Exactly, what is a Follower of Jesus Christ? According to Rod Dempsey, a follower of Jesus Christ is actually a disciple of Christ. There are many characteristics of being a follower of Christ. A follower of Christ has surrendered his all to Jesus. This is called sacrificial. According to Dempsey, “He or she has made a decision to submit to Christ and surrender their will to follow Christ no matter what the cost” (Earley and Dempsey, 2013, 27). The second characteristic of being a follower of Christ is relational. Dempsey wrote, “He or she understands that love is the hallmark of followers of Jesus Christ. Love for God, love for neighbor, and love for other disciples is a very important part of the value system of a disciple” (Earley and Dempsey, 27). The third characteristic of being a follower of Christ is transformational. Dempsey wrote, “He or she understands that the purpose of spiritual growth is directed toward becoming like Christ in word, thought, attitude, and action” (Earley and Dempsey, 27).

 

Putman, et al, states that there are three attributes to being a follower of Jesus Christ. They take this from Matthew 4:19, “And he said to them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (ESV). Putman et al states that John 12:26 speaks of this process. John 14:23-24 speaks of this as well as anyone who loves Christ will love the Word of God and will obey His teaching. By following Christ, a transformation will occur and a hunger for the Word. The Word will help shape and develop the new believer into a seasoned disciple who then can become an influence on others to come to Christ (Putman, et al., 2013, 46-51).

My definition of a follower of Jesus Christ is one that has been introduced to the Gospel and he or she has accepted Jesus in their heart. They have confessed with their mouths that they are lost without Jesus and that they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came into the world to save it and not to condemn it. They believe that Jesus died for their individual sins and he rose after three days and ascended to heaven. They are new believers, being transformed by the Holy Spirit and starting to live life differently from the rest of the world. But a true follower will not stop at this conversion. They will hunger for the Word and seek to get closer to God. They will become disciples of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, not everyone will come to Christ. According to 2 Tim 2:10 and 2 Peter 1:10, salvation is for the elect in Christ. John 6:44 states, “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” But there is hope in John 6:65 when Christ said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” What this is saying is that as a sinner, they have no way to save themselves. This is overcome by the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit, which will draw every man, woman, boy, and girl to Him who allows and yields to the Spirit.

Bibliography

Earley, Dave, and Rod Dempsey. Disciple Making Is… How to Live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2013.

Putman, Jim, Bobby Harrington, and Robert E Coleman. Disciple Shift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013.

Sproul, R C. The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version. Edited by R C Sproul. Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2015.

Joseph T. Lee Copyright © March 31, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Joseph Lee is an entrepreneur who owns a “Christ Centered” business as well as he is involved in Marketplace Evangelism & Discipleship. He most recently graduated from Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity with a Masters in Christian Ministry. His focus was Pastoral Ministries. He will continue to work as a co-vocational pastor/businessman in the corporate world. In previous professions, Joseph was in law enforcement and was almost killed in the line of duty. It was then that he realized that God had spared his life and he was being called into the ministry. Joseph has also been involved in a music ministry and co-produced his solo album called “Shield of Faith” which is offered on iTunes. He also has a diverse background in acting and has appeared in a major motion picture as well as on several television shows on the Discovery Channel. God has changed his life in a way that he is on fire for Christ and shares the Gospel with all who are lost without hope. It is only through his faith in God and Christ that he is pursuing co-vocational ministry in the marketplace. Joseph is the Managing Partner, an Editor, and a Contributor for The Lantern & Shield Times for Faith and other news stories.

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