Wednesday: To Make Disciples
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After His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples in Galilee, at the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them (Matt. 28:16, NKJV). Not only the eleven, but also more than five hundred brethren gathered there to meet the risen Lord (1 Cor. 15:6). The One who had conquered death said to them: All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18, NKJV). His power and authority are no longer voluntarily limited as they were during His earthly ministry. Rather, as before the Incarnation, His authority includes the whole universe. Based on His unquestionable authority, He entrusts a mission to His followers.

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

According to Matthew’s account, in giving the Great Commission, Jesus used four verbs: go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. Unfortunately, many Bible versions do not reflect on the fact that, in Greek, the only verb that is imperative is make disciples, while the other three verbs are participles. This means that the emphasis of the sentence is on make disciples, the other three activities being dependent on it.

What is the role of going, baptizing, and teaching in fulfilling the command to make disciples? See Matt. 28:19-20.

Jesus’ mandate indicates three activities involved in making disciples. The three activities do not need to occur in a particularly sequential order; rather, they complement each other. While going to different places, eventually to the entire world, we should be teaching everything Jesus taught, baptizing those who accept Him as Savior and are willing to observe all the things Jesus commanded.

We rejoice when somebody is baptized, but baptism is not the end of the story. It is just part of the process of making someone a disciple. Our task is to invite people to follow Jesus, which means to believe in Him, to obey His teachings, to adopt His way of life, and to invite others to become His disciples, too.

The word all characterizes this text. Because Jesus has all authority, we have to go to all the nations teaching them to observe all things pertaining to the gospel, with the assurance that Christ is with us always (literally, all the days) to the end of the age.

Think about your local church. What is done there to help nurture and disciple new believers? What more can be done? Ask yourself, too: what talents do you have that you could use in this important part of fulfilling the gospel commission?

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Wednesday: To Make Disciples — 28 Comments

  1. Hw ar we going 2 make,baptise n teach the disciples? firstly, I think we nid 2 change our attitude towards God's workk(we need to be of attitude) n love one another

    Like(12)
    • We should be out there actively teaching his word not only in church but at our jobs, and any other place you come in contact with. I'm not saying at lunch jump on a table and preach but if you show the love of Christ then others will be interested.

      After we bring new members to the church they should be treated like a small plant starting out. We should nurture them feed them the gospel till they are strong and they are able to teach. That is what he is talking about in this lesson.

      Like(10)
  2. Hw ar we going 2 make,bapts n teach da disciples?firstly we nid 2 change our attude towards God's wek(we nid gud attude) n lov one anotha.

    Like(1)
  3. An excerpt came to mind when I was reading Acts of the Apostles (A book about the life of the disciples) it read,

    "The apostle (Paul) made it part of his work to educate young men for the office of the ministry. He took them with him on missionary journeys, and thus they gained an experience that later enabled them to fill positions of responsibility. When seperated from them, he still kept in touch with their work, and his letters to Timothy and to Titus are evidences of how deep was his desire for their success." AA page. 368

    Ted Wilson is an example of such discipleship, I read an article in which he shared his experience in his youth when he was entrusted with the responsibility of being a young elder under the auspices of experienced elderly men.

    Of course there is the negative side, as we youths are sometimes naïve, but I am persuaded it is a Biblical example to undertake such courses of action to effectively make disciples. (Kindly correct me if I am wrong.)

    Dr. Pardon Mwansa (the General Conference graced us with his presence at our camp meeting) mentioned in passing how we need not entrust new members with positions of trust such as elders, of course it was in the context of what ails Southern-Indian Ocean Division particularly Central Africa (Which is undergoing rapid growth) and hence heresies are flooding the churches.

    However the culmination of my question is this, how best do we make disciples? In light of grooming young people using Paul's approach and also avoiding the pitfalls out lined by our leader assigned to lead the church by The LORD. Not these conflict, kindly advise me on striking a balance and how best to help my division embrace this approach.

    (Sorry for not making it brief)

    Like(3)
    • U r on the button my brother, when i gave my life to Christ, a couple or senior members took me under their wings and carried me to witness with them and to gain experience, when i was not around them they would call me to see if everything was ok, they showed love, and care for me, that helped me grow as a christian.

      Like(7)
    • Alinaswe, it almost seems you answered your own question, and Isaac corroborated your answer.

      Discipling of new believers by mature believers will prevent heresies from "flooding the church." And the naivete of the young will be cured in the same way. We very much need the enthusiasm of the young to help our church move forward, but they need to be discipled just as Paul discipled Timothy. I'm afraid it is laziness on the part of mature members that prevents this process from happening and thus causes problems in the church.

      Like(3)
  4. I believe we must have an experience with Jesus in order to have something to teach, or else we could not truly testify of His goodness to others. The scriptural reference conveys the following: 'teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you' we cannot teach one to observe if we have not done so ourselves.
    Many church members are reluctant to participate in evangelical work because of failure to 'observe whatsoever He has commanded.' Jesus needs us now more than ever to be His mouthpiece, let us get our act together, our lives must preach the sermon.

    Like(13)
  5. Before we can go,make,baptize and teach the disciples ,we must change our behavior towards Gods work and know that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God who died on the cross to save you and I from our sins,we must therefore bear in mind that teaching the word will help divert people from their sinful act and follow Jesus Christ.we must convince them well so as to be able to baptize them and make ready for Christ,so therefore as Christians we should love ourselves and should not feel reluctant to spread the word.

    Like(3)
    • Godwin, I wonder whether you meant to say that "as Christians we should love others and should not feel reluctant to spread the word"?

      Loving ourselves would seem to make us want to take it easy.

      Christ asked us to deny self and take up the cross (Lu 9:23) and to minister to our neighbors in His name - first meeting their felt needs and then sharing the Good News of God's love.

      Like(1)
  6. I have been wrestling in believing that a person who believes in Jesus as his personal savior but struggles in quitting from smoking may still be baptized. Will appreciate your comments.

    Like(0)
    • If the requirement for baptism was to be without any sin then none of us would ever be baptized. I believe that baptism is an act of submission and acceptance. We visibly admit that we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, as our sacrifice for the sins we commit, and accept the Holy Spirit. Only after we have accepted Jesus Christ and prayed for the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit will we be able to truly defeat the hold sin has on our lives, including vices.

      I'm reminded of a beautiful older woman from my church when I was in California. My wife and I were visiting her and she confessed that "... sometimes, when she has a bad headache, she would have a Coca Cola...". In her mind this was a vice or a sin that she needed to deal with. How great my life would be if that was the only "sin" I had that kept me awake at night.

      Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned , and come short of the glory of God". Until we accept Jesus Christ we cannot defeat sin. Part of accepting Jesus Christ is being Baptized, it's a step towards accepting our weakness and allowing His strength to guide our lives.

      Like(11)
    • I believe what is important is that a person is fully committed to serving the Lord before being baptized. That will not bring instant victory over sin, and it is probably not helpful to determine which sins they must fully overcome before being baptized.

      It is probably more helpful to support people after baptizing them - including them in fellowship and encouraging them to keep choosing to follow Him, rather than giving in to temptation.

      Like(10)
  7. With deepest respect us as sinners never have their "act together". If we wait till we're perfect we will surely bear 'no fruit'.

    Like(9)
  8. I strongly believe that our greatest testimony (witness) comes through our experience with Christ and we should encourage our newly baptized that are not yet mature in the word that one of the greatest witness is to share with others what Christ has done for them. People have a way of being drawn by other people's experiences. Right after Pentecost Peter testified of his experiences with Jesus, likewise Paul declared his encounter on the Damascus road.

    Like(5)
  9. First we need to understand under whose instructions we operate. We are under the instructions of the LORD OF THE UNIVERSE. If we have the right connection and communication with Christ we would not lag but hurry to do his bidding as the angels above. Our immediate response will be, "Thy will be on earth as it is in heaven".

    Like(3)
  10. Practical training is always the best,a living example is good, but a life dedicated to the will and purpose of God is totally complete. A heart eager to fulfill the command in Matthew 28:19 & 20 with help of the Holy Spirit is the way forward for mission,and for evangelism. Do we get discouraged sometimes? Sure. But Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God will honor their promise, ''lo I (Jesus) will be with you always, even to the end of the age. Also we are told, 'be not weary in well doing'. Jesus expects all of us to go and do our part to hasten His kingdom and His return.

    Like(4)
  11. Dear Totoy48,
    Addictive behaviour is not an easy thing to get rid of. In Mark9:17-29, the story of the man with the son who had a dumb spirit and the disciples were unable to heal the boy. Jesus healed him. Later the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to heal the boy. Jesus said unto them, "This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." It takes a lot of prayer and fasting to overcome addictive behavior. Keep praying and God would give you victory.
    Eileen

    Like(5)
  12. We of ourselves cannot win souls for God, we can present personal testimonies however, as to His goodness and mercies towards us while stating His redeeming love for all, and He will do the rest. Mentoring is much needed in our community/society. Prevention is no longer the order of the day, but a cure. We as men and women who call ourselves Christians should be so disturb by our society that we should be forming groups, raising monies to help preteens and kids as early as 7 years old to understand and form a concept of what it is to be an asset to society, how it feels to be genuinely loved, respected, appreciated and valued. Our job is to go where others deemed unreachable or untouchable and with God's help make a change. If every Christians make a vow to reach or mentor a child who is not of a Christian persuasion than we can alleviate much of the pain that is now rampant in our world. Lord Jesus help us to see you in everything we do.

    Like(4)
  13. A question or two has come to my mind. How can a person become a disciple of Christ when the one discipling is not one himself? Wouldn’t that be like doing what the Pharisees were doing? “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Mat 23:15 NKJV).

    Are we only to be a sort of sideline salesman or a conduit of sorts for people to come to Christ or are we to be examples of what Christ is like that give a model for people to follow just as many of the disciples were after the ascension like Paul was to his churches (Phil 3:17; 1 Tim 4:12) or is it only Christ we are to follow (2 Pet 2:21; Jn 13:15). In other words are we to say to the world do as I say not as I do?

    Like(1)
  14. I'm so much in love with this quarter's lessons. its putting so many things on plain and I'm actually learning a lot n hope by His grace i will be able to represent n present Him well.

    Like(3)
    • Sister Estella, I concur. These lessons have definitely put things "On front street" as we use to say. I especially enjoy studying my lesson online, so that I can read the thoughts of others on these profound and much needed lessons, I don't have to wait till Sabbath School to get clarification and understanding on a matter. I have thoroughly enjoyed these lessons. (Also, the editorials that accompany the lessons)

      Like(2)
  15. 1cor. 15:8 last he appeared also to me even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal.
    who is this being mentioned in this verse on the day Jesus meet more than five hundred followers?

    Like(0)
  16. Revival, reformation, discipleship and evangelism...these are in this order on purpose...and the first three are personal, only the last one has to do with "others"...how many messages have we already heard about Laodicea...yet do we look at ourselves when we hear it?

    DA17 "Nicodemus" shows us how Nicodemus was appalled at the spiritual apathy in Judaism at the time, but thought of himself as being okay...but Jesus' first words to him immediately shook up that "okay" feeling and let him know that he was not okay, which is the essence of the Laodicean message...it is for ME, to tell ME that I'M not okay, and that I need to be converted.

    Like(1)
  17. Jared: Paul was writing to the Corinthians & he was telling them who some of the people were who saw Jesus after he was resurrected. Then much later after Jesus had returned to heaven, He came to Paul (Saul) on the road when he was still hunting the Christians. So he says he was "out of time" because it wasn't right after the resurrection as it was with the others.

    Like(1)

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