As we focus on discipleship this month, we see the most significant and ongoing season of life. Each week another phrase in the Great Commission has shown us a simple description of our lives as Christians.
“make disciples” — This is our purpose in life. We are disciplemakers. (part 1)
“of all nations” — Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can become a disciple. (part 2)
So, what is the first step for a disciple? Jesus gives another clear command regarding what we are to do as disciples who make new disciples.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
Baptism is a familiar thing for people who grew up in church. For people who are new or unfamiliar with church tradition, baptism may seem like an unusual religious ceremony. It’s often seen as something Christians can get around to once they are ready and comfortable with the idea of getting wet in front of other people. But comfort level was never part of the idea. It wasn’t something Christians eventually did when they wanted to or if they wanted to join a church.
Baptism is more than a graduation ceremony for people going through a new member class. It’s truly a picture of transitioning from sin and death into abundant and eternal life with Jesus. It’s a picture of being born again as a child of God into the family of God—His church.
As disciples, we take on the name of our Father. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We share His Holy Spirit. As Christians we now live by the house rules, so to speak. We enjoy life together and receive all of the benefits of being His sons or daughters.
The first step in following Jesus is dying to self and living for Him. Repentance and faith are seen in the action of death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism is a picture of surrender. It’s a confession that our lives are not our own. It’s a declaration that we belong to the community of faith through the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. It’s to say, in the words of Jesus: “Not my will, but Your will be done.”
Jesus said to baptize new disciples. (And remember, there is no such thing as a Christian who is not a disciple.) So if we aren’t encouraging those around us to be baptized, we’re sidestepping Jesus’ instruction for making disciples. And if you have repented of sin, turning to Jesus in faith… then baptism is your next step. It’s a beautiful step into something so much greater than yourself.
We encourage you to step down into the waters.
We invite you to be raised up, transitioning from an old life to a new life in Christ.
We want to help you with this step and with every other step along the way. Life is meant to be lived together—in community—as the church. Disciples make disciples who make disciples. The Christian life requires meaningful relationships with other Christians. We are all imperfect people learning to love God and love one another by the grace and power of the Spirit.
Join the family of God.
Join your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit to move forward in your faith.
For more about baptism or LifeGroups contact Jeremy@greenhillchurch.com