Are All Believers Disciples?

Is it possible to be a Believer, yet not be a disciple? There are many Christians that believe in Jesus, yet the evidence of their belief is not displayed by their lives. Can a person be saved, yet be void of Biblical actions? Can one accept Jesus and live a life of non-commitment? Is it possible for a Christian to achieve Eternal Life without being a disciple?

Jesus laid out the requirements to be a true disciple. Needless to say, the call to discipleship is a 100% commitment. As one reads through Luke 14: 26-33, there is a moment when one must decide if he is going to be a follower of Jesus or not. Jesus made it very clear that before one commits to discipleship, he must count the cost. If he is not willing to totally follow Jesus and live a life consistent with the Word, people will not take him seriously. Jesus pointed out that before a king went to battle, he figured out if his army was able to defeat the enemy. If the odds were against him, he would pursue a peace treaty with the opposing king. New Christians are seldom taught what it is to be a true follower of Jesus. It is one thing to accept the finished work of Jesus, but entirely a different thing to follow Him. The cause of Lukewarm Christianity is uncommitted Believers.

Faithful attendance at church will not qualify as being a follower of Jesus. It is being a living example of Him in all we say and do. In the above verses, Jesus talked about hating those around them and even themselves. At first one begins to question the intent of the verses, but when we understand what the word really means, it puts it all in perspective. Hate means to “love less.” What He is saying is that a true disciple will love less all those close to him, and love Jesus more. A true follower will also bear his cross, which is crucifying his own desires daily. Sadly many churches are occupied by people who have not taken up their cross. Their desires have even influenced the type of preaching that is presented. The entrance fee into the Kingdom of Heaven has been paid, but the daily commitment cost is everything. To judge whether a person is “saved,” by observing their works or lack of such, is to misunderstand what constitutes salvation. One obtains eternal life by Faith alone.

A true disciple is to be a living example of Jesus. It is not a token involvement, but a life totally evolved around Him. It is being so like Jesus that our personal identity has been hidden in Christ. John the Baptizer put it so simply, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Paul said that “… the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God… “Galatians 2:20).

Faith is what saves us; discipleship is what reveals the Kingdom to others. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) Many are missing the fullness of life by failing to be a walking, talking, living example of Jesus. To Believe equals salvation, while Discipleship experiences and displays God’s fullness.

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