A disciple is a person who has submitted himself or herself to the discipline or tutorship of a mentor. He is a disciplined student with regards to the instructions and the pattem of activities of the instructor. A disciple follows the dictates, the order, and the pattern of behaviour documented by the instructor with in the domain of his rulership. He is the person who has mastered his masters discipline. Christian Discipleship, therefore, is the influencing of people to follow the pattern and order laid down by our Lord Jesus in the bible.
A Christian disciple has the capacity of properly representing the mentor (Jesus) and implementing the expected mandate. The process of arriving at this is called discipleship.
PURPOSE OF DISCIPLESHIP
1. Effective Fruitfulness and producing other disciples
Mathew 28:18-20 (Amp)- Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that! have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the (very close and consummation of the age. Amen (let it be so).
OtherReferences-Johnl5:8, 16, Matthew 4:19
2. To ensure the Maturity and Stability of believers Ephesians. 4:11-14- And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carded about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
3. To ensure the rulership capacity of believers so that they can enforce the claims of Jesus on earth.
Galatians 4:1-3- Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, different nothing from a servant, though he be lord of alt But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
Other References- Hebrews 2:2-9, John 14:12, Isaiah 8:18, Hebrews 13:8, Mark3:13-15, Matthew l0:1, 7-8.
4. To ensure the continuity of the ministry of Jesus
Acts 1:8- But ye shall race we power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Matthew 24:14-And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
THE MARKS OF A TRUE DISCIPLE
John 15:8, 16- Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Matthew 4:19- And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Other References – 2Corinthians 5: 18-20a, Luke13:6-9, John 15:2, 4-6
lJohn 4:74,20-21-Beloved, let us loveth one another for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If a man say I love God, and hateth his brother he is a liar for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Other Reference- Matthew 5:43-48
3. A student of the word of God
John 8:31- Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
Joshua 1:8- This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shaft make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have ye good success.
Other References-2 Timothy 2:15, Colossians 2:6-8, Galatians5:1.
4. Put God first In all his considerations, demonstrating his total love For God.
Matthew 22:35-38- Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master; which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Luke 14: 26 (Matthew 10:37-38)- If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Other References- Luke 9:5742, Matthew 19:27-29.
5. Keeping the pattern of the kingdom while trying to meet the need
Luke 14:27-And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
6. Representing Christ in character
I Peter 2:21-23- For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
Other References- Titus 1:16, Matthew 5:13-16
7. Representing Jesus in power
Isaiah 8:18- Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Other References- Mark 9:17-19, John 14:12, John 17:18, Mark 16:17-1 8, Acts 10:38.
8. Endure all contradictions, persecutions and trials patiently and hopefully
Romans 5:3-5- And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:
Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Other References- Hebrews 6:12-18, Hebrews 12:2-3, Psalms 84:5-7,10, Romans 8:17,
Philippians 1:29, 2Corfnthians 4:17.
9. Always joyfully expectant of the soon return of our Lord and to be taken home in rapture
John 14:1-3- Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if it were not so, I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye maybe also.
Other References- Hebrews 9:28, Matthew 24:45-51, 1Thess 4:16-18
10. He takes pleasure in discipling others for Christ because of his love for his Master
2Timothy 2:1-2- Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Other References- Romans 1:11, John 21:15-17, Galatians 4:19.