A True Disciple of Christ

 

Hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of people claim to be followers of Christ.

But do any of these individuals in fact follow Christ’s example of how to live a righteous life?

An even more important question for each of us is. Are we fulfilling our responsibility as Christ’s disciple? This is a question that we should ask ourselves often in order to keep clearly focused on the reason the Father called us to salvation during this age.

While the eleven disciples were in the mountain where Christ had been told to go because he would meet them there, he came to them and said:

Matt 28:18-20 KJV
18 All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The problem with many translations of the Bible is that many words are not translated into their true meaning and therefore the intent of what was originally written is not clear.

This is the case with verse 19 in the KJV translation when the Greek word matheteuo is translated as teach and in the NIV as disciples which is more accurate, but still not conceptually correct.

Matt 28:18-20 NIV
“All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

What Is a Disciple?

Over time, the Greek word for disciple has taken on a completely different meaning in the minds of most who profess to follow the teachings of the Bible.

Although some modern word dictionaries get close to defining a disciple as a student, most only define a disciple as a follower of Christ or one who follows a teacher. Therefore, the interpretation of the Greek word for disciple and the true essence of a disciple of Christ is left to the interpretation of each individual.

The Greek word matheteuo, which is often translated into the English words teach and disciple in can mean to become a pupil, to make pupils, or to enroll as a scholar (i.e., a student).

As a group, the Father’s earthly children are identified 26 times in the Book of Acts by the Greek word matheteuo (i.e., a pupil/student) and individually an elect is identified as mathetes and mathetria, which mean respectively, a learner and a female pupil.

A disciple, a pupil, a student is simply a person who is being educated in a certain discipline. For one who is a disciple of Christ, that discipline is the Father’s truth and way of truth.

Discipleship is the process through which the Father’s adopted children are taught his truth, which contains knowledge and understanding about many things pertaining to him, Christ, the spirit realm, his plan of salvation, the rules of conduct for members of his family, and the philosophy behind these rules.

It is through one’s voluntary and proactive compliance to our heavenly Father’s truth which contains his rules of conduct for us that we become a viable and beneficial member within his earthly family of king-priests.

No one forces us to comply, it is totally within our control whether or not we put forth any effort to be a knowledgeable and productive follower of Christ.

The English word teaching in Matthew 28:20 is translated from the Greek word didasko. Didasko simply means to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them.

Because Jesus gave an instruction to enroll students from every nation to be taught the Father’s truth, it seems logical that, if these students are to be taught, there would be an organizational system and a curriculum in place to facilitate their education.

This is exactly what we see within the early church. We see an educational system in place; whereby, a newly enrolled student is taught and guided through the educational process by the holy spirit and by more spiritually mature individuals within a community of students, student scholars, and stewards of the Father’s truth.

From the many references that identify the Father’s earthly family and nation of king-priests as students who are being taught the Father’s truth, it is extremely important to understand what is to be taught and what a student’s responsibilities are while being taught.

John 17:14-20 NKJV
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Verse 16 reveals a profound and powerful truth about the Father’s adopted children, which can only be truly understood in depth by those who have the indwelling of the Father’s spirit and who will make a diligent effort to study the scriptures to truly understand who and what they are.

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

Notice that it is the Father’s truth through which one is sanctified.

sanctify and sanctified = NT:37 hagiazo (hag-ee-ad’-zo); from the Greek word hagios (hag’-ee-os) to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:

How does the Father’s truth purify, consecrate or (mentally) venerate us? It is the knowing, understanding, and the practice of this truth that results in one continuing to be holy:

What does the average person know about being a responsible student of the Father’s truth before and after baptism? In most cases not much.

After baptism, few are taught what it actually means to be a dedicated and responsible student of truth or how to fulfill this aspect of one’s spiritual development.
Most are left to discover this for themselves, which sometimes leads many away from the path of righteousness and down a path to spiritual destruction.

If Christ were on earth today he would condemn most of professing Christianities’ beliefs about what is written in the biblical record, their traditions, and religious observances and practice.

Most professing Christians today practice a life much different than the one Christ instructed his followers to practice.

Many people followed Christ because of the physical benefit they thought they would receive from him. Today is no different, many join with congregations of the elect for social and physical benefits, but not to be students of truth.

Let’s analyze several scriptures in the light of being a follower of Christ and a student.

Matt 10:34-39 KJV
34 Do not think that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

What is the sword that Christ brought?

Heb 4:12 KJV For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Matt 10:35-39 KJV

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me.

cross = NT:4716 stauros (stow-ros’); from the base of NT:2476; a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specifically) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial

39 He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that lose his life for my sake shall find it.

lose = NT:622 apollumi (ap-ol’-loo-mee); from NT:575 and the base of NT:3639; to destroy fully, literally or figuratively:

What does it mean to destroy one’s life for Christ’s sake? – on account of (him) —

Matt 16:24-27 KJV
24 Then said Jesus to his disciples, If any man will come after me (i.e., follow or accompany), let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

deny = NT:533 aparneomai (ap-ar-neh’-om-ahee); to deny utterly, i.e. disown, abstain:

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

shall lose & will lose = NT:622 apollumi (ap-ol’-loo-mee); from NT:575 and the base of NT:3639; to destroy fully, literally or figuratively:

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

What are these works? Could a part of these works be learning and practicing the Father’s truth?

Mark 8:34-38 KJV
34 And when he had called the people to him with his disciples also, he said to them, Whoever will come after (follow) me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Is there anything more important that one’s life?

When Christ told a man to keep the commandments if he wanted to have eternal life he replied, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

Mark 10:21-26 KJV
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and said to his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said to them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

But why is this? What is the lesson here about what is required to follow Christ and be a student of his?

Luke 9:23-27 KJV
23 And he said to them all, If anyone will come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily, and follow me.

come after = erchomai opiso (er’-khom-ahee op-is’-o), which basically means in the context of verse 23 come to follow.

deny = NT:720 arneomai (ar-neh’-om-ahee); perhaps from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and the middle voice of NT:4483; to contradict, i.e. disavow, reject, abnegate:

cross = NT:4716 stauros (stow-ros’); from the base of NT:2476; a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specifically) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial.

daily = kata; hemera (kat-ah’ hay-mer’-ah) which in the context of verse 23 strongly indicates a 24 hour day. i.e., every waking and sleeping moment of one’s life.

follow = NT:190 akoloutheo (ak-ol-oo-theh’-o); to be in the same way with, i.e. to accompany.

A more accurate rendering of verse 23 would to be:
23 Then he said to all, “Anyone who wants to come and follow me must put aside their own desires, carry their own cross with them every day and keep close to me!

Continuing in Luke 9:24

24 For whoever will save their life shall lose it: but whoever will lose their life for my sake, the same shall save it.

shall lose & will lose = NT:622 apollumi (ap-ol’-loo-mee); from NT:575 and the base of NT:3639; to destroy fully, literally or figuratively:

save = NT:4982 sozo (sode’-zo); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively):

25 For what advantage is it to a person, if they gain the whole world, and lose (apollumi, i.e., destroy) themselves, or be cast away?

26 For whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, the same shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his and his Father’s glory, and the holy angels.

Remember that what Christ says about following him is in the context of doing the things he says to do.

As Christ and the Disciples were going from one village to another, a man walking along with them told Christ that he would follow him wherever he went. To this Christ replied:

Luke 9:51-62 KJV
58 And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head. 59 And he said to another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow you; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said to him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Once a person makes the commitment to accept the Father’s offer of salvation, one can not turn back without suffering the consequences, which is the second death from which there is no return.

Does a person know everything they have committed themselves to when they first accept the Father’s offer of salvation? The answer for most is no. Most of us only knew that we had been offered forgiveness of our sins and that we were being offered life after our physical death for our obedience to God.

We knew that we were to live a different life from the one we had been living, but we did not know much about want the new life entailed or how to practice ever aspect of this new life.

Even children whom the Father calls within families with one or more, converted parents, that have been schooled in the application of God’s laws must now truly learn, what their new life entails and how to practice every aspect of this new life for themselves.

Counting the Cost

Luke 14:25-27 NIV
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate (i.e., love less by comparison) his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

cross = NT:4716 stauros (stow-ros’); from the base of NT:2476; a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specifically) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial.

Does it cost something to be a true disciple of Christ who follows his instructions?
Yes, it does cost, it costs in may ways – time, energy, friendships, physical possessions, vocations, and etc. which are all a part of the human side of one’s old life.

The cost of being a true disciple of Christ is that nothing can take precedence over one’s discipleship.

In his letter to the elect at Corinth while writing about the many attitudinal and behavioral problems they were having as a congregation, he tells them to avoid sexual sins and then says regarding their physical and spiritual condition as one of the Father’s elect:

1 Cor 6:19-20 KJV
19 What? Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the holy spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify (i.e., honor) God in your body. and in your spirit, which are God’s.

This tells us several things:

  • Our bodies are physical temples in which the Father’s spirit resides.
  • We only occupy this body it does not belong to us, it belongs to our heavenly Father.
  • We were bought and paid for by Christ sacrificial blood; therefore; because we are owned by the Father we are obligated to show our respect for him by what we do in and through this body.

How does this apply to being Christ’s disciple . It applies because we belong to our heavenly Father and he has given Christ charge over us;
therefore, the instructions from Christ which are recorded in the biblical record are as if they came directly form the Father.

How can we be true disciples of Christ? we must learn how to be a true disciple

Each person God the Father adopts into his family becomes a disciple of Christ the moment they receive the indwelling of the holy spirit.

one must have a different mind sett to be a disciple

Notice what Solomon wrote, that applies, to becoming a student of truth:

Prov 3:5-8 KJV
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to thy bones.

A person who is truly a dedicated disciple of Christ will not see death, because they will become an immortal god-being in the kingdom of

Mark 12:29-33 KJV
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Matt 24:3-14 KJV
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

How do we know what is the gospel message and what is not?

Study

2 Tim 2:14-17 NKJV
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babbling, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

The More Noble

Acts 17:1-2, 11-14 KJV
17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Although many Jews and Greeks in Thessalonica, believed what Paul and Silas taught about Christ the majority of the Jews did not and caused much trouble for them, so they were sent to Berea:

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. 14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

We must make change from our old nature to godliness our number one priority

The only way we can do this is to study the scriptures for knowledge and understanding and ask for insight form our heavenly Father and:

a disciple learns to serve and not be served – one aspect of discipleship – Christ came to serve–

a true disciple is humble and service-minded

allow the Father and Christ to teach us through the holy spirit —

a true disciple does not reject truth, searches to see if what they are told is true, and then accepts and practices truth regardless of the consequences from family, friends, associations or the world in general

Forsake All

John 13:34-35 KJV
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.

Discern Right from Wrong

2.Thess.2:1-13 KJV
2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him, 2 That you are not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

There were many during that age who went go about spreading false teaching, just as there are today.
The only way one can keep from being deceived is to diligently study the scriptures and ask the Father for insight into his truth.

Those who are not truly students

2 Thes 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

How do we keep from being deceived? Study to gain knowledge and understanding of the Father truth.

5 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

6 And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time.

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceive-able-ness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love (agape, Godly love) of the truth, that they might be saved.

How does one receive the love of the truth.? What does this have to do with being saved?

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

sanctification NT:38 hagiasmos (hag-ee-as-mos’); from NT:37; properly, purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier:

After stating many things about Christ, the writer to these Hebrews says the following about their lack of a depth of knowledge and understanding about Christ and other truths contained in the biblical record (i.e., the law, the prophets and the writings).

Heb 5:8-14 KJV
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing.

dull = NT:3576 nothros (no-thros’); from a derivative of NT:3541; sluggish, i.e. (literally) lazy, or (figuratively) stupid:

12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

When Christ’s disciples came, to him, and asked why he spoke to people in parables, he said:

Matt 13:11-14 KJV
11. . . Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said , By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive:

In the parable of the talents Christ said:

Matt 25:28-30 KJV
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has.

30 And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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