Our Christian life does not stop at our prayer of salvation! That is where it all begins. Then we are called to become disciples of Christ and help new believers to become disciples themselves. Come on! To work!
After accepting Christ, we could have easily slipped through the cracks. But one day we met a new friend who approached us and invited us to church. They made us a disciple. They also invited us to their home, where we met their Christian friends. We had Bible studies together in the living room, and they got us through our early days as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a disciple, but every Christian should want to be one. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. But we should want to be a growing disciple of Jesus. We shouldn’t say, “That doesn’t apply to me. I’m just happy to go to heaven.” A true follower of Jesus should want to be a disciple.
When Jesus walked our planet, He spent a lot of time with twelve hand-picked disciples. And in Matthew 5:1-2 (NIV), we find this interesting detail: Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.” Then came the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gave this message to his disciples gathered around him. The fact is that Jesus took time with them. They listened to Jesus and followed Him everywhere.
Discipleship is about growing. It’s about taking it to the next level. It is about living the Christian life to the full, as Jesus wanted us to live it. It is to be a disciple and, in turn, to go out and make disciples of others. It is living the Christian life as it should be lived. It is living the Christian life as Jesus taught it and as the early Church understood it. Discipleship is true Christianity.
Jesus said, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT). But we cannot help someone else to be a disciple of Jesus if we are not first disciples ourselves. Here’s what it boils down to: Every follower of Jesus Christ should be a disciple. And we should either train someone less mature in the faith than we are or seek someone more mature in the faith to train us.
Some Christians are reluctant to want to live this way because it seems, well, radical. They don’t want challenges, so they take the path of least effort. Discipleship is difficult, but it is fulfilling. It’s tough, but more than worth it. Can we be there for someone else who is new to the faith? If we know someone who has recently accepted Christ, do we seek them out and bring them to church? Would we be willing to help them grow spiritually? That is what new believers need.