Often you have read and heard from Lance and I not to just be a follower of Jesus, but to dare to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Some may say, "Are you saying that if I am saved then I am not automatically a disciple of Jesus Christ?" or some say, "If I am saved then I am already a disciple of Christ", while others say, "to be a disciple, your life has to bear the marks of a disciple." So you find yourself asking where does Legacy Dad stand on this. My answer is: Look to the New Testament! If you read and reread and study and meditate on the Word of God, then you cannot help but understand what a disciple of Christ must do, must look like and what fruit he/she should be bearing. Jesus, in Matthew 7, tells us what disciples look like:
True and False Disciples 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Jesus in Matthew 28 doesn't just tell us to go out and reach the lost and save them. He takes it one step further:
The Great Commission 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus also goes on to say that if you hold onto (never let go of) his teaching, then you are a disciple. If you follow him (that is, to say, not just believing in Him), If you teach the truths to other trustworthy people so that they can multiply God's plan for His believers. In Luke 6:40, "A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher." Luke 9:23 says, "whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Jesus and His New Testament have so much to say on what a disciple must be, must do and must follow in order to be called His disciple.
Marks of A Disciple
A disciple must(s):
- Know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior: Romans 10:9-11 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[a]
- Renew his mind: Romans 12: A Living Sacrifice 12: 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
- Knows and Studies God's Word: 1 John 2:3-11 - "Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers, 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them."
- Let the Word have authority over their lives: Colossians 3:15-17 "15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
- Be Humble: James 4:10, "10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
- Be not just hearers of the word BUT doers: James 1:22, "22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
- Bear God's Fruit (you simply cannot help but bear His fruit if you are his disciple): Galatians 5:22-26, "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
- Die to self: Romans 6:8, "8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." This simply means let go and let God in all that you do.
- Be a good steward: A good steward is someone who understands that God is all, above all and over all. That is, to say, that God has dominion over my finances, my choices, my daily life and my gifts. All that I do should point others to Christ.
There is so much more to say on being and daring to be a disciple of Jesus Christ (more to follow on this topic). That being said, understand that none of us are perfect nor could ever be. We are called to live content and humble lives. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and understand God's call to worship together in community, in family. To lift each other up and to supply the needs of the body. In doing so, you will lay up treasure in Heaven where it is so much more important than the matters of a life down here on earth. For we are but a mist and before we know it, our lives will be ending and our eternity approaching.
What are you going to choose to do? Serve yourself? Or serve God?