Jesus, The Great Disciple Maker

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“ A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

— Luke 6:40

What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? In simple terms, it means to be a follower or student of a leader or philosopher. To be a disciple of Christ means we study His life on earth and try our best to imitate it. Christianity is really that simple–look at Christ and follow His example. However, after one reading of the Gospels, we quickly discover living a life like Christ is impossible in our own strength. That is why we were given a Helper, the Holy Spirit of God living inside us, so we can live as imitations of Christ on this earth. He is our perfect example. Even though He is fully God, He never lived as more than a man. As we read through the Gospels, we see a simple storyline and a simple path to follow. Step one is hear from the Father, step two is obey, step three is teach those whom the Father has given us to do the same, and step four is repeat. All of this is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit inside us and not by our own strength, but His. The path will look different for every human being, but the process is the same.

However, through the ages, Christianity became centered on a church building and a pastor. Suddenly, the pastor was the only leader and the congregation was free from all discipling responsibilities. Instead, churchgoers were only expected to attend church on Sunday and tithe so the pastor could be paid for discipling the entire church. However, the Church is far too great a burden for one man to carry. It was never intended to be that way. We should all be disciples learning from someone who follows Jesus and teaching someone else to follow Jesus.

““Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.””

— 1 Corinthians 11:1

As Paul the Apostle said, we can imitate those who imitate Christ. We need to realize that we are all disciples who make disciples. We are not just a paying audience waiting to be entertained on a Sunday morning. Jesus, the greatest disciple maker this world has ever known or will ever know, had a large following, but only twelve disciples. And He brought three of them into His core group. Christianity is not about the one man with the megachurch. It is about the thousands of men and women who are faithful to follow and obey Jesus and teach their core group to do the same. Whether they are a mom discipling her children to Christ, a high schooler leading his friends to Christ by example, or the missionary in a foreign land winning many for His Kingdom, we must realize we are all in this together. After all, the Church is not a building. It is a worldwide body of believers.

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”