Can you be a Christian but not a disciple?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Can you be a Christian but not a disciple?


    Can you be saved without committing to following Christ?


    Can a Christian choose to not take up their cross?


    Please support your view with clear scripture and not just opinion devoid of scripture.
     
  2. SolaSaint

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    The book of James spells that out fairly well, he says faith alone w/o works is dead. If that is where you are leading?
     
  3. Winman

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    Please define what being a disciple means.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    In this thread you are welcome to define as you see scripture a delineates it.
     
  5. JonC

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    To be a disciple of Christ is to abide in His word, which is a necessary component of a Christian’s life (John 8:31-32; 15:1-7).

    I think that one who does not take up their cross and follow Jesus cannot be His disciple (Luke 9:23; 14:27). And it is a commitment (Luke 14:33; Galatians 5:24; Matthew 10:37-39; 16:24-25).

    So yes, discipleship, commitment to Christ and bearing one’s cross is essential.
     
  6. Winman

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    Very nice, I believe these scriptures do define what is a disciple nicely.

    So, can you be a Christian, and not a disciple? I think you can. In fact, I believe the parable of the soils is showing just that. Most folks believe the rocky soil and the thorny soil were not saved, but I disagree, Jesus said they believed, and anyone who believes is saved according to the word of God.

    When they fell away, it does not say they are lost, it says they did not bear fruit. Big difference.

    Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
    12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
    13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
    14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
    15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

    Again, most folks think the rocky soil and the thorny soil are not saved, but look at verse 12 carefully, Jesus said if you believe you shall be saved.

    Then note in verse 13 that the rocky soil only believed for a while. Nevertheless, they believed, and so according to verse 12 they are saved. But they bring no fruit to perfection.

    The good soil are true disciples who keep God's word, and bring forth much fruit.

    So, I believe that you can fail to be a disciple, yet be a believer and be saved. These persons that do not bring forth fruit will receive no rewards, yet they will be saved, so as by fire.

    1 Cor 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
    14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    My 2 cents.
     
    #6 Winman, Apr 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2014
  7. JonC

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    Thanks. I do view the parable differently, but for me the thing to remember is that having a season of apparent fruitlessness does not necessarily mean one is not saved. I don't believe that one can be saved, reborn and regenerated and then lose faith in Christ (although one may backslide, struggle, sin, and wrestle with their own salvation once saved). In short, I believe that if one is saved then that faith will remain regardless of visible fruit...perhaps there is fruit that is unseen as one wrestles with his or her own cross.

    This was me fifteen years ago. I was saved at a fairly young age. I did believe and had faith. In my early twenties I did not live like I was saved. But what was not seen by others was the struggle within. Later on I came to question my salvation, but I realized that what was missing was a spirit of discipleship and spiritual growth. I had, all along, remained a disciple...but I was a poor disciple. I had a season of growth and then stagnated and remained immature in my faith. Others may have said that I was not a disciple, but they were unaware of my struggle. I was "bearing my cross" but I was not baring it well. My realization was that I was indeed saved, but I was not relying totally on Christ (not that He was not my Lord, but that I was living contrary to my Lord....that was the realization on which I arrived). The conviction of sin that I had as a Christian was, IMHO, the conviction of an unobedient disciple to his Lord and Master.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    No. "Christian" -- the Greek Christianos meaning "follower of Christ" by our current definition -- was an epithet in the First Century. It was probably said with a sneer. But believers were initially called, by other believers, "disciples." Now that may not hold much water, but it bears consideration.
    Acts 14, NASB
    21 After they [Paul and Barnabas] had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
    22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." ​
    Notice that the two preached "the gospel" ... the message of the cross and the empty tomb. Their message convinced a large number of disciples, a word I use deliberately. They were not preaching to Christians in an effort to now make them "disciples." They were preaching the good news to lost people. When lost people in Derbe accepted the good news, they immediately became disciples. They didn't become "Christians" first, and "disciples" at some later point. And so it is with us. A Christian is a disciple, or he/she is self-deluded.
    Again, no. No one can make a true and acceptable confession of Christ and not also be a follower of Him. There are many who would confess the basic biblical doctrines of Christianity such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, His physical resurrection, justification by grace of faith, etc. While that qualifies as affirming the necessary elements that must be held by faith to be Christian, it leaves room for them to also deny that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead physically, or deny justification by grace and faith in Christ alone, and other such essential Christian doctrines and refuse to affirm biblical truth even after proper teaching. Such a person can safely be said to not be saved.
    John 8
    24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." ​
    I'm sure everyone hear knows that word "believe" is the Greek pisteuo, saving faith.
    OK, so two questions ago we established that a Christian is a disciple, a disciple of Christ is a Christian. Therefore, if we look at Dr. Luke 's gospel, we find the answer bold and highlighted, so to speak.
    Luke 14
    27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." ​
    Can't get any more plain than that.
     
    #8 thisnumbersdisconnected, Apr 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2014
  9. JonC

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    No, it can't. And I agree.:thumbs:
     
  10. Aaron

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    Nope.

    Nope.


    Nope.


    Now yer just askin' too much.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    This is what is known as easy believism and these are the people who typically abuse the sinners prayer. More importantly it is unorthodox.
     
  12. Winman

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    You can say whatever you want, but the scriptures show that believers don't always follow the Lord as a disciple.

    Luk 17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
    13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
    14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
    15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
    16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
    17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
    18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
    19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

    Here we see ten lepers that all approached Jesus to be healed. Were they believers? YES. How do we know? Because they were all healed.

    But note only one returned to give thanks. And this is how it is, many folks do believe on Jesus, and come to him for salvation, but they never become disciples and bear fruit, but go their way.

    But were they healed from leprosy which represents sin? YES.
     
  13. JonC

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    Perhaps they were healed not because they believed in Christ but for a purpose which was highlighted by the one who returned and was told “thy faith hath made thee whole.” It is a stretch and very poor argument to conclude that because Jesus healed all ten that all ten were “believers.”

    Hebrews 3:14 keeps coming to mind: For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. Also, in verse 6 those who are His house are those who hold fast until the end. This is not speaking of losing salvation but of salvation itself (those who hold fast are those who have been saved). Disciple does not mean the work done, but abiding in Christ.
     
  14. HungryInherit

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  15. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Easy believism, to be rejected.

    The article's conclusions lead one to believe that you can walk an aisle, say a prayer, and be saved. While that may be possible, such a believer has virtually no heavenly reward, and is in fact the same as the servant who buried his talent for no gain to his master. He is cast out into "the outer darkness" of heaven, which is better than the "outer darkness" of hell, but not by much. David the Psalmist described the man/woman who is properly oriented to God, in and through the gift of salvation.
    Psalm 1, NASB
    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
    3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
    Which yields its fruit in its season
    And its leaf does not wither;
    And in whatever he does, he prospers. ​
     
    #15 thisnumbersdisconnected, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2014
  16. HungryInherit

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    No aisle walking or sinners prayer anywhere in there. I hold to the same view as Dr. Wilkin on the subject. I know for a fact he doesn't use the sinners prayer too.
     
  17. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Nothing wrong with the sinner's prayer if it is said with sincerity, and not by rote. The sinner's prayer isn't "easy believism" if it is a heartfelt expression of faith.

    But there is no way a Christian cannot be a disciple. If there is no change, which is what discipleship is all about, there is no salvation. Anyone can accept something on an intellectual or emotional basis. But it isn't salvation if it isn't a spirit/heart thing. And what Wilkin is talking about is not of the heart.

    I don't disagree with him that salvation is "easy," but not in the sense he is saying. There was nothing about the cross that was easy, nor is there today. If we aren't willing to follow Christ, we have no business proclaiming Him. If we are not willing to take up our cross, His was a waste of our time.

    Wilkin is dead wrong. His biggest error is this statement:
    That is impossible. The believer had to have received some biblical instruction just to become a believer, and to be able to pray that prayer. Do not disparage the sinner's prayer. Disparage the teaching that one does not have to move once he/she becomes a Christian, because that is false.
     
    #17 thisnumbersdisconnected, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2014
  18. HungryInherit

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    What biblical instruction did the woman at the well have? Or the thief on Calvary? The only instruction was to BELIEVE. Not to go and be a disciple.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    Poor example. Given the religious nature of their culture they understood what it meant. The only confusion for them to work past was just exactly who was the Messiah.
     
  20. HungryInherit

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    I've seen biblically ignorant (never read the bible) people saved after hearing John 3:16. If they died the next day, or week are they saved? What is the necessary amount of time and work to become a disciple after the simple act of believing in Christs promise for eternal life?
     

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