THE STANDARD DEFINITION of the word “disciple” is someone who believes in and follows somebody’s teachings. When it comes to being a disciple of Christ, simply claiming to be one is one thing, and being truly recognized by the Savior as one of His is another. According to the Holy Scriptures:
“So Jesus said to those who believed in him, ‘If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples’.” (John 8:31 Good News Bible)
The Lord Jesus Christ has set a condition, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples.” Thus, a person can only be considered a true disciple or believer of Christ if he obeys His teachings.
Christ taught that in order for a person to be His disciple, he must be baptized:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19 New King James Version)
The Savior gives His assurance that “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 New International Version). Hence, it is not enough to say that one believes or has faith in the Lord Jesus. To become a true disciple of Christ, one must receive true baptism.
Yet others might insist that they have already been baptized in their respective religions. Because of this, they claim that they are Christ’s disciples and will receive His promised salvation. But according to the Bible, where are those who have received true baptism? Apostle Paul said:
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body―whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free―and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (I Cor. 12:13 NIV)
The one body where the people who received the true baptism are found is the church headed by Christ (Col. 1:18). The apostles referred to this church as the Church Of Christ or Iglesia Ni Cristo:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)
Therefore, the true disciples of Christ are not those who simply claim to be so. They are also not scattered in different religions or denominations. Instead, they have been baptized into just one body—the Church Of Christ. The members of this Church are therefore Christ’s true disciples and the recipients of the promised salvation.