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Articles from David Berg and the Family International - www.deeptruths.com

Discipleship of Jesus Christ

1. What is a disciple?

A. A " follower of the teaching" and the Master Teacher:

Mat.10:24,25 - The disciple [should] be as his master (See Lk.6:40)
Jn.12:26 - If any man serve Me, let him follow Me
Jn.13:15 - I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done
1Pet.2:21 - Christ (left) us an example...follow His steps

B. A disciple abides (lives, dwells) in Jesus:

Jn.15:4 - Abide in Me, and I in you
Jn.15:9,10 - If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love
1Jn.2:6 - He that...abideth in Him ought...to walk as He walked
1Jn.3:24 - He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him
(See also 2Cor.5:17; 1Jn.2:5,10,24,28.)

C. A disciple serves Jesus out of love and gratitude:

Jn.14:21,23 - If a man love Me, he will keep My Words
1Cor.6:19,20 - Ye are not your own...for ye are bought with a price
2Cor.5:14 - The love of Christ constraineth (motivates) us
Eph.5:1,2 - Be followers of God...walk in love, as Christ loved us
Phi.1:21 - For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain
(See also Exo.21:5,6)

D. A disciple must love Jesus above all else and all others:

Mat.6:24 - No man can serve two masters: he will hate one, and love the other...hold to one and despise the other
Mat.10:37 - He that loveth father, mother, son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me
Lk.14:26 - If any man come to Me and [by comparison] hate not his father, mother, children...he cannot be My disciple

2. A disciple's job:

A. To win souls ("bear fruit"):

Jn.15:8 - Bear much fruit, so shall ye be My disciples
Mat.4:19 - Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men
Mk.16:15 - Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature
Lk.9:59,60 - Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach
(See also Mat.7:20; Rom.7:4.)

B. To train more disciples:

Mat.28:19 - Go therefore and teach [make disciples of] all nations
Jn.21:15-17 - Lovest thou Me? Feed [teach and instruct] My sheep
2Tim.2:2 - Things which thou hast heard...[teach] faithful men
(See also Acts 20:20)

3. A disciple is one who obeys the Master:

Mat.12:48-50 - Who are My brethren?...His disciples...whosoever shall do the will of My Father...is My brother
Jn.8:31 - If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples

4. Dedicating oneself totally to the Lord:

A. Abandoning other pursuits to follow Jesus:

Mat.13:44 - Kingdom is like treasure hid in a field...selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field
Mat.13:45,46 - Found pearl of great price...sold all he had and bought it
Lk.14:33 - He...that forsaketh not all...cannot be My disciple

B. Forsaking the pursuit of material possessions:

Mat.6:19,20 - Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth
Mk.10:21 - Sell whatsoever thou hast...and take up cross and follow
Lk.12:15 - A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth
Acts 4:34,35a - Possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices...and laid them down at apostles' feet
Phi.3:8 - Jesus...for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung
(See also Mat.19:22; Lk.12:33.)

C. Forsaking worldly and materialistic ambitions:

Mat.6:24 - Ye cannot serve God and mammon
Mk.4:19 - The cares of this world, and deceitfulness of riches...choke the Word...it becometh unfruitful
Mk.10:17-25 - [Jesus challenged the rich young ruler to forsake all]
Jn.6:27 - Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for
2Tim.2:4 - No man that warreth entangleth himself with...this life
Heb.12:1 - Lay aside every weight...let us run the race
(See also 2Cor.6:17)

5. The decision to dedicate oneself to Christ as a disciple:

A. Count the cost first:

Lk.14:27-32 - Intending to build...sitteth down and counteth the cost
Pro.24:6 - By wise counsel thou shalt make thy war

B. Burn your bridges behind you:

1Ki.19:19,21 - [Elisha, deciding to follow Elijah, burned his plow and yoke and sacrificed the oxen]
(See also Acts 4:34,37)

C. Be single-minded and don't look back:

Lk.9:61,62 - No man...looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God
Phi.3:13,14 - Forgetting things which are behind, and reaching forth...I press toward the...high calling of God
Heb.11:27 - (Moses) forsook Egypt... endured, as seeing Him (God)

D. Some made a sudden decision to follow:

Mat.9:9 - As Jesus passed...He saw Matthew sitting at receipt of custom: Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him
Jn.4:35 - Say not ye, There are yet 4 months, and then cometh harvest? Look on the fields, they are white already
1Ki.18:21 - How long halt ye...? If the Lord be God, follow Him
Heb.4:7 - Today if ye...hear His voice, harden not your hearts

E. Delay and excuses can result in never serving God:

Lk.9:57-62 - Let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home

F. Some took more time to count the cost:

Lk.14:28-30 - Sit...down first, and count the cost
Peter and Andrew first met Jesus at the Jordan(Jn.1:37-42); They followed Him back to Galilee(Jn.1:43; 2:1,2); He called them some time later and they then forsook all to follow Him fulltime(Mat.4:18-22; Mk.1:16-20).

6. Different ministries of disciples:

A. Being a disciple does not always mean abandoning all other pursuits:

Mat.27:57 - Rich man...named Joseph, who also was Jesus' disciple
Jn.19:38-40 - Joseph of Arimathaea, a disciple of Jesus, secretly
Acts 9:36,39b - A disciple named Tabitha [made coats and garments]
(See also Mk.14:8a)

B. Some disciples had prominent positions in society:

Mk.15:43 - Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor (See also Lk.23:50-51.)
Acts 19:31 - Certain of the chief of Asia...were (Paul's) friends
Acts 10:24, 44-48 - [Cornelius the centurion, his relatives and friends]
Rom.16:23 - Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you

C. Sacrificial giving a requirement for all disciples:

Lk.8:3 - Joanna the wife of Chuza...and Susana, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance
Acts 11:29 - The disciples, every man according to his ability
2Cor.8:14,15 - That...your abundance may be a supply for their want
1Tim.6:17,18 - (Command) them that are rich...(be) ready to distribute

D. The disciple's attitude towards those who can't devote their full time to serving God:

Mk.10:21 - [Jesus loved the rich young ruler, even though he didn't forsake all]
Lk.9:49,50 - We forbad him, because he followeth not with us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not.

E. Not all are capable of or fit to be His disciples:

Lk.8:38,39 - The man...besought Him that he might be with Him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine house (See also Mk.5:18-20)
Jn.6:53-61,66 - [Jesus weeded out weak followers who were there for the wrong motives]
Mat.22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen
(See also Jer.12:5 - and Mat.13:47,48.)

F. Different degrees of discipleship:

The 3 innermost disciples(Mk.9:2; 14:32,33); the 12 apostles(Mk.3:13-19); the "other 70"(Lk.10:1); the "multitude of the disciples"(Lk.19:37)

7. Discipleship and family obligations:

A. Putting God's service even before loved ones:

Psa.45:10,11 - Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house
Mat.10:36,37 - He that loveth [family] more than Me is not worthy
Mat.12:48-50 - Who are my brethren? Whosoever shall do (God's) will
Mat.19:29 - Forsaken houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, lands, for My name's sake
Mk.1:19,20 - James and John...left their father and went after Him

B. Jesus' call to utter commitment:

Lk.9:59,60 - Suffer me...to go and bury my father. Jesus said, Let the dead bury the dead
Lk.9:61,62 - Let me...bid them farewell at home. Jesus said, No man...looking back, is fit for the Kingdom
(See also Exo.20:3; Mat.22:37.)

8. Discipleship and "losing your own life":

A. Forsake own life, plans, ambitions:

Mat.16:25 - Whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it
Lk.14:26 - If any...hate not his own life, he cannot be My disciple
Mat.6:21 - Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
Lk.9:59,61 - [Wrong attitude:] I will follow Thee, but... me first

B. Discipleship A life of death to self:

Mat.6:33 - Seek first the Kingdom of God
Mat.10:38 - He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me
Mat.16:24 - If any man come after Me, let him deny himself
Mk.10:21b - Come, take up the cross, and follow Me
Jn.12:24 - Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die
Jn.12:25 - He that loveth his life shall lose it
2Cor.5:15 - They should not live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them

9. The path the disciple follows:

A. A disciple obeys God's will and follows:

Num.22:18 - I cannot go beyond the Word of the Lord, to do less or more
Lk.6:46 - Why call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?
Lk.14:27 - Whosoever doth not...come after Me, cannot be My disciple
Jn.2:5 - Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it
Jn.8:31 - If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed
Rev.14:4 - They...follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth

B. A disciple humbly submits to his pastors and spiritual overseers:

1Cor.11:1 - Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ
1Cor.16:16 - Submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us and laboureth
Phi.3:17 - Be followers of me and...them which walk as ye have us for an (example)
1Thes.1:6 - Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word
Heb.13:7 - Them which have rule over you...whose faith follow
Heb.13:17 - Obey them that have rule over you, submit yourselves

C. Disciples obey and follow God, even without understanding details:

Jn.21:21,22 - What will (he) do? What is that to thee? Follow thou Me
2Cor.5:7 - We walk by faith, not by sight
Heb.11:8 - Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went

D. Disciples willingly adapt and change:

Lk.9:3 - Take nothing for your journey, neither...money
Lk.22:35-36 - I sent you without purse...But now...take it

E. Love other disciples and work in unity with them:

Jn.13:35 - Ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another
Phi.1:27 - With one mind striving together for the...gospel

10. The life of a disciple:

A. Give sacrificially and be willing to call nothing your own:

Mat.5:42 - Give to him that asketh thee...turn not thou away
Lk.3:11 - He that hath two coats, (give) to him that hath none
Lk.6:30 - Him that taketh thy goods, ask them not again
Acts 2:44,45 - And all that believed...had all things common
Acts 4:32-35 - Neither said any that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; they had all things common
1Tim.6:7,8 - Having food and raiment let us be therewith content (See also Lk.9:23-26)

B. Disciples must be willing to endure hardships:

Lk.9:57,58 - I will follow Thee...Foxes have holes, but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head
2Tim.2:3 - Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ
(See also 2Cor.11:23-28)

C. Be willing to endure persecution:

Phi.1:29 - Not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer
2Tim.3:12 - All that live godly in Jesus shall suffer persecution
Acts 15:26 - Men that have hazarded their lives for Jesus Christ (See also Jn.16:33)

D. Be willing to literally die for Jesus:

Acts 21:13 - I am ready not to be bound only, but to die for Jesus
Phi.1:20 - Christ be magnified...whether by (my) life or death
(See also Acts 20:24; Heb.11:35-38; Rev.12:11.)

E. Be zealous and enthusiastic:

Eccl.9:10a - Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might
Gal.4:18 - It is good to be zealous...always in a good thing
Rev.3:15 - I would thou wert cold or hot

F. An unswerving continuance in God's Word:

Jn.8:31 - If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples

11. The benefits of discipleship:

A. Discipleship a privilege:

Psa.4:3 - Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself
Mat.22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen
Phi.3:14 - The prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
2Tim.1:9 - Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling
(See also Mat.11:25; 13:16,17; Lk.8:10.)

B. Rewards for serving Jesus:

Mat.10:39 - He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it
Mat.19:27-29 - We have forsaken all, and followed; what shall we have?...Ye shall sit upon thrones...receive an 100-fold
Mk.10:28-30 - Shall receive an 100-fold now in this time
Lk.12:33 - Sell that ye have...provide yourselves a treasure in the heavens that faileth not
Jn.12:26b - If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour
1Cor.2:9 - Eye hath not seen...the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him
(See also Mat.5:10-12; 16:25,27; Jn.12:25; 2Tim.2:12.)

C. Faithful overcomers rewarded:

Rev.2:26-28 - He that overcometh...will I give power over nations
Rev.3:21 - Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me
Mat.25:14-29 - [The parable of faithfulness with the talents]
Lk.12:42-44 - Faithful steward...Lord will make him ruler (See also Lk.12:35-38)
Lk.19:12-26 - [Parable of nobleman giving pounds to his servants]

12. Jesus' last words and prayer for His disciples:

(See John chapters 14-17; Acts 1:8.)

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