A Christian should either be discipled by another Christian or disciple other Christians at any given point, California megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie said in a sermon, underlining the need for believers to carefully read, study and live according to God's Word.
"You cannot take people any further than you yourself have come," Laurie, the senior pastor of the California-based Harvest Christian Fellowship, told the congregation in his message, which was part of a series, "Discipleship, the Road Less Taken."
The pastor read out Colossians 1:28, "He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ."
Even years after accepting Christ, it is possible that some could still be spiritual "babies," he warned. But as Christians, we need to be so mature in our faith that we can say to someone "follow my example," Laurie said, citing 1 Corinthians 11:1, which reads, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
People see you as a "physical representative of Jesus Christ," he reminded the church members.
How do we mature in our faith? "Success or failure in the Christian life is dependent on how much of the Bible we get into our heart and mind on a daily basis and how obedient we are to it," Laurie said.
The Bible doesn't just contain the truth, it is the truth, he underlined.
The pastor then read Psalm 19:7-11, "The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward."
We learn from the passage that the Word of God is perfect, Pastor Laurie said.
God's word is always fresh, while everything else changes around us — from culture to technology, he explained.
According to verse 10, the Word of God is a treasure, Laurie added.
When we lose our phone, or forget to carry it with us while going to office, we get shocked, the pastor said, and added that that's how we should feel about the Bible. We should carry our Bibles with us, he suggested.
Keeping the Word of God makes you happy, Laurie added.
Nothing in the world can give us happiness — no parties, alcohol, sex or drugs, he stressed. We can be happy only if we have a relationship with the Lord.
We speak to God through prayer, and God speaks to us through His Word, the pastor said. It's the Bible that tells me that God loved this world so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross in my place, he said. How else would I know this, he asked.
The Bible is "the autobiography of God," Pastor Laurie concluded.