The Purpose of Christian DiscipleshipQUESTION: What is the purpose of Christian discipleship?ANSWER:
The main purpose of Christian discipleship is to be like Christ. Christian discipleship might best be described as a training or mentoring program designed to develop individuals to become more like their Savior.
When Christ became man and lived on earth, he endured all of the same trials, pains, and persecutions that man suffers in order to prove himself as a perfect example for us. Therefore, one of the primary purposes of Christian discipleship is to emulate the character of Christ.1 Peter 2:21 says, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."
Another purpose of Christian discipleship is to learn about the Father. In Christ's three-year public ministry on earth, He often stated that His goal was to teach His disciples about His Father. Christ wanted us to know that God is alive, real, sovereign, loving, and is preparing a place for His believers in heaven. So another purpose of discipleship is to grow in our knowledge of God.
In Philippians 1:9, Paul said, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." As we grow to know God, we yearn to know His power and to experience it at work in our lives. We long to feel His presence more closely and fully than we have experienced previously. We yearn to understand and grow in God's grace.
Bearing fruit for the kingdom of God is another purpose of Christian discipleship. It says in John 15:8, "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." It is essential to increase the fruit (or those character virtues we exhibit in our lives) to be productive as well informed disciples of Christ in order to carry out the responsibilities given to believers such as serving others and spreading the gospel.
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'" (John 8:12). Then in Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." We are commanded to take the light we are given and spread it around the world to others so that they may see Christ and receive Him for themselves.