There is a great book by a brother in whose family I do not deserve to belong called The Cost of Discipleship. The book lays out what we easily forget as The Church of Jesus Christ: the cost of discipleship is denial of oneself so that I can be like Jesus Christ. We lay down our lives because He Laid down His Own. He Offers us His Body and Blood and we offer to Him our body and blood. The cost of discipleship is the price of love. Even when the price is high, it is an easy decision. So please go and read The Cost of Discipleship by brother Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
These series of articles deal with discipleship from the perspective of nature and not the cost. Although if you have captured what I said above, you will perceive that the nature is the cost. Today I will attempt to simply answer two simple questions:
To hear that word today invokes all sorts of images and definitions for all sorts of people. Unfortunately, most people think they are Christians because they go to church on Sunday. Although most of the time, it’s only on Easter, Christmas and Hanukah. Or if you’re a superchristian or really religious, you may attend midweek services. Or for those on the upper echelons, you’ve probably been on a few mission trips. But do you see what I am doing here? The world perceives the Christian by a series of actions she performs. A real Christian will tell you that she does all the things above and even more NOT because it makes a her Christian. Instead, she is a Christian and therefore she does certain things.
Therefore, a Christian is not someone who does a series of stuff. But a Christian is still a human being and so he has to do something. Let us go back to the Bible then and find out where this word “Christian” comes from. “For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.”
What is the significance of this? Well, in myself, I find a tendency to drain the standard of God down to the dregs of this world. But the Bible, from Old Testament to New Testament, makes it consistently makes it clear to me and you that only disciples of Jesus Christ go to heaven. God will decide concerning those who, for whatever reason, had no opportunity in time to hear the Eternal gospel. But to any who read these words I say to you, “You must become a disciple of Jesus Christ or you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Only disciples of Jesus Christ are christians. Who then is a disciple of Jesus Christ? Jesus says and reveals many many things that answer this question both directly and indirectly. Among His more direct words are
Why does Jesus say such strong things? What gives Him the right to make such a strong request? Well He is God and He is Man.
But beyond the accomplishment of the disciple’s work, the disciple denies himself, most of all, because Jesus Christ his Master also Denied Himself.
So, “Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?” A disciple of Jesus is someone who is not. A disciple denies himself of everything, even himself, by loving Jesus above all. When you see a disciple of Jesus, you don’t see her at all, you see Jesus Christ. And when you see Jesus Christ through His disciple, it is not Jesus Christ you are seeing but God The Father.