Without discipline we are not disciples, even though we profess His Name and pass for a follower of the lowly Nazarene.
It is a radical statement about the meaning of Christianity as far more than simply intellectual assent to the concept of a divine Jesus or some generic idea of God. It adds far more potency to the message when the context of the writing is considered, however.
It adds a particular added level of depth to remember his context when Bonhoeffer says things such as: Throughout the first chapter, this idea is expounded in a few different ways, primarily in contrast to costly grace.
This describes the distinction very well: Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace… is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. As per the central Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith, he complains that many have then concluded that we do not need obedience.
On the contrary, he argues, there really is no faith without obedience. In the second chapter he continues from this idea to talk about the centrality of the idea of the call to discipleship. It is notably not a call just to be saved or a call to cheap grace, but it is a call to discipleship in the footsteps of the master, the Son of God himself, which is costly grace.
Bonhoeffer claims that many churches have come to accept that only those who already have belief can be obedient. He believes that is true but misses the fundamentally important other half: Unlike so many in church history, Bonhoeffer is not willing to separate the concepts of faith and works; they are of their very nature intertwined.
This does not mean that we are saved through obedience — we are still saved through faith — but discipleship is an essential part of faith.
Bonhoeffer even accuses some pastors of abusing the doctrine of predestination, which he still seems to fully accept himself,  in order to set aside many parishioners as obviously not one of the elect.
This interconnection of faith and obedience is a powerful message. Bonhoeffer begins the next chapter with a scathing attack on those who attempt to avoid taking this call to discipleship seriously. He provides one text after another and responds with how most Christians have avoided it.
For example, when speaking of the rich young ruler and the call to abandon his wealth to follow Jesus, Bonhoeffer invents the conversation: What has happened that the word of Jesus can be thus degraded by this trifling, and thus left open to the mockery of the world?
This is not a matter of legalism or works over faith, but as works as a fundamental part of faith. Bonhoeffer then takes up the issue of suffering for Christ.
As with the simple case above of single-minded obedience to the teachings of Christ, he zeroes in on the specific example of the cross of Christ. When Jesus says that he must be not only killed but also rejected by the world on the cross, then says also that we are to bear the cross as well, we must also bear our suffering if we claim to be a follower of Christ.
This single-minded obedience also takes shape in terms of a separation from the world. This is not a separation from living in the world, but a separation from the ways of the world.
As Christ was rejected from the world, we must accept rejection from the world as well. Using the language of Christ as Mediator, Bonhoeffer claims that Jesus is also the mediator between each human as well: This section is profound in an interesting and perhaps surprising way: Following through Chapter 5 of Matthew, Bonhoeffer begins with the Beatitudes.
There is a lot of content packed into the Beatitudes and he goes through them in a whirlwind tour. Christians are to be the lights of the world, standing out with their different lifestyles, which includes more within the Sermon on the Mount like not lusting, not swearing oaths even to your nation, not being angry but instead seeking forgiveness, and most importantly of all to love not just neighbour but also enemy.
Even though these are again quite obvious in the biblical texts, they are things which are rarely said in most churches.
We are to be the light of the world, but we are to not let our right hand know what our left hand is doing. How Bonhoeffer explains this, as I think makes the most sense of the text, is that we are to set our goal on Christ, not on being visible. As we do that, we will become visible to the world, but not intentionally.
Our basis of ethics is therefore not a goal to be seen in any way, but a goal to be following Jesus.
As a matter of fact, if we do live to be seen, we are not any different than the rest of the world anyway.In this essay, Michelle Van Loon turns our attention to this gap in discipleship. “Our experience and wisdom are incredible resources that can help others grow to maturity and become fruitful in.
THE CHALLENGE OF DISCIPLESHIP-BRINGING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican We can work at creating new systems and structures that are life-giving and that will replace the culture of greed, domination and competition.
• Two Essays on Peace. He knows that Jesus said to his busy disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark ). He knows that one of the Ten Commandments was, “Six days shall you labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus –10).
The objective of this study is to define the Christian disciple and discipleship and moreover to define a leader in Christian discipleship and how the modern church is developing disciples and leaders for the Great Commission and how that relates to the overall health of the Christian Church.
Argumentative Essay: The Importance of Discipline Discipline is something that we have all experienced personally in different forms, seen used on others, and is also something that many of us will go on to use later in life, both in the form of self-discipline and as something to keep children and even employees in check.
The restoration of our lives is best seen as a discipleshp process. God does much to get us going but unless we think of the changes in our lives as ongoing, then we will not be good disciples of Christ.
This article has a diagram which shows the different stages of the discipleship process. This is part 1 of 3.