What is A Christian? Pt.2: A Disciple of Christ
What Is A Christian?
Part 2: A Disciple of Christ
A Christian is a disciple of the Lord. Jesus is the “rabbi” or teacher. In fact, He is the greatest teacher of all! He not only LECTURED the truth for His students to hear, He also LIVED the truth for His students to see. As God, He Himself is the source of the teaching and the only One to ever adhere to the teaching perfectly. Those of us who have believed and obeyed the gospel have yoked ourselves to Jesus so that we might learn from Him (Matthew 11:28-30). That makes us disciples: we are students who have dedicated ourselves to Christ Jesus as our Teacher.
Christians have “signed on” to the tutorship of Jesus Christ. By turning our lives over to Jesus and devoting ourselves to Him as disciples, we have admitted that we don’t possess the knowledge we need and that we are nowhere near God in understanding and ability. A life of discipleship is one that recognizes that it is not in man to direct his own steps (Jeremiah 10:23), but that he needs to be shown the right way. It is a life that acknowledges a need for direction and guidance. The Christian lives daily with these sobering realizations and walks humbly with Jesus in submission to His pure and perfect instruction.
A Christian who takes the role of disciple seriously is constantly searching the scriptures to know the Teacher more intimately and to witness the ways in which He walked. The diligent disciple is steadfast in prayer to God, asking for guidance and understanding, seeking grace and wisdom. The Christian who is truly yoked to Christ is always examining himself in the mirror of God’s perfect word, searching his own character for flaws and frailties which are inconsistent with the character of the Lord. The desired goal of the disciple is to imitate the Master, to be as much like the Teacher as possible.
The disciple is constantly concerned with whether or not he is doing what his Master would do, and saying what his Master would say, and even thinking what his Master would think! And the dedicated disciple is deeply distraught when he discovers any disparity between his own life and the life of his Teacher. For the Christian – the true and earnest disciple of Christ – this distress, this godly sorrow, leads to sincere repentance (II Corinthians 7:10) and a renewed resolve to walk in the footsteps of the Lord.
For any disciple, progress is measured by how much more closely he resembles the Teacher today than he did a week or a month or a year ago. If we are not living more like Jesus each day, we must question the nature of our discipleship. Is it genuine and sincere, or just in name only? Is it consistent, or only practiced when convenient? Of those who wear the name “Christian,” the question can rightfully be asked, “What have you learned from Christ?” If you are no more loving and kind, no more pure in thought, word, and deed, no more patient and humble, no more self-controlled than you were when your walk with Jesus began, it is time to evaluate the nature of the discipleship you claim when you call yourself “Christian.” A true Christian is by definition a disciple, one who is committed to learning from the Lord Jesus Christ how to live life to the glory of God!