We know, as Christians, that somehow the Great Commission - 'Go and make disciples' (Matthew 28:18-20) is supposed to be central to our lives. But how many of us live with this in mind? We may even wonder whether we should have it in mind since there is no command to 'make disciples' found anywhere in any of the letters of the New Testament. Was the Great Commission important for the everyday lives of believers that were addressed in the letters written to Corinth and Thessalonica? Then why didn't Paul remind them to make sure they were doing so?
Could it be that all that the apostles said to the believers in their letters was the 'how' of making disciples so that there was no need to command the 'what' of making disciples? In other words, if we, as believers, do what is commanded in the New Testament we will be properly involved in the making of disciples. And if we don't, we won't! So what we need to do is to understand and follow the kind of everyday lifestyle that God calls us to in the New Testament and we will be involved in everyday disciplemaking. Loving people in the LGBT community (as discussed in the video) is just one way everyday disciplemaking is played out.
So what does a NT lifestyle include?
1. Devotion to the Word: Who are baptized and devoted to the Word of God with the People of God. (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 2:19; 1 John 3:10, 23; Colossians 3:16; Acts 2:42)
2. Devotion to Prayer: Who practice prayer in the closet and home and church for God’s grace and the enabling of God’s Spirit. (Luke 11:1-13; Matthew 6:9-13; Colossians 4:2-4; Acts 2:42)
3. Sunday Gathering: Who make the gathering of the Church on Sunday a priority. (Hebrews 10:19-25; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 14:23-25; 16:2; Matthew 28:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7)
4. Fellowship Networks: Who are meaningfully connected to other believers in small group fellowship networks of various kinds. (Hebrews 3:12-19; Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Acts 2:42, 46; John 13:34-35)
5. Every Member Ministry: Who are using their gifts to build up the body in love, especially through ministry or ministry teams at Coast. (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:4-8; Galatians 5:13)
There is more to add to this list and we will discuss that this coming Sunday. You can listen to the Pastor's Class, Life in the Body - Part 6, here.
One of the most fascinating things about disciplemaking is that our Lord highlights the risk involved in Luke 10:3 when He says, 'Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.' We have been discussing what we must believe to be true in order for us to embrace this kind of lifestyle and to follow our Lord.
We must believe that:
God wants us to pursue our happiness.
We must believe that:
If we won't be holy, we can't be happy.
In order to go out as a lamb in the midst of wolves to make disciples, we must believe that this is the pursuit of our happiness and the pursuit of others' happiness in God.
In order to go out as a lamb in the midst of wolves to make disciples, we must believe that holiness is really love in action and if we won't pursue this holiness, we will hinder our own happiness in God.
And we need to see that mankind thinks it can be happy without being holy and we must combat this lie with the gospel so that they can find true happiness in God through the holiness that only Jesus can provide.
You can listen to the message, Lambs in the Midst of Wolves - Part 2, here.