‘Christian’ vs. ‘Disciple’ – A Study of Terms & Connotation


Acts 11:26 – “And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”


Disciple
a
 person who is a pupil of the doctrines of another; 
to teach; train
Christian
1. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of JesusChristlike
2. a person who believes in Jesus

Today the term Christian can bring a lot of flack with it.

1. Flack from the world: For some reason it has become common practice for many to believe that ‘Christian’ means ‘perfection’. It is now common place to hear Christians being called hypocrites just because we fall into sin. While one of the definitions for ‘Christian’ is ‘Christlike’, this term should endue the spirit of Christ, not the perfection of Christ. To believe that Christ’s followers are perfect, is a stigmatism brought on by Satan to steer away the unbeliever. The truth is…

  • We are all sinners: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23.
  • We can all attain purity through Christ: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 
  • We are not perfect, but are striving to be like Christ: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6. 

2. Flack from self: Sadly because of this stigmatism, that Christians must be perfect, many Christians have started believing it! HELLO! It is unattainable in this world! We as Christians can not keep trying to hide all of our short comings. We can not be perfect, and God does not call us to perfection. He simply says “Follow Me”. We can be made perfect, only through Him. We simply have to be a disciple. He makes us pure, and then he teaches us how to stay pure. It is a process; a daily walk with Christ; one that doesn’t end until He returns to take us to glory.

Renewal of the mind:

  • We need to stop striving for perfection and start striving for Christ.
  • Let’s ditch the worlds connotation of ‘Christian’ and replace it with the term ‘Disciple’. We are in training; striving to catch Christ, until the day he returns for us.
  • We need to be honest and share our walk with our Christian brothers and sisters, so that we can help each other along the way.
  • We need to show the world that we are not perfect, and that they don’t have to be perfect either. We all just need to follow Him and come as we are; people in need of help.

“Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. –  Matthew 9:9


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One thought on “‘Christian’ vs. ‘Disciple’ – A Study of Terms & Connotation

  1. Betty Rocker says:

    thank you for this. i’ve usually preferred to be “Christ-like” instead of a “Christian” in terms of being kind, loving, and non-judgemental…like Christ. But Disciple is even better since it’s at a non-perfection level. xox, auh

    Liked by 1 person

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