Authentic Disciple

Etymology

The term disciple is derived from the New Testament Greek word "μαθητής", which means a pupil or student. A disciple is different from an apostle, while a disciple is one who learns from a teacher, an apostle is one who delivers the teachings or messages of a teacher--such as the Great Commission.

A  Disciple of Christ confesses Jesus Christ as Lord

(1 John 4:15) “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”

The use of this title also meant that Jesus was master, worthy to receive power, glory and blessing (Rev 5:12).

They served Him (Rom 12:11), ordered their lives in a manner worthy of Him (1 Cor 11:27), and paid Him obeisance, obedience being the only proper response of disciple to master (Heb 5:9).

The will of this exalted Master was often communicated to the Church through the revelatory word of His apostles and prophets (1 Cor 14:37; Rev 2; 3).

A Disciple of Christ tries not to sin or quench the Holy Spirit

(1 John 3:9) “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

Quenching the Holy Spirit is not done by committing sin...for it is the Spirit of God who convicts us of our sin. (1Thess 5:19) “ Do not quench the Spirit”. This does not mean you will never sin if you are a Christian.

(1 John 1:8-9). “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

A Disciple of Christ loves and fellowships with other believers

(1 John 5:1). “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.”

“I am a companion of all who fear thee, of those who keep thy precepts” (Ps 119:63).

“We used to hold sweet converse together; within God’s house we walked in fellowship” (Ps 55:14).

A Disciple of Christ obeys the commands of Jesus Christ

(1 John 5:3). “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

In His summary of the law, Jesus provided also a summary of His positive ethical teaching. This is found in the command to love God and neighbor (Matt 22:37-39) and the Golden Rule (7:12). Despite parallels in Judaism, he universalized the meaning of love by specifically extending the term “neighbor”. This He demonstrated in His own life through His compassion.

We know we are obeying Christ’s commands when we demonstrate “Good Works that are the result of a True Faith”.

(James 2:17) “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

See Commands of Jesus

A Disciple of Christ loves and obeys the Word of God

(1 John 2:5). “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in him…

 
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)

1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

6 “You shall not murder.

7 “You shall not commit adultery.

8 “You shall not steal.

9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”

Jesus wants us to help as many people as possible to find salvation in Him. He wants us to be His disciples, and above all He wants us to love our fellow man, just as He did. As an example the Apostle John had qualities that made him distinctive, the primary characteristic being his compassion and love. If God is about love, then love is what a disciple of Christ is about.

© 2020 by Robert Barnett