Friday, October 31, 2008

Discipleship, "What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?"

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25 ESV

What does it mean to “follow”?

follow - 1. to engage in as a way of life; obey, pursue, practice, conform (It is our duty to follow the commands of Christ. Good soldiers follow the orders of their general; good servants follow the directions of their master.) 2. to go after, pursue, chase 3. to accompany; to attend in a journey 4. to imitate; to copy; as, to follow a pattern or model


So, what does it mean to be a “follower” of Jesus? Well, if we incorporate Webster’s definition into the answer, to follow Christ means to engage Him as our way of life! To obey Him! To go after Him! To be His attendant while accompanying Him through life’s journey! To imitate Him while conforming to His example! Following Jesus requires the denial of self and fellowship with Him in the cross—a fellowship of faith as well as a fellowship of life, sharing in His sufferings not only inwardly, but outwardly if necessary. Following Jesus involves such inner, moral, spiritual and physical union that I am fully decreased and He is fully increased in me and through me! (He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 ESV)

“…there is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel. To be a disciple, one obeys the challenge of a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ, but discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk.”

Dr. M. R. DeHaan (founder, Radio Bible Class)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love that last quote, and the idea of walking after Jesus.