FROM THE WORLD TO THE KINGDOM
Jesus gives us the strength and authority to go out and make disciples, men and women, who have a personal relationship with Christ, a relationship of trust, dependence, and total dedication to God.
Being a disciple is more than just making a decision in favor of Jesus and waiting for His second coming; it entails a change - to turn away from sin, flesh and the devil and become like Christ. This is the transition from the world to the kingdom of God.
Peter Wagner calls mature students those who meet the following parameters:
- They are fully attached to the Body of Christ (the local church).
“They were trained in the basics of God's Word.
- They were taught the Christian way of life.
“They are capable and ready to do the works of Christ on earth.
This means that students change in every area of their lives: from what they think about God, creation, morality, decision-making, and ending with the attitude towards themselves and those around them, as well as the ability to cope with such feelings as anger, fear, ambition and selfishness. Now the fruits of the spirit - “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, mercy, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22, 23) - shape their character, which is consistent with the character of Christ.
In other words, we must become like Jesus. And we must become like Him in this very life. This is God's will for each of us. God enables us to do what He has commanded for us. Without His help, we would not have been able to become like Jesus. With His help, we have the opportunity to become like Christ here on earth.
The Father sent the Holy Spirit to give us strength and to guide us, to give us gifts with which we could do the works of Christ. And He sent His Spirit to dwell in us, so that we become like Christ and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. As we contribute to His work in us, we become more like Jesus, growing in the fruits of the Spirit.