What is Disciple-Making (2)
Last week I concluded by quoting from disciple-making leader Bill Hull … I will begin with the same quotation:
George Orwell’s statement “We now have sunk to such a depth that the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men” deserves a second look. The obvious observation is that the church needs to upgrade its product. Call it renewal, revitalization, restoration, or getting with it: A recommitment to Christ’s clear commands is the first order of business. The upgrading starts with establishment of the biblical foundations for the product.
Disciple making should be installed at the heart of the church, and the commanded product of the church is a fruit-bearing believer called a disciple.Christ’s command to His church to make disciples provides the scriptural mandate.
Now the question that begs our attention today. What does it mean to make disciples? To understand this, we must again look at Matthew 28:
18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciplesof all nations, baptizingthem in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teachingthem to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Command is found in the words “make disciples” in verse 19. There are three participles which describe for us how to make disciples. The words are found in verses 19 and 20: Go (or going); Baptizing; and Teaching.
Acts 21:16, the last New Testament use of disciple, occurs nearly twenty-seven years after Paul’s conversion. Luke interchangeably employs brothers, disciples, andpeopleto describe fellow Christians, not saving disciplefor exclusive description of the apostles. I believe this word was just one way to identify a follower of Jesus Christ. Though more than thirty years had passed since Christ’s ascension, disciplehad not ceased being used to describe ordinary believers. In fact, Luke uses brothers,Christians, disciples, and believersto describe the same people.
The first step in the process of making disciples is encapsulated in the word “Go” or perhaps understood by the translation “as you are going.” Goingmeans more than traveling across geographical borders, although this is part of Jesus’ meaning. The point is that we believers are active; we are not passive. Goingmeans crossing boundaries to make disciples—going across the street, going to dinner with an unbelieving friend, going into the inner city, going beyond one’s comfort zone to make the gospel accessible to the lost. Living life is “going” with a purpose, every day. Simply stated “going” is for all of us … living life purposefully introducing people To Jesus Christ.
I will conclude by asking a simple question to you my CBC family of disciples. Where would you be today if someone had not, in their living of life, made the gospel accessible to you? What is someone had not, in their daily “GOING”, introduced you to Jesus Christ?
See You Sunday,