The term “Christian” is the most common manner by which our culture describes people who claim to know Jesus & be a part of His Church. As Robby Gallaty, (author of Growing Up – How to be a Disciple Who Makes other Disciples) states;
“But do you know how many times the word Christian appears in the bible? Only three times — Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16. In its two occurrences in Acts, which present the history of the term, it is used in a derogatory fashion. In fact, Christian was likely coined as a term of derision. Those who despised Christ displayed their disgust for His followers by calling them “Christians.” It wasn’t until years after Christ’s ascension that the term was used in a positive light.”
I know that some may see the label “Christian” in the light of being considered blessed when persecuted for His Namesake and no one can take that away from one who has experienced such. However, the term disciple appears 269 times in the New Testament…which implies that disciple is the term by which Jesus calls His followers.
So, what is a disciple?
By deﬁnition; disciple means student, follower, learner. It centers around one who takes up the ways of someone else. Jesus called His followers disciples and they were His students. They learned from Him. They denied themselves & took up His ways as their own. The disciples did not wait to be labeled as Christians by their opposers, they were disciples of Jesus because they took on His identity.
What about you?
Are you considered a Christian by others because you associate with Church, faith or religion? Or…Are you known by Jesus as His disciple because you’ve denied yourself & you’re following Him?
In Christ, Louis
Please check back in a few weeks for a further look at The Marks of a Disciple.