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What is a Disciple?

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Dis-ci-ple n. a follower, pupil v. to train, teach

All followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are called to study his teachings and teach and train others…to be disciples who make disciples who make disciples.

What are some of the marks of a disciple?

Watermark Community Church in Dallas has a brilliant spiritual pathway for members. The four B’s include: Believe (faith in Jesus is the starting point); Belong (being part of a small group is vital for encouragement, growth and accountability); Be trained (be consistent in your obedience and commitment to learn and grow in Biblical truth); Be strong (in service and ministry to others.)

In chapter 12, Christian Living, of Exploring the Basics of Biblical Christianity, I wrote, “…life involves intentional choices we can make to follow Christ. A disciple is a learner, a student. Christ is the Good Shepherd and we are members of his flock. As members of his flock we can live our lives in such a way that we witness for Him…our lives can make Christ look good.

What are some of the marks of a disciple? In keeping with the shepherd and flock metaphor let’s look at six marks of a disciple in the Gospel of John using the acronym FLOCKS.

  • F – Faith. A member of the flock must have faith in Christ. ” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

  • L – Love. Members of Christ’s flock will love one another. ” I command you to love each other.” (John 15:17) “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34 & 35)

  • O – Obedience. We will obey his commands. “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15)

  • C – Commitment. Disciples are willing to pay the price of following Christ. “The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone—a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them.” (John 12:24-26)

  • K – Keeping. Disciples stay connected to Christ. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. 5Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4 & 5)

  • S – Serving. Disciples will follow the example of Christ who came to serve others. He washed the feet of the apostles the night before He made the ultimate sacrifice. “So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.” (John 13:4 & 5)

When a flock of disciples reflects the pattern Jesus set for them, they will produce fruit…spiritual growth. “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:8

FLOCKS Witness!

Be a disciple who makes disciples!

Neil Curran, CEO, Biblical Communications International

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