articlesqa March 06, 2018 a disciple is not
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of thinkheaven.com

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: 1 Who is a Chris­t­ian? 2 Who is a dis­ci­ple of Je­sus Christ?

Chris­t­ian

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.” Acts 11:26 re­veals plain­ly that the word “Chris­t­ian” was a name that was giv­en to dis­ci­ples. Bib­li­cal­ly speak­ing, only a dis­ci­ple of Je­sus Christ can be called a Chris­t­ian. If you are not a dis­ci­ple of Je­sus, then you are not a Chris­t­ian. No mat­ter how you grew up or what you’ve done or haven’t done or what­ev­er, if you are not a dis­ci­ple of Je­sus Christ, then you are not a Chris­t­ian.

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.”

Dis­ci­ple

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 Luke 14:25-35 where Je­sus tells us who can­not be His dis­ci­ple. Who­ev­er comes to Je­sus and does not hate his fam­i­ly and him­self, who­ev­er does not deny him­self and take up his cross, who­ev­er does not give up the whole world can­not be a dis­ci­ple of Je­sus Christ. This is re-em­pha­sized in Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23-26. More par­tic­u­lar­ly in Luke 9:26, He says that He will be ashamed of any­one that is ashamed of Him and His Words.

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. Matthew 10:37-40 seems to be a re­hash­ing of the vers­es we read pre­vi­ous­ly un­til we get to the star­tling rev­e­la­tion in Matthew 10:40. Here we see Je­sus set up an equiv­a­lence: who­ev­er re­ceives the dis­ci­ple re­ceives the mas­ter. So as a dis­ci­ple of Je­sus Christ, when peo­ple re­ceive me as a friend, they should not see or hear me at all. They should only see and hear Je­sus Christ. Let us say you go into a house to tell them about Je­sus Christ but in your heart, you love your fam­i­ly more than Je­sus Christ. Then con­scious­ly or un­con­scious­ly, you will ma­nip­u­late your words and the peo­ple hear­ing you so that you and your fam­i­ly can ben­e­fit. But if by lov­ing Je­sus Christ above all, you hate the world, your fam­i­ly and even your­self then only Je­sus Christ will be speak­ing through you. Peo­ple do not need me or you. They need Je­sus Christ. Peo­ple only come back to life when Je­sus Speaks through me or you Ezekiel 37:3-4.

But be­yond the ac­com­plish­ment of the dis­ci­ple’s work, the dis­ci­ple de­nies him­self, most of all, be­cause Je­sus Christ his Mas­ter also De­nied Him­self. Philip­pi­ans 2:4-8 makes it clear that Je­sus our Mas­ter De­nied Him­self to Fol­low His Fa­ther. Je­sus re­nounced Joseph, Mary, James and His oth­er broth­ers to Fol­low His Fa­ther Matthew 12:46-50. Je­sus re­nounced phys­i­cal chil­dren so that His Fa­ther might adopt many Ro­mans 8:15. Je­sus re­nounced His Will so that The Will of The Fa­ther might be His Own Luke 22:42, John 12:49, John 5:19. Je­sus Is A Dis­ci­ple of God. This is why He said in Matthew 10:40, “Who­ev­er re­ceives you, re­ceives me and who­ev­er re­ceives me, re­ceives Him who sent me. " You see, even Je­sus wasn’t in­ter­est­ed in any­one hear­ing Him. He De­nied Him­self so that every­one could see and hear and meet God The Fa­ther through Him John 14:6. So why would He de­mand any­thing less than dis­ci­ple­ship from us?


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. This or that.

DISCIPLE
In our first ar­ti­cle we ex­plored the fa­cade of false ide­olo­gies and showed that they wear shrouds of false new­ness wo­ven from threads of false es­cha­tol­ogy. The sec­ond ar­ti­cle ex­posed the false val­u­a­tion of men and women that lies at the heart of every every false ide­ol­o­gy. 1 False new­ness, 2 false es­cha­tol­ogy and 3 false val­u­a­tion can only be seen as false when we shine His Word upon the ide­ol­o­gy. These are but the leaves of the weed. It is also by His Word that we know there are roots we must still de­mol­ish. As we pro­ceed, you will ob­serve more and more that His Word Chal­lenges us con­cern­ing things ...
the genealogy of morals, a di-lemmaFebruary 17, 2020
As pre­vi­ous­ly dis­cussed, the il­lu­sion of new­ness can be dis­pelled and by read­ing God’s Es­cha­tol­ogy, false es­cha­tolo­gies are eas­i­ly ex­posed. The more dif­fi­cult task is ex­cis­ing our sus­cep­ti­bil­i­ty to the de­cep­tion of ide­olo­gies. Let us be­gin by con­sid­er­ing the stat­ed goal of fem­i­nism: to bring greater har­mo­ny in hu­man­i­ty by pro­mot­ing equal­i­ty be­tween men and women. With­in the church, every re­gen­er­at­ed mind wants to agree with this goal. It is true that there is dishar­mo­ny in hu­man­i­ty and it is true that men of­ten treat women un­right­eous­ly. It seems rea­son­able to say that things...
the charnel house rulesFebruary 13, 2020
The ques­tion here is ask­ing you to step into the shoes of God and spec­u­late about why He Might have cre­at­ed the tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil and then giv­en Adam the com­mand not to eat it. This seems im­pos­si­ble. It is dif­fi­cult enough to walk in Abra­ham’s shoes but now you must imag­ine your­self to be God?! As with all ques­tions re­quir­ing your imag­i­na­tion, it is im­por­tant to 1 be hum­ble. Do not be quick to judge. Do not trust your own imag­i­na­tive ca­pac­i­ties. Do not think you know the per­son so well. 2 Pa­tient­ly study the life of the per­son in ques­tion to dis­cern true dif­fer­ences and sim­i­l...
Why would God put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the middle of the Garden of Eden, and then tell Adam to not eat of its fruit? September 15, 2020

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3

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