What is a disciple?
The standard definition of “disciple” is someone who adheres to the teachings of another. It is a follower or a learner. It refers to someone who takes up the ways of someone else. Applied to Jesus, a disciple is someone who learns from Him to live like Him — someone who, because of God’s awakening grace, conforms his or her words and ways to the words and ways of Jesus. John shows us three complementary perspectives on what it means to follow Jesus, each patterned after Jesus himself: worshiper (John 4:23-24,) a servant (John 13:14-15,) and a witness (Acts 1:8.)
“Discipleship — following Jesus — is to live before God’s face, to dwell in his presence, to be satisfied in all that he is. We follow as creatures of grace, entering into the fellowship of the triune God in whose presence there is fullness of joy, at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Jonathan Parnell
Benefits of Discipleship
Discipleship builds humility.
The heart is deceitful and so to trust yourself at all times is probably not the best route to take (Jeremiah 17:9). Wise counsel from a friend, pastor, or spouse could be just the thing God uses for our protection.
Discipleship unites us with fellow believers.
Most of the time people won’t know the details of your life unless you are willing to share with them. Being willing to be discipled by another provides an opportunity for prayer and mutual encouragement (Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). We want to pursue one another because we are members of his body (Ephesians 5:30).
Discipleship equips us for faithfulness.
Paul tells us in Titus 2:3 that the older women in the church should teach what is good and train the younger women. They are to equip other women in how to walk in step with the truth of the gospel. And this isn’t a suggestion — it is God’s instruction for how we should relate to one another.