To become a disciple-making disciple like Jesus Christ expects us to be, requires that we get a new pair of trifocal glasses. We have to improve our vision.
Step Four: I Internalize that there are three things that must remain in the forefront of my mind and practice: What Jesus teaches in John chapters 8, 13, and 15 about his disciples. I must see everything through these three lenses.
First, John the Beloved tells us that our Lord said only one thing shows him that we are really his disciples. We abide in his word. This shows him that we are truly his disciples. If we do this we will know the truth. We will be free to do the Father’s will. (John 8:31,32)
This is so clear that only the enemy of our souls could keep us from understanding it.
We are not to become an expert in anyone else’s opinion. We are not to be devoted to someone else’s ideas. We are not to become scholars of ancient languages. We are not to give lectures about the meaning of words. We are not to have friendly neighborhood bible studies. These are all good things in their proper place, but they are not what Jesus tells us will satisfy him that we are his disciples. We are to abide in the words of Jesus. They are to be graven on our hearts. They are to be on the tip of our tongues. They are to teach us how to know his voice in any and all circumstances. They are to bring us into intimate friendship with him. This alone shows that we are “truly [his] disciples.”
Second, the quality of relationships between believers in the body of Christ is the witness that we belong to him. We love one another like he loves us. Nothing else shows that the way of Jesus is the way to truth and life. I can not be the disciple of the Lord and remain at odds with my believing spouse. I can not speak against my brother. I can not harbor deep resentments and unreconciled issues within my local church fellowship. The Risen Lord said we would be his witnesses, and he makes clear that the witness of our love for other believers is what he meant (John 13:34,35). Others are to know a follower of Jesus when they see how we love one another.
Third, the true disciple, the loving disciple, bears much fruit for the kingdom of God by bringing others along the path of discipleship. The call to “come and see” becomes the call to “follow me,” which in time becomes “go and make.” Nothing else will last for eternity, except another believing follower of the Lord Jesus. Nothing else we give our energy to will last. We must make other disciples if we are obedient ourselves. And the Lord does not expect a little fruit. We bear much fruit. This is so plainly taught by Jesus that, again, we must assume for a Christian to not know it, to not seek to do it, is the result of a deception from the enemy. (John 15;7,8)
Put on the trifocal glasses of these three passages, if you want to be a disciple-making disciple of the Lord Jesus.