D I S C I P L E S H I P  33 Himself. To allow ourselves and others to languish in immaturity makes us bad examples to the entire spiritual realm and does not exalt God in the manner that He alone deserves. What Is a “Disciple”? We’ve all heard that a disciple is a follower of Christ. One particular aspect of the New Testament’s use of the term stands out to me. A disciple is a follower of Jesus who has made cer- tain commitments, commitments that now define his life. This is much different than the marks of a mature disciple. A disciple beginning the maturation process will not exhibit all of the fruit of the Spirit, for example. But there are commitments that every person who calls themselves a disciple must make. These com- mitments are what the maturation process takes and expands upon, being used by the Holy Spirt to mature the disciple. Allegiance to the person of Jesus Christ The Christian life is one of relationship. What was destroyed in Genesis 3 was man’s relationship with God. The Cross re- stored that relationship to everyone who believes. Central to that restoration is a commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ. Our salvation is not a business transaction in which our sins are paid, and then the believer is free to go on his/her way. Rather, it is the restoration of our relationship to God. As with all relation- ships, there are certain responsibilities. One of these is allegiance to the beneficent, merciful, and gracious King as His subjects. See “Counting the Cost” below for an expansion on allegiance to Jesus. His teaching Allegiance to Jesus assumes a commitment to learn His teach- ings and the proper application of these principles into the life of the disciple. For John, in his gospel, to know and to love Jesus