Are You a Christian?

        CHristian Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian.

          I can remember as a boy hearing preachers say “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, anymore than sitting inside a henhouse makes you a chicken!”  Yes, I know that dates me!  But it’s a vivid analogy.

There are many terms in the Bible to describe Christians.  He’s identified as a saint, solider and even sheep. We are described as branches and He is the Vine.  We are pictured as the Bride of Christ.  We are called Members of the Body.  Each term suggests a specific idea regarding the Christian’s relationship or responsibility

But the term that is most used is “disciple.”  Over 270 times we are identified as disciples.  In Acts 11:26 “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”  Before we were even called Christians, we are called Disciples.  Like the other terms “disciple” suggests certain things that are important to who we are and what we are to be doing.  Let me suggest three.

    (1) A Disciple is one who learns.  Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me” (Jn 6:45).  By definition a disciple is “one who is a pupil or learner, the adherent of the doctrines of another.”  A disciple is a student who is a constant and continually learner.

The first century Christians “continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine” (Ac 2:42).  They were learners.  They were pupils.  They were being discipled.  What about you? Are you a disciple?  Are  you learning?  Are you seeking to know more about Jesus? Is your learning increasing?

(2)  A Disciple is one who is trainedJesus said, “A Disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”  Training is necessary.  “Bill Hull said that discipleship is ”the intentional training of disciples, with accountability, on the basis of loving relationships.”  While there is a personal accountability for our growth, there is also a collective obligation.

Training is done in the context of mutual fellowship.  The work of the church involves such training. It is the assigned work of pastors and preachers (Eph 4:11-12). And it should be administered based on the individual’s unique giftedness (1 Pet. 4:10; Rom 12:6-8). It may be in the form of special classes, home groups, or one on one studies.  Training also implies a prescribed course of study.  It cannot be hit and miss or haphazard.  It is not accidental.  It is done on purpose.  And intentionally.

Are you a Disciple?  Are you seeking training to be like Christ?

    (3) A Disciple is one who follows.  The call of  Christ to Peter and Andrew was “follow me” (Matt. 4:19).  His plea to Philip was “follow me” (Jn. 1:23).  His request of the ruler was “come and follow me” (Matt 19:21).  His appeal to Matthew was “follow me” (Matt 9:9).  Are you getting the picture?  A faithful disciple follows the object of his discipline.  In this case that is Christ.  He calls us to take up our cross and follow him ((Matt. 16:24).

Are you a disciple?  Are you following Christ?  Or are you running ahead of him or far behind him?  Or are you following some man instead of Him?

Learning, training and following are all involved in discipleship. Are you a Christian?    Are you a Disciple?

—Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Discipleship

5 responses to “Are You a Christian?

  1. Larry Harris

    Thanks Ken for the good reminder of who we are and should be.

  2. Larry A Bunch

    Going to church DOES make you a Christian?

  3. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    True, so true… thank you Ken.

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