To be a Christian means to be a disciple. There are no Christians who are not disciples. And to be a disciple of Jesus means to follow Jesus. There are no disciples of Jesus who are not following Jesus. Ticking a box on a public opinion poll, or sincerely labeling yourself with the religion of your parents or having a preference for Christianity as opposed to other religions— none of these things make you a Christian. Christians are people who have a real faith in Christ, and who show it by resting their hopes, fears, and live entirely upon him. They follow Him wherever He leads. You no longer set the agenda for your own life; Jesus Christ does that. You belong to Him now. “You are not your own,” Paul says, “You were bought with a price” (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Jesus is not just our Savior— He is our Lord.” – Mark Denver, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus
When I read these words for the first time, it was hard to choke down. Denver brings up the stark point: You are no longer living for yourself, you were bought with a price, you belong to Jesus Christ. As I read these words, I thought to myself, “How am I living my life currently? Am I living for myself, my family, my peers; or am I living my life the way God wants me to live?” Reading this book three months ago, my life looked very different. All of my activities, though good, were oriented to serve myself. My life has been challenged this month with my new discipling relationships. Let us look at the What, Why, and How of discipleship.The goal of discipleship is to help others follow Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet
We have influence over others, and we are constantly being influenced. People watch us all the time. How will we use our demeanor, attitudes and way of conduct to influence others to further the kingdom of God? Consider how Peter instructs wives of unbelieving husbands or the servants of unjust masters in 1 Peter 2:18-20 & 3:1. He says that we can win people “without a word, but by our conduct” of our lives. It is exciting that we can have gospel influence and make an impact in peoples lives, through our weakness, and God’s power (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So… What is Discipling?
Discipling: Helping others to follow Jesus and purposely doing spiritual good to someone, so that they will grow into more Christlikeness. The over arching goal of discipleship is to follow Christ wholeheartedly and teach others to also follow after Christ.
Qualifications to Disciple Others:
To disciple others, we must be seeking to abide in Christ, love His word, and have a prayerful relationship with our Lord. We must be proclaiming Christ in our life and be willing to serve others. As a disciple of Christ, we should be living a life that shows compassion towards the lost and hurting. Being a Christian we want to strive to live a life that is open to correction and repentance and desires to obey the Word of God. In other words, if we profess that Jesus Christ is our Savior and have been filled with the Holy Spirit, then we are called to be disciples and can walk in obedience to that with Christ’s power (Ephesians 4:1-6). So in a nut shell, since we claim Christ and walk with Him, we are disciples of Him and are able to disciple others.