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DISCIPLESHIP

As Christians, we are to be daily:

Seeking first the kingdom of God (Aligning our lives in the right priority) - Matthew 6:33

Submitting our lives to His authority (Studying God’s Word to understand the Truth) - James 4:7

Serving our King (Applying the Word in our life: Loving God and His people) - Psalm 100:2

Click for detailed information on how to Seek, Submit, and Serve.

But what does it mean to be a "Christian"? What does it mean to be a "disciple" of Christ?

The Bible makes no distinction between the two. Being a Christian means that we are His disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Those that teach obedience and submission to God are unrelated to saving faith make a distinction between salvation and discipleship. This sets up two classes of Christians: believers only and true disciples. A disciple is not a super-Christian. Jesus calls those who are burdened from carrying the weight of their sins to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30). He invites them to come for rest from their inability to gain righteousness on their own, from the burdens of self-pride and empty works. Those who come to Him will find eternal rest, from Him alone. Coming to Jesus means taking upon His yoke and submitting to His authority. His yoke is not burdensome. He doesn’t desire to oppress you or pile burdens on you that are too hard to bear. Obedience under His yoke is a joy. It is only when we disobey Him that the yoke chafes our neck. Submitting to His authority is the only true freedom we can have (John 8:31-32; Galatians 5:1); the freedom to become what God created us to be. We are created to worship and serve our King, but we don’t do this alone. When we take the yoke of Christ, He carries the burden for us. God supplies all the strength and the resources necessary to live for Him. All we provide are the willing hands and hearts.

Every Christian takes the yoke of Christ upon them at salvation. If you have come to Jesus in repentance and submitted yourself to His authority, then you have been eternally saved and justified and you are His disciple. The salvation that He offers is truly a gift that is given through grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), but it is certainly not free. It cost Jesus on the cross and it should cost us something as well. Jesus warned His potential disciples to count the cost of following Him carefully (Luke 14:28-30). He also said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). This means that we are to be in a continual (daily) state of doing these things. We must be daily conforming our lives to the image of the Son. How do we do this? How are we to grow into spiritually mature disciples? What are the marks of a true disciple?

I’d like to give you three simple ideas that, hopefully, will be easy to remember. They are each something that we can all ask ourselves daily whether we’re doing or not:

First, Jesus says that we should Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matt 6:33)

  • Jesus calls us to deny ourselves. He doesn’t want halfhearted people to be deceived into thinking that they are in the kingdom. Unless He is the number-one priority, He has not been given His rightful place. He wants our complete focus and attention on Him and to eliminate everything in our lives that keeps us from focusing on God. So we should daily Seek His kingdom first.
  • Second, we are to Submit to His authority (James 4:7)

  • Many people fall into two categories: Either they know a lot about the Bible and what Jesus said, but don’t follow His teachings: they don’t put it into action. Or they try to follow a sort of “What Would Jesus Do” mantra, but never take the time to study the Bible to find out what He actually taught.
  • We must submit to His leadership and follow His example of obedience to the Father, His knowledge of the Scriptures, and His example of teaching others.
  • Most importantly we must submit to His will. Everything we study and learn is so that we may apply it to our lives.
  • Third, go Serve your King (Ps 100:2)

  • Taking on the yoke of Christ is for service: working in His kingdom, working in His vineyard, anticipating the harvest.
  • Just as the oxen, we take on the yoke so that the master can direct us and use us as an instrument of His will in working out His plan.
  • We should ask whether we’re doing these things daily. Remember Luke 9:23.
  • Every day you should Seek . . . Submit . . . and Serve your King. Click here for next page. . .

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