“Jesus came and told His disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
Few things are more exciting in ministry than witnessing the life change of a new Christ follower when they are baptized! It was so amazing to see hundreds take that first step of obedience at our Super Summer Baptism celebrations. Baptism is the first of many steps of obedience in learning to live the new life that Jesus has given us. While receiving Christ and being baptized are important decisions, beyond your baptism begins the process of learning to be the Christian you have become! Jesus instructed His followers to make disciples. It’s unfortunate that some have misunderstood that directive and replaced it with make decisions. Becoming a disciple is more than simply making a decision. Receiving Christ is a decision, followed by a process. Just as Christ called His disciples to follow Him, He invites you and me to follow Him as well.
Baptism is first step of obedience in becoming a disciple. When Jesus told His followers to make disciples of all nations, He gave them the following instructions so they would know what that meant:
“… baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”
A disciple is a learner with a teachable spirit. In Matthew 11, Jesus invites His disciples to learn from Him! How do we do that today? All we need to know for being a disciple is revealed to us in His Word, the Bible. He told His disciples, when He left, that He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. The Holy Spirit will use the Bible as our guide through life and transform our thoughts and desires to reflect the character of Christ. In fact, Jesus said that one of the clearest characteristics of a true disciple is someone who continues in His Word. In John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the people who believed in Him,
“You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Do you desire to learn from Jesus? Do you seek to know the truth? Then, open the Bible and begin the adventure of meeting with Jesus in His Word. He will reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways to you as you seek Him in Scripture. When you do, you’ll experience the freedom that comes from knowing the truth!