I’m returning to my four parts of discipleship with a final point to make. I have already made small cases for the importance of
- Knowing what you believe.
- Knowing why you believe it.
- Walking the walk.
So, if you have those three parts, the final part is being able to talk the talk. By talking the talk, I mean, being able to articulate and share your faith that is firmly rooted with others. This is the final step in becoming a replicating Christian that is now able to disciple as well as continue to be discipled by elder members of the brotherhood.
The importance of being well-developed in the other three areas cannot be underemphasized. If I were to tell a person they should try a new restaurant, but I knew nothing or little about it, and didn’t regularly eat there, am I really in a position to speak authoritatively about it? Of course not. By extension, if a person shares Christ with another, but has no grounding in why he believes in Jesus, or what he believes about Jesus, and has no or little experience in living a life submitted to God, why would someone buy what that person is selling? It makes no sense. So, while I’m all for the new young believer who is so on fire for God that they can’t help but share Him with others, I believe that it is a good idea for any believer to begin developing as a witness through continued obedience to Jesus.
Conversely, it’s not enough either to declare oneself a follower of Christ without being willing and/or able to share one’s faith with others. While I have rightly heard it said that a person’s life should be a witness to Christ, it is important to make sure that we don’t only rely on our life, but are willing to share our hearts and minds, as well. While living a life sold out to Christ is crucial to being an effective witness, it should be lived that way with the goal of demonstrating that the truths we proclaim as Christians are lived out in our lives, as well.
The balanced life of a disciple of Christ is one that is filled with the knowledge of the Savior, lived with God as the overarching centerpiece of everything we do, and proclaimed from the hilltops as a life that has been pledged to God. In our walk with God, we must not neglect some of the final words that our Lord spoke to us:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)
In order to fill that call, we must be able to effectively speak the cross into the void where there is no truth, to proclaim Jesus as salvation to others, and live our lives in such a way that they speak as definitive proof that we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit; both of which we are only able to do by having a healthy knowledge of who we serve, and why we can know that His word is truth.
Over the coming time, I would like to continue to introduce more pieces of these concepts, and to speak of such things as basic Christian doctrine, and why we have these doctrines. I also want to share ways to share Christ with others, and the essentials of walking the Christian life.