So far we’ve shown that faith and followership are two sides of the same coin, and that only regeneration in the Holy Spirit can enable us to follow Jesus. Now it’s time to get practical. Let’s now look at the commitments Jesus asks us to make and the pattern of life we are meant to emulate.
Becoming a mature disciple is a life-long process requiring daily dependence upon the Spirit as we progressively become more like Jesus in our thoughts, words, and actions. Though none of us have “arrived”, our highest aim is to have Christ formed in us (Galatians 4:19; Romans 8:29) as we learn him through daily steps of obedience. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul uses a succinct phrase that dynamically communicates the disciple’s mission.
“But you have not so learned Christ,” – Ephesians 4:20, NKJV emphasis added
Paul was reminding them that they had not only learned about Christ, but they had actually learned Christ. Charles Spurgeon unpacks the significance of this truth saying:
“So, if you want to know the Lord Jesus Christ, you must live with him. First he must himself speak to you, and afterwards you must abide in him. He must be the choice Companion of your morning hours, he must be with you throughout the day, and with him you must also close the night; and as often as you may wake during the night, you must say, ‘When I awake, I am still with thee.'”
Learning Christ begins with knowledge but doesn’t end there. We can learn information without applying it to our lives. To learn Christ means that by experience we learn to depend on him, know him more deeply, and team with him in accomplishing his Kingdom agenda. All of this happens through a close and abiding relationship with our Lord, where we constantly call to mind what he said, how he lived, and whom he served.
Yours in Christ,