A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes His doctrine, (2) rests on His sacrifice, (3) absorbs/assimilates His Spirit, and (4) imitates His example.
“According to the research, almost half of Americans are “born-again Christians”. But out of this group of “born again Christians”, researchers found that their belief and lifestyles are virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the world around them. Many people have used this data to conclude that Christians are really not that different from the rest of the world.”
Follow Me by David Platt
How much weight does the message that you proclaim carry to those around you if your method of life doesn’t follow suit?
In the intro to this series, I posed 3 questions:
If John the Baptist baptized by day but was at the bar by night, would you expect people in his day take his message of the coming of the Messiah seriously?
If Peter preached and fought for the Gospel by day but indulge in porn and fornication by night, do you think people would’ve converted by the thousands to the Faith of Christ?
If Paul taught all day but then turnt up all night, do you think people would’ve turned from their wicked ways and false religions to come to Christ?
Many of us call ourselves disciples of Christ because we believe in His doctrine and we rest on His sacrifice, however, we miss the last two criteria of a disciple. We call ourselves followers of Christ yet we don’t follow His example or assimilate His Spirit.
It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while not following His Word/ways/example and absorbing Who He is. Association brings assimilation. Whenever we are around someone for extended periods of time, we begin to look, talk, act and think as they do. So how is it that we can be disciples, or followers, of Jesus Christ yet we don’t look, talk, act or think like Him? Maybe it’s because we are a fan of Who He Is and what He has done for us, although we haven’t really been following Him at all.
Christ calls us to leave everything behind, pick up our cross, and follow Him.
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be My disciple.
27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple…33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples.
When Christ called His twelve disciples, they were working in their professions but upon His call, each man left what he was doing and who he was with in order to follow, without hesitation.
“As He was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen. “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people! ” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.”
Matthew 4:18-22 HCSB
Jesus isn’t requiring anything of us that He wasn’t willing to endure Himself. Just as Christ left His Father, comfort and home in Heaven to take up the cross that should’ve been ours…Just as Christ called His disciples in the Word to forsake everything and take up their cross to follow Him, so He calls us, His modern day disciples, to leave behind the things of this world, step out of our comfort zone, take up our cross and follow Him. I’m not saying you have to quit your profession or stop talking to your parents. What I am saying is that we must reach a place where we are ready to give up any and everything in order to follow our Lord and Savior.
When we take our focus off of what we are giving up and put it on Who we are gaining, we don’t mind leaving behind habits, lifestyles and relationships that don’t honor God.
“Yes there is a cost that accompanies stepping out of casual, comfortable, cultural Christianity, but it is worth it. More aptly put, He is worth it. Jesus is worthy of far more than intellectual belief, and there is so much more to following Him than monotonous spirituality…In a day when the basics of becoming and being a Christian are so maligned by the culture and misunderstood in the church, I do know that there is more to Jesus than the routine religion we are tempted to settle for at every turn.” – David Platt
Being a disciple of Christ requires more than just a Sunday morning service and a Wednesday night Bible. It is more than just saying grace over our meals, wearing crosses around our necks, scriptures tatted on our arms and having Jesus bumper stickers on our cars. It isn’t just a part of our life it is our life. It isn’t part of our identity, it is our identity. It’s time to start stripping off things that hinder us from being able to put on the character of the One we follow. It’s time to discipline our flesh.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
So whatchu doin fam?? Are you going to answer the call of Christ?