Today, I continue explaining the terms that get used the most on this blog.
Discipleship – This is one of my favorite words in the Christian lexicon. It makes it sound like those of us who live 2,000 years after Christ can still join him just like Peter, James, John and all the rest did. I also love this word because of the definition that Dallas Willard uses. Discipleship is the act of “learning to live one’s life as Jesus would if he were they.” Let that stir in your head for a moment. This definition is much more than “What would Jesus do?” but “Who would Jesus be if he were in my family, in my job, and handling my problems?” This is the ideal we seek as we draw closer and closer to Jesus in order to learn from him.
Grace – Another term that Dallas Willard helped me understand. According to Willard, grace is more than the common definition of “unmerited favor”. Grace is “God’s action in our lives to accomplish what we cannot accomplish on our own.” Of course, this is “unmerited favor” but a simple look through scripture shows us that the word grace is used differently than what we normally expect.
“Grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Peter 3:17.
In John 1: 14, we are told that Jesus “came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
These are just two examples that show how limited our definition of grace has become. We do not grow in “unmerited favor” or forgiveness but we can grow in God’s action (grace) in our lives. One last quote from Willard. “It is not the sinner who burns a lot of grace but the saint. A saint burns grace (God’s action) like a 747 burns fuel on takeoff.”
Next time, we will look at the terms spiritual disciplines and Holy Spirit.