Christian Discipleship: Definition | Cost of Discipleship

QQ. Who is the disciple? (Discipleship: Definition)

  • One who is a follower of a master, spiritual teacher, religious leader or a guru.
  • One who lives by the teachings and lifestyle of his master.
  • One who holds the standard and ideals set by his master.
  • One who wants to be like his master.
  • The Word used for ‘Disciple’ in Greek (‘mathetes’) refers generally to student, pupil, or apprentice.

Seven conditions of christian discipleship

Q. How can one become the disciple of Jesus?

  • Decision to follow Jesus Christ is the beginning of a christian discipleship.
  • Jesus himself demonstrated clear conditions for being his disciples. Before we focus on the conditions of discipleship, we need to know what it is not!
  • Discipleship is
    • Not Easy! It is not ‘bed of roses’.
    • Not the way of constant success and prosperity!
    • Not a use of spare free time.
    • Not a going to church on Sunday.
    • Not a compromise, it is not a license to do whatever you like!

Q. So what are the cost (conditions) of true Christian Discipleship?

  1. Cross Bearing:

    • Matthew 16:24 – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
    • Matthew 10:38: – “anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
    • Galatians 2:20: – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
    • The way of Cross is the way of pain, suffering, ridicule, mockery, humiliation!
    • It is also to crucify our sinful desires. Gal 5:24: – “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”
  2. Self Denial:

    • Matthew 16:24: – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
    • Doing his will must be our first priority.
  3. Leaving Everything:

    • Luke 14:26: – “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”
    • Luke 14:33: – “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be my disciple.”
    • Following Jesus must be our first priority, above our family, career, comfort, even our own life.
    • We must be willing to forsake anything that can hinder our walk with Christ.
    • Phil 3:7-9: – “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him..”
  4. Abiding in His Words & Teaching:

    • John 8:31: – “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”
    • John 15:7: – “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
    • Regular daily Quiet Time – time alone with God is necessary to abide in His words. Check out - Quiet Time – Time Alone with God
  5. Supreme Love for Christ:

    • John 14:23: – “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”
    • Love for Christ should be the compelling force for us to follow him. 2 Cor 5:14: – “For Christ’s love compels us.”
  6. Love for Others:

    • John 13:34-35: – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
    • Romans 12:9-10: – “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
  7. Fruitfulness:

    • John 15:8: -”This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
    • Gal 5:22: – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
    • Bearing fruits is a sign of growth and maturity.


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