Newsletter

August 2005

 

Why We Do What We Do

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

This passage sets forth the Lord's main charge to His church, and He will hold us accountable in this area both corporately and individually. [See 1 Cor. 3:10-15; Rev. 2-3] This is one area we must not neglect. The Great Commission is what we are all about.

The main verb and the central command in the Great Commission is to "make disciples." In the original language, "baptizing" and "teaching" are participles grammatically dependent upon the main verb. "Baptizing" and "teaching" are a means to a single, supreme objective "make disciples."

Receiving Christ is where discipleship merely begins. The moment a believer gives his life to Christ, the Church must pour herself into the work of maturing the disciples entrusted to her by Christ. Disciples are to be moved forward to pursue His face, to seek His will, to rejoice in the greatness of His being and to play a vital role in helping to build Christ's precious Church.

In Col. 1:28-29, Paul indicates that he toiled to the point of exhaustion to make others complete in Christ. In Col. 2:7, Paul rejoices that the discipleship process was being carried out in the believers at the church of Colossae. Paul states, "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and established in your faith, just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude."

1)  Firstly, they had become firmly rooted in th4eir faith: The leaders had taught these saints how to "walk in Christ Jesus" and the results of such fellowship with Christ Himself had enabled them to become firmly rooted into His person. They were not shallow believers in the Lord. The roots of their faith had penetrated deeply such that they had a vital, strong, immovable ability to walk consistently in spiritual union with their Savior. Again, the means of this rooting in Christ, according to Col. 2:7 was the instruction which they had received out of the Word of God.

2) Secondly, they were now in a state of being continually built up in Christ: "Being built up in Him" indicates a process of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ as a result of the instruction which they had been receiving out of God's Word. This phrase is a present tense participle indicating continuous action. They received steady and substantial teaching out of God's Word and were thus being conformed to His image.

This process of discipling believers must be the job of those who are mature in the faith and gifted in the Word of God. Discipleship of course takes place whenever you are exposed to sound instruction from the Word of God. However, our church is committed to multiplying those who can lead small groups where the interaction and personal dynamic is so greatly enhanced. The job of those mature Christians who are gifted in the Word of God is to disciple all believers and then to give special training to those who fit within the category of 2 Tim. 2:2.

In 2 Tim. 2:2, Paul exhorts Timothy, who is overseeing the work at Ephesus during a very critical phase in the life of that Church, to identify those men who are most able to come alongside him in the discipleship process. Specifically, Paul states, "These things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

The idea is to multiply those who have been gifted in the Word to be disciplers so that the process of discipleship can multiply to the point where there are may qualified disciplers, each of whom can equip and build up the faith of new Christians through the diligent instruction of the Word. If the multiplication process is allowed to continue, the implications for spiritual growth of the congregation staggers the mind.
 

IDENTIFYING OUR CHURCH'S RESPONSIBILITY


1.  The direction/vision of our church must emphasize discipleship. Matt. 28:19-20.
2.  All believers in the church [make, female, young, and old] need to be discipled. Matt. 28:19-20.
3.  Men who will be able to faithfully disciple others must be identified and trained. 2 Tim. 2:2.
4.  Older women must teach younger women in godliness, love for husband and children, and to be
     workers at home. Titus 2:3-5.
5.  Dads need to be equipped to disciple their children. Eph. 6:4.
6.  A large shepherding base must be established for discipleship. Acts 20:28.
7.  Our church must be faithful to disciple those entrusted to us. We must trust that He will
     consequently add to our congregation because of the breadth and depth of our discipleship base.
     Matt. 24:45-51, 25:21.
8.  Once our discipleship ministry is solidly in place, we need to shift significant time and energy
     toward evangelism. This involves spreading the gospel to our own community, but the Great
     Commission instructs the church to take the gospel to all nations through engaging actively in the
     work of missions outreach. Matt. 28:19.
9.  Even before our discipleship ministry is solidly in place, we need to take significant steps to
     strengthen our evangelism ministries. We are to prayerfully seek God's provision in this area. Matt.
     9:36-38.

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427