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In Part-3 of this series on Discipleship, we discuss the normal growth path of a child of God, the development we ought to take, as we journey in the Christian faith. All of us ought to move from being Believers to becoming Disciples, growing into Ministers of Jesus and becoming Leaders in the Body. We motivate each one to make this journey.
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Matthew 28:19,20

1, We are called to be disciples
2, Disciples are "made"
3, Jesus intends for disciples to make more disciples:

disciple = a learner, one who follows another's teaching.

"A "disciple" was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher" (Vines Dictionary)

A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ who strives to be like Jesus.

Part 1: The Marks of A Disciple

What did the Lord Jesus say would be the "identifying marks" that would characterize those who would be His disciples?

1, As a disciple, I obey (remain in) His Word
2, As a disciple, I walk in love, just as I am loved
3, As a disciple, I pursue fruitfulness in life
4, As a disciple, I endeavor to be Like Jesus
5, As a disciple, I carry my cross (sacrifice, separation, suffering)

Part-2: The Process - How one becomes/makes disciples
How Jesus made His disciples (Disciplines of a disciple)

1, He had them be with Him – He taught them personally
So we too must take time to “be” with Jesus
2, They were together as a team
We must learn to walk in fellowship with other believers.
3, He sent them out to do whatever He taught them
We must serve the Lord – share our faith, serve in His Kingdom
4, They learnt through their experiences/mistakes
We follow God through all of life’s situations
5, He never gave up on them
He never gives up on us.

We apply this same “process” as we work with other people and help them develop into disciples of Jesus.

TODAY Part-3 : Growth Path - Believer, Disciple, Minister, Leader

Today, we seek to highlight the growth path of a child of God, the development we ought to take, as we journey in the Christian faith. Our objective is to motivate each one to take this journey of “growing up” in Christ.


Most of us understand what we have done/experience as believers, that as believers we have
  • Embraced the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord
  • Repented
  • Have faith in the Lord
Hebrews 6:1,2
1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The elementary principles or foundational truths include
(A) Repentance from dead works
  • I move away from dependence on my own works to salvation by grace through faith
  • Dead works also include ungodliness – works that do not please God. I turn away from all forms of sin and uncleanness.
(B)How to have faith in God
  • I learn to have faith in God not only for salvation but in all matters of life and daily experience. I understand how to believe in and possess the promises of God by faith. I understand how to have enduring faith in God through challenges and difficulties.I move away from dependence on my own works to salvation by grace through faith
(C) The understanding of the three baptisms
  • The baptism into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), where the Holy Spirit baptized me into the Body when I believed in Jesus, and made me one with Jesus and with others in the Body. I understand I am part of the Body of Christ and one with other believers
  • The baptism in water (Matthew 28:19,20), which I voluntarily stepped into as an expression of faith in Christ, where another believer baptized me in water before other witnesses.
  • The baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5,8), which I received by faith as empowerment to be a witness for Jesus Christ in this world
(D) The understanding and practice of the laying of on hands
  • I understand and participate in receiving ministry through the laying on of hands for healing, prayer, blessing, etc. (Mark 16:17,18)
  • I understand also that laying on hands is used to appoint people in leadership roles in the Body and honor those who have been so appointed (1 Timothy 4:14; 5:17,22)
(E) The understanding and faith in the resurrection of the dead
  • That there is life beyond this life and as a believer I will be eternally with Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and therefore live life from that perspective.
(F) The understanding of eternity and judgment
  • I understand that we must all as believers stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10,11 1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
All of us as believers should be clear and walking in these 6 foundational principles.


A believer should normally progress into becoming a “Disciple”.
As we have been studying, a “disciple” is one who is pursuing becoming like His master, that is, pursuing Christlikeness.

We never outgrow the preceding stage, that is we never stop being a “believer”. Each new level is cumulative of all that we are called to be and do in the preceding stages.

Christlikeness is God’s intent for all of us.

It is a sign of “growing up”, a sign of maturity.

Ephesians 4:13-15
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

The apostle Paul writes to the believers in Galatia that he labored once (the first time) for Christ to be formed (fashioned) in them. And even though they had become “displaced” in their faith due to wrong teaching from some brethren who had entered in, Paul was willing to labor yet again, to see Christ formed in them.

Galatians 4:19
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,

Vs 19 "..until Christ's life becomes visible in your lives" (Message Bible)

That is the focus of us as ministers – we desire to present every man “perfect” (i.e. mature) in Jesus.

Colossians 1:28,29
28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

Paul labored along with Aquilla and Priscilla, among the Corinthian believers. Later on, Apollos also joined the team. However, Paul, writes a strong letter of rebuke, because he finds that they have not grown up. They have still remained as babies. “Carnality” that is “worldliness” – wanting to be like the world, still have affections for the world, will prevent us from growing up!

1 Corinthians 3:1-3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

All of us must press on from just being believers to grow into a place of maturity – becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.


And yet we don’t stop there…we must progress into becoming “ministers” of Christ. By “minister” we simply mean “servant”. A minister is one who serves. We serve the Lord Jesus, by serving people in His name as His representative.

Hebrews 5: 11-14
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Vs 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers…

The expectation is that we grow up and begin to help develop/instruct/nurture others in the faith.

We find our place in the Body and begin serving others in whatever role the Lord has appointed for us. It is not that all of us will have “pulpit ministry”. Instead, all of us will have some role in the building up of the Body of Christ.

Being a teacher – a minister in the House of God brings with it much greater responsibility. James warns the believers in Asia Minor, who were still struggling with “worldliness” not to desire to be teachers because there is a stricter judgment for those who teach (James 3:1). This is not to discourage us from nurturing others – but we must understand that there is a higher standard that we must live by and hold ourselves by, as we go about nurturing others.

Eventually, each one grows up into a place of leadership – that is, we carry the responsibility of an area of ministry, role or function given to us. We serve under and alongside several others – but as leaders we carry responsibility in the House of God.


In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Paul outlines the requirements of those who serve as leaders (“spiritual overseers”) in the House of God. He calls for godliness (“blameless”), good behavior, one who is not a novice lest he fall due to pride, and one who has a good testimony in the world.

Three important qualities of a Christian leader:

1, As leaders, we must lead by example.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

2, As leaders, we must have a servant heart, not desiring for position, power or influence.

3, As leaders, we must learn to walk in humility and submission.


So the challenge is for all of us to take this growth path.

God did not call you to be a church attender but to grow into being a disciple, a minister of God and a leader in the House of God.

There is plenty of room for all of us to grow and serve.

All Peoples Church in Bangalore is a Spirit-filled, Word-based, Bible-believing Christian fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ desiring more of His presence and supernatural power bringing transformation, healing, miracles, and deliverance. We preach the full Gospel, equip believers to live out our new life in Christ, welcome the Charismatic and Pentecostal expressions in the assembly of God and serve in strengthening unity across all Christian churches. All free resources, sermons, daily devotionals, and free Christian books are provided for the strengthening of all believers in the Body of Christ. For further equipping, please visit APC Bible College.


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