Friday, December 30, 2011

Introducing The 8 Keys of Discipleship

            Our desire is to produce unreasonable, unorganized, uncompromising, focused spiritual people who will carry out the desire of Christ to reach a lost and dying world. The 8 Keys of Discipleship represent 8 Key Truths which form a framework to help in this process as you learn to walk with God yourself in the freedom and power that is rightfully yours as His child and to help others do the same.
This book is a working textbook so you will have a clear plan on how to be a Kingdom disciple and how to make Kingdom disciples that truly function as disciples of the great commission. Each person who works through these teachings will know how to walk with the Lord in freedom and joy, see others come to Christ and know how to equip the new disciple to reproduce their lives to do the same.
We have written a short synopsis of each key followed by many Scriptures for you to explore on your own under Discovering Each Key.   Then go back and focus on those keys the Lord is speaking to you about. 
You can only disciple people to the level you are yourself. If you are not living free you will not be able to disciple others to be free.
The Scriptures are the most important part of this study. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  We believe God will speak to you as you read His Word; He will reveal His truth to you and teach you about His gospel. 
The first three keys are consecutive.  Keys 4-8 are one set.  All five are true for you now as a believer in Jesus Christ. So feel free to jump around and explore the keys.  Learn and grow, live free and disciple others to do the same.
We want to encourage you to sit with God, and read His Word to KNOW HIM, not just to finish a study.  Following the Scripture verses, we have a deeper study of each key called Going Deeper.  In this section, you will walk through the key, digging deeper into this particular part of the gospel.
You can only disciple people to the level you are yourself. If you are not living free you will not be able to disciple others to be free.  So it is critical that you dig into this study for yourself, to know your God and to love Him. As you walk with God, learning to listen to Him and move with Him, He will give you opportunities to disciple others, teaching them all He teaches you. 
Discipleship is a living process, not a system of lessons to teach. Discipleship is not just a Sunday school class or bible study.  Discipleship is not just memorizing Bible verses. Kingdom disciples follow the wisdom of God in a person, not personality, though sometimes personality initially attracts.  Wisdom is what the heart of a true disciple seeks.  They seek to know God and live for His glory alone.
  Knowing and loving God is foundational. We are not interested in just giving you more Bible knowledge or information about God. Many of you have had plenty of Bible knowledge. Has that knowledge alone given you peace and joy and an unshakeable security in your life?  We also are not interested in helping you just survive on this planet, to struggle through the Christian life.  We are interested in helping you to truly thrive, to be all you were created by God to be in Christ! Knowing God is the true Key. You will learn how to be a disciple of His. As
If you are tired of trying to change yourself, tired of trying to find joy and meaning, tired of not feeling good enough or worthy, or tired of trying to do enough for God, then come and find rest.
your love for Him grows, His passion will drive you right into the centre, into the very heart and activity of God.
            The 8 Keys of Discipleship express the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The first three keys — Realize, Admit, and Surrender — focus on who God is, on who we were before we knew Him, and what God did in Jesus Christ to bring us to Himself.
            The next five keys — Believe, Transform, Abide, Love, and Reign — are all true for believers, from the moment we surrendered our lives to God.
The first three keys are progressive.  You must realize who God is, know your condition and surrender to Jesus to enter the Kingdom of God.  The next five keys are not progressive. They express the reality of being a believer in Jesus Christ. They are the foundational reality of the Christian life. As you understand and believe that this reality, as expressed in God’s Word, is true for you, you will begin to experience the free and abundant life in Christ.
It is critical to understand how the gospel flows and works in the human heart.  You are a living system and the life of Christ is living in you also.  As you study the 8 Keys, we encourage you to sit with God and listen to Him. Come with no agenda but to know Him. He will reveal the mystery of the gospel to you. As you look at this book, pulling one key out too long and focusing on it without the connection to the others will move you to misunderstanding.  Each key is essential to the whole.  They cannot stand alone and express the full picture.  They are like pieces of a pie.  Each piece represents a part of the whole pie. Or you can think of it like this:  If you wanted to study the life of an animal and you remove its heart to look at it, it will die.  If you remove the lungs, it will die.  You must look at the animal in its completeness as it functions and works.
The gospel is not robotic, like a system that man can build.  It is God’s living system showing how He functions. The gospel shows God in His completeness.  If you want to examine God’s love and pull it out by itself but do not have an understanding of His Sovereignty, His wrath, His righteousness, His justice, His mercy, His holiness, or His power, then soon your view of His love will become perverted and unhealthy. God is a living system. His attributes all describe Him in His wholeness.  He always loves even when wrathful.  He is always righteous, even in His mercy or judgement. He is life and must always be examined as a whole Being.  The gospel is the same.  We can look at the parts, and we do in this study to understand the gospel more fully, but the parts must be living in the whole.
Being a Kingdom disciple is being all you were created to be in Christ, not about trying to live the Christian life.  Jesus says, “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The Christian life is not hard, but it is impossible without the Christ. There is incredible joy in this journey of learning to walk by faith in our God. We pray that God will speak deeply to you through this study and that you will come away with joy and peace and a solid assurance in the goodness and love of God in your life. So let me encourage you to come to the fountain of life and drink. 

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