Disicpleship is out of…

Loner-Blog

I remember that day like it was yesterday. After living a secret life of sin and rebellion – all while professing to love Jesus in public – I had confessed my sins, repented, and truly believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior. That afternoon I cried like I had never cried before, in part due to shame at the way I had hypocritically professed to love Jesus outwardly while making myself out to be His enemy in secret, and in part due to indescribable joy at the depth of His mercy and the freedom from sin that was found in Him.

The first thing I wanted to do was proclaim this wonderful news to the whole world. I wanted desperately for everyone to experience the forgiveness, mercy, and freedom from sin that I had just found in Christ.

But I hesitated. After living a life of isolation, I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing this good news with others. As a result, I spent the next couple years going to church and doing my Bible studies but never actually sharing my faith with the lost. My faith was a personal one, and I was perfectly content to keep it that way. Unfortunately, this was yet another act of blatant disobedience on my part. Let’s read in Matthew and see why I have been convicted.

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.” – Matt. 28:18-20.

In verse 18 Jesus says,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

How much authority has been given to Jesus? Where does His authority extend to? Are you and I subject to His authority?

He continues in verse 19 with,

“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.”

The word “therefore” in this verse is a term of conclusion. Terms of conclusion serve as a bridge in an important sequence of thought and include terms such as therefore, thus, and for this reason. From the “therefore” in verse 19, I can conclude that because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, I should therefore obey His command to go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus leaves no room for debate here. He has all authority in heaven and on earth, so I should therefore be intentional in obeying His command to make disciples. This is a command; it is not optional.

But how do I go about making disciples as commanded by Jesus? Verse 20 gives the answer,

“teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

This is a crucial step in the discipleship process. True discipleship not only involves making new believers, but also coming alongside them and teaching them all that Jesus has commanded us.

Finally, Jesus concludes this passage with the most important words of all,

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

How long will Jesus be with us? Always! We need not be afraid in our discipleship efforts! Jesus Himself will be with us, equipping us and enabling us to fulfill His commands.

So let’s be passionate and intentional in our efforts to make disciples. Jesus brings the good news of salvation to the world, and He has chosen us as His instruments for spreading that news!

Carson

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