I am a Christian Disciple. What should I be doing?
The dictionary defines a Disciple as one who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another. A Christian Disciple is a follower who accepts the Good News teachings of Jesus Christ and passes them on to others.
Christian Discipleship is the process by which a disciple increases in the knowledge and conforms themselves to the image of Jesus Christ, who resides in their hearts, to overcome trials and temptations of this present life. This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words, actions and deeds and compare their daily walk with the Scriptures.
So it is important that a Disciple read the Word frequently – studying it, praying over it, and obeying it.
Additionally, we should be ready to give a witness to the reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15) and to lead others to commit their lives to Christ following our example. According to the Bible, being a Christian Disciple involves growing in the image of Christ characterized by the following:
1. Putting Jesus first in all things (Mark 8:34-38)
The disciple of Christ needs to be set apart from the world. Our focus should be on our Lord and pleasing Him in every area of our lives. We must put off self-centeredness and put on Christ-centeredness. Being set apart transforms our mind from the pattern of this world so that we can test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) also see (1 John 2:15)
2. Following Jesus' teachings (John 8:31-32)
We must be obedient children and doers of the Word. (Psalm 128:1) Obedience is God’s test of our faith (1 Samuel 28:18), and Jesus is the perfect example of obedience as He lived a life on earth of complete obedience to the Father, the Old Testament writings and the Prophets (John 5:30)
3. Love for other disciples (John 13:34-35)
We are told that the greatest commandment is to Love God above all else, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Matthew 22:34-40). Compassion is love augmented; it is a deep sympathy for another accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate any suffering. In the Bible, Love is defined and elaborated in (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). These verses show us that love is not an emotion; it is action. We must be doing something and involved in the process.
Furthermore, we are told to think more highly of others than of ourselves and to look out for their interests (Philippians 2:3-4). The next verse in Philippians (verse 5) really sums up what we are to do when it comes to everything in life: "our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." What a perfect example He is to us for everything we are to do in our Christian walk.
4. Zealous Prayer (1 John 5:14-15)
We can have confidence that if we ask according to His will, He will hear us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know we have our request of Him. Prayer is a vital part of a Christian disciple’s life, taking your needs and the needs of others before the Lord. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you. ( Psalm 50:15)
5. Fruitfulness (John 15:5-8)
Our job is to abide in Christ, and if we do, the Holy Spirit will help us produce fruit which is the result of obedience. As we become more obedient to the Lord and learn to walk in His ways, our lives will change. The biggest change will take place in our hearts (the home of our motives), and the overflow of this will be new conduct (thoughts, words and actions) representative of that change. The change we seek is done from the inside out, through the power of the Holy Spirit. It isn’t something we can conjure up on our own.
6. Zealous advocacy of the Gospel (Evangelism)
Making disciples of others (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to demonstrate, by example, our faith and tell nonbelievers about the wonderful changes Jesus Christ has made in our lives. No matter what our maturity level in the Christian life, we have something to offer. Too often, we believe the lie from Satan that we don't really know enough or haven't been a Christian long enough to make a difference. Not true! Some of the most enthusiastic representatives of the Christian life are new believers who have just discovered the awesome love of God. They may not know a lot of Bible verses or the "accepted" way of saying things, but they have experienced the love of the living God, and that is exactly what we are to share.
7. Sanctification – A Lifetime Journey
This step starts with
Repentance and Forgiveness,
and takes a Lifetime;
it’s a Journey not a destination where we are Transformed from Glory to Glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Bible tells us, if we keep cleansing ourselves that we will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house. (2 Timothy 2:21).
This process is done by continuously sanctifying ourselves in the Truth and that the Word of God is the Truth. (John 17:17).
As we live our lives out we know that we have a single offering, Jesus Christ, who has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (John 17:19). The Lord tells us that His grace is sufficient for us and we are not alone. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Along the way there will be temptations that are common to man, but God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)