Matthew 28:19-20, “19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
God desires all people to be disciples of Jesus. After a person has been born again God commands them to be Jesus’ disciple. The word “disciple” means, “student or devoted follower.” Accordingly, everyone should not only believe in Jesus, but also be trained and equipped to live like Jesus!
John records the following words of Jesus in John 8:31-32 to those who had simply “believed” in Him, “31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” Jesus clearly distinguished between their belief and their actions. James also noted this difference between faith and works in James 2:17, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
God desires all people not only to have faith in Him but also to obey all that he commanded by being Jesus’ disciple.
The only way a person can obey all that Jesus commanded is if they are first taught all that Jesus commanded; this is called discipleship. Consider discipleship the school in which the disciple enrolls in and is a part of until they reach heaven. So not only is everyone to become a disciple, but God commands all disciples to be dedicated to discipleship for their entire lives. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
Always remember, the work of being a disciple is not done in human effort- it is initiated, maintained and accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” Therefore, be a disciple of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit!
- Become a disciple of Christ if you haven’t already.
- Learn and obey all of Jesus’ commands.
- Depend upon the Holy Spirit to empower you to be Jesus’ disciple.