All Christians are commanded to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20)! All Christians are by definition “disciples” describing a person who is a follower of Christ and a student of His teachings and example. They “abide” in a very close and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (John 15:5). They listen to Him for “they hear My voice” declares Jesus (John 10:26), they “learn” from Him (Matthew 11:29), and they “keep” His commandments and “obey” Him (John 14:21, 1 John 5:2). Thus, being a disciple of Christ is the essence of being a Christian. To be one is to be the other. As disciples, we are called to be ready to give an answer for the hope that’s within us and do so with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). However, one cannot give what one does not have. Hence, the need for discipleship.
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 10:26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.
Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
John 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,