What Should a Disciple Look Like?

What Does a Disciple of Jesus Look Like? A great question. We often attempt to develop new believers into what we think is a good disciple, but at the end of the day, our product looks more like the chief opponents of Jesus rather than his disciples. [ for example, see here ]

It is so important to see the end from the beginning, so we know what we desire in a follower of Jesus. Then we can take positive steps to see that vision come to fruition. Let me suggest these characteristics that should be developed into a disciple…

DDecided Faith – He or She Has Unwavering Assurance of Salvation in Jesus Christ Alone (1 John 5:13, John 1:12-13, 1 John 5:11-12, Ephesians 4:14, Romans 8:16, 1 Corinthians 2:14)

IInward Growth – He or She is Developing Devotional Practices for Spiritual Growth (Mark 1:35, Genesis 19:27, Exodus 34:2-3, Psalm 5:3, 1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Timothy 4:13, Acts 17:11, Proverbs 2:1-5, Psalm 1:1-6, Joshua 1:8)

SSeparated from Sin – He or She has Embraced the Practice of Repentance and a Life of Sanctification (1 John 1:5-2:2, James 1:22, 2 Timothy 2:19-22, Romans 6:12-14, 1 John 2:15-16, Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:9-10, 1 Peter 1:14-16, Ephesians 6:10-20, Romans 13:14, Mark 14:38, 1 John 1:9)

CCommitted to Community – He or She is Small Group Focused and Does not Neglect the Gathering of Saints (Acts 2:42, Acts 17:11, 1 John 1:3, 7, Hebrews 10:24-25, Psalm 122:1, John 15:12, Romans 12:10, Romans 14:9, 15:7, 14, 1 Corinthians 12:25, Galatians 5:13, 6:2, Ephesians 4:2, 25, 29, 32, 5:21, Colossians 3:13, 16, 1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11, 13, James 5:16, 1 Peter 4:9-10, 1 Peter 5:5)

IInvesting in Eternity – Uses Their Time, Talent, and Treasure for Things That Will Last (Ephesians 5:15-17, Psalm 90:10, 12, Ecclesiastes 3:1, James 4:14, Romans 13:11, Romans 12:4-8, Ephesians 4:11-13, Proverbs 3:9-10, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Luke 6:38, Proverbs 3:27, Galatians 6:6, Malachi 3:10, Proverbs 11:24-25, 2 Corinthians 8:9)

PPersonal Testimony – He or She is Committed to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission (Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Luke 8:38-39, Acts 26:1-23, John 9:25, 1 John 1:3, Colossians 1:28-29, Romans 1:16, 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Acts 8:35, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Luke 19:10, Mark 10:45)

LLordship of Christ – He or She Pursues Obedience to God’s Word and Self-control in This Life (Luke 6:46, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 1:18, Hebrews 1:2, John 14:21, 23, John 15:10, 14, 1 Samuel 15:22)

EExtending the Love of Christ and his Kingdom – He or She Embraces the MVPs of Mission, Vision, and Proclamation (John 13:34-35, 1 John 3:16-18, John 15:13, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 John 4:7-21, Matthew 9:35-38, Acts 1:8, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Isaiah 6:8)

Make Friends to Make Disciples

The idea of living the Christian life is to impact those around you for the kingdom of God. Check out this challenging word from Rick Warren, based on Romans 12:16.

Everybody’s looking for a true friend — not just acquaintances but people who are there with you when you need them most. God wants you to build true friendships with the people that are already in your life so that you can share the gospel with them. God has put these people — your co-workers and classmates, neighbors and teammates — in your life specifically so you can share with them about the most important decision they will ever make. If you don’t tell them about what Christ has done for them, then who will?

The Bible says to “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (Romans 12:16 NLT)

Christians tend to fall into one of two extremes: isolation or imitation. Some Christians say, “I don’t want to get polluted by the world. I’m just going to isolate myself. I’ll build a wall and my own little culture.” Isolation doesn’t work! How are you going to build any friendships that way?

The other extreme is imitation, which says, “Let’s be just like the world. We’ll dress like the latest pop star. We’ll say whatever we want about other people. We’ll have whatever values and goals popular culture tells us we should have. We’ll be no different from the world.” That’s not what God wants you to be, either. He doesn’t want you to give in to the lowest common denominators of society.

The answer is not isolation or imitation. It’s insulation and infiltration. The Bible says you’re to be salt and light in the world. You’re to penetrate the world with God’s goodness.

When I go out to dinner and order sea bass, the first thing I have to do before I can eat it is put salt on it. That fish has lived its entire life in salt water, yet I have to put salt on it. What’s going on? That fish is insulated. If God can take a fish and keep it in salt water its entire life and not have the salt permeate the fish, then certainly God can take any believer, put us in the world, and keep us from being corrupted by the wrong values.

God wants you to be holy and secure in your faith. He also wants you to walk out your door into the world and get to know the people he’s placed in your life. As you build relationships with people around you and share Truth with them, you are to be in the world but not of the world.

“The Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 TLB).

Talk It Over:

  • Why is it sometimes easier to isolate ourselves rather than get to know other people on a deeper level?
  • What are some ways you have fallen into the trap of becoming an imitator of the world?
  • If you were the only representation of Jesus Christ that someone had in his or her life, how would they perceive Christianity? How does that make you want to change?

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