I once heard it said, “There are two kinds of people. There are those who need to be saved and those who need to be discipled.”
What does it mean to be a disciple? In the Greek, the word for disciple is mathetes, which means “follower” or “pupil”. Therefore, to be a disciple within the Christian faith means to be a follower or a pupil of the teachings of Jesus Christ. How do we become disciples?
There are various means of becoming a disciple and it is advantageous to pursue all of them.
- Regular church attendance. You will hear the teaching and preaching that will put you on the path to discipleship.
- Find a mentor. Look around and find someone who is knowledgeable, wise, and who lives a life that exemplifies Christ. This person is likely to be older, more experienced, and very active in the church. Ask them to be your mentor.
- Get plugged in to a small group if your church has them. If not get involved in church activities and/or ask to volunteer in some area of service.
- Invest in your own discipleship. Christian bookstores are often times treasure troves of information. Invest in a couple of books like an Old Testament and New Testament survey. These books will open doors of understanding regarding your Bible Study. They will enlighten you as to who wrote the books of the Bible, when they were written, where they were written, to whom and why they were written. They will also shed some light as to why the books of the Bible are arranged in the manner that they are.
- Read Your Bible! There will be much that you don’t understand at first. That’s okay. The disciples of Jesus didn’t understand everything that He taught them either until a period of time had passed. It will begin to make sense! That is why you have a mentor, to ask questions. That is why you are in a small group, involved in activities, and attend church service. You will begin to accumulate answers and the pieces will begin fitting together. Never let anyone tell you the Bible is boring! Nothing could be further from the truth! Everything that is in today’s modern soap opera is in the Bible. The only difference is that the Bible exhibits these sins as sin and then shows real life repercussions from those sins.
Understand that the Bible is a depiction of a very real God revealing Himself to very real people who suffered very real hardships in very real places! The Bible is not allegory or a collection of fairy tales!
The path of being a disciple is long and never ending. Even pastors are disciples who continue to learn the teachings of Jesus. Pastors, elders, and deacons are disciples who make disciples. The business man, the home maker, the nurse, and the janitor are disciples who make disciples and help them along the way. One day you as well will be a disciple who helps another disciple along the path of discipleship.
Why be a disciple? Because Jesus commanded every Christian to be a disciple and to make disciples of others.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NASB) (Emphasis is my own)
I will be exploring discipleship in more detail in the weeks that follow. Until then, God Bless!
In His Grip,
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Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
American Standard Version (ASV)
Public Domain (Why are modern Bible translations copyrighted?)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
King James Version (KJV)
Living Bible (TLB)
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
The Passion Translation (TPT)
The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
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