Being a disciple

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, May 16, 2024

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Have you ever wondered what it means to follow Christ and be his disciple? Have you ever considered the price of discipleship? The Word of God teaches us what it means to be a disciple and also the cost of doing so. If we want to be a disciple, we are taught that we must be willing to take up our cross and follow him. But what does that life look like? 

First, we should notice what is said in Acts 11:26 KJV, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Here we see that a disciple is a Christian, that is, they are a Child of God. This means that they have obeyed God’s commands, they have fulfilled God’s requirement to be named as a Christian. To do so the Bible teaches us that one must come to God in faith, repenting of their sins, confessing their belief in the risen savior, and being immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins. 

It is then that one begins the life of the disciple. At this point we are aware that a disciple is one that follows, and in the case of Christians it is Christ they follow. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 KJV. But what does all this mean?

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Being a disciple means that in our allegiance to Christ we may have to make sacrifices. Jesus discusses this very topic in (Matthew 8:18-22, 10:37-39; John 15:18-20). We follow the example of Jesus in that we follow Him as He followed His Father. This means that our allegiance to Him is stronger than other allegiances we may have in this world. 

As we align with Christ and follow Him we do so while we learn more and more of Him throughout our lives. In John 6:45, Jesus said that those that are taught of Him come to Him and the Father. This is the reason that Paul emphasized gaining knowledge of God in his letter to Timothy. Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15 said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Then Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Then we take what we learn, the beauty, the honest, just, and pure things of God and think on them, that is we put them into action in our lives (Phil. 4:8). 

A Disciple of Jesus also develops a true desire to worship God. This is what the disciples did in the first century church according to Acts 2:42 and they continued as we learn in Acts 20:7 when they met upon the first day of the week. When they gathered, they did so to worship God in spirit and in truth according to John 4:22-23. There Jesus said, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

Next from God’s Word we see that a true disciple serves God. He does so by practicing hospitality (Acts 21: 16-17). By using his personal resources to serve (1 Peter 4: 9-10). He does all this because as a disciple the Christian loves God, others, and himself. According to John 13: 34-35, Love is a distinguishing mark of a Christian and must mirror the love Jesus has for His disciples. 

The question is are we disciples of Jesus? 

(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)