31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I just love Jesus statement, it is so true!
ABI’DE, 5:1:pert. and part. abode.
abada, to be, or exist, to continue W. bod, to be to dwell, rest, continue, stand firm, or be stationary for anytime indefinitely. Class Bd. No 7.
1. To rest, or dwell. Genesis 29:19.
2. To tarry or stay for a short time. Genesis 24:55.
3. To continue permanently or in the same state to be firm and immovable. Psalms 119:90.
4. To remain, to continue. Acts 27:31. Ecclesiastes 8:15.
King James Dictionary
DISCIPLE, n. L., to learn.
1. A learner a scholar one who receives or professes to receive instruction from another as the disciples of Plato.
2. A follower an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.
King James Dictionary
It is not enough to receive God’s truth – we must retain and walk in it. And it is only when we receive the truth, love it, keep it, and walk in it, that we are the genuine disciples of Christ.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary
Adam Clarke is right when he says that we are disciples of Christ if we walk like Him.
Jesus did not say to those believers: “You have believed on me, therefore you are saved”; but he said in effect, “Now that you have believed, if you really want to be my disciples, do what I have commanded.” The ultimate salvation of those “believers” depended then, as it does today, upon their obeying the gospel of Christ. If they had been among the three thousand baptized on Pentecost, then they would have been saved.
Their faith had not made them free, nor does faith alone make people free today. Abiding in Jesus’ word, knowing the truth and obeying it these also are prerequisites unto eternal life. So plainly are these truths evident in such a passage as this, that it would be humorous, if the results were not so tragic, to wade through the libraries of human comment designed to subvert the obvious meaning.
To all the people of all ages, to the sum total of all who ever “believed on” Jesus Christ, these words are the Saviour’s unqualified personal mandate, “Abide in my word if you would truly be my disciples!”
As Coffman said, our salvation depends upon our obedience to the gospel of Christ. Abiding in Jesus’ word, knowing the truth and obeying it these also are prerequisites unto eternal life.
Here Christ warns them, in the first place, that it is not enough for any one to have begun well, if their progress to the end do not correspond to it; and for this reason he exhorts to perseverance in the faith those who have tasted of his doctrine. When he says that they who are firmly rooted in his word, so as to continue in him, will truly be his disciples, he means that many profess to be disciples who yet are not so in reality, and have no right to be accounted such. He distinguishes his followers from hypocrites by this mark, that they who falsely boasted of faith give way as soon as they have entered into the course, or at least in the middle of it; but believers persevere constantly to the end. If, therefore, we wish that Christ should reckon us to be his disciples, we must endeavor to persevere.
Calvin is even severe and states that many profess to be disciples while they are not so in reality, and have no right to be accounted such. Unfortunately, he is right.
The mark of a true disciple is continuation in the instructions of his or her teacher. A disciple is by definition a learner, not necessarily a believer in the born again sense. A disciple remains a disciple as long as he or she continues to follow the instruction of his or her teacher. When that one stops following faithfully, he or she ceases to be a disciple.
Constable’s Expository Notes
And Constable is right when he says that a disciple remains a disciple as long as he or she continues to follow the instruction of his or her teacher.
Would your teacher consider your as a student if you attend to his class only once every other day? Guess out, you could even be kicked out from your school after three unjustified absences!
Are you a disciple of Jesus?
What about you? How would you call yourself, a Christian, or a disciple and a follower of Jesus? And why not?
Did you know that the New Testament designates people who followed Jesus as disciples? The New Testament in ESV returns 260 of occurrences. And if we narrow down to the book of Acts where all disciples were Christians, we would end up with 28 occurrences.
Now, do you know how many times the word Christian is used in the New Testament? Only 3 times! And that was a name made-up by Gentiles, not even by disciples!
1. A believer in the religion of Christ.
2. A professor of his belief in the religion of Christ.
3. A real disciple of Christ one who believes in the truth of the Christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety.
4. In a general sense, the word Christians includes all who are born in a Christian country or of Christian parents.
King James Dictionary