I came across a writing by Dietrich Bonhoeffer this morning that read like this:
Discipleship means adherence to Christ.
I know the definition of adherence but I wanted to look it up to be precise. Dictionary.com defines adherence in one of the possibilities as “attachment.” When I think about discipleship, this is the picture I get. I want to be attached at the hip to Christ. But adherence to Christ never stops. I don’t unattach myself from him at the end of the day, week or worship service. True discipleship happens when we abide in Christ. When we remain in Christ. Check out John 15:4,
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
When a branch becomes disconnected from the plant it shrivels up and dies. It has no life line, no connection to the life source. Christ is our life source, our growth vehicle. If we do not constantly stay connected to Him, we will die. It may be slow and even at times we may not recognize it is happening, but it is. Unconnected lives die. They die emotionally, spiritually, and physicially.
The key to discipleship: remain attached to Christ. Adherence + Abiding= discipleship