Thursday, May 16, 2013

Are you a Christian or a disciple?

You know, People that follow Christ or say that they follow Christ or believe in Him are all generally referred to as 'Christians'.
When we are asked what we are, we say 'A Christian'.
When other people ask you if you are a Christian, what do you say to them? Sometimes we say 'Yes' or 'Yes...but' or 'No' or 'Yes, only part of....'

Do you know that the word Christian only appears in the Bible 3 times?
Jesus never referred to us as Christians! In fact, the first time the word 'christian' was used was when the followers of Jesus were referred to Christians in Antioch.
So we have all been put into this bracket of 'being a Christian'....and isn't it this exact word that so many are scared of or so many people hate because of what Christians do and how they act towards each other?
I can say that I am a Christian, but yet I still swear, have bad thoughts about my neighbour, gossip about someone I see in a shop etc etc.....This isn't what Jesus did!  Nor is it what His quest for us is either!

Jesus refers to the word "Disciple". A disciple is a person who learns from another and always looks up to another person for encouragement, guidance and advice in decisions.
Jesus had disciples not Christians! They were followers of His way.
This is why it is referred to in the bible as well about people who believed in Jesus "followers of the way".
A disciple is someone who dedicates their whole life and thought on the guidance and learning from another. In this case, Jesus' disciples followed Him everywhere and took guidance from Jesus in everything they did.

The word 'Christian' was most probably used a derogatory terms to refer to "followers of the way". Christian means 'belonging to Christ', and it was not thought up by the disciples themselves but rather by the 'outsiders' in order to refer to Christs followers.

The problem now with the word Christian, is that it entails a whole bunch of things, thoughts, stigmas and actions. Some good, some bad, some absolutely disgusting.
I class myself as a Christian, but I do hundreds of things on a daily basis that when I stand and look back, would bring shame to Gods name over and over and over again! BUT, I am a Christian.

A true Christian (and not one in name only) will also be a disciple of Christ. That is, he will have counted the cost of following the Lord and has totally committed his life to Jesus. He accepts the call to sacrifice and follows wherever the Lord leads. The disciple completely adheres to the teaching of Jesus, makes Christ his number-one priority and lives accordingly. He is actively involved in making other disciples
For example, Christ teaches us to give and help the poor an share our wealth. But yet, when I walk past a shop and I see a poor person begging for a loaf of bread at the shop entrance, I walk right past him and pretend he is not there?
Is this what Christ teaches us? And if it is, what does that make me?
Well, its definitely not a disciple if that's what Christ teaches.
So its easy just to fall back under the 'Christian' brand because that's what everyone else does, or should I truly follow Christ and be more than 'just a Christian'.

We are told in Gods Word in Matthew 28:19 -
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Disciples of nations, people who truly follow God, follow the teachings of Christ, look up to Christ for guidance.
I don't want to just be a Christian, bracketed under a brand name (which could possibly have been  a derogatory term way back then).
I want to be a disciple, a doer, not a brand name!
And with 'doing Christs teachings', I will be able to bless others in the power of Christ and in turn receive blessing myself through Christs Spirit.

So, what are you? A disciple or a Christian?
Amen

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