This post was originally posted in Swedish now translated to English and slightly modified:
I found some golden quotes that I’d like to share like this, just passing by.
The first one is from our brother who is no longer with us, Theodore Austin-Sparks:
“‘The time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship in spirit and in reality. Indeed, the Father looks for men who will worship Him like that.’ (John 4:23, Phillips)
Jesus said to the woman, “the hour cometh, and now is.” Then He dismissed the whole system that had existed up to that time. It was the whole system of Judaism according to the Old Testament. In one sentence, He dismissed the whole dispensation. And He introduced an altogether new order of things.
What did He mean? Because when He said the hour cometh, and now is, He did not mean literally just an hour and so many minutes. He meant that it was the first hour of the new day. With this hour an altogether new day has come. What is the new day? If you would have asked Jesus to put it into a short sentence, He would have said, “Well, I am here.” The hour is not just a matter of time but a matter of PERSON. The new dispensation is the dispensation of Jesus Christ. Christ is the new dispensation. “I am here,” He said. You go through that Gospel of John. He is centering everything in Himself. “I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life; I am the Shepherd; I am the Vine; I am the Resurrection.” It is a Person. It is that which lies behind everything. Christianity is Christ. Christ is Christianity. That is where it all begins and it never departs from HIM. The development of the Christian life is only the development of Jesus Christ in the life.”
~ Theodore Austin-Sparks ~
“That They May All Be One, Even As We Are One” – Meeting 7
The second quote is about the popular subject of “discipleship” and how we as the church are a tool in together conforming to Christ’s image. Brother Milt Rodriguez puts it this way:
“True discipleship…[is] not a matter of being placed into a program of individual training of bible study, individual prayer, individual evangelism, and individual character development. Rather, it is the life transformation process of being practically conformed into His image. This is the out flowing of His community life. It is the fleshing out of the fellowship of the Godhead.”
~ Milt Rodriguez ~
Jon Zens has also made a statement about “discipleship” that goes like this:
“Our life is not about “making disciples,” “multiplying churches,” or “completing the Great Commission in our generation. Our life is Christ. Of course, Paul traveled around and endured many hardships for the Gospel’s sake. But his passion in life was not to be a “soul-winner,” to see a church planted in every city, or to envision millions of house churches covering the earth. He summed up his life’s passion with clarity: “for me to live is Christ . . . the love of Christ compels me . . . that I might know him and the fellowship of his sufferings.”
~ Jon Zens
Because the last two quotes were about discipleship I came to think about a few blog posts by Frank Viola that I also would like to quote.
The first one is called “Discipleship, Mission, and Church: A Plea to Learn Our History” and brings to attention different viewpoints on missions and discipleship that exist today. Here is an excerpt from the blog post:
“The other camp rightly understands that you cannot separate disciple-making from the ekklesia. You cannot separate the forming of people into full-pledged followers of Jesus and a living, breathing, vibrant community that gathers under His headship.
To put it another way, you can’t separate discipleship from the ekklesia anymore than you can separate child-rearing from the family. And you can’t separate the ekklesia from Jesus Himself, for it’s His very body.
I want you to imagine a saltwater fish. The fish can only survive in his natural habitat, which is the ocean. Why? Because the ocean surrounds the fish with everything it needs to live, breathe, and have its being.
The fish is also a dependent creature. Fish swim in schools.
Now consider a different image. Imagine that this fish is removed from the ocean and from its school and is thrown in someone’s backyard. People take turns spraying the fish with a water hose every 15 minutes. They also sprinkle salt on its body.
That’s an apt picture of modern discipleship.
Discipleship has been separated from the Christian’s native habitat (ekklesia) and it’s become a highly individualistic event. An individual discipler “disciples” an individual disciplee to become a better individual disciple.”
To end with something different than a quote I simply want to share a link to the other blog post, so here it is: “Reframing Discipleship”
Not so much my own words in this post, but hopefully, you who read this will be blessed in some way anyway.
Have you read any quotes that you want to share? Maybe thoughts to share as well? Or something else you want to say? Feel free to leave a comment. It is deeply appreciated.
Love in Christ,