The Goal of Discipleship

We're either working for this, or we're failing.

Healthy, Growing Churches (8)

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart,
from a good conscience, and from sincere faith… 1 Timothy 1.5

On Christian Doctrine
Augustine (354-430)
“The end of all divine Scriptures is the love for the Being in which we should rejoice and love for the being that can rejoice with us in that love. … Whoever … thinks that he understands the divine Scriptures or any part of them so that it does not build the double love of God and of our neighbor does not understand it at all. Whoever finds a lesson there useful to the building of charity, even though he has not said what the author may be shown to have intended in that place, has not been deceived.… But anyone who understands in the Scriptures something other than that intended by them is deceived, although they do not lie.”

We are wasting our time teaching the Scriptures if we are not teaching them to increase love for God and our neighbors. God has given us His Word to nourish and transform us for this “double love.” But how much of our preaching, and how many of our Sunday school and Bible study group lessons are consciously and pointedly focused on promoting such love? We are too easily content with content – with passing along Bible knowledge or “right doctrine,” as though the goal of instruction were nothing more than to make sure that what the preacher or teacher has in his notes, ends up in the students’ notes as well. Learning is not about assenting to what we hear. Learning – discipleship – is about growing in love for God and neighbors. A church is healthy where the emphasis on such “double love” is pronounced, persistent, and productive. We have to shape our thinking for love, to nurture our hearts for love, and to make love the priority in all we do. Thus the body, making increase of itself in love, will show Jesus to the world.

How does you church make sure that all teaching is directed toward increasing love for God and neighbors?

T. M. Moore

Prayer for Revival
Join us online in December as pastors and church leaders from around the country unite to pray for revival. For a schedule of available times, write me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How goes the work of shepherding?
Pastor, where are you in your walk with and work for the Lord? Are you growing? Covering all the bases? Working fruitfully toward the Kingdom of God? Shepherding God’s flock? Our Pastoral Hope Initiative can help you establish a framework and baseline for steady, fruitful growth. Using a variety of assessment tools, together with the book Fan into Flame, this 14-week protocol will give you a thorough look at the state of your ministry. Men, if you think you might want to work through this with me, watch this brief video, then, if you’re interested, let me hear from you at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Quotations from Church Fathers are from the
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, published by InterVarsity Press.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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