Become A Disciple

 

How to Become a Follower of Jesus

 

 

Our Problem


By coming to this page, you are probably looking for spiritual guidance. You may be experiencing one or more of the common problems of life.  You might be suffering from:

 

  • Guilt - because of some things you have done
  • Shame - because you have let God, yourself or others down
  • Powerlessness - because of life and death issues that are much bigger than you can handle
  • Loneliness or alienation - because your life is filled with  nothing but broken relationships
  • Meaninglessness or uselessness - because you are lacking a life purpose.
  • Suffering - because of bad choices or difficult circumstances

 

We experience  these problems (and others!) in life because we follow someone other than Jesus.  It might be another god or religious system; a non-religious philosophical or values system; or, it could be that we just don’t trust anyone but ourselves.  But the bottom line is that we follow bad teaching, make bad choices, develop bad habits and ultimately ruin our lives.  The old prophet Isaiah put it this way: 

 

“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own.”  - Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)

 

 

 

God’s Solution


God’s solution is to follow Jesus.  By becoming a follower of Jesus, you will find that all of the conditions described above are reversed.  Our brokenness is fixed in the following ways:

 

  • In place of guilt, God will give you forgiveness, and declare you “not guilty.”

“Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.”   - Acts 26:18 (NLT)

  • In place of shame, God will give you honor.

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”  1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)

  • In place of powerlessness, God will give you power.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13-14 (NLT)

  • In place of loneliness or alienation, God will give you a sense of belonging.

“So now you . . . are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family.  Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets.”  Eph 2:19-20

  • In place of meaninglessness or uselessness, God will give you purpose.

“ For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

  • In place of suffering, God will give you victory.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  . . .  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”  Rom 8:35-37 (NLT)

 

 

 

Eternal Life


In the long run, there is an eternal and personal benefit that results from following Jesus.  It is called eternal life.  Eternal life means that when your body dies your soul will continue to live forever in the presence of God in Heaven.  Eternal life is an existence that is free from the rebellion, pain, destructiveness and death we experience in this life.  The Bible says,

 

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NLT)

There are some important things to know about eternal life:

 

1.  You can’t earn it by impressing God with your good deeds.  The Bible says,

"When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.  He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life." Titus 3:4-8

 

2.  You can’t get it on your own terms, any way you want to.  The Bible says,

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.  Proverbs 16:25

 

3.  God specifically chose one unique way for us receive eternal life.  The Bible says,

“Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“But to all who believed him and accepted him [i.e. Jesus], he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

 

4.  Eternal life is a completely free gift, compliments of God who created you. 

The Bible says,

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

 

 

 

Becoming a Follower


Becoming a follower of Jesus requires two things from every person: (1) uncompromising trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and (2) obedience to his clear commands. In other words, we need to trust Him enough to do what He tells us to do.  This is usually a big step for people. 


When you follow Jesus Christ, three things immediately begin to happen and continue your entire life:

 

1.  Your character begins to change to become like Jesus’.  Character traits like integrity, faith,

hope, love, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, patience, goodness become the rule rather than the

exception.

“ You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”  Philippians 2:5 (NLT)

“. . . the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.” Gal 5:22-23

 

2.  Your behavior changes to reflect your new character.  You begin to do the kinds of things that

Jesus did when He walked on the earth: acts of compassion, concern for the poor and for justice and

encouraging others to follow God.

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. Psalm 119:9-10

“I [Jesus] tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12-13 (NIV)

 

3.  Your beliefs change in accordance with the spiritual truth you are learning.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.   Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.   With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.   I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.  Ps 119:11-16 (NIV)

 

 

 

Okay, So What Do You Do?

 

1.  Accept the reality of your own brokenness, caused by your rebellion against God.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.”  Romans 3:23 (NLT)

 

2.  Admit you are helpless to fix yourself.

“When he [Jesus]  saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. Matt 9:36 (NIV)

 

3.  Abandon everything in your life that is destructive.  Thoughts, attitudes, habits, relationships

- everything that is destroying you.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”  Acts 3:19  NIV

 

4.  Embrace Jesus Christ and accept, by faith, the free gift of salvation He is offering you.

A week later [Jesus’]  disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"  27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."  Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:26-31( NIV)

 

5.  Trust Him enough to do what He says to do in His Word.

[Jesus said], "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." Luke 6:46-49 (NIV)

 

6.  Join a fellowship of Jesus’ disciples who are committed to Jesus’ Great Commandment

and His Great Commission:

 

The Great Commandment

One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments." Matthew 22:35-40 (NLT)

The Great Commission

Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)

 

7.  Grow in your faith.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,  and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,  and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. “ 2 Peter 1:5-9 (NLT)