OF ALL THE THINGS in which we could invest our lives, people and the Word of God are eternal. God invested Himself, through His Living Word, in us, and He has asked us to invest ourselves in others.
R. T. Williams says that the reproduction of the life of Christ on the canvas of everyday life is the finest of the fine arts. Transforming discipleship is the means by which God creatively and artistically develops the image of His Son in our lives. During His earthly life, Jesus mentored His disciples and thus provided a model for us to imitate as we seek to fulfill His commission to disciple the nations.
His call to the Twelve to “come learn” toward the beginning of His ministry and the commission to “make disciples” at the end of His ministry form the bookends of the discipleship process that Jesus modeled. His invitation to come learn preceded His commission to go make learners of all nations.
Without question, becoming a disciple is a prerequisite for making a disciple—the more committed we are to becoming the kind of disciples Jesus defined, the more capable we will be of reproducing disciples who will reflect His character. What a tremendous opportunity! We can experience transformation by the power of the Spirit, and then we can encourage the transformation of others by that same power.
Discipleship is indeed the fine art of cooperating with God’s purpose of forming the character of His Son in us. In the hands of the Almighty, what began as an ordinary canvas becomes a magnificent expression of the glory of God. Yes, my friends, when God paints a canvas it is fine art. Of course, it’s not just fine art—it’s divine art!
Mark L. Bailey
About the Contributors
Mark L. Bailey
Dr. Bailey assumed the role of DTS Chancellor after serving for 19 years as the Seminary’s fifth President, and continues his role as Sr. Professor in the Bible Exposition department. In addition to his years at Dallas Theological Seminary, he has pastored various churches in Arizona and Texas. He was a seminar instructor for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries for twenty years and is in demand for Bible conferences and other preaching engagements all over the country and world. His overseas ministries have included Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary, and China. He is also a regular tour leader in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome. His board service includes Bible Study Fellowship, Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, and Word of Life.