FOUR MARKS OF A CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE
A DISCIPLE IS:
A Student: Students have a teacher. Ours is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians voluntarily follow Jesus. He does not compel us, nor coerce us. His commandments and teachings, we believe, are life-giving. We believe, in fact, that his teachers are life. To be a true disciple, a Christian seeks, til his last breath, to know the Gospel inside and out, and strives to keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, repenting when we choose our own way.
A Steward: When Man and Woman were created, God established them in the Garden of Paradise. There God gave them Lordship over the creation (the same word we use for God: Kyrios!). There are a number of teachings Jesus gave which compare his Kingdom to a King who left his servants in charge of his land, his vineyards, etc. We are those servants. Owing nothing in this world, except a debt of gratitude to God for his goodness, we are to “look after” and “take care of” all that we monitor, in the Name of the Lord. Part of Stewardship is taking care of what is God’s in a God-pleasing way. Part of it is returning to God a portion (the Biblical minimum of which is 10%) as an offering of Gratitude for God’s material blessings to us.
A Servant: Jesus himself came as a servant: “To serve and not to be served, and to give his life as a ransom for many”. The King of the Universe was born in humility and placed in a manger. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem was on a donkey. One of his last acts was to wash the dirty feet of his disciple-students. And his crown was thorns. A Christian imitates his Lord. He takes the humble way. He washes feet, or dishes. He goes last in line. He cleans toilets and puts others before himself.
A Sharer: A Steward is a sharer of things in the looking after of God’s creation and bounty. However, this fourth mark, “sharer” refers more to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, dogmatically and personally. Every Christian, as a good student, will know the story of Jesus, and attempt to share it in creative and regular ways. Every Christian likewise, as one blessed by God in countless ways, is called to be a sharer of his or her own personal story of how God works in one’s life. “Go and tell all that God has done for you.”