What is a Disciple?

A Follower of Christ


Peter, James, and John were a few of Jesus’ first disciples. Since then, Christians still call themselves disciples, but what does that mean? Listen as Gary Inrig, author and retired pastor of Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Redlands, California, defines discipleship and teaches practical steps for Christians to grow in Christ.  



Gary defined disciples as followers of Christ. Gary listed three ways disciples grow in Christ:

  1. Abide in God’s Word.
  2. Bear much fruit.
  3. Love one another.
The following verses correlate with each of Gary’s points respectively.  

John 8:31 (ESV)

The Truth Will Set You Free

31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


John 15:8 (ESV)

8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


John 13:35 (ESV)

35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


How did Gary define abiding in God’s word? What does that look like in daily life?
Log In to Continue

What does it mean to bear much fruit? How did Gary relate bearing fruit with your personal character and impact on others?
Log In to Continue

Why is loving others an important part of being a disciple? What does it mean to have fellowship with other believers?
Log In to Continue

Which of Gary’s points stood out to you the most? Why? How could you apply that point to your life this week? What are practical steps you could take to grow as a disciple in the next few days?
Log In to Continue


As you go about your week, make time to read and study God’s word. Obey Him in every moment of your day. Commit yourself to loving your community of Christians. As you follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will mature you as Jesus’ disciple.  


For more information about The Gospel Coalition, click here