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Make disciples sermon

Point 1 – Jesus has the authority

So the first thing we see is that Jesus has the authority to say what he says next. His authority is everywhere – on earth and in heaven. There is no place where his authority is not in-place. 

Therefore God the father gave it to him and we know that Jesus does all that the Father has asked him to do. 100%. Like we say to our kids: do it cheerfully, quickly, and completely. Jesus did as the father asked of him and I am pretty sure that that’s what he expected of his disciples to do too.

How is the authority of Jesus reflected in your life? Are you submitting all your decisions under His authority, in EVERY area of your life? Do you follow his guidelines in your relationships, in your character building, in your job responsibilities? Or do you make your life decisions without consulting Him? Is he really the king of your life?

It’s because Jesus has been given this authority, then followers of Jesus are commanded to do the next 5 things.

1. Go
2. Make disciples
3. (of all nations)
4. Baptising the new disciples
5. Teaching them to obey all of His commands

When was the last time you ‘went’ looking for someone to share the gospel with? Do you consistently put aside your agenda to allow God to direct your steps, whether in conversations or in circumstances, to reach others with His love or His message? Do you actually have friends/neighbours in your life from other nations that you discuss spiritual matters with? Have you taught anyone about baptism, or even baptised anyone recently? Do you have conversations about God’s commands and how to follow them better?

I believe that these commands of Jesus are for every one of His followers: for you and for me. And honestly, it seems that not many Christians take them seriously enough to change their lives to obey them. So, Why don’t we obey these 5 commands? Why are more than 9 out of 10 Christians not doing most of these things?

Christians are “outsourcing” the make disciples responsibility

One reason is that I think we have become content to “outsource” our responsibility. We have outsourced our responsibility of these commands. i.e. it’s the missionary’s responsibility to go and reach the lost; it is the pastor’s and church leaders responsibility to do baptisms; or it’s the youth or Sunday school leader’s responsibility to explain the gospel and teach people how to live. 

What about the command to make disciples. Who is doing that and who should be?

We expect/hope that others would go. Rarely we share the message of Jesus with people who are different to ourselves. We leave the baptising to pastors / church leaders. And our way of teaching disciples is to bring them to events organised by the church – where normally someone other than us will be giving the instructions for spiritual development. That’s not what I think Jesus was expecting his followers to do.

I believe we have outsourced our responsibility of these commands to go, to baptise and to teach our disciples. We just don’t do it. Maybe you do. And if so, then great! You are one of the 10% who is actually doing it. 

Definition of a disciple of Jesus Christ

Another reason that most aren’t obeying Jesus is that we have different definitions or understanding of what these words mean.

Go is not wait for those far from God people to come and find you and the message you have. Christians aren’t going to where the gospel isn’t. Maybe you know someone who is and that makes you think you are off the hook. I don’t think that is the case. We are all supposed to be doing these things. One way I like to say this is that “as you go about your life – work, leisure etc. – make disciples”. It should’t be seem as something you add onto your already busy life. It should be part of your lifestyle.

Going is not only moving towns, states or countries. Going is looking for gaps where the gospel isn’t and being present there.

Make disciples as you go example

I recently started cycling with our son Joel, and I found a little cycling club here in our town. I have gone cycling with them a few times now, and we even joined them in participating in a race a few weekends ago. Not only is cycling a good sport that I enjoy, but from what I have seen so far, none of the guys in this club are remotely close to God. I can’t wait for them to come looking for me or for them to turn up at a church. So I have decided to join their group so I can get to know them, see where that are spiritually and then share about Jesus and what He has done for me. Therefore, I have ‘gone’ after them. 

Where do you think the gospel isn’t and how can you go and take it to those who have not heard it?

“spiritual child” = disciple

Maybe we also have a different idea, definition or understanding of what is a disciple.

Most people don’t have disciples. I like to use the synonym “spiritual child” for disciple. For many of us, we have children and if I asked you what their names were, then you would be able to tell me. What if I asked you who are your disciples. Would you be able to name them too? Who are the people you are spiritually caring for. Is there someone you have helped come to faith in Jesus and now you are caring for them spiritually – just like you would as a parent. This concept of birthing and caring for the spiritual growth is what I believe Jesus taught the first disciples to do. And he expected all other disciples/followers to do the same.

What does it mean to “spiritually care” for someone?

It means being intentional about walking through life with them, not only doing a Bible study with them once a week. It means having meals together, going for walks, doing exercise together, hosting a bonfire… these activities are not only for fellowship and fun, but they offer situations where you can be attentive to what is really going on in their lives, to pay attention to their struggles, share your knowledge and experience, model your family life/choices, learn how to pray for them better, celebrate their victories, remind them of God’s design and His qualities…. That’s what I believe caring for someone spiritually is. And that is what making disciples should involve.