Discipleship involves more than claiming to be a Christian or attending worship services. It is a lifestyle from the heart. So, what did Jesus teach about living as a disciple?
Jesus probably surprised the crowd when he taught them that in order for him to be the Messiah (Christ) he must suffer and die. His next words may have shocked them even more: “If anyone wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34).
For Jesus, the cross signified his death. If we wish to follow Jesus he calls us to pick up our crosses, that is, to die to ourselves. Discipleship’s essence involves dying to ruling our own lives. Christ’s followers reject sinful lifestyles (Romans 6:2). Instead, they try to be examples of the way Christ lived. Jesus is their Lord.
Paul put it this way, “He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15.
To be disciples, we must discover how to die to self and to sin that we may live for Christ and righteousness.
— Next article in series: The Disciple’s Heart: Its Treasure, Its Focus, Its Master
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