09 March, 2018

How do I become a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

(Written by Peter Voigt)
What is a disciple?
A Christian disciple is a person who accepts the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, repents from his sins, and receives forgiveness from God the Father. He acknowledges Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Redeemer and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Being a disciple is a process by which disciples grow in the understanding of God’s Word and are equipped by the Holy Spirit to overcome the trails and temptations of this present life.
This requires studying God’s Word on a daily basis, praying and having a living relationship with Jesus Christ and obeying His commands. A disciple should always be ready to give his or her testimony and to disciple others to walk in His way.

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15 New Living Trans)

Twelve steps to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ
1. Salvation
Every disciple of Jesus Christ has to be a re-born believer. Turn to the Lord in prayer. Tell Him that you want to believe in Him, and ask Him to forgive your sins. Repent from your old life and turn around towards the Lord. Invite Him into your life. Tell Him that you want Him to be your Lord and Master and that you want Him to take over the leadership of your life for the rest of your life. Thank the Lord Jesus Christ for dying on the cross for you and your sins: Thank Him for rising from the dead in order to give you eternal life. (Romans 10:9-10)

2. Receiving the Holy Spirit
In the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour we also receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation and is guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Once we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, nobody will snatch us out of the hand of the Lord. (John 10:27-29)
1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9 and Ephesians 1:13-14 makes is very clear that the Holy Spirit is received in the moment of salvation.

3. Water baptism
Being baptized is a step of obedience and should be done by full immersion. Jesus commanded that those who become His disciples should be baptized (Matt. 28:19) and they were to follow His own example and get baptized, as He was. (Matt. 3:15-17)
Baptism is symbolic for burying your old life and emerging from the water is the new life in Christ Jesus (Roman 6:4 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).

4. Studying the Word of God
The bible is the eternal, unchanging Word of God. Scripture says: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do”. (2 Timothy 3: 16-17)
So reading the bible daily is a very important aspect of a disciple because it provides spiritual bread that feeds us. (Matt. 4:4)

5. Learn how to pray
Prayer is talking to our Heavenly Father and is very important to have a living relationship. If we don’t talk to our earthly Father then we have a problem in our relationship and with God it is the same.
Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us an example in Matt. 6:9 how to pray. When we pray we do the following:
We praise and worship God
We ask Him to help us
We pray for others
We thank Him for all the things He is doing for us

We can pray at any time and at any location, but it pleases our God very much if we start the day by talking to Him. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

6. Living His Word
Our actions will show the world that we are living God’s Word, that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. James 2:15-16 (New Living Translation) says: “Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?”
Bearing fruit is the result of walking with the Lord and living His Word. Through this the world can see the result of a Spirit-filled life. That is what we are here for – to put God’s love on display to the world. (John 15:8)

7. Spreading His Word
Begin to share your testimony of what Jesus has done for you with others and tell them what God has prepared for them who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. Our job is to stay focussed on Christ and the Holy Spirit will produce much fruit. Love others as yourself and therefore tell everyone that God doesn’t want anybody to perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

8. Attending Church
It is very important to have fellowship with other believers and therefore attending a Church on a regular basis is a must for a disciple of Jesus. Matt. 18:20 tells us that for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Jesus promises that He will be there. What a wonderful promise!
We attend a church service for the following reasons:
To have fellowship with other believers
To sing praises and worship God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
To pray and experience God’s power through answered prayers
To give to God
To be taught the Word of God

9. Participate in the Lords Supper
Believers gather around the Lords Table and commemorate His death and resurrection. We remember at the Lords Supper that He died on the cross for us, that He rose again and that He will come again. Yes, He will come again and take us home, that we are with Him, forever. (John 14:3)

10. To be a Witness for Him
Jesus told us to witness everywhere and tell people about the wonderful things the Lord has done for us (Acts 1:8). We have to tell others the good news of salvation, deliverance, healing and restoration that Jesus has provided for us, if we believe in Him. Jesus told us also that we should not be afraid what to say, because the Holy Spirit will guide us and tell us what to say.

11. Waiting for His return
Jesus promised that He would return in the last days to rapture the members of His Church and take them to heaven. Paul the Apostle describes the event and how this would take place. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
We don’t know the day and the hour of His return, but Jesus told us what the signs before His return are. Believe it my friend, we can already hear the footsteps of the Lord, the time is near.

12. It is a challenge to be a Disciple of Jesus
Salvation is a free gift but to be a true disciple of Jesus will cost something and we have to be willing to pay the price. Following Jesus involves hard work, sacrifice and sometimes persecution.
A disciple knows his masters wish and he will follow and obey Him and surrender himself to the will of God. Jesus said: “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.”(Matt. 10:38 New Living Translation)

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