The first step in discipleship is becoming a disciple. While this is just the first step, it is an essential step.
Be Born Again
Before you can begin to follow Jesus as a disciple you must be born again (John 3:3). Being born again is more than just a label that some people attach to themselves, or to others. It is an actual event, the gateway in the life of a disciple.
Another common term that expresses the same thing as being born again is being saved. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, something that we all are. When we confess our sins, repent of them, and turn to Christ, confessing him as Lord, we will be saved. For more information on this read What Must I do To Be Saved.
Leave Your Old Life Behind
There is a story in the Old Testament that illustrates what it means to become a disciple. This story is told in 1 Kings 19:15-21. God instructed the prophet Elijah to anoint Elisha to succeed him as God’s prophet to Israel. Elijah did so, and Elisha’s response is what would be expected of a disciple. He went home and told his parents good-bye. He also sacrificed his oxen and plow, giving all the meat away. When Elisha set out to follow Elijah, he had nothing to go back to. He had given it all up to follow God’s call.
Jesus’ call of his first disciples paints this picture as well. They were called to leave their nets and tax booth and follow Jesus, becoming fishers of men. Theirs was not a part time call.
In Romans 12:1 Paul gives a similar admonition, calling on us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy to God. That, he says, is our spiritual act of worship. It is what God wants from us. To leave the old life behind, and to be made new.
Nowhere in the New Testament do we find anything less than this call to give up everything for the cause of Christ. Putting off the old self and being made new in the image of Christ.
The true disciple of Christ will not be content with just making a profession of faith in Christ, living what the world considers a good life, and attending church activities. While abandoning your job and family are not generally required to follow Christ, they do need to be given to him. So that everything you do is done for him.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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