A “believer” is someone who believes Jesus is who He said He is (God), and did what He said He would do (died in our place, and then rose again), and walks with Him. Are you a believer?
1 Listen…pay attention… 4 take hold of my words…keep my commands… 5 get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget…or turn away… 10 Listen…20 pay attention…
A better term might be, “follower,” because it not only infers belief, it describes a way of life: following Christ. Jesus used the term, “disciple,” to describe those who follow Him, but that word is a seldom-used word in our everyday vernacular. What did it mean back then?
According to Ray Vander Laan (many of us have watched his videos on Sunday nights), a disciple was much more than just a casual learner. He was the product of an interesting society. The people of the region of Galilee were some of the most religious of their day. All of their children, boys AND GIRLS, had religious training from the age of 5 through their 12th year. Some of the more advanced (in learning) boys got to continue their education through the age of 15, and a very select few got to travel with noted Rabbis as their disciples.
“A few (very few) of the most outstanding Beth Midrash students sought permission to study with a famous rabbi often leaving home to travel with him for a lengthy period of time. These students were called talmidim (talmid, s.) in Hebrew, which is translated disciple. There is much more to a talmid than what we call student. A student wants to know what the teacher knows for the grade, to complete the class or the degree or even out of respect for the teacher. A talmid wants to be like the teacher, that is to become what the teacher is. That meant that students were passionately devoted to their rabbi and noted everything he did or said. This meant the rabbi-talmid relationship was a very intense and personal system of education. As the rabbi lived and taught his understanding of the Scripture his students (talmidim) listened and watched and imitated so as to become like him. Eventually they would become teachers passing on a lifestyle to their talmidim.”
Learn more at Ray Vander Laan on Disciple
In light of this definition of a disciple, we must ask ourselves the question, “Am I truly a disciple of Jesus?” He wants us to be. He calls us to be. The phrase, “Follow Me,” that He used with Peter and Andrew, James and John is the same command that He uses with us today. It is a call to walk with Him, to learn from Him, and to, ultimately, be like Him. He gives this promise:
31 …”If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
In Him, we are free from the bonds of sin, free from judgement, and free to love! We CAN be like Him! All we have to do is hold to His teaching–not just what is on the written page, but to His Spirit that is within us. HE is the One who interprets what we read; He is the One who calls to mind the things we have read; He is the One who knows the best thing to do at the right time. He is the One who directs our paths and makes our way straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Let’s become true disciples of Christ by following Him so closely that people have a difficult time telling us apart from Him.