Discipleship

Discipleship

I want to speak to you today about a very important subject. That subject is discipleship. The word “disciple(s)” is found 273 times in the Bible with all but one of those times occurring in the Gospels and book of Acts.



Discipleship is the process of devoting oneself to a teacher to learn from and become more like them.

This statement implies that a disciple is not just learning doctrine (or teaching), but that there are changes in their behavior as a result of the teaching and learning. There is a transfer of information (teaching) which leads to a transformation of one's lifestyle (discipleship) - If he does not become a "doer of the word,” he is not a true disciple.


Luke 6:40

The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

What is a disciple of Christ?


He is a person who is identified as a believer in and a follower of Jesus Christ. Notice the two fold understanding: A believer in, and a follower of Christ! That is why the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. They lived like Christ! They looked like Christ!


A Christian disciple is to be a mind through which Christ thinks; a heart through which Christ loves; a voice through which Christ speaks; a hand through which Christ helps.


The ultimate patterning of our lives after Jesus may even include death: History tells us that all of Christ’s original and special disciples (Except John) were martyred for their faith.






Even in the Old Testament, Moses made clear that the teaching of the law was meant to result in obedience to what it said rather than just intellectual acceptance (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).


Discipleship is not to be taken lightly, although many do (John 6:66).

There are many in our world who claim to be disciples of Jesus, and yet, they do not follow him and learn of him.


In Matthew 8:18-22, there are some men that said they wanted to follow Jesus, but in reality didn’t. May I show you how Jesus dealt with these people that seemingly wanted to follow Him?


These men wanted to be one of Christ’s chosen ones, even volunteering themselves, but when they understood the commitment that was required, it didn’t seem so appealing! Read the passage. See also Mark 8:34-38; Luke 14:25–35.


Now, keep in mind that what I am referencing here is given straight, clean, and in its essence. Everyone who believed on Jesus was not required to “leave all” (jobs, family, etc) to follow him, as his closest disciples / apostles did, but in their hearts they would have certainly been willing to.


Jesus is still calling people to discipleship, just as He did in days of old (Matthew 4:18-22). A true, vital, living, loving, learning relationship with us is what he desires.

In order to understand what discipleship looks like, the life of Jesus with his apostles is a perfect example to study; However, there are other biblical examples of discipleship as well, namely: Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua, Paul and Timothy. You might also be interested to know that the Pharisees and John the Baptist had disciples. Much can be learned by the study of these relationships as well.


Did you know that everyone is being discipled by someone, or something? Did you also know that everyone is discipling someone else? We must be exceedingly careful who (or what) we are allowing to disciple us and we must be careful how we are living because we are teaching someone else how to live by the life that we live.


The Apostle Paul said in I Cor. 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Do you see in this verse that we are to follow Christ; and that we are to live in such a way that others can follow our example, because we are following Christ? See also I Corinthians 4:16; Philippians 3:17; Philippians 4:9; II Thessalonians 3:7-9; I Thessalonians 1:6.


Are you a true disciple, or are you just a pretender?