Decisions vs Disciples – How Do I Get Saved and What Do I Do from There?
Every Sunday, this is a normal part of many church gatherings.
The goal is to create a moment for attenders to decide to follow Christ. While this decision is important, the daily following of Christ is of infinite value.
The decision to follow Christ is simple. It is, however, the beginning step to a lifelong journey of being a disciple of Jesus.
Sadly, this daily journey of following Jesus, walking with Him, and learning from Him takes a backseat to the American Church’s value of deciding for Christ.
When the Church emphasizes people making decisions for Christ rather than becoming disciples of Christ, the vitality and beauty of our faith suffer.
When the focus is on the decision to follow Christ, faith itself is treated as insurance. Our sins are forgiven. We are headed to heaven. Now, we need to do the best we can until then.
Jesus, however, did not have in mind when He invited the first disciples to follow Him.
In one of the first encounters Jesus has with His disciples, He extends this invitation
And He said to them, come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!
Jesus invites them to follow Him, but then He explains what He will do as they follow Him.
I will make you fishers of men.
This implies they were not yet who He desired them to be.
The disciples were not fishers of men, but He would shape them to who they were called to be.
This was the invitation Jesus gave to His first disciples, and it is still an invitation for us. We can follow and walk with Him. As we do, He will shape and mold us into who He called us to be.
Jesus isn’t just interested in our decision for Him. He’s invested in us becoming like Him.
What is a Disciple?
The term disciple in Hebrew is talmid, which means a “scholar, pupil.”
In the Jewish context, a disciple, or Talmud, was a student of the Torah who studied under a rabbi or teacher.
The goal of the disciple was to learn from his rabbi. To glean wisdom and virtue from him. To walk and talk as the rabbi did.
With the end goal to become like his rabbi.
For this to happen, the disciple did more than decide to believe in his rabbi. If the disciple wanted to become like his rabbi, the disciple embodied his trust through lived out loyalty, leaving behind the ways of his old life to follow his rabbi.
So, when Jesus invites us to follow Him, He is asking us to do more than decide for Him.
When Jesus invites us to follow Him, He asks us to leave our old life behind and walk with Him daily.
John Mark Comer, author and founder of Practicing the Way, states
Being a talmidim means reorienting your entire life around being with Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and doing what Jesus did.
This is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
It’s committing our entire embodied lives to Him.
It’s opening ourselves up to be transformed into His image.
To be a disciple is more than a decision. It’s a reorientation of your entire life.
More Than Sunday
When we choose to become a disciple of Jesus, we allow Him to reshape and reorient our lives.
Our faith as followers of Jesus isn’t just for one day, it’s for right now. God’s desire isn’t just to get us to heaven. It’s to get heaven into us.
It’s to shape, mold, and transform us into His image and likeness, day after day.
Relegating our faith to a Sunday morning or viewing salvation as a decision to raise our hand is tragic.
Our faith as followers of Jesus isn’t just for Sunday; it’s for Monday and every day following that.
Jesus desires to step into every area of our lives; righting what is wrong; restructuring what is broken; reorienting our entire lives around Him.
While attending Church on Sunday is a vital part of our lives as followers of Jesus, our faith doesn’t stop there.
The decision to follow Jesus is essential, but it is the beginning of our journey, not its climax.
How Do I Get Saved?
If you’re ready to decide to follow Jesus, here are a few steps to help you in the process:
1. Recognize and confess your sin.
Paul, writing to the Romans, states
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
We all are broken. We all have missed the mark. We all need healing and restoration.
When we come to Jesus, we are invited to confess our sins and brokenness to Him. And what we receive is healing and forgiveness.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
To repent is to change your mind.
It means to turn from your old patterns and ways of doing things.
When we follow Jesus, we choose to follow a different way of life.
3. Follow daily.
To follow Jesus isn’t a momentary decision; it’s a lifelong one.
It’s a day-by-day, moment-by-moment journey with the One who loves you and created you.
When following Jesus, it’s important to implement a few essential practices, such as:
- Joining a local body of believers
- Reading the Scriptures on a regular and consistent basis
- Spending time in prayer and communion with God
By implementing these practices, you will position yourself to receive God’s grace and empowerment daily to be who He created you to be and do what He has called you to do.
Resources for the Journey
To help you follow Jesus’s journey, we created an online course: What is the Gospel?
In this course, you’ll take an in-depth look at the entire narrative of Scripture to discover the true meaning of the Gospel.
Topics discussed in this course are:
- The similarities and differences between Paul’s Gospel and Jesus’ Gospel.
- The components that make up the Gospel.
- How the Gospel begins in Genesis.
- The role of the king and kingdom as it relates to and defines the Gospel.
If you’d like to explore how this course can help you on your journey following Jesus, click here.
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