Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:24–27.
A disciple of Jesus Christ is a Christian. But not every Christian is a disciple.
A Christian might name the name of Christ, but follow their own lead. A disciple of Jesus Christ loves and trusts Jesus so much that they are wholeheartedly committed to learning of Him, walking with Him, hearing His voice, and following Him wherever He leads.
A Christian might name the name of Christ, but live a selfish and self-serving lifestyle. A disciple of Jesus Christ knows and loves Jesus so much that they set aside their own desires for the sake of following Him in order that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.
A Christian might name the name of Christ (or not) whenever it is convenient. A disciple of Jesus Christ follows Jesus’ example, doing good in His name, even if it means suffering ridicule or outright persecution for doing what is right.
To a Christian, the new birth (being born again of the Spirit) might sound like foolish talk. To a disciple of Jesus Christ it is the reality and power to live for God, and the difference between seeing and entering the Kingdom of God, or not.