God’s great purpose for our lives is to conform us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). We are born again spiritually to grow up into maturity and completion in Christ (John 3:1-8, Colossians 2:6-10). Jesus calls us His disciples, His followers. There is a direct relationship to our following and our conformity to Christ’s image. Followers, according to Jesus, deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24-24). It is the distinguishing mark of a disciple to become like their master (John 13:13-17). This requires imitation and obedience. Followers of Jesus embrace His Lordship, imitate His life, and obey His teaching. Jesus said in Luke 14:26-27, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” To be a disciple, Jesus said we must put Him first in our lives and surrender everything to follow Him.
The act of following implies surrender, obedience, and intentionality. A growing disciple intentionally follows Jesus as the Lord of their life. Paul states it this way in Romans 12:1-2,
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Disciple’s “offer their body” as their true and proper worship. Since everything about who we are is contained in our bodies, to offer our bodies is to offer everything to God. Total surrender is the mark of becoming more and more like Jesus (Romans 6:14-23).
Surrendering to Christ’s Lordship means that we do what Jesus says. Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Doing God’s will in obedience to Christ’s Lordship is a mark of being a disciple. Growing disciples surrender to Christ’s Lordship, follow Him daily, and do what He says.