Christian/Disciple ??

Are you a Christian or a Disciple?

In the correct sense, the answer should be "yes" as they would both mean exactly the same thing. In reality, like it or not, we don't really view it that way anymore, because the world around us sort of defines it their own way, and over the decades, we may have allowed the meaning to become somewhat distorted in our own minds.

The dictionary even defines "Christian" as 'a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity'. While that may be true if one has good Bible knowledge, it leaves out a whole lot of other necessary information for those who might not know the truths of scripture. Other dictionary definitions say it is anyone professing Christianity, without defining what Christianity is or giving of the Bible qualifications. Still another dictionary WRONGLY defines "Christian" as 'a member of a denomination... ' The Bible teaches against divisions (denominations) (1 Cor 1:10) and states that God adds people to His church upon their salvation (Acts 2:47). The church of Christ is not a denomination at all, but tries to replicate the pattern of the church of the New Testament in its entirety.

So simply put, our modern day definitions lean a lot more toward what one would claim to believe in or claim to be a part of, as opposed to what one would do or be a participant in. In other words, many wear the title, but may be a "Christian" in name only, not in practice. In their eyes, they aren't an atheist, so they must be a Christian. May God help them to gain a full and true understanding.

The Greek word most associated with Christian is 'Christianos" meaning "follower of Christ", and comes from their word "Christos" meaning "annointed one". The Greek word for anoint is ‘chrio' which means to set apart and empower Jesus as Christ. So we understand then a Christian is one who trusts in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and strives to follow Him in every area of our lives through obedience to His commands. Christ has covered our sins with His blood, and in doing so, bought us. We are now consecrated or set apart to serve Him. We belong to Him. We have a relationship with Him, we study about Him, pray to Him, and serve in His name. Because we are His, our position becomes not only who we are but also what we do. (I know that's a short compact definition that needs a few more paragraphs, but hopefully it's sufficient for this purpose.)

If we serve Him in keeping with His commands, part of that service is making other Christians. This is where we must understand that being a Christian and being a Disciple are one in the same. We are told in Matthew 28:18-20 to make [other] disciples as we go into the world, and after we do that, to teach them to observe the commands of Christ, which includes them making disciples as well. But here's the problem: A lot of people who claim to be Christians, have never done that, and there can be a host of things to talk about as to why. Never-the-less, that's what all of us are called to do, and this is how the church grows, this is how the kingdom increases, this is how people are saved from sin. Teaching and convincing people to follow Jesus, baptizing them for the forgiveness of sin, and instructing them in how to live as saved people is something that should be at the top of our list of important things to do.

If we don't know enough to teach them ourselves, we can surely arrange a time to meet with someone who can help. We are called to BE disciples, ones who seek to follow in a pupil or learner capacity, a devout follower who is adherent to their teacher, in our case Jesus Christ. It's easy to see the difference between claiming to be a Christian and actually purposefully following Christ as a disciple, and when the world sees that in our lives, it attracts them to Jesus also. In this way, we can fulfill the great commission of Christ when He said, "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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19-20a)