Our common love for the Lord Jesus unites us in our work, and our common desire to obey the Lord Jesus binds us together with a single goal: to glorify Almighty God. Our Lord’s commands will keep us focused as we face many challenges and opportunities along the way.
Our Savior summarized his instruction for all of his followers in all places at all times in this age when he spoke to his disciples after his resurrection. As they stood on a certain mountain in Galilee Jesus came to them and gave them, and us, a mandate for action.
Jesus prefaced his instruction with a statement about his right to command the people of God. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, he said. When we obey the Lord Jesus, we are in step with the highest authority in all the cosmos.
So what has Jesus commanded his followers to do? The short version is this: Go make disciples. In other words, go make more followers of Jesus. Before explaining how, Jesus addressed the question of whom; to whom should we go? He simply said, everyone, make disciples of all nations, all peoples. Jesus placed no limit on the type of person who can become his disciple.
How do we make disciples? First, we baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism means conversion. We announce and explain the Good News about salvation through faith in Jesus. Then we invite people to trust the Lord and become followers of Jesus.
Saving souls is the beginning of a new life that requires instruction. So Jesus has commanded us to teach disciples after we make them. And he has given us the curriculum; we are to teach all that he taught his disciples, which is recorded in the Bible. Our textbook for discipleship is God’s Word.
We have a mandate from the Lord of heaven and earth. Our shared labor of love is to help people find saving faith and then to help them grow in their faith. As we obey our Lord’s command we, too, grow spiritually. Jesus himself is our model. Our goal is to become more and more like him.
Not only is Jesus our model in discipleship and our authority for making new disciples, he also has the power to enable us in our work. He finished his instruction by promising his very Presence will always be with us no matter how long the job lasts. “And look!” he said, “I am with you all the days, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
May we always bring glory to God through our obedient service to Jesus,
Brother Richard Foster, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church, Camden, AR