Discipleship is the believer’s journey toward becoming more & more like Christ. At West Valley Bible Church, we believe that discipleship is built on 3 principles:
The first part of the discipleship process is knowing God. Knowing God begins with salvation.
Where do you stand with God?
Romans 10:9 says, “...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
1 John 5: 11-13 is clear: “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
If you have recently believed in Christ as your Savior , or if you have questions about what it means to be saved, please use the contact us form to let us know.
The believer’s relationship with God and the transformation that results from it form the foundation for the acts of love, service, and evangelism that characterize disciples of Jesus Christ. As illustrated on the previous page, knowing God begins with salvation. This is the moment an unbeliever realizes and accepts the free gift of eternal life and is justified, or welcomed into the family of God on the basis of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. From that point forward, the focus of the life of the believer is sanctification, which is the process of knowing God and being transformed little by little to be more like Him.
Every believer is a work in progress, being continually sanctified, until the moment of glorification. This is the glorious transformation that occurs when a believer leaves life in this world and enters into eternal life in God’s presence. For disciples of Christ Jesus, sanctification is an ongoing process. We learn to know God and to become more like Him through time spent in worship, the study of His word, and prayer. All of these happen on an individual basis, as well as corporately, as we gather together on Sunday mornings.
It is important to understand that while church activities such as care groups, ministry service and other church sponsored events certainly may contribute to your personal journey toward knowing God, it is not their primary purpose. Rather, these types of activities are intended to enable you to work toward the other two goals of the discipleship process:
Loving His people
God’s Word uses over ninety different word-pictures to describe the Church, yet one of them seems to dominate throughout scripture—the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul uses this image to describe the Church as a unit made up of many parts that must work together as one, with Christ being the head, or the authority and the source of life. Our natural bodies have many individual parts with individual purposes, but they must all work together for the body to function.The church “body” is the same. Each one has unique gifts (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4), but God has made it so that we need each other in order to function according to His design. The scriptures make it clear that one of these functions is to serve and care for each other. “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." Matthew 10:42 (NIV) “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10 Jesus, after washing His disciples’ feet said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13: 15-17 (NIV)
In following Jesus’ example above, we become “people of the towel,” people looking for ways to serve God’s people. This can be expressed in a variety of ways: physically doing something for some one else, opening up your home, bearing another’s burdens (Gal. 6: 2 ), interceding in prayer, sharing the Word or just having a listening ear. The action itself doesn’t matter as much as the willingness to put yourself in the place to be able to be used by God in the area in which He has already gifted you.
At WVBC, we believe that becoming “people of the towel” is best done in two different ways (though it is not limited to these): small group ministry and Sunday morning service. Small Group Ministry is the heartbeat of WVBC. It is in small groups that you can best learn how to care for and share with one another. God’s Word emphasizes the importance of small group fellowship. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5:42
The purpose of small groups is, in a word, discipleship. In his book Discipleship Essentials, Greg Ogden says, “Being a Christian is easy. The only thing required is that we acknowledge our need of a savior and to receive a gift that I cannot earn nor deserve. But if I identify myself as a disciple, then I am making a statement about the quality of my followership. Being a Christian is a statement about what Christ has done for me; being a disciple is a statement about what I am doing for Christ.” He later explains that through discipleship, believers explore spiritual basics that they must “practice as spiritual disciplines, comprehend as core biblical and theological truth, become in terms of character and lifestyle, and do to engage the church and the world."
Reaching Out to and Unsaved World
The Bible says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus is coming back as He promised, and we His ambassadors have our orders! “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Jesus made it clear that before He comes back, He expects us to reach out to an unsaved word—the world He loves (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
Do you remember the movie Dead Man Walking? As the men on death row would begin their walk to the electric chair, the prison guard would yell out “Dead man walking!” As we stop and observe the people in our family, neighborhood, city, country and world, what do we see? We are surrounded here by men, women, boys and girls who, without Jesus in their lives, are dead men walking!
As a church family, we have the privilege to reach out to those “dead men” with the good news that Jesus does not want them to perish but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16