Discipline is a necessary part of successful living. If a person is not disciplined they will be forced to attend the school of hard knocks. They will gain wisdom if they learn in that schooling. Discipline involves gaining useful information and committing to living by it. If a person is being taught a set of truths to live by, they are a disciple. Disciples are being taught discipline. Jesus had people that were being taught or discipled by him. They had the privilege to be taught timeless truths directly from Jesus. They were his disciples. There were more than 12 disciples. At times there were at least 120. That might surprise you to hear that. The 12 closest disciples of Jesus were the best known and closest of all of his followers, and became known as the Apostles. Jesus realtaionship and activity with them hims set the pattern of making disciples. He, in turn sent them out to make other disciples. They went out and made disciples who made disciples who made disciples. We could go on and on to our present situation where those of us who have been taught the word have heard it from someone who was taught the word. We have been discipled.
I believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God by making disciples for Jesus. Jesus has the power and authority to task the church with that mission. It can be broken out into two categories: 1. to the lost by giving them the gospel through evangelism, and 2. to the saved by helping them grow in knowledge and commitment to the truths learned. In summary, the church exists to glorify God and the one way we do that is by discipling the world for Jesus. Next article we will begin to look at the 5 goals we have in order to disciple our world for Jesus. Take special note of Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)