Jesus calls us to be His disciples. But what does it really mean? Here are 7 marks of a true disciple of Jesus:
1. Disciple believes in Jesus
To be His disciples we have to accept Jesus in our hearts as our Lord and Savior
He becomes our Lord when we surrender everything to Him and do His will no matter what it is.
He becomes our Savior when we realize that we are sinners, and therefore in need of a Savior. We realize the pain that Jesus suffered for us to pay the price for our sin and we accept the gift of salvation by faith.
2. Disciple gets born again
Even through we are saved by faith alone, being born again is the proof that we are saved. Because only if we got saved in the first place, we have the power to repent of our sins and start a new life in Christ – be born again.
Jesus wants us to get baptized in water, as it is a symbolism of dying to your old sinful self and then being born again. But it is by faith that we are saved, not by the ceremony of baptism.
Baptism is a public declaration that we have become a new person in Christ. But only by His grace will we be able to be that new person.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God” (NLT, Ephesians 2:10).
3. Disciple gets a new mind
All born again Christians go through the process mind renewal. Their values, dreams, wants, and beliefs change. They start to desire what God desires and they start to love what God loves.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (NIV, Romans 12.2).
In order to have our minds renewed we need to seek God daily and look up our questions by looking into the Word. If we do that on a daily basis, than after few weeks or months we will see how our thinking starts to change and how our desires, wants, and dreams now start to align with His.
4. Disciple is filled with the Holy Spirit
John the Baptist said: “”I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (NIV, Matthew 3.11).
To be baptized in the Holy Spirit we have to ask Jesus to fill us with His Spirit and believe that He did.
We have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit so that we may have the power to fulfill the purpose that God create us for. The Holy Spirit will also help us discern what is God’s will for our life and what purpose He created us for.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth””(Acts 1.8).
When we were born again we were given the power to repent and start a new life, but we need to get baptized in the Holy Spirit so that we have the power to minister to others.
5. Disciple has a relationship with Jesus
To be a disciple of Jesus we need to have a relationship with Jesus.
It is not enough talk to God in prayer, we also need to be able to have a conversation with Him and spend time in His presence getting to know Him as a person.
The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to have an intimate conversational relationship with Jesus. God can talk to us through His Spirit directly into our minds.
His voice can be defined as spontaneous revelation that is wiser than our own and carries a sense of authority.
We can learn to hear this still small voice if we stay still in His presence and let Him speak to us.
But how do we get into His presence? We need to do the activities that make us feel His peace, because the feeling of peace is an indication that we are receptive of God’s voice.
To hear His voice we need to ask God to make our spirit receptive of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
To read more about hearing God’s voice read this article: How to Hear God’s Voice
6. Disciple brings glory to God
In order to bring glory to God we have to let His light shine through us.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (NIV, Matthew 5.16).
We let His light shine through us by getting tuned into the power of the Holy Spirit and letting Jesus work through us.
When we start walking by the Spirit others start to notice our character change. People start to see that God is working in our life and that gives glory to God.
The more we let His light shine through us, the more glory we are bringing to Him.
7. Disciple makes disciples
If we walk in the Spirit daily, we are naturally going to bring people towards Christ.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another””(ESV, John 13. 34-35).
Jesus says that all people will know that you are His disciple if you love others.
People, especially the ones that knew us well before we became Christians, will notice a change in our character as we start walking in the Spirit. I believe this is the best and most effective way we can witness for Christ.
Those around us take notice of change in our character and wonder what made us change. This is an invitation to share the gospel with them.
When God filled me with the Holy Spirit my character changed significantly. My unbelieving parents were really surprised to see that change in me and as a result Christ was able to drive them closer to Himself and save them.
The Holy Spirit saves people through the fruits that He produces in our character.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
But we should not stop there. We should assist new believers in all the other aspects of becoming a disciple of Christ and help them become mature Christians.
What do you think is a mark of a true disciple of Jesus? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.