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Welcome to Day 17. We will be focusing on understanding what a disciple is today. We all understand we are on a mission now. All of us (Christians) have a part to play in His rescue plan. So what is our role, and how do we prepare for mission success? What is required of the believer, and how do we know we are truly a disciple of Jesus Christ? Today we will answer these questions and more.

What Is A Disciple?

If you start in the book of Matthew, you will see that Jesus started off with an original 12 "disciples.” The term "disciple" is derived from the Greek word “mathētēs.” which means a student who adheres to (and travels with) a teacher in the form of a teaching relationship. As you might have guessed, Jesus and His disciples actually lived life together, and they learned from Jesus daily.
The same model applies to us today; we are called to walk with Jesus daily.  The only difference is we do not have Jesus in physical form, we have two other things, the scripture (which are His words) and the Holy Spirit. We can successfully have a relationship that the disciples had with those two things active in our lives. Just as the original disciples, we are also called to learn and apply what He commands us to do.

Signs Of An Authentic Disciple

Since we have defined the word disciple, how do we know we are one, what is required, and what does it look like? Scripture is very clear about this, so let's dive into some specifics.
A person who believes in and follows Jesus Christ.
Matthew 4:19
  “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
A person who is consistent in their obedience.
John 14:23
  Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."

A person who produces good fruit.
John 15:8
  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

A person who loves others.
John 13:35
  By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

A person who is truly committed to God's rescue mission (making other disciples, multiplying).
Matthew 28:19
  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

When it comes to signs of an authentic disciple, all these are pretty easy to understand, but what does it mean to "produce good fruit"? Jesus and biblical authors use this analogy of fruit-bearing in a few different places within scripture, and it's meant to refer to spiritual health. As an example, a healthy tree produces good fruit; likewise, a spiritually healthy person should produce Christ-like character and actions. A healthy Christian allows the Holy Spirit and scripture to positively impact and transform their mind, which in return creates a Christ-like character and desire for God's will for the glory of God in one's life. How do you know you are producing good fruit? We will display Jesus-like character and attributes that bring glory to God.

1 John 2:3-6  We know that we have come to know him if we keep His commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

How do we make disciples?

So now that we know what a disciple is and some of the signs of a true disciple, how do we go and make disciples? The best example I can think of is Jesus himself. Since He is the one that calls us to do so, how did He model it for us?

1) We Invite.
Jesus would invite those to follow Him, not just hope people would follow Him (Matthew 4:19). We should be aware when we see signs of spiritual hunger and open hearts around us. It starts with recognizing and just simply asking. If we desire to make disciples, we look for opportunities to invite people into our lives.

2) Keep It Small.
Jesus had a small group of people He focused on called "disciples,” but He also ministered one on one. I can tell you from personal experience, that when I was young in my faith, I grew the most from one one-on-one interaction or small group interaction. The reason is I had to be fully engaged, meaning interacting and participating in the conversations, and I had to make it personal, which in return made me examine my faith deeper.

3) Have A Plan.
Jesus would teach His disciples with intentionality, and we should too. Jesus says in Matthew 28:20, "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Believe it or not, you have already been a part of an intentional discipleship plan since you started this 17 days ago. I will be the first to tell you that there are many variations and approaches to making disciples, and this resource is just one way of that. was created to be an easy-to-use tool that helps build the foundation of a new believer. Secondly, this was created so that Christians could have a game plan and go make other disciples. I pray that after you complete this, you will be encouraged to use this as a tool or resource to help others on their journey. Check out the leader guide to understand more about taking people on this journey!

4) Commit To Spiritual Maturity.
We know what Jesus commands us to do, but what is the goal of discipling someone? One of the best pieces of scripture I have ever found is the following:

Colossians 1:28  "He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ."

My definition of a "fully mature" believer has full dependence on God. He or she knows it's about God's will, not theirs. They also understand the importance of their relationship with God, the community of believers, and the mission, and are fully committed to following after Jesus.

We should sincerely lock arms with these individuals or this small group of people, and help encourage them towards full maturity in Christ. This means being available to talk and text, to pray, and to encourage. We should model for them the love of Christ.

5) Challenge Them To Replicate/Reproduce (Multiply).
This one is very simple, and we hit on this topic yesterday. We saw that Jesus poured out His life into the 12 disciples, and then He empowered them to reproduce what they experienced with Him. We should empower and challenge those we are leading to go out and do what we just did with them. One way of making that happen at the end of the 25 days of After Salvation is to go out and "Invite." Be aware of the spiritual hunger around them and invest in someone else.

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


Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Today's Questions

Additional Resources

Book - Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ
- Greg Ogden : Click Here