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A key to Matthew

Here is a basic principle for interpreting the Bible. Early in a book of the Bible, the author educates his readers to read the text correctly. Bible scholar, Paul Minear, confirms this concept: ... it was the habit of biblical people to find at the outset of a story a kind of preview of all that would follow. An... Read More

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Lessons from a leper

Have you ever met a leper? I haven’t. You probably haven’t either. So, how is this relevant to you and me? Let me show you. Three things about leprosy First, in the Bible, leprosy is broader than what is now called Hansen’s Disease. It describes a host of skin disorders, and is often translated as “infectious skin... Read More

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Disciple, what will you do?

The second lesson for a disciple of Jesus Christ is in the second section of Matthew’s ‘Story’ (Matthew 1:18-25). “What’s the first lesson?” you ask. It’s in the first section – the genealogy (1:1-17). That’s short-hand for God’s ‘Story’ up to the birth of Jesus Christ. To live in that ‘Story’ you must learn... Read More

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Fleshing out two principles for making disciples

My conviction has been stated before: Matthew’s gospel is a paradigm for making disciples of Jesus Christ. This raises the question, “How can we engage Matthew for making disciples?” In partial answer, I will introduce two basic principles, and provide four means of application. Two principles (1) Disciple-makers... Read More

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How to make disciples: a better way

Dallas Willard’s The Great Omission and Frank Viola’s Discipleship in Crisis capture something of the overall malaise in the current state of discipleship.  My suspicion is that discipleship programs over the past fifty years must take some, if not much, of the blame for this malaise. This post takes a poke at... Read More

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How teaching makes disciples

Two action words describe how we make disciples. The first is baptizing which we dealt with in the previous post.   The second is teaching – a particular kind of teaching – that we’ll deal with in this post. Here are the nine words from Matthew 28:18-20 we'll examine: … teaching them to obey everything I have... Read More

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How baptizing makes disciples

How do we make disciples? In the last few posts we’ve asked some big questions about discipleship: What is a disciple? How can we recognize a disciple? Why do we make disciples? Listen again to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20. He is also telling us how to make disciples. Participating The main verb of the... Read More

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5 reasons to make disciples

“Why should I make disciples?” As I examine my own reasons, I listen again to Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. Here are five areas to test whether we are aligned with Jesus and what he is doing. 1.       It’s not about me. As I listen and watch with the eleven disciples, my attention is focused on Jesus. We hear him... Read More

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5 discipleship attributes

How can you recognize a disciple of Jesus Christ? In some circles, discipleship is measured by activities such as reading the Bible and praying; attending church and participating in religious programs. These can be valuable, but is discipleship determined by such activities? The previous post, "What is a... Read More

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What is a disciple?

To hit a target, first locate the bull's-eye. For the Christian, the target is being a disciple, and making disciples, of Jesus Christ. So, it’s important we know what a disciple is.  Starting point Our starting point for understanding discipleship is Jesus – his life, conduct, and teaching. We discover this in... Read More


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