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Disciple or Delinquent

Much of western Christianity gradually has abandoned the mandates of Scripture, the teachings of the Lord Jesus that call for holiness, and the separation from the world that is the very word in Greek for church. (“ecclesia” – “called out”). Entertainment, emulating worldly venues in worship, motivational or “how to be successful” talks over expository Bible preaching, and the abandonment of true “disciple making” for easy believism… these and many new established practices have seen the re-creation of the Laodicean church in America. 

It was to the church at Laodicea that Jesus spoke of their spiritual distance and indifference….

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.  (Rev. 3:15-17).

Jesus mandate was for the church to make disciples.  One who becomes a true follower of Jesus is ever seeking to grow in the “disciplines of a disciple”. Just as an athlete is always practicing, running, or working out to improve his abilities in the contests, so a Christian is to be ever “practicing” the fundamentals of the faith to become more and more like Christ.

We view fundamentals as just practice. Fundamentals are the boring “day in day out” stuff that seemingly doesn’t really matter.  One researcher by the name of Ericsson notes, “Elite performers in many diverse domains have been found to practice, on the average, roughly the same amount every day, including weekends.”

The evidence for that principle crosses a remarkable range of fields. In a study of 20-year-old violinists by Ericsson and colleagues, the best group (judged by conservatory teachers) averaged 10,000 hours of deliberate practice over their lives; the next-best averaged 7,500 hours; and the next, 5,000.

Practice is crucial for us to perform. I want to remind you that any coach will tell you that the lack of attention to fundamentals may not show up or hurt you in the short term, but ultimately that lack of attention will be exposed and cause you to lose.  In other words, there are fundamentals that must be brushed up on constantly. It doesn’t matter how professional or skilled you become. You must constantly revisit the basics and stay proficient in them.

When you begin to talk about the fundamentals of Christianity, we look to Jesus’ teachings that we call the Sermon on the Mount and rightfully so. In this masterpiece of a sermon, Jesus deals with basic kingdom principles. He is basically teaching us how we are to live now that we are a part of God’s kingdom.  (Copied).

John 13:15  – For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done.