by Christopher Harbin

Fruit of Discipleship
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 2; John 15:1-8; Acts 8:26-40; 1 John 4:7-21

Salvation cannot exist without discipleship. There is no discipleship without fruit. A desire for salvation without commitment to Christ Jesus misses the whole point of faith, redemption, and salvation. Being saved does not begin with issues of eternity. It begins with the issues of living life according to the pattern of God's will in the here and now. After all, salvation is not so much rescue from hell, as it is being introduced to the presence of God, there to dwell forever. It is rescue from our selves and a new participation in the life of Christ Jesus.

I'm not much of a fan of Mormon theology. It has been said, however, that behind every lie is a kernel of truth necessary to make it believable. A distortion of truth must start with something akin to truth. Mormon theology would posit that we are designed to become gods and populate new worlds after our deaths. Should we live to please the god of this planet, we will be given planets of our own to serve as gods. The Bible does indicate that we are children of God. While it speaks of Christ Jesus as God's only son, it also indicates that we are likewise to become God's children. The problem, however, is in understanding what that means. Indeed, the god of Mormonism is too small a being for my allegiance. The God of the Bible does not reign over this world alone, but is Creator and owner of all. If we are not to grow up to become gods, then, what does it mean to be God's children?

We have a saying in Brazil, "Filho de peixe, peixinho é." "The offspring of a fish is a little fish." We use that saying along the lines of the American expressions, "She's just like her mama" and "An apple won't fall very far from the tree." We recognize traits of appearance, character, and actions by which children resemble their parents. They remind us of previous generations, not only in their physical cha ...

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