The Need for True Christian Discipleship

God wants us to serve Him in purity and truth. Satan, however, is in an all-out war against Christians. We need strong Christian families in our world today. We need men—real men, to stand up for truth no matter the cost! Will you be one of those men?

My Personal Journey

We are all uniquely created by God and we all come from unique family structure and circumstances. God has called fathers and mothers, especially fathers as the leader of their home, to disciple their children. Satan is in an all-out war against Christians, especially at war against the home. Because if he can destroy families, he can also destroy the church, and eventually the nation. We need strong Christian families in our world today. We need men—real men, to stand up for truth no matter the cost! We need fathers and mothers to walk alongside their children and be true Godly examples of integrity. Sadly often—far too often, men settle for mediocrity, they get caught up in the busyness, cares, and pressures of life. Often, they become workaholics, chasing after the last dollar they can come across. Who are the ones who must suffer for it? They are his wife, children, and eventually himself, as the drive for riches replaces the spiritual hunger that should be within his soul. Sure, parents might start out well with good intentions, but many times they fall far short of the goal.

Growing up, I wasn’t such an outrightly rebellious boy. Rather, I was one who was trying to find my own way in life. Unfortunately, I was a hurting, sinful person, and I didn’t have a father, an older youth boy, or another man from church to show me the way to live, and to wrap their arms around me in true Christian love, accountability, and discipleship. When I reached the age of puberty, I fell for the lusts of the flesh and became involved in things that I shouldn’t have done, and likely wouldn’t have done, if I would’ve had the help and support that the true Christian church should have for its people.

Today the Ball is in Your Court:

Today, we stand as a young man full of energy, enthusiasm, and ambitions! We have goals—big goals for our lives! We are ready to tackle the world and its problems! But are we? Somehow, we think we are exceptional. Things will somehow go better for me than for my parents. But it’s just like the old saying: “When the rubber meets the road!” I believe the quote is true that: “each generation tries to correct the problems of the previous generation”. It isn’t wrong to try to correct the problems that we see. In fact, we must do it! Otherwise, we aren’t learning from history, and the course will go on. Sometimes there is sin in a father’s life, and if it keeps on going, unchecked by the Holy Spirit and power of God, it gets carried on generation after generation. Often, we hate to admit it, but there is good reason for the quote: “like father, like son.” When this saying is pertaining to negative things or even sin, who will stop it? Who will break the chain? We must! It must start right here in our own lives.

How Will We Do This?

We stand against a ruthless enemy! All the odds are against us if we are looking and depending on our own muscles and will-power. If we aren’t looking to God, we are sure to fail! Only by God’s transforming power, mercy, and sustaining grace in our lives, will we ever be able to stand up against the enemy of our souls! It’s going to be a fight—a battle of a lifetime! As long as we are alive in this flesh, we will be fighting this culprit.

But it is also a joyful journey and experience, for as we crucify our flesh, with its lusts and desires, we can live as it says in Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Also, Romans 12:1-2 says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” It is as we accept and renew our minds in Christ that: “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. 2 Corinthians 5:17b

Today we have more teaching and resources. We live in a technological age, there are books and resources available on every subject. There are more Christian books and resources covering the subject of the home and family than ever before. Sadly, there is also more pornography and perversion going on than ever before. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. Matthew 24:37

We are not alone:

We are human in this flesh; hence, moral and sexual pressures and temptations is something that we all have to face. It is one of Satan’s biggest lies that we are the only one struggling with this problem that we find ourselves facing. It is how Satan tries to get us down, and keep us down! If it wouldn’t be a human problem, the Bible wouldn’t be so full of examples and words of exhortation on keeping ourselves pure. We all might as well face the facts that God has given us the gift of sexuality for a reason, that there is a proper place for it, and there is a temptation to use it improperly to where it becomes sin.

We Must Face the Facts:

As human beings, God has given us the gift of sexuality. Used in its proper place it is a beautiful thing. Proper love and intimacy in a Christian marriage between a husband and wife is a picture of Christ and the Church (see Ephesians 5:22-33). It is designed to be an intimate bonding and pleasure between a husband and wife.

Taken outside of its proper place, it is shameful—very shameful! It is a temporary pleasure that lasts for a short amount of time, and then the shame, guilt, condemnation, and bitter reaping that follows! In Matthew 5:28 Jesus says: “ But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 the Apostle Paul exhorts to flee sexual sins, and even tells us that sexual sin is not like other sins:

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Notice the words in verse 18 ...“Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body”. It is scientifically proven that sexual sin and lust is not only a sin against God and people around us, but against our own bodies. It literally changes the chemistry of the brain. It is a bondage, and the chains that bind us must be broken. It’s time that we stand up and stand out! It’s time that we take action; we must face this problem head on, or it will be impossible to have revival in our churches! To the ones of you who are still struggling with it: I want you to know that you don’t have to fight alone. There is hope, healing, forgiveness, and victory, available for you at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Since God has made sexuality so beautiful in its proper place, Satan also knows how strong the desires can be, and if he can corrupt that which is only to be used in its proper place, it brings shame to that individual’s life. Hence often we see a Christian church that should be the salt and light to the world, but instead, is full of lukewarm, powerless, faltering Christians, that haven’t learned how to be true overcomers and deal with their sexual and moral sins and issues.  

True Christian Discipleship Is Needed Like Never Before:

As we are living in the last days of the end times. It is more important than ever to encourage and spur each other on in the faith and to put on the “Whole armor of God” as it says in Ephesians chapter 6.

Discipleship Definition – What Is It?

“To be a learner” is the literal answer to the question, “What is a discipleship definition?” defines a disciple as:

  1. A person who is a pupil or adherent to the doctrines of another.
  2. One who embraces and assists in spreading the teaching of another.
  3. Any follower of another person.

For us we want to be a follower of Jesus Christ himself! Jesus is our perfect example! We should no longer go on blindly like some people do. Today we need answers—real answers from God’s word! Notice how the Bible doesn’t give blind instruction, it seems whenever it says something not to do, then it gives something that we should do, and often the warning and reason are given why we should do them.

Galatians 5:16-26 ESV “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,d drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who doe such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Neither should we give blind instruction. Some people just do things a certain way because that is the way they have always done them, they don’t know the better way, or have been told to just do them that way, but they don’t know the reason why they should or shouldn’t be doing them.

We need to have more true brotherly love, holiness, purity, and accountability in the church. Galatians 5:13-15 ESV “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”

Questions to Consider:

Accountability Group Structure

  1. Have I dealt in integrity with all my work and business relationships?
  2. Have I harbored a spirit of unforgiveness or grudge bearing against anyone? Do my actions agree with the answer I just gave?
  3. Is there any unconfessed sin in my life that I am not willing to deal with?
  4. Have I maintained purity with the opposite sex in all areas of my life?
  5. Have I viewed any immoral material, or fallen to lust?
  6. Have I sinned this past week, especially in any besetting or habitual way?
  7. Have I faithfully met my financial responsibility before God?
  8. Has my devotional/prayer life been consistent and meaningful?
  9. Have I invested time and energy in my family in recreation, conversation, and spiritual instruction?
  10. Have I lied or misrepresented the truth in any way which I have not confessed and made right?
  11. Has my thought life honored God?
  12. Is my conversation sound? Have my talk, jokes, opinions, and expressions been consistent with a Christ-like commitment?
  13. Do I seek opportunities to share my faith in Christ? Did I share out of love or out of guilt?
  14. Do I have a purpose for living life? What have I been doing to find/fulfill it?
  15. Have I just lied in any of these areas?

Misconceptions about accountability:

  1. It is punishment for those who can’t quite make it on their own.
  2. It is something to be feared.
  3. Those who need accountability are somehow less Godly than I am. (You see, we are all accountable. Accountability to God is unavoidable. Furthermore, accountability to our brothers is not only a fact, it is a command. To the extent that we acknowledge it and avail ourselves of its benefits is the extent to which we desire God’s blessing. See list of Scriptures which advocate accountability and mutual exhortation.)

Suggested accountability group setup:

  1. This is a program comprised of any member of the congregation that desires to be part of a group for the purpose of spiritual growth. Groups are not to be mixed genders.
  2. Groups should have a leader who is passionate about accountability; one who is dedicated and takes responsibility to plan the accountability event and time and helps keep things flowing during the event. Thought should be taken when setting up the groups in regard to personalities, family ties, and any other factors so as to maximize openness and stability among the groups.
  3. Groups are to be reassigned once every year or so, with a goal to avoid a tendency towards cliques. This is a voluntary program. For those who choose to join, please don’t look down on those who do not. For those who don’t join, please don’t feel threatened by those who do. Each person is responsible for a mature and Christ-like response within themselves.
  4. Each group of about 5-6 people finds a mutually acceptable time and place to meet with the other members of their group. All groups need not meet on the same day or time.
  5. The group’s leader is responsible to plan the event and lead out where applicable. He may also assign people within his group to take a turn leading out, or they could take turns among the group if so agreed upon.
  6. Accountability must be very direct and intentional, otherwise it’s not very effective. Groups should meet at least monthly. During the month, they should take turns pairing off one on one with guys from their group for additional accountability. Each person in the group should put forth effort to be at the meetings. Occasionally it may be inevitable to have a person or two missing. In that case the group/s can change the time to meet that week to a day when it works for most of the people. If it doesn’t work for a couple people that week, they should still meet at the designated time rather than put it off indefinitely.
  7. For continuities sake and to keep things flowing, every quarter year there will be an Accountability/Discipleship Meeting with all the groups together. This will take the place of one of the meetings.

Verses and thoughts to consider:

    1. Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
    2. John 17:18 “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”
      1. Are you living the purpose for which you were sent?
      2. “If you don’t become a reconciler of the lost, you will become an evaluator of the saved. There is something inherent in our nature that wants to see people get right with God, and if we don’t direct it at the lost, we will direct it at the saved. Then, instead of pursuing sinners, we will spend our time policing the saints. All of us have been called to be “fishers of men”, but when those that are called to fish don’t fish, they fight. When energy that was meant to be used outside the church is used inside the church, the result is explosive. Instead of casting nets, we cast stones. Instead of becoming reachers of the lost, we become critics of the saved. Instead of extending helping hands, we point accusing fingers. Instead of helping the hurting, we hurt the helpers and sadly, the lost go unreached, the poor unfed, and the confused go unconsoled. But when those who are called to fish, fish—they flourish. Souls are reached, lives are changed, and the world is impacted.”
        -From a Pablo Yoder Newsletter, (original source unknown to me).

    3. Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
    Is God’s Word being stored in your heart?
    1. Matthew 5 - When ye pray... When ye fast... Are you doing what our Lord expects of His disciples?
    2. Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
    Is anything making your gift unacceptable to God?
    1. James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
    Do you have pure and undefiled religion?
    1. Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
    Are you giving time, energy or thought to something that does not help you run the race? Is there something that has set you back in the race?
    1. Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
    Is your face turned toward Jesus, do you disregard the shame of the cross?
    1. Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
    2. Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Let me go through the day, Brave, true, and tender;

Let me win, down the way, Something of splendor.

Let me not work in hate, Greedy for treasure,

Lord, keep my pathway straight, Square to the measure.

Surely one day I can, Stand to my labor.

Fair to my fellow man, Fair to my neighbor.

Is it too much to ask, One day of beauty?

Strength for an honest task, Courage for duty?

One day of friendly thought, One day of cleanness,

One day lived through, with naught, Checkered with meanness.

Grant me a day serene, Well-lived and splendid,

Clean at the dawn, and clean, When it is ended.




Compiled by Sam Stoltzfus. Some of the material used in this writing comes from various sources.

Number of Pages
Samuel A. Stoltzfus
Stoltzfus Christian Library

Back to List