We all know folks who say they are Christians, but their life makes you wonder. I don’t want to be that person. The Apostle John recorded a thought-provoking passage: Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NET)
Three things in these verses challenge some of our assumptions:
1. Simply believing does not make you a real disciple of Jesus Christ.
2. Real disciples continue in the study and practice of the Lord’s teachings.
3. Real discipleship leads to a knowledge of truth that brings freedom.
What, then is “Real Discipleship?” Jesus tells us: Real disciples are three-fold lovers:
- Real disciples love Jesus enough to follow Him, no matter the cost. Luke 14:33-35
- Real disciples love the Word of God. John 8:31 / 1 Peter 2:1-3
- Real disciples love others sacrificially. John 13:34-35
Part of our commission as the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. That process begins with faith in Him, but must continue in a Bible-guided lifestyle of faith. We believe every person whom God sends in our door is precious. Therefore, we have identified 8 biblical concepts that we believe are vital to real discipleship. In the hope of helping make real disciples, i will be talking more about them in the weeks to come. Here is a brief overview:
8 Things a Real Disciple Needs to Know
1) Jesus came to rescue you and you needed it. Because of sin, You were hopelessly lost, separated from God. Jesus came to rescue you. This is called “redemption.” John 3:16-19
2) You must be born again. You can’t just try to do better. You must be fundamentally changed. Becoming a Christian is a miraculous death and rebirth of the spirit. John 3:1-8
3) Water baptism is not optional. It doesn’t save us, but it is the required first step in a life of discipleship. It is meaningful and powerful. Matthew 28:18-20
4) You need the Word. The Christian life requires that you read your Bible, the Word of God. Life, faith, and growth come from the Word. Matthew 4:4 / Romans 10:17
5) You need the power of the Holy Spirit. Without supernatural help, religious form sets in. The Holy Spirit Baptism provides power to fulfill the will of God. Acts 1:3,4,8
6) Communion is not a religious ritual. It is a holy ordinance observed with reverence and self-examination. It is a time to remember what Jesus did for you. 1 Corinthians 11:23-32
7) You and I need each other. The Christian life is a team activity. You cannot fulfill the will of God alone. Hebrews 10:24-25.
8) The world is waiting. Your spiritual life is never just about you. Jesus came to reach the world. He left you here to help in that process. Romans 10:13-15
Somebody Said: One can believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and feel no personal loyalty to Him at all – indeed, pay no attention whatever to His commandments and His will for one’s life. –Catherine Marshall
I want to be a real disciple and to make real disciples. To that end, I share these tidbits. If you’re a Christian, they may provide a simple reminder and measure of where you are in your commitment to Jesus. If you are working with new believers, they provide a guided path for intentional growth. Freedom doesn’t come from a nodding head, but from a bended knee.
For more information or to get Bible study materials and discussion guides, contact us at 520-792-FCFT or firstname.lastname@example.org.