At its core, discipleship isn’t just a path we tread; it’s a calling to embody the very essence of Christ’s teachings in every moment of our lives. 

Discipleship is a term that refers to the deep devotion that a Jesus follower has for walking in the footsteps of Christ. Someone who has committed their life to the Lord is a person who will behave in ways consistent with that decision. The life of a faithful disciple will be filled with obedience to the Word of God, love for Jesus and their neighbor, and a profound sense of humility. 

The faithful disciple is never content to stand still. They are hungry to know more of Jesus and for opportunities to share the love of the gospel with others.

The Role of Faith in Discipleship

At the heart of discipleship lies faith, an unwavering belief in the deep truths revealed to us in Scripture about the Lord. 

One example of great faith is found in Abraham, the first patriarch of our faith. At the age of 75, Abram (as he was called then) was called by God to be set apart from his people and to go to a strange land where he will become the father to a whole new nation:


“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.

-Gen 12:1-3

Though the Bible doesn’t record Abram’s initial reaction to this calling, it is probably safe to assume that there was some amount of anxiety and hesitation. He had been with his family and community for 75 years, and now God was calling him to go to a strange land, without his support system, to start an entirely new life.

But Abram was faithful to that call and went where God led him. Although he was not a perfect man, his faith in God kept him on the straight and narrow path to seek God’s guidance. Later in Scripture, he becomes the only person to be called God’s friend. Isn’t that beautiful?

The Role of Obedience In Discipleship

Without obedience, there can be no discipleship. Obedience means following the will of God, even when it’s hard or might seem strange to outsiders. 

Noah was an obedient man. Can you imagine what life must have been like for him and his family? God had told him to build this massive boat and to begin gathering animals of every kind into that boat. Most assuredly, those around him at them time thought he was doing something very strange. But Noah knew that God was calling him to the task, so he obeyed.

Similarly, we see Jesus Himself model obedience for us in the Garden of Gethsemane:


“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.””

-Matthew 26:36-39

 Elsewhere, Scripture tells that Christ’s anxiety over what was to come sat so heavily in His body that he began to sweat drops like blood. But still Jesus obeyed the Father.

While challenges may arise, embracing obedience leads to spiritual growth and a closer connection to God.

The Role Of Humility In Discipleship

Humility, often referred to as the cornerstone of true discipleship, involves recognizing one’s limitations and embracing a sense of modesty. It isn’t about sacrificing oneself, necessarily, but understanding that one person is not better than another, and that we all hold equal value before God. 

While there are many examples of humility throughout the Bible, one great portrayal of humility is found in the book of Ruth. 

“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”

-Ruth 1:15-18

Ruth had every right to walk away from her mother-in-law and seek her own financial support system with her own people in Moab. However, she loved Naomi and knew that if she left this woman to fend for herself, she wouldn’t survive. Naomi’s sons were gone, and no one was left to care for her. Ruth understood that Naomi had inherent value as a person made in the image of God and she deserved to have whatever support Ruth could give her.

So Ruth sacrificed her own personal and financial security to remain by her mother-in-law’s side, come what may. Even if the path ahead led to their deaths, Ruth would remain at Naomi’s side. 

By cultivating humility, disciples open themselves to the Holy Spirit to convict them and grow them into mature believers who see others the way Jesus sees them: souls inherently worthy of love and care. 

Faithful discipleship is characterized by the qualities of faith, obedience, and humility. As we lean into study of the Bible to learn the heart of God and allow the Holy Spirit room to lead and guide us in His will, we will find ourselves not just maturing in faith but growing more and more in love with God each day. 

As you reflect on your own journey, may you find strength in these traits and a renewed sense of purpose in your pursuit of faithful discipleship.