The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 8 - On Being a Disciple, or Student, of Jesus

Welcome to part 8 of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series.

What I learnt From This Chapter

This chapter really helped me to be grounded in the totality of discipleship, that is that it is something that permeates every area of our life, whether I am in church, or at work, or socialising with friends or in a myriad of other contexts and situations.I particularly loved that idea of making disciples as our primary focus and letting the evangelism flow from that rather than vice versa.

Chapter List

Chapter 1 - Entering the Eternal Kind of Life Now
Chapter 2 - Gospels of Sin Management
Chapter 3 - What Jesus Knew: Our God-Bathed World
Chapter 4 - Who is Really Well Off? - The Beatitudes
Chapter 5 - The Righteousness of the Kingdom Heart: Beyond the Goodness of Scribes and Pharisees
Chapter 6 - Investing in the Heavens: Escaping the Deceptions of Reputations and Wealth
Chapter 7 - The Community of Prayerful Love
Chapter 8 - On Being a Disciple, or Student, of Jesus
Chapter 9 - A Curriculum for Christlikeness
Chapter 10 - The Restoration of all Things

Chapter 8 - On Being a Disciple, or Student, of Jesus

The Earthly Society of Jesus

We learn how to do everything we do on His behalf (in His place) - we would learn to conform to all He has commanded us. In His presence our inner life is transformed and we become the people where His course of action is our course of action.

The Narrow Way and the Good Tree

The narrow gate is not doctrinal correction - but obedience through confidence in Him.

The fruit of the good tree is obedience.

The law is not the cause of personal goodness, but is the course of it.

How Are We To Be With Him?

Strengthener better translation than comforter.

God as personality is not a physical reality that everyone must see whether they want to or not.

For good reasons His preferred way is to speak (communicate) through the centrality of scripture, and this is why solitude and silence is so important.

Life In the Spirit and In the Kingdom of the Heavens

Additional life now ours through the spirit in Christ.

Engulfment in the spirit should not be identified primarily with its outward manifestations - the reality of the kingdom in our life is an inner or hidden one.

Michael J Wilkins - good books on discipleship.

How to Be a Disciple - The Simplicity of Discipleship

No qualms about whether people are apprentices of someone, but whether they are a good disciple is another matter altogether.

To be a new or raw disciple is not wrong and does not disqualify someone.

What a Disciple Is

Someone who has decided to be with another person in order to become what that person is, or to do what they do.

What is the thing that Jesus does? He lives in the kingdom of God.

How would he design a course? What would his test look like?

The Whole of My Daily Life is the Focus of My Discipleship

Brother Lawrence - being a disciple is not just about changing what we do, but doing the things that we already do, but for God.

The Glory of My Job

To do things like Jesus would do, is to do them "in the name" of Jesus.

All aspects of our job are important to God and He wants them well done.

All peculiar religious activities should take second place to doing the job.

We must not restrict discipleship to special times.

Christians Minister as Jesus' Apprentices

Jesus' work had 3 main phases:

1 - Proclaiming - announcing God’s kingdom coming. And then empowering others to proclaim this kingdom to all.

2 - Manifesting - the manifestation of God's rule through words and deeds that set aside the usual course of nature.

3 - Teaching - "the kingdom of the heavens is like..."

Jesus charged his disciples to manifest before he charged them to teach.

The Field & The Pearl

The condition of soul that leads to discipleship.

Clarity About the Bargain

What about the cost of discipleship?

The man who found the treasure or the man who found the pearl was not worried about the cost of the pearl or the field. If anything they were worried that they would not get the pearl or the field.

Do You Love Me More Than These?

Love exchange between Jesus and peter. Jesus says agape, peter says philo.

What We Should Do

God's initiative will always be involved.


We must ask to become his disciples.

Dwell / Reside in His Words

Equally avoid fruitless things in society that clamber for our attention. 

Where His Word is, He Is

Seriously look at the lives of other people who have apprenticed themselves to him.

Find groups of apprentices and become deeply involved in them.

Now Decide, the Power of Decision and Intention

William Law - A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life - we must have the intention to please God in all areas of our life!

Helping Others Find Their Way into Discipleship

How do we make disciples?

The Elephant in the Church

Non-discipleship is the elephant in the church.

God will let everyone into heaven who can stand it.

Intending to Make Disciples

Conscious objective

Discipleship Evangelism?

Intend to make disciples and let converts happen, rather than make converts and expect discipleship to happen.

Changing People's Real Beliefs

Ravish them with a vision of a life in the Kingdom of Heaven and in the fellowship of Jesus - changing their belief system (through proclamation, manifestation and teaching).

A Glorious Accident?

In the program it is the human mind, or the universe as a whole.

There are many belief systems that stand in the way of discipleship.

Changed Beliefs, Changed Action, and Changed Character

We keep trying to get people to do things that good people would do without changing their belief systems.

Human life is based on belief.

Our beliefs are made obvious by our beliefs.

Study What the People We Speak to Actually Believe

"Your system is perfectly designed to give the results that you are getting".

Find out what people really do believe.

Read 9, 10, and 11 of Charles Finney's revival lectures.

We must state the faulty beliefs and explain why they are wrong. 
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