By Zac Poonen
Jesus told us to make disciples everywhere – and not just converts. So to have a pure testimony, we must,first of all, teach the conditions for being a disciple clearly, to all who want to be a part of our church; and how discipleship should affect our personal life, our family life and our church-life”.
We must begin with teaching from Luke 14:26 to 33 , where Jesus gave the three essential conditions for being His disciple:
1. We must love Jesus more than all our family members, relatives and brothers and sisters ( Luke 14:26 ). None of them must be permitted to hinder us from doing what the Lord wants us to do.
3. We must love Jesus more than all the earthly things that we possess ( Luke 14:33 ). God permits us to have many earthly things. But we must not be possessive about any of them. They must all be held in an open palm – as God’s property.
(a) His teachings in this sermon describe the narrow way that leads to eternal life ( Matt.7:14 ).
(b) Only by obeying His teachings in this sermon would His disciples become fruitful trees for the glory of God (Matt.7:16-20 ).
(c) Only by obedience to all that Jesus taught in this sermon would His disciples be able to build their personal life, their family life and their church on an eternally unshakeable foundation ( Matt.7:24-27).
Thirdly, we must encourage everyone in the church to seek God to be filled with the Holy Spirit – since it is impossible to live up to the standard mentioned above, in our own strength. But this is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit ( Acts 1:8 ; Eph.5:18)
Fourthly, we must lead every believer to know God as their own Father in Heaven, so that they find their security in Him, in the midst of an uncertain and evil world.
Fifthly, we must teach people the great truth that Jesus “em>was made like us in all things” ( Heb.2:17 ) and was ” tempted exactly like us in all points” ( Heb.4:15 ), so that they can all have faith that they too can ” walk as Jesus walked” ( 1 John 2:6 ).
We spent many months studying these important truths of Scripture when we started our work. And we saw the excellent results that followed. Only thus can we build a pure testimony for the Lord –a new-covenant church.