2 Timothy 2:2 - “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.“
Let’s look at the rest of 2 Timothy and see how Paul develops a full picture of discipleship.
2 Timothy 2:1 - ``You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
As Paul intimates here, discipleship has similarities to a father-son relationship. Biblical discipleship is a mature man teaching and training a new believer toward maturity in Christ. Here, Paul instructs Timothy in his own discipleship ministry while reminding Timothy that it starts with those who are strong in the grace that is found in Christ Jesus. Discipleship is a sanctification process. It requires strength in grace to bear with one another as we confront, confess and conquer sin.
vs. 3 - “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”
True discipleship comes at a cost. Following Jesus means acceptance from God but also rejection from the world. For disciples of Christ, the cost may include imprisonment, isolation, poverty, pain, or death. And yet, good soldiers will endure and willingly suffer for their Commander. Discipleship is a commitment to stand together in suffering.
vs. 4 - “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. “
Disciples adhere to Jesus, His body, His message and His agenda. Just like soldiers, they are not concerned about the goings-on of everyday society and culture. They are concerned with pleasing their King. And, like soldiers, they will fight for His cause. cf vs. 14, 16-17, 23
vs. 5 - “Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.”
The athlete who receives the crown is the one who endures to the end and competes according to the rules of the game. Likewise, discipleship teaches the believer to discipline himself for the long run and to run with obedience. Or as the Hebrews author said it, “We set aside the sin that might trip us up and run the race set before us.” cf. vs. 19,22
vs. 6 - “The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.”
Discipleship is full of rewards, both for the leader and the disciple. In discipleship, we should expect to see the fruit of growth. This comes from planning, labor, hard work, and dedication. Each generation of disciples owes a debt of gratitude to those who disciple them.
vs. 7-10 - “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. “
In verses 7-10, Paul gives us a high-level view of making disciples: We remember the resurrected Jesus. We proclaim Jesus as the King who sits forever on David’s throne. We teach His gospel in every place. We willingly suffer difficulties and shame for the gospel and this may even include jail time. What is this for? Discipleship. We do this for the sake of God’s elect. We do this so that they will be saved in Christ. cf. vs. 24-26
vs. 11-13 - “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
This is the final end or goal of discipleship. The mature believer will take up the cross to die with Jesus. But even in death, the believer knows that he will live again with Him. If we continue to the end, we will reign alongside our King. However, if we are embarrassed of Jesus in the world, he will not recognize us before God. cf vs. 15
Discipleship is one of the most important functions of the church. It is at the heart of Jesus’ Great Commission: Go into all nations and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey. (Matthew 28:19-20). Making disciples and maturing men in their faith is a great responsibility. For this reason, the church takes this role very seriously.
If you are interested in being a part of the formal Denton Bible Church discipleship program, you’ll need to be:
Contact the the ministry team. We’ll schedule a time to sit down and discuss your ministry.
Assuming no additional meetings are needed, you’ll complete a couple of forms that we’ll share with the Denton Bible leadership.
After approval, we’ll help match your gifts, talents, interests and time with a brother looking to be discipled.
Following Jesus is the greatest decision that a man can make. And discipleship is essential to becoming a true follower. In our discipleship relationships, you’ll learn to study the Word, pray in faith, serve in the Body and tell others about Jesus. You’ll learn how to apply these truths to strengthen relationships at home and in your community. Discipleship is where you learn to confess sins and begin to live a life of obedience.
The discipleship program is available to men of any age who are members of Denton Bible Church.
Contact the men’s ministry team. We’ll sit down together to learn more about your faith and your walk with Jesus so far.
After the meeting, our program leaders will pray and consider a good brother to lead you on your walk.
You’ll meet with your new spiritual mentor and start walking after the Lord.