When discussing the results of discipleship, one might feel tension because it’s difficult to quantify relationships and how the love of Jesus has impacted someone. This week, we hope to discuss results in a way that reveals Jesus’ perspective on results instead of the world’s perspective. Jesus’ way is a backward mentality. He cares more about the heart than outward appearance. He not only wants all people to hear the gospel but He also desires all people to be transformed by the gospel.
When thinking about the results of discipleship, it’s important to consider the end goal or outcome of making disciples. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” The end goal of discipleship is that the gospel would reach to the end of the earth and produce salvation and life transformation, all while bringing glory to God through the furthering of His kingdom. The outcome or results of discipleship take us back to the Great Commission—making disciples.
In light of our “woven” theme, “results” is the place where our net begins to catch fish. The purpose of fishing is to catch fish. And the purpose of discipleship is to make disciples. As we “catch fish,” people commit their lives to following Jesus. In this place, God catches the hearts of men as salvation and life transformation abound. This is our hope for results: that all people would come to the saving knowledge of Christ.
As disciples of Christ, God has called us to bear fruit. As we think about the results of discipleship, we hope to make disciples who also bear fruit. Jesus talks about this in John 15:1–8:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
As disciples of Christ, we abide in the vine—Jesus. As we abide in Him, we bear fruit. As we bear fruit, we make disciples who also bear fruit. What does this fruit look like?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22–23). This is the fruit of the Spirit of God. When we embody the fruit of the Spirit, others will know we are Christ’s disciples.