the call to follow another—Christ. We are to follow Christ and to call others to follow us as we follow Christ (1 Cor 11:1). There are always people ahead of us and behind us in following Christ. The community of Christ-followers where we are to be held accountable is the local church. God reveals himself in the Scripture in order to reveal truth that results in a relationship with him and his body, the church. From Genesis to Revelation, God is calling us into relationship with him and with one another. Consistent church attendance is not an endpoint in discipleship but it is a non-negotiable starting point for a man who wants to be a faithful disciple and wants to faithfully disciple his family. No man can be a disciple in solitude because discipleship is relational and not simply informational.
- Cherish the Word
All discipleship is rooted in the Word of God. It is God’s Word that brings transformation in our lives (John 17:17). The self-witness of Scripture as to its power and ability to transform is evident throughout the entire Bible: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-18). In its simplest form, being a disciple is the daily task of embracing and acting upon the Christ-centered word of God (Col 3:16). Without the Scriptures, we could not follow Christ because we would not know him or his gospel.
Men, do not overcomplicate discipleship. Stay fixated on Jesus and his gospel by cherishing his Word in a community of faith called the church. Stay on that course without wavering and lead your family to do the same. Discipleship is simple but hard.