The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:6, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him." Just how is it that people receive Christ Jesus as Lord? It is by grace through faith (See Ephesians 2:8-9.) God offers each person forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him as a gift. We receive this gift through faith or trust in God and His Word. Once we've entered into a relationship with God through faith, we continue to develop the relationship through faith. Our natural human tendency, however, is to try to develop the relationship through our own effort. Our own fallen thought processes go something like this: "God, thanks for getting me started on this relationship with You . . . I'll take it from here." In the New Testament, Paul regularly addressed this tendency to revert. He chided the Christians at Galatia, "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" (Galatians 3:3). The only way to grow in our relationship with God is to continue to live by faith in God and His Word. All throughout our one-to-one discipleship process we emphasize this principle of faith. We must learn to trust what God's Word says rather than trusting in what we are told by our emotions, our circumstances, or our culture.
The writer to the Hebrews penned these words: "By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" (Hebrews 10:14). All believers have received the righteousness of Christ. As a result, we are completely forgiven for all our sins and are free from condemnation (See Romans 8:1). The Bible is also clear, however, that we are in process as we daily live out our relationship with Christ. It takes time for our attitudes and actions to catch up with our position as those who have received the righteousness of Christ. (See Rom. 3:21-31). As we take men and women through our 1-to-1 discipleship process, our objective is not to get through the lessons, but to allow biblical truth to impact our attitudes and actions. As a result, we don't worry if it takes two or three meetings to go through one lesson.
Though there are exceptions, most followers of Christ can usually point to a few individuals who were instrumental in helping them in their faith. The reason is simple: God has created us as relational beings. We need and depend upon others in every aspect of life. It's no different in our spiritual development. God uses other people to disciple us in our walk with Him. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, one of the men he had discipled, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2). We ask all the people we disciple to pass on what they are learning to at least one other person. This does several things. First of all, it increases their motivation and desire to learn - they want to be prepared when it's their turn to disciple someone else. Second, it gives them the opportunity to put their faith into action. Finally, it helps them develop an outward focus. Jesus commanded His followers to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:18-20). The very nature of Jesus' message (the gospel or "good news" of the kingdom) requires that it be reproduced in others.
Jesus said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" (John 14:26). Have you ever tried to live the Christian Life obediently and joyfully only to experience doubt and discouragement because of a lack of strength and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit? Our Lord tells us in Ephesians 5:18 "And do not be drunk with wine for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit." He says that we can't live the Christian life by any external sources, but only by His indwelling Spirit. The Life Builders' resources help one understand that we have to not only be filled with God's Holy Spirit, but also how to live in victory by His power versus our own resources. Growth and change occurs as one applies the truth of God (Bible) by faith empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We believe the Christian life is motivated by love (Luke 7:43, John 14:15). Have you ever become discouraged because of your behavior? Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will behave or keep His commands. Jesus also explained to the Pharisees in Luke 7:47 that the immoral woman who wiped His feet with her tears and hair loved very much because she realized how much she had been forgiven. The intent in the Life Builders discipleship process is to help people discover the love shown to them at the cross by our wonderful Lord so they will become so appreciative and grateful to their Savior that they will, in turn, pass on to others that love and help others experience the same forgiveness and love. Understanding this love motivates obedience and gratefulness.