John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Ask 20 pastors what a disciple is and you’ll get 19 different answers. If church leaders can’t even decide on what the word means, how can we hope to define it? As with most biblical truths, we must start with the Bible. What does it say about a disciple?
It all starts with the Word. Jesus said to His followers that those who abide in His Word are truly His disciples. But to be clear, that doesn’t just mean that reading the Bible a lot makes you a disciple. Nor does it mean that learning a lot about the Bible makes you a disciple. Abiding in God’s Word means living it. Each and every move you make in life is grounded in the truth of the Word. You live according to it.
A disciple is a fully surrendered follower of Jesus Christ who studies the Word, regards it as authority, prays like Jesus, is devoted to fellowship, is spirit filled, serves God, serves others, is a good steward, grows, shares, ministers, and loves. A disciple should be obvious to anyone, no matter what their beliefs, but a disciple is set apart from the world.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
If you fully surrender your life to Christ, how do you know that what comes next is His will? How can you even know His will? What if you think God’s telling you to do something but you are wrong? Step 1 – Start with the Word.
An essential truth for any believer, but especially new believers, is that God reveals Himself in His Word, the Bible. There is, within the pages of Scripture, sufficient information about God. We can know His character, His love, His plan for salvation, His power, and His glory. Everything we need to know right now in this moment has been revealed through the God-inspired words of the Holy Bible. Start there when you’re searching for truth or for direction. Not sure what God would want you to do in a particular situation? What does the Bible say of His character as it pertains to this?
Following God is not all about feelings or signs. Knowing what God wants you to do is very much about knowing who God is. He’ll never ask you to do anything that contradicts who He is. He won’t ask you to sin, He won’t tell you to give into a temptation. That would go against His nature. But to know His nature you have to study His Word.
The Bible isn’t some rule book handed down from on high. It isn’t a collection of fictitious stories. It’s God’s story of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ. All of it. Old Testament, New Testament, every word is part of the overall story. We WANTS you to know Him.
How do you live for God? Fully surrender to Him and constantly be transformed by the renewal of your mind. By knowing God more and more.