Welcome to Bible Answers


What is the difference between being a disciple of Christ and being a Christian and if they are the same, what happens if we do not meet the standards Jesus said we had to meet to be His disciples?

There shouldn't be any difference, but there is. Every Christian should be a disciple. The word means, a learner, with a view of following a leader.

In John 4:1 we read, "..Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,..." You will note the word "made." A disciple then is made, but a Christian is born. There is a vast difference between the two, although every born again Christian should be a disciple.

You don't become a Christian by trying to be a follower (disciple) of the Lord. You have to be born again. Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." John 3:7

To become a Christian you must "repent and believe" the Gospel, Mark 1:15 and Acts 20:21. These are the only requirements to becoming a Christian, but this is not so with discipleship. Jesus said, John 8:30-31, "As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." He said, Luke 14:26-27 and Luke 14:33, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." This is the call of discipleship. Hating your father and mother is a "relative preference" and means to "love less." In other words if you put them or anybody, or thing, above the Lord then you cannot be a true disciple. He must be first. Luke 14:27 "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

This is the cross of discipleship. so likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. This is the cost of discipleship. First you must be a Christian then yield yourself completely to the Lord. Are you a Christian and a disciple?

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

Return to Salvation Questions Main Page

Updated March 7th, 2014 by Sandra Felix