Why are we getting so many new people in our fellowship here in China?
Let me explain something very simple.
After Jesus paid the price on the Cross for the sins of man, He appeared to His disciples, giving them the Great Commission, as found in Matthew 28:18-20. It is here we see Jesus commanding His followers to go into all the world, to MAKE DISCIPLES of nations and to baptize all who believe in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He told them to go and make disciples, baptising them in His teaching, thus having dominion by the principle of multiplication. It is the making of Disciples which is the fundamental operative action we need to take. Too many come to Christ and sit at the base of the Cross undisciplined.
The Great Commission came at the end of Jesus earthly ministry, following His death and resurrection and is a pinnacle of the transference of His ministry to His disciples to take the Gospel to the world. The mandate Jesus left His disciples had a profound effect on their lives and many lives, after them. As He passed on the anointing so they also passed it on, even up until this very day.
The disciples had been profoundly impacted by Jesus’ arrest, His death on the cross, His resurrection, and followed by His miraculous appearances in physical form for forty days. They had witnessed Him preaching, doing many miracles and they had seen Him ascending. They were totally convinced of His Messiah-ship. But it was not until after Pentecost that their lives were set upon a journey of proclamation (John 21: 24-25).
Jesus commanded His followers to go into all the world to make disciples in all nations. He commanded us to baptize all who believe in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus coming up spoke to them, saying, All power has been given me in heaven and upon earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined you. And behold, *I* am with you all the days, until the completion of the age. (DARBY)
It is assumed that we are to make Christians. Christians is only mentioned three times in the New Testament, where disciple is mentioned 269 times. Thus we may conclude that making disciples it a much greater mandate, but you can only make disciple from believers.
Jesus’ instructions are
- Get Believers
- Make Disciples
- Baptise them
- Teach them
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.17 And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak new tongues; (MKJV)
Jesus is saying in Mark, that His disciples were to go into the entire world and preach good news. If Jesus is telling the truth, which He is, He is commanding all of His disciples to evangelise the world with the main focus to disciple them. Therefore you, I, and every other believer (the church) are called to evangelise and make disciples. We are to let our light shine.
The whole purpose of missions is an attitude to reproduce and multiply and to take dominion.
Our world is going through many changes and these changes establish a new set of trends, which need to be understood in relationship to our mission. The Church still has the same Biblical mandate as set out by God and Jesus Christ “to go into all the world and make disciples, baptising in the teaching of Christ”. Nothing has changed.
|Matthew 28: 16 – 20||Mark 16: 14 – 18|
|Authority and power||“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
“Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age”
|Confirming signs (vv 17-18, 20)
The Lord worked with them”(v 20)
|Task and Means||Go
|Go,… preach the Gospel|
|Extent||“ of all nations” Great numbers||“all the world”
|Message||“all that I have commanded you”||“the Gospel”|
|Initial Attitude||Some worshiped
|Mourning and weeping (10) reproached by Jesus for “their unbelief and the hardness of heart”|
|Response||“they went and preached everywhere’|
Discipleship is a central issue after salvation for the individuals, and a key component with building a person and a cross-cultural church. The detailed importance of such a program will play a part in the longevity and effectiveness of any group of people. It will also bring major benefits to the new convert, which should be a major priority after the glorification of God. It is after the encounter with God that solidification in the faith is required through Discipleship.
A Disciple is a Scholar
The word disciple is sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist (Matthew. 9:14), and of the Pharisees (Matthew. 22:16), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who believes His doctrine, rests on His sacrifice, imbibes (drinks) His Spirit, and imitates His example (Matthew. 10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; John 6:69). He is a learner, a pupil, a follower and a beginner who moves towards maturity, encouraged by a mentor.
Discipleship means Mentoring Agreement
We need to look at the topic discipleship in more depth so that we, as believers can find the power of God growing in our life. Also we should look at “Mentoring Agreement” or making a covenant-type agreement with a senior person in the faith, and the power of such agreement (Hebrews 13:17). Notable mentoring relationships in the Bible are Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, David and Solomon, Barnabas and Paul, Paul and Timothy, Naomi and Ruth, Deborah and Barak, Elizabeth and Mary and Jesus and His disciples. Following is a list of some Scriptures that demonstrate the need to be willing to come under a more experienced person and the Word of God for the benefit of the younger person in the Lord (Deuteronomy 34:9, Philippians 1:1-30, Titus 2:3-5, Psalm 71:18, Psalm 145:4, Ruth 1:1-22, 1 Chronicles 2:1-55, Psalm 127:1, John 3:1-36, John 10:10, Romans 1:1-32, Proverbs 22:6, 1 and John 2:1-29)
Some have become Christians and have started studying the Word of God, without coming to a place of power in their own lives, because they have not come under Godly leadership in some form of mentoring with the whole aim on being a disciple, which is quiet strange when we consider the command of Jesus to make disciples.
The purpose of our mission is to obey the Great Commission with a heartfelt unction and an attitude to reproduce and multiply and to take dominion.
The repentance pray is the easy part, Discipleship cost everything, but the reward is great.
For leaders, when your disciples are making disciples then you have done your job.
By Dr. Ian Traill
Ten Christian Foundational Studies Lessons 1 to 10