What Does the Bible Say About Discipleship?

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Discipleship means giving oneself fully to the Lord and striving to follow and imitate Jesus by sanctifying oneself from sin with the help of the Holy Spirit, studying the Bible, praying and practicing what Jesus instructed all his disciples to do. Active discipleship has its natural starting point in the church, but should also be worked on individually. Discipleship can lead to difficulties such as persecution, an internal wrestling match and quarrels with family members, etc. But the difficulties often lead to us being shaped to be what God created us to be, and to spreading the Gospel to other people.

Bible Verses

19And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”(Mt 4:19)

24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.(Mt 16:24)

21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.(1 Pe 2:21)

6whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.(1 Jn 2:6)

26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.(Jn 14:26)

31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,(Jn 8:31)

40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.(Lk 6:40)

29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.(Ro 8:29)

33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.(Lk 14:33)

29Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.(Mk 10:29–30)

Study Questions

  1. Is there a difference between being a church visitor and being a disciple?
  2. What negative consequences has your discipleship led to?
  3. What positive consequences has your discipleship led to?
  4. What do you need to work on more actively to grow in your discipleship?

Additional Bible Verses

Phil 2:5, Phil 4:9, Luke 9:61-62, 1 John 3:2, John 13:15, Phil 3:17, Eph 4:22-24

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