The 9 Qualifications of Discipleship
Okay, so you are saved. Is Jesus Lord? Is He Lord of YOUR life? Do you hide from his discipline? If we do not receive discipline, the Bible calls us a bastard.
Hebrews 12:5-8 "...'My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.' It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are bastards and not sons."
He has called you to a higher purpose. It's called Discipleship. Everyone is called to be a disciple but not all follow. There are at least 9 qualifications to be a true disciple
1. Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters... he cannot be My disciple."
Does anyone have hold on your life, that interferes with God's will in your life? Is there anyone you won't give up for God? Is there someone you love more than God? If so, you can't be a true disciple. He does not want you to be unkind, but He speaks of preference. He also does not speak of abandonment, although in a rare situation, He might, if you are in an abusive situation or something similar (in such case seek more help).
Luke 12:51-53 "Do you suppose I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
1 Tim 5:8 " But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever."
Remember there is balance in all things. But let God be 1st in your life.
2. Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate... yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be My disciple."
To be a disciple, you must walk in the Spirit, and therefore your selfish desires must be put to rest. To be a true disciple one must be WILLING to deny his personality, taste, likes, and his own will. I am not saying to become a monk or nun, nor denying everything and live in legalism, but be willing to deny whatever things if the Lord should ask, and He will.
Math 16:25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
John 12:25: He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
The word "life" in those verses is the word "psuche" in Greek. It is where we get the word psychic in English. Psuche is best translated as "soul". In the soul are those traits I listed above. We must deny our self, to be a disciple.
1 Cor 10:32-33 "Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."
I go into great detail about the Salvation of the Soul here:
Part of the Gospel of the Kingdom, deals with the denying of the soul, I discuss the Gospel of the Kingdom here:
3. Luke 14:27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross...cannot be My disciple."
The cross that each of us must carry must be like Jesus' cross. It isn't sickness or disease. It is not self inflicted. These were not Christ's cross. It is a denial of self (see above). It is choosing to lose, and let it (self), be broken (Math 21:44). It is of God's design, not man's or self's. Although God may use man or your own self, emotions, other things, or people to bring it about.
Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land
If the prior qualification spoke of obedience (#2), this speaks of willingness. Jesus, Himself, prayed 3 times in Gethsemane to have the "cup" removed unless it was God's will. It takes prayer and help to do this at times. Jesus asked 3 disciples to pray with Him in that hour. Even Jesus needed help in carrying the cross:
Luke 23:26: And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
We need to help each other:
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
But, it is not too difficult:
29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
4. Luke 14:27 "Whoever does not...follow Me cannot be My disciple."
He is Lord after all, and we must follow. Follow His example, follow His commands, follow His Word, follow Him. We must go where He goes. We must walk where He walks. This also is walking in the Spirit. Pray for guidance in choice of job, city, church, spouse, and so on. I don't have to pray to know to be kind, nor to read the Bible. These are things we KNOW to do. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. Let Him rule over your life. If He doesn't rule your life, you aren't a disciple.
Following Christ is part of the Doctrine of Baptisms, which in turn is part of the Foundational Principles of Christ. I discuss these Principles at the link below:
The Doctrine of Baptisms can be seen here:
5. Luke 14:28-30 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to mock him, saying 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'"
The Lord requires us to count the cost of our discipleship. He wants us to see what it will take. You must be prepared to deny yourself, set your life in priorities. Don't just blindly decide to follow after Christ. Look at what changes it will do to your life. By counting the cost, you will be able to see your weaknesses and strengths. Perhaps you will need specific training or guidance. By planning ahead, you minimize your falls. Our testimony is an example to others. We are salt and light in the earth. Counting the cost will enable you to finish the task. But remember:
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
6. Luke 14:33 "...any of you who does not forsake all he has, cannot be my disciple."
Jesus doesn't necessarily want you to get rid of all you own, though He might. But He does want you to not have any possessions that have any hold over you, or to let a possession be unforsakable. He doesn't want things to have power on you. He is to be Lord. There will be certain things He will require of you. That's between Him and you, each of us is different. Read about the rich young ruler who wanted to follow Jesus but couldn't forsake his wealth in Luke 18:18-30. Also read Luke 14:31-32, and see the King who didn't want to give all his forces. God is not interested in a certain amount, but wants to see if we are WILLING to pay ALL. It doesn't matter how poor or rich you are in material items or in talents (gifts, education, social status). God wants all of your personhood.
15: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16: And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18: And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19: And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20: But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21: So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Possessions are connected to our soul. If we lust after things or people, we cannot be a disciple.
Rom 14:15-17 "For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for who Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."
God will bless you with all your needs and with peace, therefore you need not worry about obtaining things and causing others to stumble, but you must seek 1st the Kingdom of God:
7. John 8:31 "If you abide in My Word - hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them - you are truly My disciples."
We must know and live the Word of God. We must know Christ's teachings and follow them. This starts by reading the Bible, but it will get you no where if you don't have His Spirit with you revealing, explaining, and leading you in God's Word.
(1 Cor 2:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.").
I discuss how to understand and interpret scripture here:
How to understand the Bible
You also need to be in a church (Heb 10:25 "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another...). In a church, we will be raised up and strengthened by the ministers and fellow believers. If you are in a situation where these are impossible; prison, foreign lands... the Lord will not hold that against you in discipleship.
Eph 4:11-16 "And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we ALL attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to the mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. That we be no more children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
You can learn more about these Biblical ministers here:
We must put God's Word as final authority in our lives. God Himself has placed His Word above His own name (Psalms 138:2).
If you have a problem accepting God's Word as final authority or if you just want to learn more about it then click on the link below:
I also discuss why God uses His Word as final authority here:
I discuss which translations of the Bible are best here:
8. John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
You need to love your fellow Christians, even if you don't see eye to eye. Learn to differ without disagreement. But don't deny Christ for a Christian either. Love, don't condemn; instruct with patience and meekness.
2 Tim 2:24-25 "And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth"
9. John 15:8 "By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples."
This fruit can only be manifested in our lives, if we walk in the Spirit of God.
Gal 5:16,22-26 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."
Manifesting the fruit of the Spirit will add quality to our witness, enabling unbelievers to accept your message or other believers if you are instructing them.
I discuss more at length how to walk in the Spirit here:
A great follow up teaching, is learning the difference between salvation and being a part of the Kingdom of God.
Another holy and upright motive for discipleship is to be prepared for Christ's coming. To learn more about preparing yourself, click on the link below:
Denying one's self is an integral part of Brokenness and which may even be considered an essential part of Discipleship. I discuss this in detail here:
Brokenness: Finding God's Will, Way, and Method
May God bless your testimony!