Discipleship is not optional. Indeed, growth (sanctification) is mandatory. The faith that saves also sanctifies. Paul writes to the Christians in Rome:
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)”
The end of sanctification (growth in Christ-likeness) is eternal life. Change is compulsory. God intends to change everyone saved into the image of Jesus Christ.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)”
Therefore, given that growth (becoming more and more like Christ) is required, how will God accomplish the goal? Will he simply “zap” one into Christ-likeness, or does He have other means—say another Christian who (though who in need of change themselves) can be an instrument in God’s hand to affect change towards Christ-likeness in your life?
A number of verses come to mind, e.g. (see also John 15:8, Luke 6:40, Gal 5:16, Heb 12:14):
- Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
- Galatians 6:1 – “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”
- Romans 15:14 – “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”
- 1 Timothy 2:2 – “…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
- Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
- Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and all earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
Discipleship is not optional. It is the means of growing into Christ-likeness and that goal is God’s desire. Oh by the way, what God requires He accomplishes.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)”
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)”
Did you find this information helpful? The above material was taken directly from our Semester One: Principles of Biblical Counseling Training Manual . You, too, can learn how to help others become more and more Christ-like as you yourself grow in Christ-likeness.
10,000 Blessings in The One who Sanctifies,
Rod and Staff Ministries
 Rod and Staff Ministries, Semester One: Principles of Biblical Counseling 2nd Edition, p. 23