Toward a Pentecostal Understanding of Discipleship

We are examining the concept of becoming more mature and fruitful disciples of Jesus.  More specifically we are looking into a Pentecostal perspective of discipleship.

Last week we considered two very broad and general discipleship emphases, those who place most emphasis upon the Bible and the other group who places most emphasis upon the Spirit.

It is MCA Church’s perspective that God will lead us through some seasons of Bible emphasis, other seasons of Spirit emphasis, and sometimes seasons of equal emphasis upon both Bible and Spirit.  Discipleship is a dance with the Holy Spirit.

Generally speaking:

  • Pentecostal thinkers (the Spirit Camp) place emphasis upon the Holy Spirit and a subjective experience with Him as modeled in the Bible.  This group is very comfortable with specific, personal direction from the Holy Spirit.
  • Evangelical thinkers (the Word Camp) place emphasis upon the Bible as the objective truth and strongly resist subjective experience.  This group is very comfortable with cognitive, Bible based communication and direction from God but fearful of subjective experiences.

If these two groups fail to walk in the unity of the Spirit:

  • Pentecostal folks accuse the Evangelicals of knowing the word of God but not the God of the word.
  • Evangelicals reply that Pentecostals live in a world of experience not anchored in the Bible and some teach that Pentecostal experience is demonic.

Pentecostal belief features the writings of Luke in Luke and Acts.  Evangelical belief features the writings of Paul.  Virtually everyone understands that the correct position is to equally value Luke and Paul, but getting there has proven to be a challenge.

For Luke discipleship and mission cannot be separated.  To be a disciple of Jesus is to be on mission as personally guided by the Holy Spirit.  Luke assumes that a disciple of Jesus knows well the Scripture and is a person of prayer.

For Paul discipleship includes the fruit of the Spirit, Christian maturity, and the gifts of the Spirit in the corporate worship setting.  Paul expects a follower (Paul never uses the word disciple) of Jesus to study the Scripture and to pray without ceasing. Paul assumes that disciples are on mission.

The Scripture commands us NOT to prefer Paul over Luke or the other way around but to know that God is speaking equally through both.  2 Timothy 3:16

If each of these statements is true of you, mark true next to it.  If it isn’t true of you, write false.

Luke Discipleship Questions

  1. I regularly go into all the world to preach the Gospel.
  2. I regularly preach the Gospel in my hometown (Jerusalem).
  3. I regularly preach the Gospel in areas surrounding my hometown (Judea).
  4. I regularly preach the Gospel across cultural boundaries (Samaria).
  5. I have received the gift of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  6. I experience the Holy Spirit’s guidance regularly.
  7. As a result of the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, signs and wonders happen as I go into all the world.

Paul Discipleship Questions

  1. I am growing in the Fruit of the Spirit.
  2. I am regularly studying the Scripture.
  3. I am regularly crucified with Christ by denying my self.
  4. I am regularly putting to death the fruit of the flesh (Sin).
  5. I regularly attend church (a concrete community) in which I minister in the Gifts of the Spirit.
  6. I am regularly serving in the body of Christ believing that my part of His body is important and valuable to the whole.
  7. I am regularly growing in Christian charity.

 

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