Pastoral Perspectives

Make Disciples!

This year, on the 24th of July, I have written a perspective on “Love God”. Does this remind you of something? I hope that it does. Yes, it is part of the Mission Statement of our church: “Love God. Make Disciples.” In that perspective, I covered the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). In this perspective, I will cover the Great Commission which is Matthew 28:18-20 as follows:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Before we can make disciples, we must first recognise and acknowledge that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus”. Under the power of His authority, we shall be able to go and make disciples. Our Lord Jesus is the One who sends us out to share the gospel and make disciples for His sake. God through the Lord Jesus empowers us through the Holy Spirit to do the work of disciple-makings.

First and foremost, we need to address our understanding of this word: “disciple”. What is a disciple? A disciple is basically a follower imitating what the master has taught him to be and to do. It is the “Being” and “Doing” principles. You must be a disciple before living it out as who you really are. A disciple will often have to sit at the feet of the master listening attentively to him and his teachings. A disciple also sees what the master is doing and then carrying out what he saw him doing. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the apostle Paul said: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” We imitated the apostle Paul as he imitated Christ. In Ephesians 5:1-2, the Word of God stated: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Basically, a disciple is an imitator of God and of Christ. So, we begin by being a disciple of Christ. The hallmark of a disciple is “Love”. In John 13:34-35, the Word of God stated: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” The display and demonstration of the power of love among us reveal to others that we are disciples of Christ. This is, in itself, a powerful witness to those who have yet known Christ and His salvation plan for them.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: “Am I a disciple of Christ?” If you were a disciple of Christ, then you can make disciples. The cost of discipleship has been addressed in Luke 14:28-33. Our Lord Jesus spoke this clearly in verse 33: “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” We must be fully committed to Christ to be His disciple. We cannot afford to be a half-hearted disciple of Christ. We need to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Christ. (See Luke 9:23). God sees your wholehearted commitment to His beloved Son Jesus. To follow Christ is to follow all the way. There is no turning back. Having been fully convicted of what it meant to be a disciple of Christ, let us live out our lives as Christ’s faithful disciples, obeying His Word and proclaiming His gospel to the people around us who needs to hear and know Him. A disciple knows Him and makes Him known to others. He does not keep it to himself but shares it gladly with others. He is an imitator of God and walks in His love, shining His light to a dying world. He is obedient to the call of discipleship. He will go and preach and teach others the Word of God and instruct them to be obedient disciples of Christ. He will not withhold from others what he has learnt from Christ Jesus His Master and Friend. He is assured of the Presence of Christ in his life and ministry as Christ has said: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

The other question we need to ask ourselves is: “Are you willing to be a disciple-maker of Christ?” When you feed others the Word of God, you will also be fed richly yourself. (See Proverbs 11:25b). Let us look out for those who need to be nurtured in their faith in Christ. They need to be nourished with the Word of God in their lives. They need someone to journey alongside them so that their faith in Christ will grow instead of being stagnant. They need to be taught the Word of God as well as to know and learn how to apply the truths of God’s Word into their lives. They need to grow towards spiritual maturity. They cannot remain to be babes in Christ but to be matured in Christ. They need to abide in Christ and to bear much fruit in Christ. If you love God, you will go and make disciples for Christ’s sake. If you love God, you will obey His commandments.

May the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 encourages us:

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Preacher George Ang

August 21, 2022