“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 28:19-20
All life is about growth from the cradle to the grave. While God’s plan of salvation includes the forgiveness of our sins, Jesus calls us to be His disciples and says, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). This is becoming His disciple and growing and maturing in your Christian experience.
What defines a disciple of Christ?
- · Knowing, Showing, and Growing. Knowing Him as your personal Lord and Savior by having asked Him to forgive your sins and govern your life.
- · Showing your faith through water baptism. Baptism by total immersion doesn’t save you from your sins. It is a symbolic act that shows your life is buried in Christ. Coming up out of the water symbolizes being resurrected in to a new life in Him. It is a confession of your faith in Him.
- · Growing in your faith by learning and doing what Jesus commands. He says of Himself, “Take My yoke [calling] upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
It's not just praying a prayer to Jesus; it’s living your life for Jesus. “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments.” But there’s a difference between being saved that happens in a moment, and being a disciple of Christ, which happens over a lifetime.
The Apostle James writes, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). It is not a suggestion. When we hear and do, it becomes an instruction with a promise. The promise of growth, and sanctification that will come to define our lives in Christ Jesus.
Finally, He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you hold [believe and practice] to my teaching, you really are My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:31-32). The whole world is in the bondage of the lies of Satan. Our choices can bring us into the harsh slavery of sin or the freedom and eternal life in the Son. Pilate asked Him, “What is truth?” when He stood before him. All he needed to do was reach out in acceptance. Rely on His promises, and obey all He commands. The First Choice of Freedom indeed.