The 4 Characteristics of a True Disciple of Jesus
What exactly is a disciple? What is the call to discipleship? The Bible defines it multiple times but the most prominent definition is found in Luke chapter 14. Here, it states that a disciple is someone who has surrendered to Jesus Christ, someone who loves the Lord and is wholly dedicated to Him. So, the call to discipleship is simply a call to live by Christ’s standards rather than the standards of our world.
That being said, let’s delve deeper into discipleship and talk about the qualities of a disciple as described in the Bible:
1. Loves God Above Everything Else
The first mark of a disciple, according to the Bible, is that he or she loves for God above all else. Anything else–any ambition or relationship or goal or whatever–comes after that.
“But the first and greatest commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” – Mark 12:29-31
2. Follows God’s Will
Another characteristic of a disciple is submitting his or her will to the will of God, with humility and obedience. We love Him, and what He wants for our lives and our world matters more than what we want.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has aroused these for Me from the ends of the earth? Truly I have lived in the farthest [parts] of the world, But I have not seen [anything] like these, And so far no eye has seen a God besides You, And no ear has heard besides You, what God has prepared for those who trust and take refuge in Him.” – Isaiah 55:11-15
3. Submits to God’s Word
Ultimately, a true disciple of Christ must submit to God’s Word, the Bible, since it is what He has given to his people to speak, to guide, to encourage, to teach, to correct, and to give hope. It reveals Him, His will, and all His great and precious promises. A disciple of Jesus submits to the Word of God to experience the true joyfulness found in Him.
“So then, my beloved brothers and sisters, be constantly on your guard while you are living in these last days. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for you to be made aware of them by us, but do not let them make an end of your faith.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2
4. Embraces Suffering
A true disciple of Christ fully embraces suffering in order to follow the path God has laid out for them. Jesus Christ did just that, and since He is the model for disciples–the example we seek to follow and imitate.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him, we have access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5
Being a true disciple of Christ is not an easy task; it means setting aside your own agenda and plans for the greater work Jesus has for you. It may mean hardship and sacrifice. But it is also the way of joy and peace, purpose, hope, and eternal influence–a life you never imagined you could experience with Jesus Christ.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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