Bible Verses About Discipleship

And What Discipleship Means

Bible Verses About Discipleship

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.

2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

John 1:40-42 John 1:40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus…

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Why Discipleship?

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

There are people that repent, but that aren’t converted. They have asked God to forgive them of their sins, but their lifestyle hasn’t changed much, if at all.

Christian’s are meant to be live very different from the way unsaved people do, yet that isn’t always the case. We’ll see from the Bible that this isn’t just a problem for today’s church, but that it has been so since the beginning.

One of the objectives of the church is to develop new believers into mature christians.

This objective is partially accomplished through discipleship.

I say partially, because as much as we may try to help guide somebody, that person must have their own personal relationship with Jesus. It is from that relationship that they ultimately will take on God’s nature and character.

Those of us that have taken on the responsibility of discipling others can only help steer them in the right direction.

It is essential to the growth of any new believer to have good leaders guiding them on their walk with God.

The Need For Discipleship:

First let’s look at the case of Simon found here: Acts 8:9-13, 18-23.

Simon was a believer, he heard the gospel preached and believed in Jesus, he even got baptized. He was attending Philip’s ministry and was amazed with the work that God was doing.

You’d think this guy had it all together. He gave up his old lifestyle of sorcery, he was “going to church”, and doing the things christians do. He probably shouted “Amen” and “Hallelujah” during the meetings.

But on the inside of him was wickedness. He was poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.

Peter noticed this and rebuked him harshly.

We don’t know what happened to Simon after this because the Bible doesn’t say.

Yet the lesson is clear: just because somebody got saved, it doesn’t mean they mature in Christ. They still have a lot to learn.

Every new believer (like Simon) is a spiritual baby in an adult physical body. He needs to be nurtured, protected and fed in order for him to become successful.

This requires two things. Somebody that desires to be discipled and somebody that is capable of doing the discipling.

That sounds simple enough, but it’s actually less common than you might think that those two ingredients come together.

First: not everybody that get’s saved wants to be discipled. Being discipled means that you have somebody else “in your business”. That’s not always comfortable for people. They might call you out for unacceptable behavior, or guide you away from certain people or situations that you were involved with.

It’s similar to having a parent. What grown up wants to have another parent? Once you turned 18 and got your freedom - you probably aren’t thrilled about having to explain yourself to somebody again.

Though that’s not something everybody is necessarily seeking, in order to make spiritual progress - it’s absolutely necessary. When children are left with no supervision and haven’t had any discipline in their life, what happens? Generally speaking: nothing productive.

It’s not different in the spiritual. This is why God has put spiritual leaders in the church, to help raise others into christian maturity.

As a parent is raising their children with rules and discipline because of their love for the child, it’s similar with discipleship.

This brings up the second half of the equation: having somebody that is capable and qualified to disciple somebody. This means that the individual has made considerable progress in their walk with God. Developing Godly morals/character, studying the scriptures, having discernment, and being able to communicate clearly are key for anybody that wants to take on the role of discipling somebody.

That narrows down the number qualified individuals for this job by a large margin.

Therefore it is extremely important for those individuals who have the before mentioned characteristics to make themselves available for this great work. Discipling somebody and seeing the progress they make in their walk with God is one of the most rewarding experiences within christianity.

The Method Of Discipling Others

It’s important to know how to disciple somebody that wants to be discipled. I said earlier that it is similar to parenting, but it isn’t parenting. The person you are discipling isn’t your child. Therefore you can’t just make a bunch of rules and punishments.

You’re there to guide them. To give Godly counsel that is based on the word of God. To keep them accountable to any areas they might struggle with.

Encourage them. There’s many challenges that we face in life, you should encourage them to fight the good fight of faith. If they fall, help pick them up. If all you do is correct and punish - eventually they’ll either stop listening to you or avoid you altogether.

You need to spend time with that person to figure out what areas they need to grow in.

Pray for them. Ask God to give you wisdom on how to lead them. God can give you specific instruction for each individual.

On a technical level:

Men do not disciple ladies. Ladies do not disciple men.

I’m not saying men and women can’t learn from the opposite sex, but discipleship goes way deeper than that.

Since common sense is rare these days I’ll just briefly explain this. If you follow the “method of discipling others” previously explained, then it won’t take long before this leads to a romantic involvement.

It’s human nature that the more time you spend with a member of the opposite sex that physical attraction can develop. Especially if you’re encouraging, helping, and learning about their personal life.

That might not happen every time if you disciple somebody of the other gender, but it only takes once for it to become an issue.

Romantic relationships is not the goal of discipleship: therefore the easiest way to avoid this is by not letting it have a chance.

If you are considering discipling somebody from the opposite sex - you’re heading for trouble: find somebody else of the same gender to do it.

Discipling somebody isn’t always fun.
  • Rewarding? Yes.
  • Fun? Maybe.
  • Miserable? Sometimes.

As you can see, this responsibility has a variety of feelings that go with it.

If you go into it with this understanding it will be very helpful. We go into this ministry because we want to make a difference.

We hope that it we will be successful in furthering somebody’s relationship with God. Yet sometimes this doesn’t always happen. Who knows what happened with Simon in Acts 8; maybe he got sorted out, maybe he left the church.

You can only take people as far as they are willing to go. Sometimes that distance stops short of the goal. Don’t blame yourself - we do the best we can and believe that God will make up the difference.

You might find yourself genuinely enjoying a barrage of theological questions and really getting into the nitty gritty of the scriptures. Or you might be getting a phone call late at night because they broke up with their boyfriend/girlfriend.

Relationships take work, and discipling somebody definitely fits the bill.

How to find somebody to disciple you?

Find somebody that is where you want to be in their relationship with God. Spend time with them, take them out to eat, call them, ask them questions. They will see that you are interested in learning from them and if they are able and willing to - they’ll take you “under their wing”.

In my life I’ve had many different men of God I looked up to that imparted into my life. They helped shape and mold me into who I am today.

To this day I still have men of God that are further along than I am in their calling that I actively seek out a relationship with and to learn from.

Sometimes the word “discipleship” throws people off. I’ve never had anybody tell me that I am their disciple. They are simply people that have taken an active role in helping me become more mature in my relationship with God and the calling that He as given me.

Correction

Paul told Timothy “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

Being a disciple means that you will be corrected, sooner or later.

Correction isn’t coming because they don’t like you, but rather because they do like you and want to help you out.

If you’re headed for the ditch because you’re asleep at the wheel, you don’t want somebody with you that will be quiet so that you can keep sleeping. You want somebody to yell, slap you on the cheek, and warn you of impending disaster.

Answer The Call

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.

One of Jesus’ final commands: go make disciples of all nations (people).

Jesus showed us how to make disciples. Jesus’ disciples weren’t perfect, far from it.

  • Peter denied him
  • Thomas doubted him.
  • Judas betrayed him.

Did this stop Jesus? No. Knowing that Judas would betray Him, did he treat Judas differently? No.

Discipleship isn’t a religious program, it’s God’s way of keeping the body of Christ connected and helping it fulfill it’s purpose.

2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

This shows us a pattern of discipleship: what you’ve heard from me, teach others and then those should teach others.

What Do You Teach?

Teach what you’ve learned about Jesus, who He is and what He has done from you.

Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

  • What you have been freely taught, teach others.
  • What you have freely received - give to others
  • Salvation, healing, restoration, peace, joy, prosperity, etc.

Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Find that man, and help him grow into who God has called him to be.

The Gospel Pattern

John 1:40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus…

Once you have found the Messiah - go find somebody else and bring them to Jesus.

  • Become a disciple
  • Start discipling others
  • Give what you have

You might only be able to lead somebody to Jesus - but that’s the greatest gift to give, start there!

You never know what the impact will be:

We don’t know much about Andrew… but we know a lot about Peter - that’s because of Andrew.

Get New Articles In Your Inbox
© 2019 Pastor Jeremiah
Articles Contact