After Grace…Then What?
Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Christ has all authority because He is The Author (Creator). The Father has placed all authority in Him. The heart of discipleship and making disciples in the original meaning is “as you go along the way” or…as we live our lives we do so in such a way to “disciple others” as much or more by our actions as we do our words!
So you’ve said yes to Jesus…the Only One Who can save you…and now you’re His disciple. Remember He saved you not just so you could avoid Hell but for so much more, namely that you are now in a relationship with Him! What does that look like? What’s next?
Well, let’s take it one step at a time and see what it looks like to live with Him as Lord as that’s what it means to be His disciple and in a relationship with Him. The only way this relationship exists is with Him as Lord!
What does all that mean? In a nutshell, it means you are saved to live for Him, to bring Him Glory! “Wait just one minute,” you say, “no one ever told me that. I was just told I’d be saved from Hell and go to Heaven. That sounded great and since it’s all by His grace I can just keep on doing what I want. I’m saved. Right?”
Well, not exactly. As a matter of fact, according to His Word, that’s not it at all. He not only saves us to be His disciples but calls us to tell others about Him and help them become His disciples as well…make disciples.
So what is a disciple? What is discipleship?
Discipleship is studying the teaching of a master and then following that master’s example…in our case Jesus is that Master. In short, a disciple is a student-servant – one who studies the principles of his/her Lord and then emulates the Model.
One of the greatest ploys of the enemy is to convince the church, either by implication or neglect, that the Bible teaches that the main emphasis of the Gospel is to save us from hell and the rest is optional. God through Christ has already done the work of salvation. The choice is yours. Do you truly believe that or not?
The church has placed the emphasis in the wrong place. By making salvation (the work of Christ) the focus, the church diminishes Biblical teachings and standards, leaving people with the faulty thinking that all they need to do is just be saved and discipleship is a choice. Not according to Jesus. Salvation is a gift that you choose by His prompting and discipleship is the product of that choice in your life. If you truly believe He has saved you and placed you in a relationship with God then it must be evident in your life…His Lordship and your discipleship!
Most of the modern church emphasizes salvation with the evidence being much more about your relationship with and service to the church and it’s ministries and programs rather than teaching and helping you to become a disciple of Jesus. We can do really well and feel really good about ourselves by becoming a “disciple of First Christian or Second Baptist or Main St. Methodist”…you get the picture.
We do a really good job of “making disciples” that attend church, give offerings and serve others that produces actions of our flesh in immature “believers” rather than maturing in the fruit of His Spirit from a surrendered heart. These activities, while good and needed, consume our time, with little emphasis or accountability on the disciplines that actually make us Christ’s disciple, i.e., building our relationship with God. It is only from a priority relationship with Him, received in salvation that we can learn and know how to love Him and then our love and service, individually as His disciple and collectively as His Church, flows to others.
We spend very little time making true disciples and a lot of time, money and energy making converts and sending infants in Christ out to serve others and show them how much He (and we) loves them. Yet we know very little about loving Him and others. There are several spiritual disciplines in Scripture that we are called to develop if we are going to walk in the relationship we’re given in Christ and mature as His disciples as well as make disciples…help others know Him as Savior and Lord.
These disciplines are found in our personal lives, relationships, community in His Church and reaching the lost and hurting. However, there is an order and priority in Scripture as to how this plays out. That’s the message of Love and Lordship!
In Matthew 28:18-20 (Christ’s Authority and Great Commission) – Jesus didn’t just say, ‘Go tell people.” In the original language, “go and make disciples” means that we impact others as we “go along the way.” Making disciples for Him is a product of our lives. This requires much more of a relational investment than just telling them or even serving them. We must first learn and grow in Him and then as we live our daily lives (”Go along the way”), our example of Christ’s truth, love, integrity, etc., in word and deed, guides and builds relationships that influence and impact others to become disciples as we share with and sacrificially serve others to learn and mature as His disciples.
If we take an honest look at how Biblical principles (Truths of God’s Word) are impacting lives, relationship and culture; Marriage and marriages, families, sexuality and gender issues, education, media, government, essentially every area, we see that compromise and license are far more evident than the influence of holiness and righteousness entrusted to His disciples…His Church! That’s on us.
God’s Word gives us a different way to live as His disciples, reach others and make disciples. Over the next few weeks we’re going to focus on several key tenets of Scripture and what it means to be a disciple, to make disciples and to live in Christ’s Love and with Him as Lord…much of it is downplayed and even ignored beyond tacit teachings that do little for obedience, accountability and life and relationship transformation… the product and fruit of faith in Christ!
We can’t continue to be satisfied with growing numbers and shallow disciples! We are called, commissioned…actually commanded…to make disciples for Christ! Every choice, action and relationship should reflect that we are His disciples and He is our Lord! This begins in our hearts and homes, multiplies through The Church and then impacts our culture and world “as we go along the way!”
Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – “As you go along the way” does your life demonstrate what it means to be Christ’s disciple…obedience, accountability, life/relationship transformation…or are you just “playing church?”
Love in Action –
- Spend time with God and in His Word, prayer and listening every day…begin with the Scriptures in this post.
- Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- As The Spirit reveals things to you, consider whether you’re a disciple of Christ or a church “convert?”
- What needs to continue in your life as a disciple? What needs to change from just being a convert?
Love and Lordship Prayer Focus Gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for making me your son/daughter through Christ’s sacrifice. Thanks also for calling me to be Christ’s disciple and make disciples by the life I live and encourage others to live as well in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Teach me every day what it means to be your disciple and make disciples by the life I live so You will be glorified. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.