What Makes a Disciple?

Jesus loves His creation.  Despite ourselves, sometimes, Jesus also loves people.  As such, Jesus did the work so that we can be with Jesus forever.

God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

That said, Jesus has more in mind for us than simply to get us through the requirements of the Law and grant us eternal life.  He wants for us to be disciples.  For this reason the original disciples were not sent simply to make believers but to make other disciples.

So what is a disciple? Or how do you make one?

Being a disciple is more than a cognitive activity.  It is a life moved by the Spirit of God that depends on Jesus for eternal life but builds on salvation with a life that is productive in a way that pleases God.  Good discipleship excels in four areas:

  1. A good disciple is a student who is taught by God.  Through the course of a lifetime a disciple learns the truth that God reveals about Himself, the world, humanity and life after death.
  2. A good disciple is a person whose qualities grow to reflect God qualities.  We retain our unique personalities but increase in qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, etc.  The New Testament compiles quite a list of qualities that are a reflection of God.  These qualities are pursued by the individual but emerge as a product of God working in us.
  3. All disciples are exhorted by the Bible to have certain practices.  Prayer, confession of sins, participation in the Lord’s Supper, worship, and the study of Scripture.  These practices are beneficial to us in that we develop a relationship to God and are bonded to Him.
  4. Finally, all disciples have a God-given mission that we are here to fulfill.  This mission is multi-faceted, has common elements with the mission of others, but is unique to each person in who it touches, and how you help them.

It is God’s work to help each person grasp the various elements of their lives as disciples.  But everyone who gets it has the responsibility to help replicate that understanding in the Christians around them.

If we are parents, we are definitely responsible the discipling of our children.  We can also help others through teaching, mentoring or just setting a good example.  Always stress to others that Jesus is enough for eternal life, but urge those who believe to never be satisfied with the status quo and to seek growth in all of the areas listed above.

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