We have looked at what a disciple is from what the Bible teaches, which is very different from the picture of a modern-day disciple.

Today we conclude this study with a look at what Jesus said about His church. He promised that He would build His church and it would be so strong and effective that not even the most wicked and debased of people, including those who try to destroy it by killing His disciples, would overcome it.

What is the church and how does it function?

First of all, the church is not a building made of bricks or stone, but a building made of living stones, people who are disciples of Jesus, following Him, obeying Him, yoked with Him and teaching others how to follow and obey Him.

It is not a group of people who carry out religious rituals but a group of interdependent people who do life together, loving and supporting one another and living in unity, each one individually and all together living in obedience to Jesus.

It is not a group of people who blindly follow a human leader but a body of people who are all living in union with their Head. Jesus appoints leaders who are accountable to Him and to one another, whose task is to train the people to be disciples and who teach, guide and discipline them so that they remain true to Jesus.

It is not a democracy but a group of people who obey their leaders and live in love and harmony with one another as a witness to the world by their love that they are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:34, 35) and that, by their unity, the world may believe that the Father sent Jesus into the world (John 17:21).

The church is made up of small groups of people all over the world who do life together to show the world what God’s kingdom is like. The church represents God’s kingdom on earth and carries out the Father’s business of bringing God’s kingdom to earth by showing the people in the world what God is really like, and inviting them into His family to be His sons and daughters.

Unbelievers hate God and are suspicious of Him because they don’t know Him. They invent their own gods because they are afraid of God and want nothing to do with Him.   It is the responsibility of the church to show them what God is really like by living as Jesus lived, by being ‘”gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34;6). We can do that because we have the same Holy Spirit in us who was in Jesus and who empowered Him to be the true Son of God.

Disciples can love because He first loved us. Disciples can be merciful, because He has been merciful to us. Disciples can forgive because He forgave us. Disciples can be generous because He has been generous to us. Disciples can do the works that Jesus did because the same Holy Spirit lives in us.

Now you have to ask the question: “Am I truly a disciple of Jesus?”

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