What is a disciple?
The word disciple is defined as a pupil or follower of any teacher or school of religion, learning, art, etc. As Christians, we are called to be disciples of Jesus - following His example in everything. Discipleship is the lifelong journey of learning and growing as we follow Jesus.
Why would someone become a disciple?
As Christians, we believe in the one true, holy God of the Bible who lovingly created this world, including us. God created us to be in relationship with Him, to love Him with all of our being and to bring Him glory. It is only through this relationship for which we were created that we find our purpose, and it is only through a relationship with Jesus as His disciple that we can come to have a right relationship with God.
How does someone become a disciple?
Because of the sin in our life, we cannot have a right relationship with a holy God who is without sin. Because of His love for us, God sent His one and only son - Jesus - to pay the penalty of sin -which is death- in our place, so that we could be released from the power of sin in our life. Jesus did not remain dead, but conquered death through His resurrection, proving that sin and death is not the end but that, through Jesus, one can be free from the power and consequences of sin and death. To become a disciple of Jesus, one must admit they are a sinner, believe in Jesus and what He has done, and commit to being a follower of Jesus - a disciple. This is the beginning of the discipleship journey. When we do this, God promises to forgive us of our sins and we begin a right relationship with Him.
Is that it?
After one becomes a disciple, it is easy to think, "Is that it?". The answer is "No!". Although once we admit, believe and commit to God we are justified in God's sight (just as if our sin did not happen), there is still a lot to be done both in us and through us. God calls us to live a life of sacrificial love. Just as Jesus lovingly poured out His life as an offering to God for us, we too can follow His example and live our life as an offering to God by loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving others as ourselves. As we do this, God does amazing things both in us a through us. Although being a disciple is not always easy, it is a life lived on purpose with great rewards both in this life and eternity.
One of the most important steps you can take as a disciple is to get connected to a church family. We were not meant to journey alone, but need encouragement and accountability from other Christians to help us along the way. Here at Burnett, we call this Doing Life Together! We would love to have you join us on the weekend, connect to a Life Group, or simply contact us for more information. There are many other important steps along the discipleship journey and we invite you to continue to look through the Next Steps pages.