Chip Ingram, apologist and president of Living on the Edge, says there are five relationships that are key to proper Christian discipleship.
Speaking at the Southern Evangelical Seminary’s 26th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the weekend, Ingram explained that Romans 12 lays out five relationships that are integral to Christian discipleship: a relationship with God, a relationship with the world, a relationship with oneself, a relationship with believers, and a relationship with nonbelievers.
“This is the Reader’s Digest version, this is the Cliff’s Notes, this is the Instagram picture of what a disciple is in summary,” Ingram said.
“It’s not all there is on what a disciple is, but in a measurable, practical, grace-oriented way, [the Apostle Paul is] going to define your relationship with God, the world, yourself, believers, and unbelievers.”
When it comes to a relationship with God, Ingram said God “wants you, all of you,” and warned that “if you’re not completely surrendered in every area of your life, you will not experience God’s power.”
“His power works,” Ingram stressed. “Jesus said, ‘you cannot be My disciple unless you love Me more than father, mother, and brothers and sisters.’”
A contrast was the next relationship, the one with the world, which Ingram said involves “being separate from the world.” To justify this, Ingram quoted Romans 12:2, which says in part “do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world …”
The third relationship, the one about the self, Ingram said Christians should be “sober” in their self-assessments, warning against thinking too high or low of oneself.
“God says, ‘I want you to think accurately, soberly,’” he continued. “’I want you not to think that you’re better than other people, I don’t want you to think “I’m worthless, I’m no good.” I want you to think of yourself the way I think of you.’”
This assessment, Ingram stressed, involves values that include both “strengths and weaknesses,” as well as “different gifts” to serve the church.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski