Christ's Great Commission
The Great Commission
Then 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
This is Christ’s farewell command to His precious disciples. That they are to go out and make disciples, not just converts but true followers of Christ. What is the major difference between a convert and a disciple ? A convert is just somebody who had a head knowledge of Christ. Being convinced of Christ’s teachings, he changed his system of beliefs and practices and aligned it with Christ’s teachings but it does not necessarily mean that he has really been transformed or whose heart has been regenerated or somebody who experienced genuine spiritual rebirth. One maybe a convert but may not be a true disciple of Christ. A convert may just be somebody who is externally changed. A true disciple of Christ is someone who is willing to deny his self, to take up his cross and willing to follow Christ at all cost. A true disciple of Christ is somebody who has died to his self-life, has dethroned SELF from the center of his heart and has surrendered all areas of his life to the Lordship of Christ. A true disciple is somebody who has enthroned CHRIST as King and Master of his life. What Christ demands from His followers is to produce disciples not just merely converts. Christianity has won so many converts , even millions of converts to Christian faith. But how many of these converts are true disciples of Christ who is willing to deny their selves daily, take up their cross and follow Christ at all cost. Unless we produce true disciples of Christ, we are not really heeding the Great Commission of Christ.
What are we going to do with these disciples of Christ once we produce them ? We are to baptize them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It just imply the importance of water baptism. Baptism is the public declaration of your oneness with Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection. You will obey the Lord in water baptism because you are already a disciple not to be a disciple. You will follow the Lord in water baptism not to be saved but because you are already saved and following the Lord in water baptism is your initial obedience as a saved disciple. Water baptism is a public declaration of what happened inside of you since you received Christ. This is demonstrating that your old SELF has died and just buried. Upon rising from the water you are rising up to your New Life. With water baptism you are declaring that your old Self has died and you are now living your New Life with Christ.
There is a Christian cult which teaches that you must be baptized before receiving salvation.This doctrine is erroneous and not taught by the Bible. This teaching contradicts Martin Luther’s teaching on “Sola Fides” or “ Faith Alone.” We are saved by grace through faith alone. Adding water baptism to Faith is an erroneous doctrine. But every truly saved disciple or believer will follow the Lord in water baptism. There is a reason to doubt the validity of one’s faith if he will not follow the Lord in water baptism. But churches must not baptize just anyone who wishes to be baptized. Churches must see to it that they are baptizing true disciples of Christ. They should baptize only true believers who truly repented from all their sinfulness and have surrendered all areas of their lives to the Lordship of Christ. Water baptism is not a true baptism without true repentance and total commitment to the Lordship of Christ.
After baptism, every disciple must be admonished to obey all the commandments of Christ. This include the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and all the commands of Christ in the New Testament. This mean it includes Christ’s command to love our enemies, and to forgive all those people who have hurted us. And every disciple is admonished by Christ to go and make disciples also. If you are indeed a true disciple of Chris, you will take the great commission of Christ seriously. A true disciple of Christ is in the business of making disciples constantly. This is the mark of a true disciple of Christ : he is a disciplemaker.
Being a true disciple of Christ involves daily dying to the SELF-Life. It is not an easy life. It requires perseverance, patience, love, endurance,faithfulness, great faith, resilience, steadfastness,discipline. Though it maybe a difficult life, it is the kind of life with a much great reward. For only to this kind of life, Christ promises His enduring presence.