By Jeff Arnette
Why does it seem like being a disciple of Jesus is so challenging? Why does it seem like such a difficult undertaking? I think there are several reasons behind this. Sometimes I think it could be a lack of commitment. Sometimes I think it is because we are an unwillingness to give ourselves completely to Jesus. Sometimes I think we don’t truly understand what it means to be disciples. Sometimes I think that we just don’t make time for Jesus and following him.
Each of these could be legitimate or they could be a combination of each. Each person is a complicated array of experiences and mistakes; misunderstanding and rebellion, sinner and saint. To just assign a person to any one category is short-sighted at best.
The problem that plagues us the most is not any of these (although they can be true and often plague us). I think the problem we face most often is that we don’t think we can be good disciples.
We have allowed Satan to convince us that we are sinners, not saints. Or that we cannot be a disciple because we are simply not good enough. This causes us to look at the people of God, read the stories, examine their lives, and teachings only to conclude that we will never be like them.
- You’re a sinner because you sin daily!
- Your identity is connected to what you’ve done (sin=condemned and rejected).
- Your identity comes from what others think about you (just like everyone else).
- Your behavior dictates what you should believe about yourself (discouraged and defeated).
- You’re a saint (Eph. 1:1) declared righteous in Jesus (Rom. 4:1-5).
- Your identity is connected to what God has done (John 3:15; Rom. 5:8).
- Your identity comes from what God thinks about you (Eph. 2:4-10; Gal. 3:25-29).
- Your belief about yourself determines your behavior (Rom. 8:1-2, 28, 31-39).
Matthew 4:19 “… Follow me, and I will make you…” (ESV)
- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: https://centralhaywoodcoc.com/