discipleship is mission

The gospel of Jesus Christ, the core of the Christian message, demands a response. It is a call to believe; a call to act. It is a call to confess; a call to serve. It is a call to trust; a call to love. It is a call to mission locally and abroad for all believers.

The action which flows out of belief is that of discipleship. It is characterized by doing the kinds of things that Jesus did, and would continue to do were he present in the flesh in our situation. And yet, he is present, living through those who believe by virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit who fills us and empowers us. In our confession and turning away from sin, we are thus called out from acts of wickedness, but thrust out as ambassadors of righteousness to the margins, the halls of power, the marketplace, the neighborhoods, the urban, suburban and rural environments in which we have been placed.

Discipleship is not simply about learning facts, memorizing Bible verses, practicing liturgy, participating in sacrament, engaging in Christian fellowship and singing songs of worship. It involves those things in some form in various contexts, but they do not comprise the whole of its expectations. Rather, discipleship results naturally in the overflow of mission as believers demonstrate the love of God to the world, which God first showed them.

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