Discipleship: We are expected to GROW!

I have been asked, “What is the big deal about discipleship?” Well, the big deal is that growing in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and faith is expected of us. Paul demonstrates this beautifully in 1st Corinthians 3:1-8: Emphasis in bold letters are my own.

1 Corinthians 3:1–8 (NASB95)

1  And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.

2  I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,

3  for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

4  For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

5  What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

6  I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

7  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

8  Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Paul is stating here that he could not speak to the people in the church at Corinth as he would to spiritual men. Translate “spiritual men” to “mature believers”.  He had to speak to them as infants in Christ. You see, the Corinthians were immature or “babes” in their belief. Paul, in verse 2, indicates that he gave them the most basic spiritual nourishment instead of the “meat” of the matter because they were not yet mature enough to receive “solid food” and that “even now you are not able”. Paul is simply stating that the Corinthians have not grown in the faith. They are not mature disciples. They have not grown in knowledge, wisdom, or understanding. Paul quickly points out that is not those who teach others in the discipleship process that causes the “growth” of a disciple but rather that it is God who causes the growth. Paul is saying that the Corinthian people were not walking as closely to God as they should. They were not growing. Paul brought them the good news or the Gospel. He “planted” the Gospel in them. Apollos attempted to “water” them by offering teaching so that they could walk closely with God and grow. That is discipleship. Paul points out that the one who “plants” and the one who “waters” are really nothing. It is God who causes the growth of a disciple that carries them from drinkers of milk to eaters of solid food. However, Paul points out that the one who plants and the one who waters will have a reward according to his own labor.

It would seem that in order to receive reward that one must “plant’ or “water” or “water and plant”. How does one get to the point that he/she can “water” and “plant”?

You become a disciple. You submit to having the desire to be a disciple planted within you. You submit yourself to being “watered” by those who are mature in their walk with Christ. You learn to pray. You learn to fast. You learn to get into God’s Word, The Holy Bible, and study, You learn to witness to others. Then you can “plant” and “water” as Paul and Apollos did. Then, you are eligible for your reward according to your Labor.

I look forward to meeting Jesus. When He asks me, “Who did you bring with you?” I want to be able to turn a point to thousands of souls that I have “planted” and “watered” bringing them to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and discipling them into mature believers and say, “All of them Lord! I brought all of them with me!” What a glorious day that will be all because I understand truly what a big deal discipleship is!

God Bless!

In His Grip,

Lonnie Richardson

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