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Disciple

Overview

J. Dwight Pentecost (14) writes "There is a vast difference between being saved and being a disciple. Not all men who are saved are disciples although all who are disciples are saved. In discussing the question of discipleship, we are not dealing with a man's salvation. We are dealing with a man's relationship to Jesus Christ as his Teacher, his Master and his Lord....a personal and intimate relationship--a relationship based on the knowledge of the person of Christ, a love for the person of Christ, submission to the person of Jesus Christ, and obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ."

 

  • The words which mean disciple.
    • The noun disciple is mathetes,¬†mathetes. It means learner, pupil, apprentice, adherent (bag2 485). It is used over 250 times in the NT.
    • The verb is matheteuo, matheteuo. It means to be or become a pupil or disciple or to make disciple (bag2 485). The verb is found in Matthew 13:52, Matthew 27:57, Matthew 28:19, and Acts 14:21.
  • J. Dwight Pentecost (14) writes "There is a vast difference between being saved and being a disciple. Not all men who are saved are disciples although all who are disciples are saved. In discussing the question of discipleship, we are not dealing with a man's salvation. We are dealing with a man's relationship to Jesus Christ as his Teacher, his Master and his Lord....a personal and intimate relationship--a relationship based on the knowledge of the person of Christ, a love for the person of Christ, submission to the person of Jesus Christ, and obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ."
  • Disciples of different people are noted in the New Testament.
    • Of John the Baptist, Matthew 11:2.
    • Of the Pharisees, Matthew 22:16.
    • Of Moses, John 9:28.
    • Of Paul, Acts 9:25.
    • Of Christ, Matthew 5:1, et al.
  • There are true growing disciples (John 8.31), secret disciples (John 19.38), false disciples (John 12.4), and superficial disciples (John 6.60-66).
  • Good characteristics of a disciple include
    • Are believers and are called Christians (Acts 6:7; Acts 11:26; Acts 21:4).
    • Associate with the Lord (Matthew 8:23; Matthew 9:10; John 2:2).
    • Serve or help the Lord (Matthew 10:1-9; John 6:11, 12, 16).
    • Able to ask questions and discuss issues with Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:3).
    • Know, believe, and obey the Word of God (John 8:31).
    • Under the authority of Jesus Christ, the teacher (Matthew 10:24).
    • Becomes like his teacher, Jesus Christ (Luke 6:40).
    • Loyal to Christ (Matthew 10:46-50; Luke 14:26).
    • Puts the Lord above details of life (Matthew 8:21-22; Luke 14:33; John 21:1-22).
    • Accepts the Father's plan for his life (Matthew 12:49-50; Luke 14:27).
    • Demonstrate discipleship by love for each other (John 13:35).
    • Produce spiritual fruit (John 15:8).
    • Job purpose is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 14:21).
    • Help other believers (Acts 9:25-26; Acts 11:29).
    • Need biblical teaching (Acts 14:22).
    • Others will attack them (Acts 20:30).
  • The method for making disciples is summarized by evangelism and edification (Matthew 28:19-20). We see the same pattern used by Jesus with his disciples and by Paul with the people (Timothy is a pattern) he was preparing.
    • Evangelism (Matthew 4:17; Matthew 11:28-30; Acts 14:1; Acts 26:28; 1 Corinthians 9:16; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Through the operation Andrew procedure, having people over, films, literature, missions, day to day contacts, planned witnessing, people on the job, in school, and others.
    • Teaching doctrine (Matthew 5-7; Matthew 11; Matthew 28:20; John 13-16; Acts 19:8ff; 1 Timothy 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 2.2; 2 Timothy 3.14-17; 2 Timothy 4.2). In the pulpit, individual follow through in meetings, personal study, books, tapes, satellite classes, meals with other believers. Contact, general application, specific issues.
    • On the job training (showing, encouraging, warning, directing, advising) (Matthew 8:51; Matthew 9:18-20; Matthew 14:12; Matthew 15:10-20; Matthew 26:1ff; Mark 8.27; Acts 14:22; Acts 20:1, 30; and verses under teaching doctrine). Applying doctrine to specific issues, taking the learner with you as you minister, giving assignments followed by discussion and analysis, answering questions.
    • Encourage his own ministry (Matthew 10:1ff; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 14:23; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:1-11; Philippians 2:19-23).
  • Summary.
    • One becomes a disciple of Christ by faith in Jesus Christ. One then progresses in the discipleship experience through progressive spiritual growth which is a learning, faithful, obedient life (Matthew 9:14; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; Luke 20:45-47; John 9:29; Acts 19:9).
    • There is a point of beginning in becoming a disciple (John 9:27-28) followed by the lifelong process of spiritual growth (John 8:31; 2 Peter 3:18).
    • Disciples are synonymous with believers (Acts 6:7; Acts 11:26; Acts 21:4).
    • A disciple understands the Lord's authority (Matthew 10:23).
    • The disciple has a learned commitment to the Lord (Matthew 9:14; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; Luke 20:45-47; John 9:29; Acts 19:9).
    • They are in close relationship with the Lord (Matthew 24:3; John 2:2; John 6:11, 12, 16).
    • They love other believers (John 13:35).
    • The true disciple learns, believes, and follows the Word of God (John 8:31).

Last Update

Wednesday, February 8, 2006