Church OBX Blog

This is the blog for Church of the Outer Banks. It contains articles, devotions, and perspectives on what’s going on in our church and community. Check it out and add your comments.

Location: Nags Head, NC

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Going Deeper


“As the saving doctrine of the Christ is the soul of the church, so discipline forms the ligaments by which the members of the body are joined together and kept each in its proper place.”
-John Calvin

“Discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness.” 1Timothy 4:7

God has given His Church the Spiritual Disciplines to promote spiritual growth and godliness. There are both inward and outward disciplines. In them we partner with God in our own spiritual journey. By them we mature and grow day by day in our relationship with the Him. The spiritual disciplines help us become better followers and disciples of Jesus Christ. They move us beyond the superficial into the deep things of God.
Spiritual disciplines are vital for becoming a disciple of Christ. The word disciple comes from the Greek word Mathetes, which means a learner or a pupil. In the ancient times of the Bible, a disciple was a person who left everything that they had to follow the teachings of a master. The word ‘disciple’ implies much more than a learner or a pupil, it is someone who has totally committed his or her life to the training and teaching of a master or a school of thought. Therefore, a disciple is someone who follows a leader and who submits himself/herself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader. According to the New Testament, a disciple is a born again believer who obeys and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Spiritual Disciplines are important because they promote spiritual growth. God gives us these disciplines so we may grow in godliness. St. Irenaeus said, “God became man that we may become like Him.” Godliness is the goal of the disciplines. The English word discipline comes from the Greek word gumnasia, which the English word gymnasium is also derived. The word literally means discipline or exercise. Spiritual Disciplines are spiritual exercises. Just as physical exercise promotes strength in the body, the Spiritual Disciplines promote Godliness. It could be said that disciple is the gymnasium of the soul.
As Christians we must accept the responsibilities of this new reality because “we are new creatures in Christ; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”(2 Cor 5:17) Responsibility is simple: the ability to respond. No longer are we to act as victims, but become responsible members of the Kingdom of God. We are to act as children of the King. We are to fulfill the work that God has begun in our hearts by daily walking with Him in faith, hope, and love. If the spiritual disciplines are important because they promote spiritual growth, then you and I have the responsibility to learn and practice them daily.


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