First Century Discipleship
Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus had hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who followed Him around and listened to His teachings, but He only had twelve disciples?
A disciple is more than just a believer or a follower or a listener to teachings.
Disciples are students who commit themselves to a Master Teacher and learn to live according to a certain discipline.
The discipline the first followers of Christ committed themselves to was known as “The Way.”
Why did they call it “The Way”?
Because Jesus taught His disciples a special way of being, living, understanding, and relating to God, one another, and the rest of the world.
But “The Way” was more than just a teaching. Jesus called Himself “The Way.”
So when you became a disciple of “The Way”, you weren’t just following the teachings – you were following the Person.
Discipleship in the first century was not an intellectual acknowledgment of certain facts and teachings. It was not a religion. It was a relationship.
This, in a nutshell, describes everything that was “right” about those first disciples of Jesus.
It also describes everything that is wrong with the religious system today.
Around 300 A.D., a religion ABOUT Jesus replaced a relationship WITH Jesus and Christianity became institutionalized. The true followers of Christ went underground as the church system was created and overrun with half-converted pagans and a greedy, self-serving priesthood. “The Way” was hidden, and the basic principles of discipleship were forgotten.
But God preserved a Remnant of those who refused to participate in the Church system. They rightly discerned that the religious system was against Christ. They rejected the teachings of the priests and looked directly to the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit for their spiritual truth. They were persecuted and tortured for their refusal to submit to Church authorities. Many of them died.
Today, the religious system is stronger than ever. Yet God still preserves a Remnant of true disciples, those who continue to follow the first century discipleship program known as “The Way” and refuse to participate in the church system. They choose to obey God rather than men.
This is discipleship according to Jesus. And if you are ready for this new understanding, this is what you will learn.
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