09 Sep God’s Plan for Disciple-maKING – fOR uS
Jesus is in the disciple-making business, and discipleship is not just for the chosen few. it’s for everyone who would follow Jesus – it’s for you and me too. Right after His baptism, signaling the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus gathered men and women who would “follow” Him and sit at His feet to learn. Jesus personally called 12 men to become His students, men who would sit at His feet as pupils to be taught by the one who was sent from heaven and who spoke with divine authority. Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and how the entirety of the Old Testament pointed to His birth, life, death, and resurrection in order to give forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and eternal life for all who would believe in Him.
Those 12 disciples were the core and the beginning of all those who would follow our Lord. Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave his disciples a command, “make disciples.” The disciples were to make disciples, but how? And who? For how long?
Let’s let our Lord answer these questions. “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. 28:19-20).
1. A disciple’s faith is fixed on Jesus. Jesus’s command to baptize is the first step in disciple-making. Why? Baptism points our faith from ourselves and onto Jesus. Baptism is what God does to us not what we do for God. Baptism is where God gives us a new identity as His child who now belongs to His family. Baptism delivers to us what Christ has won for us through His death and resurrection. A disciple’s eye of faith is fixed on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. This disciple-making is for “all nations.” God doesn’t discriminate; discipleship is open to all ages, to males and females, to all people from every part of the earth. Christ died for all, so all are invited to a life of “following” Jesus.
2. A disciple is a learner. Baptism is the initiation of discipleship, learning marks the life of a baptized follower of Christ. Notice how “teaching” is a continual activity. A disciple never grows out of being a “learner.” This is what Peter meant when he wrote, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). How easy it is to fall into the thinking and practice of “I don’t need to learn anymore. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover. I’ve been to enough Bible studies. I’ll learn on my own. I have already studied that Bible book. I know what I believe and don’t need to learn anything new.”
Disciples are made, actually they are continually being made, because they are to be continually learning all that our Lord Jesus has taught. It’s not so much about learning information as it is about the Holy Spirit continuing to convict us of our shortcomings and building us up in the faith delivered to us in our baptism. The Word of God is rich and active and is the source of strength and life of a disciple. How are you growing and learning? How is your life as a disciple of Jesus? Are you a “learner?” Do you have the hunger as a little child to learn all that our Lord has to teach you?
This is my prayer for myself and for you. This is my prayer for two 8th graders who are being baptized here at Prince of Peace on Sunday. Together, may we humble ourselves and sit ourselves at the feet of Jesus to learn from His Word. New Bible study opportunities begin again next week here at Prince of Peace. May we never grow bored of the Scriptures and think we have no need to learn from Him. Let’s do this together. Let’s learn, and study, and pray, and share this life of discipleship together, and let’s keep making disciples of all nations. We don’t do this alone, thank God. We have a promise from Jesus as we live as His disciples and make disciples: “and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” So, with the first disciples, and all those who have followed since, make the words of Peter our prayer, to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
-Pastor Darrin Sheek