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Why You Need Practical Theological Discipleship




It has become incredibly easy for us to hear a lot about God but to miss out on the joyous reality of actually knowing God intimately.

We’re busy people with saturated lives and crammed schedules. While our souls yearn for that depth and relationship with our Creator, we often settle for the quick and convenient. But that’s not nourishing, and now many of us feel the side effects of an impoverished spiritual diet. Those small bites of rushed theology don’t always lead to deep and steadfast roots. Whether you’re a grandparent and nearing retirement or a young 22-year-old about to graduate and step into the world, what connects us all, personally and practically, is a spiritual hunger for intimacy with our Creator God. To know and be known by Jesus. We want more.

I believe there is no greater calling for the life of a man or woman following Jesus Christ than to fall ever more in love with His person and work and to find our fullest satisfaction in Him. When we do this, we foster a deeper understanding of theology, which translates to an enriched and more consistent lifestyle of worship. As we grow in this knowledge, we begin to more practically live out our affections for Jesus, which brings Him more glory.

In the book of Job, after experiencing devastation on a titanic level, Job cries out in anguish as he thinks of the holiness and purity of an undefiled and righteous God. How can we, as sinful and impure people, ever stand before this God? At the height of his desperation, Job says in chapter 9, verse 33, that “there is no arbiter between us (God and man), who might lay his hand on us both.” 

Today, there is such an arbiter. What Job once longed for has become a reality in the person of Jesus. As such, Jesus is infinitely worthy of our affection, our intellect, and our labor. The Son of Man and the Son of God, our faithful high priest forever, the propitiation for our very record of sin, Jesus has changed everything. He has put his hands on our brokenness and God’s wholeness, and He has rectified in his unique person the shortcomings of a sinful people and a perfect God. This is why in Him, the fullness of deity is pleased to dwell (Colossians 1:19).

If our greatest calling is to deepen our love and satisfaction in the person of Jesus,  we must be intentional in our pursuit of being conformed to His image. Though saved by no merit of our own, we are, each individually, “to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15). Therefore, we would do well to aim our entire lives towards the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)

As the Apostle Paul makes clear in Ephesians 4:11-16, we choose to press on, to train for such godliness for two distinct reasons, one personal and one collective. First, we should aim to deepen our affection for Jesus because there are real, deceitful schemes that work to steal our glory from Jesus.

If we truly see Jesus as all-deserving, and if we genuinely believe that our greatest satisfaction comes the more we glorify in Christ, we must be incited by any such attempt of thievery. We, therefore, aim to become more like Jesus because it gives Him more glory and, consequently, it gives us more goodness.

 The second reason we aim to grow into the full measure of the stature of Christ, becoming like Him through the transformation of our mind and spirit, is for the sake of the collective body of Christ. We see in Ephesians 4:16 that the body of Christ is meant to build itself up in love. However, that outcome of a thriving, blossoming Jesus-loving Church is only possible “when each part is working properly.” We are the parts of the body, the joints, and ligaments, as Paul repeats in Colossians 2:19. Our individual proper functioning is implicitly related to the collective purpose and assignment of the Church as a whole. When we are mature, we work properly, through which Christ builds the church up in love. 

Like Paul taught the Ephesians, we believe fully in the value of the glory of Jesus. We believe all glory should go to Christ for his work of putting his hands on both humanity and God. But we also believe fully in maximizing your satisfaction and helping you find your truest and most fulfilling joy in this life.

A deep, soul-abiding walk with God isn’t cheap or lightweight. It’s an anchor, a ballast, a source of great peace and security in every season.

And then, lastly, we believe in the purpose and success of the local Church that we are meant to, through the love of Jesus, build the body up and out into our neighborhoods, into our cities, and into our nations.

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Scripture References

  • Job 9:33
  • Colossians 1:19
  • Ephesians 4:11-16
  • Colossians 2:19
Jake Daghe Jake Daghe is a theology teacher and writer at Passion City Church. He is an avid learner and has written widely in topics such as faith, professional development, and leadership. Jake lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife Lindsey, and their twin girls. He enjoys diner coffee, The Inklings, board games, and visiting as many National Parks as possible with his family.