Thanks for stopping by again!! On Tuesdays I’ll be covering topics about my faith. Lately, I’ve been leading a Bible study in which I’m going through the foundational tenants of my faith. I want to summarize what I’ve been studying to solidify these principles (plus it might help me be able to talk about them easily on the spot!).
Today I’m to start with the mission Jesus laid out for His church. After having been crucified and resurrected from the dead, Jesus gave His followers – the disciples – a clear command in Matt 28:19-20:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The main command in this passage is to make disciples. What does the term disciple mean?
- A follower, an adherent (becoming a follower of Jesus and supporter of His teaching)
- A pupil, apprentice (this describes one who is learning the teaching)
So, the verbs that describe us are: following, supporting, learning
The other actions in this verse describe how to make disciples:
- go (to take the message of Jesus Christ to all nations)
- baptize (to publicly identify the believers with Jesus, His teaching, and His community of followers)
- teach (to carefully apprentice them in the teachings of Jesus Christ)
To be a follower of Christ just takes believing the gospel’s message: you can receive forgiveness of sins and become part of the family of God if you just believe that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for your sins.
Fully accepting the gospel is the first step towards discipleship. The next step is baptism – identifying with the Jesus, His teaching and His church. As the Great Commission states, we are commanded to baptize after one has become a believer. This was the practice in the early church (with the Ethiopian in Acts 8:34-40, the household of Cornelius in Acts 10:44-48, and the household of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31-34). Finally, it’s important to learn the core teaching of Christ and His Apostles. This teaching is to shape and transform disciples’ lives.
Today we define “Christian” as someone who follows Christ and believes in the gospel. To become a disciple of Jesus Christ means to become a student of Jesus Christ and His teaching.
After going through this study on Becoming a Disciple, I put the teaching of Christ and His Apostles in my own words and chose Scripture to memorize to go along with the teaching.
My Summary of The Teaching
- We were created to reflect God (sin has marred this reflection, but we are called to be made new. (Genesis 1:26-28, Romans 12:1-2)
- We are to choose to become like Christ and put aside our old desires. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- We are to fulfill our roles in the family. (Ephesians 5:22, 25, 6:1)
- We are to fulfill our roles in the church and use our gifts. (Col 3: 12-17, Romans 12:4-6a, 9-13)
- We are to be established in our faith and teach our children/those younger than us. (Deut. 6:4-9, 2 Timothy 2:2)
- We are to be a light/witness to the world. (Colossians 4:5-6)
- We are to be subject to authorities. (Romans 13:1-7)
- We are to be watchful of attacks from the evil one and put on the full armor of faith in preparation. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
We should also know the gospel in a nutshell: 1 Cor. 15:3-8
Being a disciple takes a lot of work! Accepting Jesus is only step one. We can go on with our lives, but it doesn’t mean we are all of a sudden living the lives God wants us to live. We did not deserve Jesus’s death for our sake, we deserved to die in our sin, but He gave us a way! This should change our entire perspective on life. If someone caught you at the last moment as you were falling off a cliff wouldn’t you want to thank Him however you could? Christ has laid out how he wants to be thanked, and it by being dedicated to truly following Him so that through us he can save others from the same cliff he saved us, our own sin.