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Discipleship 101

Know Why You Are Making Disciples

Making disciples starts with knowing why you are doing it.

Reason #1: Love-Driven Obedience to Christ

Plain and Simple. He told His followers to disciple the nations. Are you a followers of Jesus? Then that means YOU!  (it also means if you are NOT doing it, you are not obeying Jesus, and that means you probably don’t love Him as much as you think you do because anyone who loves Him will obey His commands)

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations (literally: “disciple the nations”), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (similar directive given in Mark 16:15, Luke 14:23

How do we know that this task is meant for all of us? We have the Spirit. Note that the apostles did not go out and do all this right away, they needed the Holy Spirit first. The Holy Spirit was needed for witness because God does not choose to argue His way into peoples’ lives. He confronts with a mighty power. The people in the upper room were Mary, the mother of Jesus, “the women,” and the 12 disciples. (Acts 1:13-14)

Jesus had said, “you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Acts 2:2-8

As people came to Christ, even Gentiles, they also spoke in tongues, and this is the evidence that they too were being commissioned to preach the gospel to the nations. Not everyone will speak in tongues, but all are to be filled with the Spirit and given spiritual gifts to disciple the nations. In some cases, the Holy Spirit came before water baptism.

Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45 The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46 For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, 47 “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 10:44-48

The power encounter often comes before a formal initiation into Christian fellowship. Be ready to pour out the Spirit to let people encounter the Living God who loves and knows them. This can be through gifts of prophecy, healing, words of wisdom, deliverance from demons, exactly the same way Jesus walked. And when people encounter God, they have no resistance anymore. The mind and heart are more soft to yield. Unless they are offended, which is why Jesus said, blessed is the man who is not offended by me. In order to be ready to offer people a power encounter with God, you must be spending time in the Spirit in intimate times with Him on your own. You love God and love others by abiding with Jesus in regular conversation and soaking in scripture and fasting and quality time with Him so that you are always ready to minister as a priest, to extend the mediation of Christ to people until they know how to come into the presence of God without human help. In this way, they are sheep that we lead to food and water encouraging them to eat and drink what we have led them too, until they can lead others.

Reason #2: It’s our responsibility

Making disciples is no longer the job of Jesus, or the original disciples. It’s our responsibility to disciple the nations now. And there is something very valuable to discipling others cross-culturally beyond your own people. 1) A prophet is more welcome outside his hometown-you will find ripe fields who are hungry to hear; 2) Seeing an outsider who has come a long way, leaving their homes and families, for the sole purpose of TELLING you something is compelling.

God accomplishes the inner work of evangelism and discipleship but He chooses to work through people. Every believer is meant to be an overflowing fountain of life (John 7:38-39) who is supposed to be a minister of the Holy Spirit in the world. Instead of Jesus living eternally on earth, He left us to complete the task of discipling the nations, baptizing them in the Father Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey. Peter is gone, so are Paul, John, Andrew, and James. So are all the generations of faithful apostles (sent ones) that came after them. So the invitation to obey comes to us, the living disciples of Jesus. Anyone who is truly disciple of Jesus is sent with the mandate to share the gospel. If we fight that, we are in rebellion. You can’t outsource this responsibility. Everyone who would be a disciple is tasked with making disciples.

Not only this but every disciple of Christ is completely COMPETENT to make disciples. YOU CAN DO IT! Because of the Holy Spirit. This is the Spirit of Christ who makes you a son of the Most High God.

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:4-7

He is the promised one who wants to help you walk like Jesus, the Son, walked, saying what the Father is saying and doing what He is doing in the authority of the Father.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. John 5:19

“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” John 12:49

Because the Spirit gives life, we will find reason number three naturally comes from obediently fulfilling our responsibility…

Reason #3: It’s fun!

Our joy will overflow as we obey Jesus and see others experience repentance and restoration into His presence.

“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:10-11

The goal is to make disciples who make disciples. God’s agenda is multiplication, not of converts or religious adherents, but Spirit-filled, obedient sons and daughters that can be entrusted with His agenda.

Are you doing what He said to do or something else?

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