Jesus carrying his cross with the help of Simon of Cyrene

Are You a Christian or a Disciple?

Have we washed away what it means to be a Christian to the point where the better term is Disciple?
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We should be called a Christian not by our own standards but by the standards God has set before us. Too many people call themselves Christians but believe in their own version of Jesus. We should learn to live like disciples as we follow Jesus. That means being close to Jesus always, imitating Him, and obeying all He commanded. A lot struggle with the last one but all are critical and necessary as a disciple of Christ.

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This past week we talked about the difference between a lukewarm "Christian", and a real disciple of Jesus.

Do we really know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus? Do we understand the cost of being a disciple of Jesus? Or have we made a cookie cutter version of Jesus that fits into our schedule and lifestyle conveniently?

Now you might be thinking, Connor why is it wrong to call myself a Christian? Should I not do that? Should I just refer to myself as a disciple now? And to that I will say, of course not. The point of this topic was not so much about what we call ourselves, but what Jesus calls us.

Now let me preface this and say that none of this is meant to condemn. Everything we do at AskUsWhy, comes from grace and truth. We must be able to see when the Hoy Spirit is convicting us. I believe these couple of verses and the point of this message as a whole is to convict all of us, even myself, so that we can truly grow in a real relationship with Christ as his disciples.

In Jesus' time on earth, thousands of people either interacted with him personally, heard him preach, perform miracles, or even had a meal together. But that doesn't mean that all of those people Jesus would call disciples. Here is the hard truth that comes straight from Jesus' mouth in Matthew 7:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Jesus is never afraid to speak what what the Father wants him to. Even if it hurts our feelings sometimes or makes us grow, Jesus wants us to pursue him whole heartedly, not just as a hobby. So when we read the verses above we know that even some who claim to have Jesus as their Lord, in fact do not. This should not be a surprise to us, but it should give us a gut check.

Lets break down exactly what we mean when we say Christian vs. Disciple.

First of all we are technically ALL Christians, as we should be. But not all people who say they are a Christian are actually following Jesus as his disciple. We should never have our faith simplified into a category. Instead we should have our faith be determined by who we build our foundation on, who we strive to be like every day, and who we live to glorify.

Are you a disciple?

-Just because you call Jesus teacher, doesn’t mean he calls you a disciple

How to know if you are disciple

1. they have an intimate relationship with your teacher      (John 14:9) (John 15:15)

-disciples attach themselves to their teacher

2. Disciples imitate their teacher

-To be with Jesus, in order to be like Jesus (1 Cor 11)

-imitation is the highest form of discipleship, not flattery

-if we don’t see Jesus as the teacher, we start to see ourselves as the teacher (John 13:14-15)

-the goal isn’t to find out who I am, but to find out who he is

3. Disciples obey their teacher

-Obedience to God is the test of true faith in Christ (Luke 6:46-49)

-the subject of the story is obedience to Christ

HOMEWORK;) what percentage of the time do you think you look like Jesus ?

I hope that these words have not made us think less of the term Christian, but think more of the call of a true Disciple. There is always going to be times when we do not live up to the standard God has for us, that's why we need his grace and mercy. Unfortunately there are too many times in most of our lives where we wear the badge of Christianity for our own glory, instead of using the new life we have been given to give glory to God.

If there is one thing you remember from this message, I hope it is this...

A true relationship with Jesus is so much more important than fitting into the category of a religion.

As always, from all of us at AskUsWhy we pray you continue to learn and grow in the faith. We want to be a resource for all believers to be equipped in any stage of life, and to be able to bring the kingdom of God wherever they go.

Peace and blessings!

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