Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An Overview of Discipleship


What is a Disciple?

• A disciple is a student. A disciple listens to and adheres to the teaching of a person who is in authority. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) defines discipleship as:

The word disciple is found in the bible only in the Gospels and the Acts…and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher (didaskalos). See Mathew 10:24; Luke 6:40. In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher but the his is also in practice an adherent. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

• A disciple is a person that is committed to becoming like Christ. The disciple shapes his or her life in the same way as Christ’s life. ISBE also states:

The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as “one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His Spirit, and imitates His example.

• A disciple is a follower who strives to be like Jesus Christ and exhibits the fruits of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:222-25

1. A follower is a person that has made a decision to follow Christ and makes an active effort to become like Christ

2. Some people do not “follow” Christ by just attend “church.” They can be classed as casual or social Christians. They are not in the process of being disciple because they are not “following” Christ, nor are they “students” nor are they “committed” to Christ.

When Does Discipleship Begin?

• Discipleship begins the moment one places faith in Christ

• Discipleship is the main purpose of this blog – the process of discipleship from the “moment of being born again” through the process of becoming a mature follower of Jesus Christ with the ability to disciple others.

How Long is a Person a Disciple?

• Discipleship is a lifelong process – not a 6, 9, 12, or 16 week “course” Discipleship never ends since the believer is always maturing and moving toward completion in Christlikeness.

• A person is a disciple from the moment they are born again until they are taken out of this world and transported into the presence of Jesus Christ


welcome to my world of poetry said...

I like this Gregg, when you write that a disciple is a follower of Christ. My mind went on to think of the followers we have among Blogsphere not that any of us are like Christ, but by being a follower we follow their works from day to day whilst they are on line,
Enjoyed the read.

Pilgrim Mommy said...

Good post! The great commission was to make disciples, not just casual converts.

P.S. Not to derail this thread, but I appreciated the comment you left at the OG blog. I didn't know that Ghandi was the source for "love the sinner, hate the sin." The source explains why that simplistic statement doesn't line up with the whole of scripture.

Gregg said...

Yvonne - I am glad you liked this post. There is so much confusion as to what a real disciple or Christian is. We have seen that this week when Anne Rice denounced Christianity all the while not being a Christian herself.

PM - Thanks! Yes Ganhdi is attributed this quote without any scriptural basis. We cannont be casual or social disciples and be a disciple.


I was a counselor at the 1985 Billy Graham Crusade. I saw thousands of people profess faith in Christ. I personally had 10 people to follow up on to help them get plugged into a church and start a basic discipleship class. None of them had the desire to learn about God or The Bible. Is it possible to have a spiritual birth and not want to become a disciple of Christ?

Gregg said...

OG - NO! I don't believe that most of what the Billy Graham Crusades did resulted in believers. Just decisioners and decisions.

Anonymous said...

a lifelong process for sure. philippians 1:6
another post that causes me to worship! thank you

Paul Schlieker said...


Thanks you for your comments on becoming a life-long follower of Jesus, not just a person who "agrees" with Jesus. Non-discipleship Christianity is everywhere and we need blogs like yours. Calling people to come, die and give their life away is what Jesus did.

God bless your ministry!