FIVE DISTINCTIONS OF A CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE OF JESUS
A Christian disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. Someone who embraces His teachings and imitates His life.
But what does that actually look like in today’s world? What visible form does it take?
Although not a complete or perfect list, here are five distinctions the Bible conveys about a Christian disciple of Jesus.
A Christian Disciple Pursues a Growing Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ
Discipleship is not static. Simply accept Jesus Christ as Savior and join the heavenly “in” crowd. Rather, it’s dynamic. One that actively pursues an ongoing, deepening relationship with Christ.
A life radically and visibly altered by the abiding presence of Jesus.
Disciples fail sinfully at times. But press forward through repentance on a spiritual journey of transformation.
They favor relationships over religious practices. And in those relationships, the fruit of God’s Spirit is evident in their lives.
A Christian Disciple is Devoted to Prayer and Studying God’s Word Personally and in Community
A disciple desires to know God, understand His word and enjoys hanging out with His people.
Disciples invest time in prayer, studying God’s Word and building mutually accountable, supportive relationships with other Christ followers. Not have to. Want to.
As a result, disciples grow in personal convictions that govern a Godly life more than religious rules. Where mutual accountability, support and spiritual growth are fostered in Christian community.
A Christian Disciple Regularly Worships with Other Followers of Jesus Christ
Disciples approach worship as a delight, not a duty. Where God’s name is lifted up in holy reverence. A family celebration as adopted, beloved sons and daughters of God.
Through worship, disciples are spiritually renewed by expressing thanksgiving and praise to God as a community of faith.
For in Christ, disciples find their true identity, purpose and meaning. They acknowledge their human weakness, dependence on God and one another.
And in so doing, form a resilient and resourceful network of strength through the power of God’s Spirit and a vibrant community of faith.
A Christian Disciple Embraces a Lifestyle of Serving
Jesus personally and meaningfully illustrated serving to his disciples by washing their feet during their last meal together. And then offered His life as the ultimate sacrifice.
His words and his example were consistent. His expectations clear both then and now. Jesus calls His disciples to serve others. Both individually and corporately as a body of believers.
Therefore, disciples serve willingly, joyfully and indiscriminately. Without expecting gratitude. As an expression of their love for Christ. Knowing that to serve others is to serve Jesus.
A Christian Disciple Engages in Making Other Disciples
It was the last instruction Jesus gave his disciples—Go and make disciples. In other words, disciples are to engage others in following Jesus. In discipleship.
It’s not an option. It’s a divine mission.
So disciples make their faith public rather than private. They intentionally use their sphere of influence and gifts to advance God’s Kingdom.
While understanding that discipleship is a process. It’s often messy. And everyone is at a different place in the journey.
Therefore, disciples invite everyone to join them. They speak into the lives of others through prayer, encouragement, insights from scripture and personal stories.
Since Christian disciples follow Biblical teachings, they live contrary to modern culture. And yet, paradoxically, through lives that refresh others, they in turn, are refreshed.
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