Welcome back to the Commands of Christ blog series where we are examining together the nine foundational commands given by Jesus and which are essential for new disciples to understand and obey. If you missed the first three posts in this series you can find them by clicking Repent and Believe, Be Baptized and Pray.
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 obey all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:18-20).
In this post, we will look at the fourth of nine foundational commands that Christ gave for disciples to obey. This fourth command is to make disciples, and is found in Matthew 28:18-20 which is quoted above.
3 Reasons Why Being a Disciple Matters
Why does discipleship matter? If we claim to be a Christian, then we are claiming to be a follower of Jesus and if we are a follower of Jesus, then we are one of His disciples.
Here are 3 reasons why being a disciple matters:
1. Jesus Commands Us to Make Disciples
When Jesus gave the disciples the Great Commission, He told them to make disciples of all nations. How can you make a disciple if you aren’t a disciple yourself? In order to make a disciple, you have to be a disciple of Jesus.
If you are not strong in your faith, you wouldn’t be able to train and make disciples. No matter where you are or what profession you’re in, you’re called to be a disciple of Jesus. He will use you wherever you are, whoever you are.
2. A Disciple is a Doer of the Word
Anyone can say they are a disciple of Jesus but are they obeying what Christ commanded? This is the difference between being a hearer of the word only and being a doer of the word. This is made clear in James 1:22-25.
It says,“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
In order to live out your life as a disciple, you must be growing in your obedience to do what Jesus commands.
3. You Become More Conformed to the Image of Christ
When you lay down your life for the sake of Christ, you are making a step towards becoming more Christ-like. Discipleship is a direct result of sanctification.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” We are made new when we repent and believe in Christ and allow Him to work in us.
In order to become more like Jesus, we should surrender our lives daily and deny our flesh. We will never live a perfect life but we can walk in the Spirit, take up our cross daily, and quickly repent when we fail and then get back up and go again!
The 3 Main Goals of Discipleship
Once you have committed to being a disciple of Christ, there are three main goals of discipleship you should keep in mind: share the Gospel, make disciples, and glorify God.
1. Share the Gospel
To be a disciple of Jesus, you must share the Gospel, this is what Jesus told His disciples to do before He left the earth.
Put yourself in places where you will have the opportunity to share the Gospel. For example, volunteer at a homeless shelter or help your neighbour with a painting project.
Not only are we to share the Gospel to those in our community but we are called to share with every nation. If you’re not called to be a full-time missionary, you can support missions from home with your finances and prayers. You can also pray for an unreached people group in the world (for more information on Unreached People Groups visit Joshua Project).
Pray and ask God to guide you and provide you with opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus!
2. Make Disciples
After sharing the Gospel, we are called to make disciples. This means teaching people how they can live out their faith and encouraging them in their walk with Jesus.
You may consider volunteering at your church’s youth group or mentoring someone. Discipling people will look different for everyone depending on your age and how mature your walk with God is. Again, I would encourage you to pray and ask God who He has placed in your life for you to disciple.
3. Glorify God
The most important part of being a disciple of Christ is to glorify God. Let all that you do be honouring and glorifying to Him. Do all things for His glory rather than your own.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
We can show God glory by being responsible at work and complete tasks with diligence, by having healthy relationships and growing alongside each other, and by setting aside devotional time every day. We don’t just bring Him glory when we are at church; we can bring Him honour during our everyday tasks too.
Lastly, we can give God glory by praise God throughout the way day. When you are working or running errands, tell Him how grateful you are for the blessings He has given to you!
Now that you know your call as a disciple is to make disciples of all nations and teach them the ways of Jesus, it’s time for action. Pray and see how God wants to bring discipleship into your own life and how you can disciple others.
Lastly, remember the most important part of being a disciple is to bring God honour and glory!
If you want to know more about discipleship and making disciple-makers, contact us via the comments or by sending an email or giving us a call at 800-784-7077.