Disciples are students who closely follow and learn from their master to become like him.
Every Christian is His disciple. We devotedly love and closely follow Jesus our Lord and Savior, learning from our Master to become more like Him (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2).
Jesus’ final words to his followers were: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
We make disciples because God commands us to do so.
Making disciples involves helping others on their spiritual journey. It begins with those who don’t know Jesus and His love for them. So, loving them well and sharing your faith is an integral part of disciple-making. The process continues when they become Christian. Helping them grow in their relationships with God is also an important aspect of disciple-making.
By making disciples, we are helping others become who they are designed to be and fulfill God’s unique purposes for their life.
God’s Call to Good Works
Ephesians 2:10 states: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” These good works flow out of his love poured out into us. Jesus-followers scattered across the globe (the Church) are meant to embody the love for God and love for others not only individually but also as a community. In fact, to do good works means to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34-35).
Before we can do these good works, we first have to embrace that the Church is God’s handiwork. It’s His. He made it. It is good. It was made for a purpose. The corruption of sin can certainly distort or even obscure how the Church reflects who God is, but even the worst soiling of sin can itself become an opportunity for the transforming power of the Gospel to shine forth. We the Church are God’s handiwork and we’re created to do good works!
We as the Church do the good work of loving God when we worship Him, obey Him, depend on Him, and testify to His greatness through our collective words and actions. Something amazing happens when the Church is united in love for God. As is explained in Ephesians, “And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). We become a place where we and others can experience God’s presence!
From Generation to Generation
Two thousand years ago, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. There was forgiveness, healing, and restoration. There was new life and new creation in Christ. God’s grace and truth turned the world upside down.
This good news fully revived and overflowed from those who first heard it. So much so, that disciples who had been paralyzed with grief and crumbled expectations suddenly didn’t care if the political powers that be killed them! They were preaching in the streets, healing the sick, selling their possessions, and giving away money—advancing this good news simply mattered more than anything else in life (Acts 2) because the risen Lord was with them through the Holy Spirit. The scared-then-unreasonably-bold followers of Jesus together—as a group—answered God’s call to love God and love their neighbors as themselves.
Because of their good works, the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread throughout the world over the years. Today, if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, that is because believers who came before you were faithfully obedient to their call to good works (of loving God and loving others).
When you make disciples, you are continuing the work the Lord Jesus began with His twelve disciples and making it possible for the next generation to experience the amazing love of God.
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