15 Characteristics Of A True Disciple [+ Nice Sermon]

What are the characteristics of a true disciple? And how do you know if someone is a genuine disciple of Christ or not? This is what this post will address today.

There are many traits that someone will show if that person is a true follower of Christ and later on a true Christian on their way to heaven.

And this post will address the most important 15 characteristics of a true disciple of Jesus Christ that indicate the qualities of true discipleship all true believers have.

Who Is A True Disciple Of Jesus Christ?

A true disciple of Jesus is one who fully follows the teachings of Christ and seeks to live life in a way that promotes peace, love, and acceptance as well as selflessly serving others just as He did while on earth.

Disciples are not perfect people and will make mistakes on their journey but they never stop following Christ and are fully committed to Him till the end as they understand that true discipleship is a lifelong journey.

And to such faithful followers of Him, Jesus says, “If you continue in my word, then you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (John 8:31-32).

Must Read: 15 Signs Of A True Christian [That Hypocrites Can’t Duplicate].

15 Qualities of True Discipleship.

Below are the 15 qualities of true discipleship found in the new testament that will help you know if either yourself or someone is a true follower of Christ or not.

  • Obedience.
  • Self-Denial.
  • Carry The Cross.
  • Do Christ’s Great Commission.
  • Don’t Deny Christ.
  • Loyalty.
  • Follower Of Christ.
  • Love The Lord.
  • Agape Love.
  • Saved From Sin.
  • Practice Forgiveness.
  • Selflessly Serve Others.
  • Teachable.
  • Easily Corrected.
  • Separated From The World.

1. Obedience.

If you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ filled with His Holy Spirit, you are going to live in humble obedience to Him and His commandments as proof of your true discipleship to Him.

In John 14:15, Jesus Christ says that if you love Him, you will obey and keep His commandments, a crucial litmus test for true discipleship most people and so-called Christians fail to pass.

Many people claim to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ but aren’t willing at all to obey Him and no wonder Jesus said in Luke 6:46 that why do we call Him Lord, Lord if we aren’t even willing to do what He says.

And those sayings must be a wake-up call to everyone who claims to be a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. Otherwise, if you claim to be a disciple of Christ Jesus but don’t obey Him, you are a fake disciple mere deceiving yourself, my dear.

2. Self-Denial.

Self-denial is one of the most important things one must do for one to become a true disciple or follower of Jesus Christ.

No wonder Jesus said in Matthews 16:24-26 that whoever desires to come after Him must fully deny himself and take up his cross to follow Him. Otherwise without that, you aren’t fit to be a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But if you are a true disciple of Christ, you will deny yourself and take up your cross to follow Him. Self-denial in this case means forfeiting what self wants with its desires and substituting it for what Christ wants which isn’t usually easy, to be honest.

And this is why most people are unwilling to fully deny themselves to follow our Lord Jesus Christ because of what it will cost them band such people can’t be true disciples of Jesus, sadly.

3. Carry The Cross.

This is also one of the most important characteristics of a true disciple of Jesus Christ and if you are truly His disciple, you will bear the cross that comes with it.

Bearing your cross simply means being willing to endure the hardships or inconveniences that come along with being the disciple of Jesus which are often very inconvenient to our sinful self which wants comfort all the time.

And many people are not willing to carry their crosses which is why they quit their Christian faith when things become hard on their Christian journey.

To such people who aren’t willing to take up their cross to follow Him, Jesus said in Luke 14:33 that they can’t be His disciples because a real disciple of Christ will take up and bear their cross of discipleship even if it is inconvenient to self.

4. Do Christ’s Great Commission.

All true disciples of Christ Jesus will do Christ’s great commission which is to go into the world to preach the gospel to every creature which sadly most don’t do (Mark 16:15,16).

If you are not doing Christ’s great commission of preaching the good news of salvation and eternal life to sinners so that they can be saved from the wrath to come, then your discipleship is indeed questionable.

Preaching the good news to sinners is one of the most important commandments Jesus Christ gave us before He went to heaven and if we claim to be His, we will obey this commandment of preaching the gospel to others as He did while on earth (Romans 1:16).

And if you claim to be His disciple, you are going to carry this great commission which Christ has left us with passion, joy and enthusiasm so that precious and priceless eternal souls of men are rescued from hellfire ASAP.

5. Don’t Deny Christ.

If you are a true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ with a proper relationship with Him, you won’t deny Him, no matter how hard things may be.

But if you are a fake disciple and not a good disciple of Christ, you will certainly deny him especially when things become inconvenient or get hard in your life.

And there are many ways you can deny Christ and one of them is through your words and works by living the life that is contrary to that of a true believer or disciple of Christ.

Jesus Christ has warned us in Luke 12:9 that if we deny him before men, He will also deny us before His Heavenly Father and His holy angels which will be tragic indeed if you deny Christ while on earth by your words or deeds.

6. Loyalty.

a true disciple of Jesus Christ will be fiercely loyal to their Master who is Christ in this place and won’t have any split loyalties between Him and other things of this world as you can’t serve to master all at once (Matthews 6:24).

Christ demands sacrificial love, faithfulness and commitment from all those who claim to be His true disciples but if you are a fake disciple, you won’t be loyal or faithful to Him especially in times of trials but will deny and betray your loyalty to Him instead.

And if you betray Christ the way Judas Iscariot now He will deny you and say He never knew you. (Matthews 7:21-23). Sadly, there are many Judas Iscariots in the Christian circles today who aren’t truly loyal to Christ.

As a true disciple of Jesus Christ, you mustn’t allow anything or anyone in your life or this world to interfere with the loyalty you have towards Him.

7. Follower Of Christ.

You can’t say you are Christ’s disciple if you don’t follow Him or His teachings because if you are one of His, you will follow Him wherever He goes and calls you to.

Sadly, most people aren’t willing to do that especially if it costs them significantly as illustrated by the young man in Luke 9:59-62 who said that he will follow Jesus Christ after running a few errands he had.

Unfortunately, that’s not how true discipleship works dear. You must be willing to follow Christ with all your heart and not partially if you want to be His disciple.

So, if you are a true disciple of Christ Jesus, you will follow Him promptly, no questions asked like the way the early disciples did as illustrated in Matthews 4:18-22.

8. Love The Lord.

Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind is one of the most important characteristics of a true disciple of Jesus Christ that every professing disciple must have and that’s non-negotiable.

If you don’t have that fervent love for our Lord Jesus Christ, you can’t say that you are His follower. Otherwise, you will just be merely deceiving yourself if you do so as you are not in true fellowship with Him.

And there are many such fake disciples in churches today who claim to love the Lord with their lips but deny Him in their actions and deeds which is manifested by the way they live and the superficial commitment they have towards the things of God.

The Bible in Mark 12:30 says that we must love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, might, and mind which is the greatest commandment God has given us which is followed by loving our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:31).

9. Agape Love.

Jesus Christ commands us in John 13:34 that we must selflessly love others without any selfish motives just as He has first loved us while we were sinners.

And if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, you will have this selfless agape love and compassion that only comes from God that will enable you to selfless loves others the way Jesus expects you to.

It’s this selfless agape love from Christ Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that will enable you to be patient and longsuffering towards others as well as loving others selflessly and not because of what you can get or benefit from them.

On the other hand, if you are a fake disciple who has no genuine salvation yet that makes one enter heaven, you won’t have this selfless agape love to make love others selflessly due to the Adamic selfish nature we all have which hasn’t yet been dealt with at salvation.

Must Read: 63 Christian Love Quotes (To Help You See Love Differently)

10. Saved From Sin.

You can’t be a true disciple of Jesus Christ if you are not saved from your sins yet because salvation is the number one prerequisite for you to be His disciple.

The reason for this is because salvation is what enables you to have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that was severed by sin as sin separated and alienates you from God (Isaiah 59:1,2).

But when you receive salvation through true repentance of your sins, you become God’s child and therefore a true disciple of Christ. On the other hand, if you are a fake disciple, you won’t have this salvation that all true disciples and followers of Christ have.

Remember, without salvation which brings about eternal life, you can’t make it for heaven and be with our Lord Jesus Christ forever in glory. This is why you need to be saved if you claim to be His follower.

Must Read: 11 Deadly Consequences Of Sin (To Help Avoid Sin All Costs.)

11. Practice Forgiveness.

If you claim to be a true believer and later on a disciple of Jesus Christ, you will practice forgiveness to all those who have offended or hurt you terribly in some way just as Christ does (Ephesians 4:32).

On the other hand, if you don’t practice forgiveness to all those who have offended you, then you are not a good disciple and most importantly a true Christian at all because if you were, you won’t hold grudges again those who have hurt you.

Of course, dear, forgiveness can be hard at times because sinful fallen humans can be nasty and do very hurtful things to you at times but God’s grace is available to help you forgive others who have hurt you. All you need is to ask.

Don’t forget that Jesus said in Matthews 6:15 that if you don’t forgive others from your heart, your Heavenly Father will also not forgive you trespasses which you commit against Him all the time.

12. Selflessly Serve Others.

Another important characteristic that will show that you are a true follower of Christ is that you will have a selfless heart that will serve others just as Jesus did while on earth (Romans 12:13).

There are many passages in the bible such as Luke 9:10-17 that show how Jesus selflessly served others like the poor, the sick, needy, widows etc. by healing them and providing them food where needed.

And if you are His disciple, you will have this important quality of true discipleship that most including church leaders in the pulpits and greedy politicians of this world seem to lack these days as they are all about themselves and fattening their bellies for hellfire.

If many people understood this important quality of true discipleship, this world will be a much peter place to live in but sadly, most people are full of themselves and self-centred which clearly shows they are fake disciples.

13. Teachable.

Having a teachable spirit is one of the most important marks and qualities of true discipleship and if you are not teachable, you can’t be Christ’s disciple at all.

Sadly, many people who claim to be followers of Christ are not teachable at all which is why they get angry when you correct them as if you have committed the greatest sin on earth.

And this is why we can’t have the revival the early disciples had in the early church as they were teachable and easy to correct when in the wrong.

And this is demonstrated in Luke 4:8 where Jesus rebuked Peter when he told Him that He won’t die on the cross. If it was most people and Christians of nowadays, that would have been the end as they would have taken it as an offence.

14. Easily Corrected.

Aside from being teachable, if you are a genuine disciple of Jesus, you will be easily corrected if you are wrong instead of justifying your wrong actions as most do.

Remember, Christ said in Revelations 3:19 that He rebukes and chastens who He loves just the way the father chastens the son he loves but if you are a fake disciple, you won’t be easily corrected and despise His chastening.

And if you are such a person, you are a fool as Proverbs 9:8 wonderfully sums it up concerning such people who despise wise correction and instructions.

As a person who claims to be a true Christian or follower of Christ, you must not despise the chastening of the Lord as that’s what you need to help you develop spiritually as, without it, you will be a spoiled brat. (Proverbs 3:11-18).

15. Separated From The World.

Being separated from the world is also one of the most important marks of a true disciple as true disciples are not of the world just as their Master who has called them isn’t of the world (John17:16).

You can’t say that you are a true follower of Christ if you are not separated from the world and its evil systems and way of life as friendship with the world is enmity with God and most importantly, you can’t serve two masters (James 4:4).

And sadly, there are many people who claim to be true disciples of Christ who are still worldly in the way they dress, think or carry on with their lives evident by the lives they live.

If you are such a person who has one foot in the world and another in Christ, just know you are a fake disciple who isn’t truly saved yet because if you were, the world and its amusements won’t be attractive to you at all.


I hope the above 15 characteristics of a true disciple will help you know what differentiates a real disciple of Jesus Christ from a fake disciple.

And if you realize after reading this you are not a true follower of Christ but want to read this post on how to be truly born again in 7 simple steps which is the first step to true discipleship.

In closing, if you found this post useful, kindly share it with others so that they can learn one or two this as well to apply in their own lives just as you have. Stay blessed.

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8 thoughts on “15 Characteristics Of A True Disciple [+ Nice Sermon]”

  1. The information is good but it seems to have an attitude about it or maybe it’s just the way I’m reading it but the “dear” added all the time and other wording seems to give a condescending tone that’s off putting.


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