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“What is A Disciple of Jesus Christ”
Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group” @ www.Godsmanforever.com
(Revised from 11/18/2013)
Luke 14:25-27… Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (NKJV)
All Christians are believers…but all believers don’t become consistent disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ. To become a true disciple of Christ…one has to take everything else that is important in their life…and place Jesus Christ at the forefront of their lives, as they walk with Christ with the fullness of the Holy Spirit…Galatians 5:16…
In the opening scripture this idea of having to hate everyone that is most important in our lives, to become a disciple of Christ, is not Jesus’ literal meaning. True Disciples of Christ are to love the Lord so very much…that even their love for those most important around them seems like hate in comparison…Matthew 10:37…
Having to sell everything that you own and picking up the cross and following Jesus, in order to become a disciple of Christ, is also a misguided concept…possibly believed because of this scripture recorded when Jesus was counseling the “Rich Young Ruler”, in…Matthew 19:16-22…and…Mark 10:17-22… Here is the pertinent scripture, in…
Mark 10:21:22… Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (NKJV)
The “Rich Young Ruler”…“went away sorrowful”, because his money meant more to him than entering the kingdom of heaven. This was a foolish temporal decision by the young man, which would eventually invoke eternal damnation. Jesus wasn’t saying that giving up all of one’s wealth, nor the act of giving it all to the poor, was a requirement for salvation. Jesus was saying that picking up the cross and following Him had to be most important (Matthew 6:24), along with denying oneself, in order to become His disciple. We see this very clearly in the following scripture, in…
Mark 9:34-35… When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. (NKJV)
Jesus also tells us this, in describing a disciple…as penned by the Apostle John, in…
John 8:31-32… Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV)
Abiding in Jesus’ Word, means the true disciple understands, obeys, and practices Jesus’ teachings that can best be learned by habitually spending time reading, digesting (Matthew 4:4), and then putting into practice what Jesus’ and His Word reveals as the inerrant truth God wants all of us to understand and obey.
Jesus reveals this truth on how to get into heaven, in… John 14:6… Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NKJV) The “way” is through understanding and obedience to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… (See link at the bottom for more on God’s grace) The “truth”, as spoken by Jesus above, is found in the Word of God; and it will set the sinner free from Satan’s chains of bondage to sin…John 8:32… “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV) And the “life” that Jesus speaks about, is eternal life in heaven with His Father.
Here is one more most important trait of a true disciple of Jesus Christ…again, penned by the Apostle John, and spoken by Jesus, in…
John 13:34-35… A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (NKJV)
Jesus gave us His 2 most important commandments in…Matthew 22:36-40…first, to love Him with ALL of our heart, mind, and soul…and second, to love those around us as we love ourselves. (Here is the link for this scripture, where Jesus tells us in verse 40, that if we can obey these 2 commandments…everything else will fall into place in our lives. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat22%3A36-40&version=NKJV;KJV )
I am here to tell you, as living proof through my own deficiency…that we as mere mortals in our own strength, can in no way love someone who is screaming in our face !! It wasn’t until I gave back total control of my life to the Holy Spirit…that I, through the Holy Spirit’s supernatural power and strength…will have any chance of loving those around me (even in difficult situations), the way Jesus loves us. This ability to love even our enemies, and to be able to bless those that curse you (Matthew 5:43-44)…is to me, absolute proof that a Christian is a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
When the Christian is Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), they have confessed, repented, and turned from all sins (1 John 1:9), and are walking in sweet fellowship with the Lord. It is His power, and His love that enable the Christian to face any situation in life, and still possess a calm and composed spirit.
Is it easy to be a devoted disciple of Christ ?? No one ever said it would be easy. But the blessings of absolute peace beyond our mortal understanding (Philippians 4:6-7), and the fullness of joy (John 15:11) the Lord will provide those who follow Him through obedience to His commandments, and who abide in His love…goes beyond anything we could ever experience without (as the Apostle Paul puts it) being filled with the fullness of God, when he penned this, in…
Ephesians 3:19… to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (NKJV)
And those true disciples of Jesus Christ have God’s promise through the full power of the Holy Spirit, they will be “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”, in…
Ephesians 3:20… Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (NKJV)
For an excellent audio description of “What is a Disciple ?”, done by Francis Chan…here is a link found at www.multiplymovement.com under “Material” (Listen to Session), that includes 7 questions we can ask ourselves to see how we stack up to what makes a true disciple of Christ… https://s3.amazonaws.com/multiply/audiobook/p1-s1.mp3
Heavenly Father, I pray Father that everyone reading these words would be able to experience the filling of the Holy Spirit in their own lives…and the “Amazing Grace” that this brings into the life of the believer. May Your grace and Your mercy abound in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…
Blessings in Christ, bruce
P.S. Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/
Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+John+8:31-32&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii24Km2dnSAhVDxVQKHQa1CmgQsAQIGQ&biw=1272&bih=869#imgrc=sWNJPWMTFL6O8M: