"make disciples"

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by nodak, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    I listened in to a conversation with a Baptist friend and a non Baptist evangelical friend recently. Both agree that the Lord gave us the great commission, and that in it we are told to go and make disciples.

    Here is where it got interesting: the non Baptist understood that to mean that we should not be conversion focused. Instead we should be focused on "getting past conversion quickly" and focus instead on "meat"--meaning systematic theology, the worship war, lifestyle issues, choice of church, etc.

    The Baptist understood it to mean more of a focus on evanglism, to be followed by encouraging the new believer to pray and study the Word. He explained by showing from Romans how in some matters every believer is to be persuaded in his own mind, with room for differences. He also showed where the Bereans did not just accept what was preached or taught, but checked it against scripture for themselves.

    He summed it up this way: "some want to disciple more than they want to see people saved. By that I mean they want people to become their clones. Instead, it seems to me a church really SHOULD be a loving community of the dreaded lone ranger Christians. That is, each person should be thinking, testing what is said and done against the scripture, and speaking up for what they believe scripture teaches instead of swallowing ANY party line, however good. I've been told that can cause the horrible effect of church hopping. Well, if you strongly believe your church is not teaching the truth, and if you have lovingly tried and cannot change it, you SHOULD hop. Otherwise your continued presence there may convince others you agree with the untruth."

    How do you see "making disciples?"
     
  2. Pastor David

    Pastor David
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think Jesus goes on in the Great Commission to explain what he meant by going out and making disciples. He said to baptize them and to teach them to observe all things that He commanded them. To be baptized is to profess conversion in Christ, and to being renewed in heart, mind and spirit. Likewise, only those truly regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit can serve the Lord. Therefore 'making disciples' includes elements of both evangelism - getting them into the kingdom, and discipleship - equipping them for faithful service in the Lord's vineyard.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    364
    I see making disciples as helping others to walk with Christ. We can't just get converts then leave them alone - they need those older in the faith to encourage them and teach them where necessary. We need to get them plugged into a church and fellowship with other believers.

    However, we have to be very careful that we don't overload them at once or become the Holy Spirit to them to convict them. I've seen where the Holy Spirit does the convicting and someone will, without someone else telling them, act on the conviction and align themselves more with the Biblical walk. It's a very cool thing to watch.

    We also need to be available to show them any wrong teaching that they are getting involved in (in the essentials - stuff that would be dangerous) and teach them how to be discerning.

    We are not looking to make absolute clones of us because then that is denying God's working in their lives. We need to make clones of Jesus instead - I believe "Christ-like" is the term we use. :)
     
  4. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    annsi--I pretty much agree with you. I don't think the Baptist intended for new believers to be left alone, not plugged into church, etc.

    I think he meant we often worry too much about make sure they are groomed as Calvinists/Arminian/Dispy, or that they listen to OUR favorite Christian music and no other, or are pre/mid/post trib, or pre, post, or amillenial same as we are etc, to the point it becomes legalism.

    Instead, personally, I think we need to be giving the tools (Bibles, concordances, etc) to find the answers, and promote critical thinking skills rather than giving out pat answers.
     
  5. eightball

    eightball
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    In some ways both definitions, I believe is what Jesus meant.

    First and foremost we are to reach out and extend the "good news" or gospel of Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord.

    That hopefully will lead to conversion.

    But discipleship must follow conversion, if we define discipleship to be the "maturing" or "maturation" process of the new believer or newly converted.

    There is a dire need in the Christian church for teaching or help with bringing new and even older converts into a growth cycle where they will become more and more "salt and light" to the world.

    Often new converts lack the basic foundations of their new identiy or life in Christ. They know they're saved, but they lack power and motivation beyond that, which comes through a concrete understanding of their "position" or "identity" in respect to the both the world, and God Almighty Himself.

    The more that the Christian understands that he/she is a new creation in Christ Jesus, and that they are truly seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, not in a future tense but in a present tense, as they have the Spirit of Christ indwelling their souls upon conversion, the more that they will stand strong and erect when the winds of testing come.

    Christ wanted disciples/followers, but if we read the epistles, we see that there is much after conversion that develops/molds the believer into a stronger, resilient, specimen.

    There is an excellent book written by a Dr. David Needham, called "Birthright, Christian, Do You Know Who You Are?". I believe it was printed through Multnomah Press in Portland, Ore.. Whether it's still in print I don't know, but Dr, Needham very carefully with much scriptural support reveals to the Christian reader how he or she is not just a "Christian", but that moniker entails so much more. He explains how anemic the church is nowadays as believers lack deep foundational biblical truths about their new God-given identity through Christi Jesus.

    I highly recommend Dr. Needham's book.
    *******
    When we trully know who we are, identy-wise, our Christian life takes on dynamics that we-ourselves never knew possible. The Holy Spirit works via the knowledge that we input(Romans 12), and with that ammunition in our minds/souls we begin to appropriate that truth in our lives as a natural byproduct of who we trully are in Christ(Our New and very real identity).

    Remember that when Paul wrote Galatians 2:20, he did not refer to himself in regards to that verse in the future tense, but in the present and past tense.

    He claimed his life as co-crucified, co-buried, co-ressurrected, and co-ascended in Christ Jesus. His life was immersed in Christ's through a work of God, not Paul.

    Pauls life received that crucified, and raised life at the time of Paul's coversion. It was no longer Paul or the old dead Paul that lived, but the new Paul in Christ's crucified, and victorious life that lived.
    ******
    Discipleship is so very important, as we are to be armoured with God's armour, and we have the sword of the Word as our one and only offensive weapon. The rest of that amour is defensive against this deluded foe, Lucifer, as he flings his incriminations, and lies and nasty earthy, carnal missles against us physically, mentally, and emotionally.
    ******
    So I vote for both........Jesus wants more children/sheep in His fold; we are His vessels to go out and be used by Him to call those lost sheep, and if we aren't prepared after become His sheep so we can be effective used by Him, we lack, and need discipling.
     
  6. FriendofSpurgeon

    FriendofSpurgeon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    35
    Agree. Why does it have to be one or the other?? Should be both.
     
  7. trustitl

    trustitl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen!

    I think it is sad that what you described as "a very cool thing to watch" is the exception rather than the rule. I think it is because we think a disciple is something more than it really is.

    Websters 1828
    DISCIPLE, n. [L., to learn.]

    1. A learner; a scholar; one who receives or professes to receive instruction from another; as the disciples of Plato.

    2. A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples; and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.


    We need to let the new believer enjoy the process of learning and allow God the joy of being followed (that is the height of being worshipped in my mind).
     

Share This Page

Loading...