Tag Archives: great commission

Baptize My Disciples

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 28:19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

You can easily see the importance of the first part of this well known verse, the command to go and make disciples, that is obviously important, but we may not consider the second part of this verse to be such a big deal. Why is it so important?

It is through baptism that we testify to the world that we know that we are in need of getting cleaned up, it says that we have found the only way to get rid of the stain that sin has left on our soul, with baptism we acknowledge the fact that we cannot wash ourselves of our sin and that we needed someone else to take away the eternal penalty of our sin.

Romans 6:4-5  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was.

It is important to make it clear that baptism cannot make anyone right with God. It is only a testimony to the fact that I have already been cleansed and it tells my friends and neighbors that my life is now to be associated with my Savior who did the ultimate for me when I wasn’t even his friend.

It tells everybody that for now on I have a new way of living that for now on I will be striving to look like my savior, selfless, kind, patient and all of those other traits that we have been commanded to live by.

It is an oath by which we renounce the world and the flesh, as rivals with God for the throne in our hearts; and an oath of allegiance by which we resign and give up ourselves to God, to be his, our own selves, our whole selves, body, soul, and spirit, to be governed by his will.

Help me to always live for you Lord. I want to always keep fresh in my mind that you gave it all so that I could have it all. Thank you for loving me to the extreme before I was even your friend.

Reach

On mission

Matthew 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The whole world?  Then the end will come?  It’s God’s desire that everyone would turn to Him and be saved.  He doesn’t want anyone on this earth to perish and to be without Him for eternity while they suffer in hell.  But He leaves the choice to us.  But before anyone can receive or reject the Gospel, they have to hear it.

There are still people on this planet who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. They don’t know that there is a way to God through the forgiveness of their sins.  They don’t know there’s atonement, propitiation, imputation, or any of that other theological stuff.  They’re in the dark spiritually.  And we have to reach them.

We’re given the Great Commission because God’s calling if for us to reach out to the entire world.  We have to tell every man, woman and child, every language group and tribe, about the message of Jesus the Messiah.  They have to know and we have to reach them.

Pray.  Pray that the people groups we’ve never encountered will be found and that missionaries will be sent into the population.  Pray that languages will be translated quickly and that Bibles will be printed for the message to be taught.  Pray that supplies will be plentiful and that the workers will be many.  Pray for them and pray that we reach them.  For the glory of God.

Teach

On mission

Matthew 28:20  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus didn’t call us to make converts, He called us to make disciples.  This means the work doesn’t end when a person puts their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.  The next step for us is to teach them all that He taught.  They must know His ways.

What is teaching?  Not all of us are cut out to tutor someone on the Bible, so surely we’re off the hook; right?  Not quite.  Teaching someone what they need to know about following Christ begins with modeling it.  Making a disciples begins with living like one.  We teach through our lives, and then we teach what’s on paper.  They both happen.

We don’t have to be theological geniuses to mentor someone.  There are steps to understanding the Bible, and we only need to get the new believer started on learning basic biblical truths, motivated by love for Jesus, and heading in the right direction of obedience.  Then, after they show that they are committed to growing, we let them branch out on their own, little by little, feeding themselves.  We can only teach what we know, so we have to be constantly learning too.

Baptize

On mission

Matthew 28:19  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,

Why baptism?  What’s so important about water after conversion?  Jesus told His followers to go into all the nations to make disciples and then to baptize them. Why do you think this was so prioritized?

When we’re saved, we belief on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.  The Holy Spirit comes to reside inside us, and we’re made into a new creation.  But no one can see the Holy Spirit in us until we start bearing spiritual fruit.  For some of us, that isn’t right away.  It may not be obvious that we’ve become a Christian.  But baptism solves that problem.

Among the many, many reasons for baptism is the idea that this is a public proclamation of our faith in Jesus.  It’s been said that this is like putting on a wedding ring.  We’d still be married without a ring, but we make it known by wearing the ring.  Likewise, we’d be Christians without the baptism, but the act shows the world that we aren’t ashamed of our new life and it preaches a message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

Baptism is the first step of obedience for a believer.  When making disciples, getting them to take the first step of obedience opens the door to many more acts of obeying.  There’s just something about that first decision to follow Jesus’ example that makes it all the more likely that they’ll continue in their walk of faith with great strength.

Make

On mission

Matthew 28:19  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,

How do we make disciples?  Most of us probably know how to make converts; we share the Gospel.  If someone responds to the Good News of Jesus Christ, there has been a rebirth.  A new Christian has been made.  But has a disciple been made?  How do we know?

A very well known disciple-maker has said that if a person is reading God’s Word daily, praying with his or her spouse, obeying God, and sharing his or her faith at every opportunity, you can be pretty sure you’ve made a disciple.  Discipleship is not simply about behaviors and disciplines, however.  The Fruit of the Spirit?  A disciple should be showing those characteristics.  It won’t all happen overnight, but you can tell when someone is growing more mature and when they’re not.  Sadly, most Christians today are not growing and not becoming more like Jesus.  They’re just sitting on the bench, waiting for Him to come back.

But what do we do to make disciples?  How do we get people off the bench?  The most essential element in disciple-making is relationship and time.  You’ve got to share one-on-one time with a person to make a disciple.  Classes and theological training are good, but caring for the person and talking to them directly has more impact.  Probably second most important is modeling discipleship.  You can’t make a disciple if you aren’t living as one.  Preach what you practice.  Encourage, love, pray with, study with, and be there for people and you will make disciples.

Go

On mission

Matthew 28:19  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,

It’s time to go.  It’s time to get up.  It’s time to follow the command of Jesus to go into all the nations and reach people for Him.  Does this sound like a tough challenge?  It’s God’s mission for every disciple.

The command to go should not be as intimidating as we sometimes make it out to be.  We fear God will call us to serve in a distant land like Africa or that we’ll face danger.  We might. But we also might be needed as missionaries to our communities in our homeland.  Going does not necessarily mean leaving.

Some have had limitations placed on them physically or otherwise that keep them from being mobile.  Then send.  If you can’t go yourself into the nations, then send others who will do the work of the harvest.  Senders are just as needed as goers (Romans 10:15).  So send!

Whether going or sending, we should have no fear.  God has made this our purpose and He won’t let us go out alone.  He will be with us all along the way (Matthew 28:20).  Anything we face is for the sake of the cause, for the name of Jesus to be made famous throughout the world.  For the salvation of many.

Will you go?

Multiply

A disciple

Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them int the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Disciples make disciples.  It has to be so.  Jesus commanded it.  There is nowhere in Scripture where God indicates that salvation is the end of the road for a believer.  There is nowhere that we can even infer that faith is a private matter.  Jesus said to go out into all the nations and make disciples.  Those are pretty simple instructions to understand.  Go.  Make disciples.  Baptize.  Teach.  He wants us to reach the world for God’s glory.

In order to reach the entire world, we’ve got to multiply.  We’ve got to make disciples right here at home.  Training, relationships, conversations, coffee, crisis, sharing, caring…it’s all part of helping others to grow in their spiritual walk with Christ.  It’s not just the job of pastors and teachers to make disciples.  It’s a calling for all of us.  The Great Commission is for all believers.  Multiplication is necessary to the mission of the Church.

Will you go?  Will you make disciples?  Will you teach them?  Trust in God along the way and He’ll make sure you succeed.