God calls and expects every born-again Christian or believer to become a disciple of His Son, Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”(Luke 9:23). The first followers of Jesus were called disciples (Luke 5:11; 6:13). Since this is what God calls believers to and expects of them, we believers must understand what a disciple is and how a disciple is to live.
What is a disciple?
If we look closely at Luke 9:23, many believers have not adjusted their lives to live the type of lifestyle Jesus describes. The word disciple basically means a learner. This means believers are to learn about Jesus Christ. This means we have to be willing to be taught and continuously learn. In addition, as we look again at Luke 9:23 we see that a disciple is also to be a follower. This tells us that believers are to follow Jesus’ teachings and His lifestyle, and that we are to have a close relationship with Him. So, simply put, a disciple is a believer who adjusts his or her lifestyle to fit a new pattern. He or she gives up their own desires and decisions, their own way doing things to follow God’s desires and decisions, God’s way of doing things.
So how do we learn to be disciples of Jesus? We start by learning about Him, how He lived, how He wants us to live and how that lifestyle is possible (Matthew 11:29; Ephesians 5:8-10); and we learn these things by reading and studying the bible which God gave us as a manual or handbook about how to live this new, born-again life (2 Timothy 3:16–17). It is also important to be discipled or taught in our new way of life by another mature believer, someone who is a true disciple of Jesus and has, through reading and obeying what the bible teaches, grown in their relationship with Christ. So, new believers should seek to find someone to help them in their new, exciting journey with Christ.
Being a disciple is a lifelong process. God intends for us to grow in our knowledge of Him and what He wants us to be. He wants us to become spiritually mature by not just knowing about Him, but knowing Him deeply and intimately. He wants us to know all that we are and have been given as His children. So we must make a decision to obey God and become committed disciples of Jesus. As we go forward on our journey, we will look more closely at what a disciple is, the conditions for true discipleship, the characteristics of a disciple and making disciples.
This concludes our New Believer Bible Study. We hope that you continue to grow in your walk with Christ and apply the knowledge that you have gained from this material.
Additional steps to take as a new believer