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Sender's name: Alrayna White

Wonderful site.  I noticed that there is a new popular move by many churches today with an emphasis on discipleship.  I've been studying discipleship also, but I noticed that the term disciple is never used in any of the epistles to reference the saints in the church. Why is that it's only referenced in the gospels and Acts, (other than once in Isaiah).  What's the significance?  I'm wondering if we may have missed something since all the letters to the churches never reference us becoming disciples, yet that is a huge topic/teaching recently.  I'm not necessarily against discipleship at all, but I just want to understand it.  Thank you so much for you time and help.  May God Truly bless you and the work you do to His glory that helps us to know Him more.




To be a disciple means to be a follower.  In Luke 6:40, Jesus said that a disciple would be like his teacher.  So to be a disciple of Christ is to be a follower of Christ.  The reason why you have the word "disciple" so much in the Gospels and Acts, is that they are biographical.  "The disciples did….."   or   "The disciples went…" and so on.  The rest of the New Testament are basically letters, with the exception of Revelation.


Even though you don't have the actual word "disciple" in the rest of the New Testament, the concept of discipleship is as strong if not stronger than in the Gospels and Acts.  For instance, there are these:


"For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29);"


"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, {which is} your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2)."


"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ (1 Cor 11:1)."


"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18)."


"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the {life} which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal 2:20)."


"that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth  (Eph 4:22-24)."


"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Phil 3:7-11)."


"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:1-3)."


So, as you can see, even though the rest of the New Testament doesn't explicitly call us "disciples," the concept is still very strong.



John Telgren

P.O. Box 452

Leavenworth, KS 66048


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