Summary: Are you simply a child of God, or are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know it has nothing to do with how long you have been saved? Let’s look at Jesus’ words and see the profile of a disciple.
Becoming A Growing Disciple Of Christ
1. Let’s all read verse 8. What a powerful verse. Jesus is speaking to His men on his way to the garden of Gethsemane right before His crucifixion. He says, “…so shall ye be my disciples.”
2. Obviously, being a disciple of Christ is different than simply being a child of God (being saved). We know how we are saved – through simple faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work. But what is a disciple of Jesus Christ?
• Literally, it means “a learner; a pupil.” A disciple is a person of concrete action and commitment. Disciples make themselves available for training and devote themselves to a lifetime of learning and growth.
3. In John 15:8, Jesus said that the Father is glorified when you become a true disciple of Christ. In other words, there is no way we can glorify God until we become true disciples. There is no way to hear “well done” unless you have applied yourself by becoming a disciple.
4. Are you simply a child of God, or are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know it has nothing to do with how long you have been saved? Let’s look at Jesus’ words and see the profile of a disciple. Are you a disciple of Christ? Put yourself to the test!
Do I consistently abide in Christ? vs. 4, 7
1. “Abide” simply means “to stay in a given relation.” In other words, a disciple knows how to keep a right relationship with Christ and chooses to do so. Notice the word “if.” It is a conscious choice.
2. There are many who think they can just put it on autopilot once they get saved. Christian growth is supernatural, not automatic. We make the choice daily: “Will I follow Christ today? Will His Spirit guide me? Will His teaching instruct me?”
• The disciple has chosen to be rightly related to Christ through His Word. This is why a disciple has a commitment to Scripture. vs. 7
• It demonstrates itself in the disciple’s working knowledge of Scripture.
• The disciple knows how to study the Word. 2 Timothy 2:15
3. Most believers listen to a sermon and it ends there. They must be spoon-fed. Disciples are self-feeding. They know how to find specific food, digest it, and then apply it to their lives. They know how to study and feed themselves from the Bible.
4. The disciple knows how to fight for and defend the Bible.
• He is equipped for battle. He knows how to filter through the philosophies of the world and determine what God’s Word says on current-day issues.
• A disciple understands what he believes well enough to spot counterfeit teaching, and is able to answer basic questions like, “How do we know the Bible is reliable? Why does God allow suffering and evil to continue? How can you know that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven? How do I rightly divide the Bible and determine what is true doctrine for the church today?”
5. The disciple has also chosen to be rightly related to Christ through prayer.
• A disciple knows what to pray for and how to pray. He is totally committed to prayer and getting to know God in a more personal way.
• Most counseling sessions boil down to this – an inadequate relationship with God.
Do I bear spiritual fruit? vs. 5, 8
1. Jesus expects His disciples to reproduce (vs. 16). As long as we abide in Christ (the vine), we (the branches) will of necessity produce fruit. vs. 1, 2
2. What fruit does the Christian produce?
3. A Christian produces Christians. How? By showing Christ to others through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), introducing them to Christ, and sharing their faith.
4. All true disciples share their faith and know how to communicate the gospel, leading others to Christ.
5. There is no such thing as a sterile disciple. A disciple reproduces.
6. What if someone asked you, “What must I do to be saved?” Do you know how to lead others to Christ? A disciple bears spiritual fruit.
Do I display an obedient faith? vs. 9-10
1. Jesus links obedience to love. cf. John 14:15, 21
2. The average Christian waits until he feels prompted by his emotions before he takes action. The disciple takes action based upon the facts of God’s Word, regardless of his feelings.
3. The difference between the disciple and the average Christian is the disciple’s commitment to obey God, regardless of circumstances, feelings, or other pressures.
4. Have you ever wondered why some Christians seem to know more about God and how He works than others? They have walked down the path of obedience for years, and God has taught them much. A true disciple possesses an obedient faith.