As a Christian Community here in Gdańsk, we are looking to grow together, through our shared commitment to three Biblical ships.
Our need to be in relationship with God and with people exists because we have been created in God’s image and our God is a Triune God – a fellowshipping God, within Himself. Therefore, God understands that human isolation is difficult for us – It is not good that the man should be alone (Gen 2:18). And so even before sin enters the earth ruining man’s relationship with God, the Lord establishes the simple premise that relationship (firstly with himself and then with others) is vital for our health and growth.
To be a disciple is to literally be a student – one who is willing to learn and take on the teaching and ways of his/her teacher. The story of the Bible is that God is creating for himself a people, willing to take on his ways and his character and be conformed into his image. Discipleship is this journey of growth and transformation, into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Our transformation as Chritians begins in relationship but grows through discipleship.
Friendship with God and with each other is the goal and fruit of Christian discipleship. You are my friends if you do what I command you (Jn 15:14) says Jesus. Friendship with Christ is the fruit of a relationship that has been shaped by discipleship. Jesus is quite clear – friendship with him (but not relationship) is dependent upon us taking on his teaching and his ways and so becoming like him.
Relationship – Discipleship – Friendship
So, our relationship with God is established entirely by Jesus, through his cross and resurrection – I believe in him and am saved and reconciled to God forever. Our discipleship is dependent upon us as Spirit-empowered people, taking on his ways and learning to live obediently. And if we take this pathway of Christian discipleship through life, we will then enjoy friendship with God as well.
Change alone is not the ultimate goal of discipleship, friendship is. The key motivating factor for any Christian discipleship therefore, is friendship with Jesus, because that’s what Jesus says (Jn 15:14).