We live in an abbreviated society with many associations. We are described and labeled by our distinctions and dialect, our degrees, doctrines, diseases and disorders.
The description of the life of a follower of Christ is a wonderful thing, definitely not a disease or disorder, but a distinction. Let me explain according to the initials CGCD, the abbreviation for Conviction, Guidance, Commitment and Discipline.
One becomes a follower of Christ by the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Jesus taught His disciples that when He left them to return to His Father He would send the Holy Spirit ~ the Spirit of truth. He would supernaturally birth them into His kingdom (John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:3-4).
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11
A follower of Christ is convicted. As the Spirit woos and wins us, we receive the guidance of the Spirit of Christ for new and eternal life.
Jesus, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (john 14:6), promised that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all the truth. This is how He becomes our Shepherd.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:12-13
The Spirit of truth is the “Spirit of the Lord”
(2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
He leads us by His hand of mercy to follow Christ, to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” to serve Him (Romans 12:1-2).
He leads us to full commitment and obedience to Him, to the truth, and to actively seek His kingdom and righteousness.
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,” Romans 6:17
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5
“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3
With commitment comes discipline as He establishes us as His own. We learn to discipline ourselves as we live under the discipline of the Holy Spirit and His Word.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Hebrews 12:6-9
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11The apostle Paul in his letter to Titus encourages him to be “hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined (Titus 1:8).
He says of his own life, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
As followers of Christ we are His special people who gladly accept the description and label as He, by His Grace and His Word, makes us peculiar to the world. No others but those of His family have the life of Christ in them. What a joy it is for people to ask what makes us different, so that we can share Christ with them.
Gracious Father, you have made us precious in your sight. Let us wear the label for your glory. Make your Spirit within us contagious with joy and an excitement that overflows, to your glory and praise. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran, DDC (Devoted Disciple of Christ)