Matthew 28:16-20 ESV
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
Disciples of Christ
A Christian is a disciple of Christ (Acts 11:26). And, a disciple is a follower of Christ. And, to follow Jesus is to obey him, to respect him, to be a student of the Scriptures, and to abide by his teachings. And, it is to go wherever he sends us and to do and to say whatever it is he commands us to do and say.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn 13:35 ESV
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Jn 15:8 ESV
We prove ourselves to be the Lord’s disciples by our love for one another and by bearing much spiritual fruit for his eternal kingdom. And, to love one another is to love as God loves us. And, to bear fruit is the outgrowth or the result of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, which includes love for others.
But love, like faith, is not a feeling. It is what we do. The fruit of our faith is shown in what we do and in how we live. If we love God, we obey him. If we love others, we do them no intentional harm, but we do for them what is for their good, as God defines good.
Worship of God-Christ
To worship the Lord is to respect, to honor, and to obey him. It is to give him our undivided loyalties. It is to devote our lives to him and to his service. It is to present ourselves to him as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable (pleasing) to him (Rom 12:1-2).
And, that means that we live as though he is truly Lord (owner-master) of our lives. We give our all to him 24/7. He rules. We no longer rule. He decides. We no longer decide. And, we obey, and we do what he says.
He is not just someone we meet with a few minutes each day for a time of what we call “devotions,” or our “quiet time with God.” He is not just someone we sing praise songs to during a worship service once a week. He is our all-in-all.
And, this means that from the time we get up in the morning until the time we go to sleep at night, Jesus is the central focus of our lives. It doesn’t mean we think only of him all day, but that he is always present in our thoughts and in our decisions, and in the things we do and say.
As disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ, we are to obey his commands to us, his disciples. And, he has commanded us to go and to make disciples (of Christ) of people of all nations.
Now, obviously each of us individually cannot make disciples of Christ of all people in every nation in the world. But we can make disciples. We can go with the gospel of Christ and we can teach people to obey the commands of our Lord.
Regarding baptizing them with water, if our ministry is one of writing, and if we don’t have face to face contacts with people much, then water baptism would be much harder to do. But if someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ, because of our testimony to them, we should try to make a way to baptize him or her, too.
And, here is the crux of our disciple making. We don’t share a gospel message that just says to invite Jesus into your heart and now heaven is guaranteed you when you die. That is not what the Scriptures teach.
We are to teach them to OBEY the Lord’s commandments, his teachings, and the teachings of the New Testament apostles, i.e. the Scriptures (under the New Covenant). If we are not teaching people to obey the Lord, then we are teaching a false gospel.
And, this obedience isn’t optional. We don’t “get saved” and then we have a choice to obey or to not obey. If we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God, we must walk in obedience to the Lord, and we must no longer walk according to our flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
If we don’t obey, and we go our own way, instead, then we are not saved from our sins, and we don’t have eternal life with God (1 Jn 2:3-6).
And, this isn’t something we wait for a while to teach “new believers” in Jesus. For, we don’t truly believe in Jesus if we have not repented of our sin, and if we have not been born anew of the Spirit of God, and if we are not walking according to the Spirit but still according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24).
Knowing You Jesus
By Graham Kendrick
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
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