In the church, we talk a lot about “following Jesus,” or being a “Christ-follower.” But I fear that this is one of those terms we can hear so much that we become numb to what it actually means, or we assume we know what it means when we haven’t really thought much about it at all. When you look closely at what Jesus said, you might find that following him means something different than you thought.
(Episode length: 18 mins)
Main idea: A disciple is one who responds in faith and obedience to the gracious call to follow Jesus Christ. Following Jesus is a lifelong process of dying to self while allowing Jesus Christ to come alive in us.
What “following Jesus” really means
- The word “disciple” literally means learner, but in Jesus’ day that meant something closer to apprentice
A disciple responds in faith and obedience
- Responding in faith to Christ, then, means we are assured, we are confident, in his promises of salvation, restoration, and eternal life
- But responding to Christ’s call to follow him is not merely about faith – it’s also about obedience, or doing what Jesus tells us to do
- If we have truly put our faith in Christ, then our inward transformation will have outward results
The gracious call to follow Jesus
- We accept a gift that we graciously given to us by God through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection (Eph. 2:1-10)
Following Jesus is a lifelong process
- Following Jesus is a decision to enter into a pattern of recreating our lives to look more like his
- God will see the work He began in us to completion (Phil. 1:6)
Dying to self while allowing Jesus to come alive in us
- Jesus calls us to say no to ourselves so we can say yes to him
- As we deny ourselves, we make more and more room for Jesus to take up residence in our hearts and minds
This is part of a podcast I do for group leaders at my church. Browse the archives for more.