This is a study to help you be a Disciple of Jesus Christ

Lesson 3

Qualities of A Disciple

Mat 2 :19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We live in a day and age where the term disciple or discipleship is often misunderstood, for many the term disciple is synonymous with being a Christian. The term disciple simply means to be a student a pupil. A better understanding is an apprentice, one willing to be taught and be accountable to someone who is skilled in the trade. A disciple is one who has a desire to gain knowledge and experience? John 8:31 

Therefore, a disciple is one who has committed themselves to living as Christ would if He were here in our place. The life of the disciple is a devoted life, it’s a transformed life and continued yielding to the Holy Spirit. Disciples are lifelong learner and follower of Jesus Christ.

Just as Jesus Christ came with a purpose, he has given us the same a purpose, to carry on and fulfil God’s plans in the earth today. In order for us to fulfil the lifestyle of a disciple we have to give priority to attending the corporate gatherings of the Church for the purposes of worship, teaching and participation in the Church. It is also important to be connected relationally to a small group of believers for the purpose of mutual encouragement, support and accountability.

A disciple is committed to learning, not just being a hearer of the word but a doer of the word, by learning to put into practice the Christian lifestyle.

Pathway to discipleship

Discipleship is the result of teaching people to obey everything that Christ commanded. Paul put it like this. Phil 4:9

Recorded in the Scripture is the great crowds that would follower after Jesus, in fact the Bible says that the crowds would often throng him, they would press into him, to be healed or set free. Many would love to hear His preaching, and His teachings. But at the end of the day they went their own way and often back to the old ways. The disciples however stayed with Jesus, they followed Him and were eager to learn of Him and His ways.

It is one thing to be a part of the crowd, it’s another thing to be prepared to be a follower and lifelong learner as we commit ourselves to practice the word of God. This will require us to be prepared for change, improvements, and be willing to be developed. This is the pathway to discipleship and of being a mutual Christian.

The qualities of a disciple

Acts 11:25-26 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the Church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christian’s first us Antioch.

It is interesting that the disciples where taught for a whole year before they where recognised as Christians. We tend to do things backwards these days. We want people to become Christians then try to disciple them.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us?

Stephen Covey the author of “The seven habits of highly effective people” said that the first key to being effective in life is to begin with the end in mind. This means we need to have a clear understanding of our destination, or of the pathway we are about to venture down.

On our pathway to discipleship is a good start if we are going to be everything God wants us to be as a disciple. We need to know the changes we should expect to see in our lives, what will be the goals we need to set, to be like a disciple of Jesus Christ.

There are many qualities of the disciple that we should seek to develop in our lives; here are some essential qualities to have in mind.

  1. A disciple is obedient to the word of God and teaching of Christ. The purpose of discipleship in the New Testament is not just on gaining knowledge but on learning to give up our own judgments in accepting God’s Word as the highest form of reality and the highest form of truth we can live by. The only way to determine our growth and maturity in God is in accordance with our trust and obedience to His word. Prov 3:5
  2. A disciple loves the body of Christ. If you love Jesus, you will love His people! In fact Jesus said the mark of being a disciple will be our love for one another. John 13:35
  3. The heart of a disciple is to be a feeder, a nourisher, to be a builder of God’s people, which can only happen in the company of people, in a church or small group. John 21:15
  4. A disciple is a fisher of men. The disciple is one who has a heart to build the Church and the Kingdom of God by their willingness to lead others into a relationship with Christ. The kingdom of God advances one life at a time. We have been called to extend the kingdom of God by enfolding new followers into the Church. This happens, as we understand the importance of God’s plan for us to extend the same grace given to us to others through personal evangelism and also through the collective Ministry of the Church. Mat 4:19
  5. A disciple is an active participator. When Jesus came he came with a purpose and a function. Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve other. As a disciple it is our responsibility to discover, develop and deploy the gifting’s God has given us. The reason for this is to help build up and edify the Church. Mar 10:45, Eph 4:12, Rom 12:6
  6. A disciple is a good steward of their time, talents and treasures. In the light of this we need to understand that we are caretakers of the resources, which God has given us. We need to learn to submit them to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and display of a spirit of generosity and cheerfulness in supporting the work of the church and reaching out with compassion to a world without hope and without God. Matt 25:15-30
  7. A disciple seeks after the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Mat 6:33 in the AMP puts it like this, we need to seek God’s way of doing and being right.

  1. A disciple needs to know that God’s ways are not man’s ways. God’s principles often run contrary to man’s principles. If we are going to seek the kingdom of God first, we have to learn to do and live God’s way. A disciple does not seek after his own passions and desires but to live righteously before God.

Psa 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law if the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.