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Gospel Centered Discipleship (V)

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Chapter 5: Gospel Power: The Essential Role of The Holy Spirit I know i've been pretty slow with reading the book, and going through such a dry period really makes me not feel like doing stuff like this, but I'm trying to press on with it. Reflecting and talking with friends the past week really is helping me realize the amount of effort I put into my relationship with Christ and I really need to step up my game. I know it, but the worst part is I'm not doing much to really further it. Back to the book. Dodson explains in this chapter that the Holy Spirit is the main motivation behind the motivations discussed in the chapter previously. He reveals that often times, the Spirit is often pushed aside, and is neglected compared to the rest of the Trinity. Gospel Holiness is something we should be striving for; it is defined as "obedience to Christ procured from belief in the gospel, not from one's moral effort." It is not to be mixed up with morality, w

Gospel Centered Discipleship (IV)

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Chapter 4: Gospel Motivation: The Center of Discipleship This chapter really hit home for me. Dodson goes through three good motivations that should stand behind discipleship. It is the motives that bear the actions, and thus without the proper motives, you'll never be able be a good disciple of Christ. Scripture has always talked about the heart, for "it is the motivational center for human action. "The heart encompasses the mind, will and emotion." There are three motivations Dodson discusses in this chapter. Religious affection, God's promises and warnings, and repentance. Religious affection. To explain this simply, this motivation comes from one's love for Christ. When we delight and love God, we are moved to obey and follow Him; not because we have to, but because we want to, and because we get to. Dodson refers to Jonathan Edwards famous honey analogy. "I can show you honey. You can marvel at its golden hue, the way it refracts light, an

Gospel Centered Discipleship (III)

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Chapter 3: Twisted Motives: The Failure of Discipleship This chapter begins Part 2: Getting to the Heart in the book, and Dodson explores the reasons why discipleship can fail. One of the reasons is the accountability and one's take on it. One type of twisted accountability is religious accountability, when it becomes legalistic, and "the religious person insensitively admonishes others to obey God's word without extending God's grace". From punishments, to strictly quoting scripture, we become accountable to keeping records and staying on top of who is to be punished. The second type is "confession-booth" type accountability. Confessing sins to one another, to the point where repentance component has become separated. Whereas true confession "brings the blessing of forgiveness, and forgiveness brings us back under God's blessing to enjoy his grace and peace." When we sin, we fall away from the perfect image of Christ, and through

Gospel Centered Discipleship (II)

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Chapter 2: The Goal of Discipleship: Fighting for Image As a disciple, we are always fighting and striving for a goal, to fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12). Being a disciple of Christ isn't easy at all and I've definitely learnt that over the years. Denying oneself and taking up the cross requires you to fight your own self, your plans, your desires, and your emotions. I find it extremely difficult to fight when even you aren't on your side. But what are we fighting for? Biblical fighting calls for a fight for a noble cause, for instance, justice. Is that something we are fighting for? The questions we should ask ourselves are what we should be fighting for, and what we're actually fighting for. We usually end up fighting for the wrong things, things that don't last and are temporary; beauty, satisfaction etc... Fighting for some sort of image, whether a successful image, or a beautiful image, but is it the right image? "the problem is that we beli

Gospel Centered Discipleship (I)

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Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson is a book we're studying for our discipleship/accountability groups at my church. The goal of these groups is to learn to be true followers and disciples of Christ, fighting our sin and fighting the good fight to honor God in every breath, and every beat of our lives. I've just started reading the book and there are great points and notes and I just thought it would be a good idea to do some write ups and share it here online. Dodson has split it into three parts, defining discipleship, getting to the heart, and applying the gospel. Chapter 1: Making Disciples: Evangelism or Discipleship? Before I read the book, my personal definition of discipleship is growing in Christ as an individual, building our knowledge of God and striving to live like he does, but in this book, discipleship goes far beyond that. It also means to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:18-20), having an evangelistic component to it, not only th