Living the Christian Life – Chapter 2: Believer or Disciple?

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries4 Minutes

As we said, there is a difference between a believer and a disciple.

The word “disciple” is the root of the word “discipline.” Discipline is required in any relationship in order for it to be fruitful and meaningful. Discipline is also required in any healthy lifestyle in order to achieve that peak performance.

Jesus often spoke of the Kingdom of God in His teaching. He taught His disciples to make the Kingdom of God a priority in life.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NASB).

The word “kingdom” comes from the Greek word basileia, which means “sovereignty, royal power, or dominion.” Jesus uses this same word in the famous “Lord’s Prayer” when He says: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 NASB).

Jesus once again is teaching us to make the Kingdom of God a priority in our lives (more on this in chapter 6, “A Life of Prayer”).

The apostle Paul also speaks of the reality of God’s Kingdom in the life of a believer:

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living
a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17 NLT).

We are made in God’s image, and we have been given delegated “dominion” over the earth, with God ruling as King.

John the Baptist understood the Kingdom of God. He also knew that Jesus was the Promised One of God. When asked about Jesus, John answered, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 NASB). He put the Kingdom ahead of himself.

Jesus made it clear that we are dependent on God for everything in life.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NLT).

I’m Not Strong Enough

You may desire to follow Christ, but perhaps you are fearful that you are too weak to obey God’s Word. The truth is, no human being is strong enough to fully obey the principles of Scripture. That is why we need the help of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God in our lives.

The Bible calls the Holy Spirit our helper—in the Greek, the word is Paraclete, which means Comforter or Advocate. It can also mean someone “called to one’s side.” So the Holy Spirit comes alongside of us as our helper, comforter, and advocate. He gives us the strength and courage to do the things the Bible calls us to do.

One of the ways you can tell whether you have surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and are beginning the life of a disciple is when your desires shift from being selfish to selfless, from me-focused to God-focused and people focused. This is the work of the Holy Spirit breathing life into the Word of God.

In the beginning, God spoke the world into existence. His revealed Word, the Bible, has the same life-giving, life-changing power to recreate you into the image and likeness (remember those words from Genesis 1:26) of His son, Jesus.

And that is the goal—to become like Christ.