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On Being a Disciple - Seven Principles

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"As a disciple, I want to master the Bible so that the Master of the Bible can become my Master."
May God bless you all!
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Maranatha!
References
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation. (Original work published 1890)
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Strong, J.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.
As we start this series of study, I thought it prudent in this first article to introduce you to seven disciples' principles that we should remember and observe (as in guard, hold important). We will also discuss the definition of a disciple and who can be a disciple. Notice that most of my quotes are direct quotes from the Master Himself!
- Author unknown
Seven Principles:
1)
We must always strive to be like Him and understand that we can never be better than Him
The disciple is not above
his
master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough
for the disciple that he be as his master [
imitate Him and strive to emulate Him
],
and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more
shall they call
them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for
there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
 "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect
mature
] shall be as his master."
So as we examine these two verses, we simply learn that, as much as possible, we are to imitate and emulate the one we have chosen to follow - which I trust is the Lord Jesus Christ. To imitate the Lord Jesus is: "To follow in manners; to copy in form, color or quality . . . To attempt or endeavor to copy or resemble" (Webster, 1828). To emulate the Lord is: "To strive to equal or excel, in qualities or actions; to imitate, with a view to equal or excel; to vie with; to rival" (Webster, 1828). A disciple wants to copy and try to equal the achievements of his/her Master.
2)
Always remember that Christ is our Master - others may be teachers or counselors, or brethren, but He is our Master
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master,
even
brethren. And call no
man
your father upon the earth: for one is your Father,
which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master,
even
Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoevershall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
John 13:12-17:
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for
so
I am. If I then,
your
Lord and Master, have
washed your feet: ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
1 Corinthians 11:1:
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also
am
of Christ."
Although we may have sound teachers (like Paul was) and have sound preaching, we must remember that all men are fallible - they will disappoint you. But Christ is our ultimate and perfect Master, and it is by Him we ought to be discipled with the Holy Ghost guiding us in our walk with the Master. We do need the Pauls of this world to assist, but the more we study the Master - the more we will be like Him.
3) The Master is coming back and will ask for an accounting
Mark 13:32-37:
But of that day and
that
hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in
heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
For the Son of man is
as a man taking a far journey, who left
his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Simply put, the Master is returning, and we will face the Judgment Seat of Christ. We do not know exactly when, so it is best to be prayed up, confessed up, and serving where we have been called to serve so that we won't be embarrassed at His return.
4) Hold fast to the truth, don't stray, avoid the gray areas
Luke 13:24-27:
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying Lord, Lord open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all
ye
workers of iniquity.
John 8:32:
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 14:17:
"
Even
the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it
seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
You can't know the truth unless you study the truth. You will not be set free in various areas of your life without knowing the truth. We have a lot of good truth available to us in the entire Bible, but a priority of study ought to be the study we conduct under the Master and His own words.
5) Disciples serve one another - as our Master gave example
John 13:13-17:
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for
so
I am. If I then,
your
Lord and
Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
We are to serve and support one another as disciples: accountability, burden bearing, teaching one another, praying together, encouraging one another, etc. We are not meant to walk alone.
6) Stay in the Master's Book
John 12:48:
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that
judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
John 14:23:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep
my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
John 15:7:
"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye
will, and it shall be done unto you."
2 Timothy 2:15-19a:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane
and
vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having the seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.
Enough said - we are to stay in the Master's book. Period.
7) Be a vessel of honor
John 5:44:
"How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek
not the honor that
cometh
from God only?"
John 12:26:
"If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall
also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will
my
Father honor."
2 Timothy 2:19b-21:
And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use,
and
prepared unto every good work.
It has been my experience that the closer and longer that we walk with Him, the more sinful we will see ourselves. This actually is good, because it gives us a chance to be more like Him and to purge ourselves from sin, iniquities, and transgressions. More about vessels of honor and dishonor later.
Recap:
The seven principles disciples need to remember are:
1)
We must always strive to be like Him and understand that we can never be better than Him
2)
Always remember that Christ is our Master - others may be teachers or counselors, or brethren, but His is our Master
3) The Master is coming back and will ask for an accounting
4) Hold fast to the truth, don't tray, avoid the gray areas
5) Disciples serve one another - as our Master gave example
6) Stay in the Master's Book
7) Be a vessel of honor
Definition of a Disciple:
Mathetes:
(Strong's G3101) root word, disciple, pupil
Matheteusate:
(Strong's G3100; Gilbrant,
The Complete Biblical Library Interlinear
Bible
) to disciple, make them a disciple, make others to become a pupil, to instruct
others, to teach others.
Manthano:
(Strong's G3129) to be a disciple, student, pupil learner. Verb, 2nd
person (Jesus to the disciples), plural, imperative (command), aorist (no time limit) active (you are very involved) (Gilbrant).
Some Disciple Q&A:
1.
ANS: Anyone can be a disciple of some master or
discipline (like karate).
2.
ANS: Sadly, yes, if they never trust
Him as their Lord and Savior. Even Jesus taught that there will be those who say "Did we not . . ." and Jesus said to them, "depart from me, I never knew you," (Luke 13:27).
3.
Yes! Consider the number of denominations that teach many of the words and principles of Christ but trust in something other than Christ Himself. Those would only become "saved" if they belong to "the church", or "work out their own salvation" (good versus evil balance), or rely on someone other than Jesus (pope, priests, etc.). Those who pray to another than Jesus or the Father (i.e. Mary). Those who have rejected Jesus and follow Jehovah only, etc.
4.
ANS: Yes. A disciple is
seriously studying and following Jesus. Even to the point of viewing Him as Master and Lord and has made Him a priority in his/her life. A believer believes in Christ, may be saved, attends church regularly, has some service they do in the church, even prays but doesn't go any farther. He/she has decided that their lives are already full and follow after other pursuits as higher priorities: a hobby, sports, career, friends, money, political power, etc. Saved, but not as committed as they could or should be. God calls them "double-minded" (Matthew 6:19-24 and James 1:8).
5.
ANS: Now! Even if you have friends
that are not saved but interested enough to study the Bible with you - they can be discipled by you and eventually (hopefully) be led to the Lord. If you are a believer and want to go into a deeper relationship with Christ - the time is Now!
6.
Who can be a disciple?
Can a lost person be a disciple of Christ?
Follow up: A person can study the Master and still not be/get saved?
Is there a difference between disciples and believers?
When should one start being a disciple?
How can I get started being a disciple?
ANS: Seek out someone in your church
or circles influence who clearly exdhibits a Christ-like attitude and behavior. Be warned - some are false and you will need to check out all that they say and do against God's Word. Then get into a Bible study with them if they can be your "spiritual father/mother."
7.
What shall I study?
ANS: The Epistles are great for learning doctrine. The Old
Testament is great for getting background and understanding God's heart. But the Four Gosples are the teachings of Christ to His twelve apostles/disciples, and so I recommend that you also study carefully His words, commands, insights, and behaviors. The whole Bible is God's Word, but the Four Gospels are the focused teachings by the Master Himself.
John 15:3:
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
Matthew 10:24-26:
Luke 6:40:
[
Matthew 23:8-12:
Christ; and all ye are
ANS:
Webster, Noah.
Noah Webster's First Edition of an American Dictionary of the
English Language
Facsimile Fifth Edition. San Francisco, CA now at Chesapeake
Bay, VA: The Foundation for American Christian Education. 1987. (Original work published 1828)
Wordsearch Bible. [computer software] . Nashville, TN: LifeWay Christian Resources. (Original work published 1990)
The Complete Biblical Library Interlinear Bible.
 World Library Press. (2020).
Gilbrant, T.
Unknown.