The Calling of the Disciple (sample)

An excerpt from the iTi Level Two, Session One course "The Calling of the Disciple." All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. All other material is ©Copyright 1994, Dove Ministries International.

A disciple is one who is disciplined by the instruction he has heard or witnessed. A disciple is a believer who is dedicated to following another's teaching. The disciple is not only the pupil, but he is also an imitator of his teacher.

John 8:31 (KJV) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.

Too often believers assume that because they have made an initial decision to receive Jesus as their personal Savior, they are now His disciples. New believers are in a dynamic state of conversion. They are in the process of being converted, or being turned around from the way of life and thinking that had been at the core of their lives before their decisions for Christ.

Fleshly desires work to influence the former way of life. Before they were saved, they were ruled by their own reasonings and their own senses. Because they were separated from God, their sprits were dead to God, lost in sin.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (KJV) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

New converts, on the other hand, are alive to God. New converts are open to the working of both the Spirit of God and to His holy Word to convert (or change) their lives. With each new application, the Word works to bring them to another point of decision, either to follow Christ or to continue on their own path in that area of their lives.

The most important decision we make, apart from receiving Jesus as our Savior, is to let the Lordship of Jesus rule our lives completely.

Luke 2:11 (KJV) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Jesus is rightly called both Savior and Lord. The word translated "Savior" in Greek means a savior, a deliverer and a preserver. This describes the work of Calvary and the benefits we receive upon acknowledging our need for a Savior, our intention to repent (or turn away) from our past lives, and our desire to seek God's forgiveness.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we have complete salvation, complete forgiveness of our sins and complete victory for our lives. In his death and resurrection Christ triumphed over every demonic force, thereby giving us who believe His own total victory over Satan. These are comprehensive resources for every issue of our lives.

I John 3:8 (KJV) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

I John 4:4 (KJV) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

The Greek word translated "Lord" really means having power and authority over another. In its various translations in the New Testament, "Lord" also takes on the meanings "Master" and "Owner." Paul told the Corinthian church:

I Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Believers who understand this demonstrate their submission to Jesus' Lordship by yielding to that ownership and no longer living for themselves or for other men.

I Corinthians 7:23 (KJV) Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

A good example of the necessity to recognize Jesus as both Savior and Lord is Thomas in John 20. He responded: "My Lord and my God." (John 20:28) It is understood that Thomas had believed on Jesus as his Savior (else Jesus would not have presented Himself to him). A further acknowledgment was necessary as he witnessed His Lordship. After this encounter Thomas served Jesus as both his Savior and as his Master/Owner.

In his second book Peter also combines the two titles: "Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (II Peter 1:11).

Jesus will always be Savior and Lord. Nothing we do (or do not do) can change that about Him. How we respond to the titles of Jesus has everything to do with us.