September 14, 2014

Go Make Disciples – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

This Great Commission is central to Christians all over the world ever since it was issued by the Lord Jesus just prior to His ascension back to heaven after “He had by Himself purged our sins” and “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Christians should know that this is fundamental to their responsibility to serve the One who is Head of the church (see Ephesians 1:22).

“Make disciples” is the translator’s choice for the Greek verb matheteuo, which is simply the verb form of the noun mathetes, “disciple.” Together, the words for disciple and its companion term manthano, “to learn,” are used nearly 300 times in the New Testament. Hence, the obvious application for the commission to “make disciples” is to “make learners” of those who would embrace the person and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are actually three key action verbs in this commission. They were commanded to “make disciples”, to “baptize” and to “teach.”

Basic Requirements for Disciples of Jesus

Although one could easily make the case that the entire Bible holds the requirements for the disciples of the Lord Jesus, there are several key passages that provide summaries of the responsibilities of those who claim to be disciple-learner-followers of the Creator.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are you truly disciples of mine” (John 8:31).

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.

My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (John 15:8).

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27).

Simply put—stay in the Word because it has great power in it (Colossians 3:16), demonstrate godly love especially for the brethren (I John 4:11-12), produce godly fruit in your life (Ephesians 5:8-9); and love the Lord Jesus more than anything in this world (Mark 12:30-33). Being a disciple of the Lord Jesus is much more than merely being “saved.”

Thinking Like a Disciple of Jesus

The apostle Paul wrote a large portion of the New Testament. Many of his letters were written to specific churches and addressed various aspects of living as a disciple of the Lord Jesus. The letter to the church at Philippi was especially poignant and personal since Paul had been instrumental in starting that church, and he had developed a lasting friendship and fellowship with many of those folks. He loved them. As Paul wrapped up that letter, he summarized most of the instructions with a concise command to “think” on the things that they had “learned” (the disciple’s responsibility), “received” (taken to yourself), “heard” (paid attention to), and “seen in me” (watched me)—we are to “do” (practice) them!

Notice that disciples are supposed to think about the things that will enable them to do what they have learned from an “older” brother or sister:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Obviously, being a disciple of the Lord Jesus is a lifelong and seriously conscious activity of paying attention to the truth of God’s Word, submitting to those who are responsible for teaching us about that Word, and conducting our lives so that we are continually participating in the work of the Kingdom.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris III



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