Discipleship—Teaching and Embodying the Gospel

In these past two months, families have had a lot of “togetherness” time—maybe even too much if you were to ask all involved. During this time, children have had even more opportunities to observe their parents navigating a wide spectrum of difficult circumstances. What did they hear and see?…Did they hear the Scriptures being taught? Did they see the gospel being lived out in humble dependence and hope-filled joy? Did they see Jesus being treasured and worshiped?

Our children are listening and watching. What will they hear and what will they see?

Discipleship is the process whereby we seek to teach others the Word of God. Notice that the Great Commission is not only to teach people God’s commands, but to teach them to “observe” or “obey” all that He commanded. There is a world of difference between teaching someone everything the Lord commanded and teaching them to obey everything He commanded. One is through words, the other through a way of life. Teaching someone to obey God’s commands requires intentionality in the context of relationship throughout the span of a lifetime.  

…Our call to discipleship is a call to follow our Lord’s example before others. As we seek to live obediently by God’s grace, we teach others. Even our struggles demonstrate to those around us that truly it is by grace alone through faith alone that we are saved. 

Our sojourn in this fallen world is from cradle to grave. The lessons we learn at every stage are the very lessons we pass on to others (2 Tim. 2:2). Therefore, children need parents who seek to embody the gospel in their homes daily through loving relationships and family devotions. Teenagers need parents and older church members to share how they have experienced the great doctrines of the Bible…. Discipleship is for all stages of life.

(Brad Waller, “Discipling Every Age,” www.ligonier.org

So parents, what do our children SEE from us when we…

  • have conflict with our spouse?
  • are stuck in traffic?
  • experience illness?
  • have a difficult day at work or in the home?
  • receive an unexpected gift?
  • plan a special vacation?
  • are watching a sporting event?

Teachers, what do our students SEE from us when they…

  • observe us in the worship service?
  • hear us talking with and about others?
  • sit under our teaching—sensing our tone and attitude toward what we are teaching?

As we teach our children and students through family devotions, Sunday school classes, catechism, Bible study, corporate worship services, mission projects, etc. may we always keep in mind…

Our call to discipleship is a call to follow our Lord’s example before others. As we seek to live obediently by God’s grace, we teach others. Even our struggles demonstrate to those around us that truly it is by grace alone through faith alone that we are saved.