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other parts of the world today.  Baptism is designed by Jesus to cause us to radically and publicly identify ourselves with Him.  It is saying to all who know you that you have been buried with Christ and risen a new person in Christ, symbolized in the picture of the “water grave.”  Symbolically, you go in one person and come out a new creation.


Baptism: a public statement of your changed life in Christ.  Christ wants us to publicly, and unmistakably identify ourselves with Himself.  If we are going to make disciples of all nations, those that claim to be disciples must be willing to make this radical identification.  It is the step that separates the faith that says, “I believe in Jesus but that doesn’t make much of a difference to me,”  from the faith that says, “I believe in Jesus and that makes all the difference in my life.”


The other rail of the track in making disciples is teaching.  Jesus said, “and teaching them to obey.”  Teach them to obey what?  “...everything I have commanded you,” said Jesus.  When people get involved in “making disciples” it becomes very easy and expedient to set out X number of things we need to teach a disciple.  Then after those X number of things are taught, they are a disciple and your job is done.


There is a difference, though, between teaching someone all that Jesus commanded and teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded.  The focus here is on teaching them to obey Jesus.


Discipleship:               How can I teach someone to obey Jesus?


How am I supposed to disciple people?


To disciple means to teach; the most powerful way of learning is through personal experience.  That is why a person’s faith must be their own, not their parent’s, friend’s, or pastor’s.  The second most powerful way a person learns is by watching another do something.  How did Jesus teach His disciples?  They never had an official Bible study, or classroom, or textbook.  Jesus’ life was their textbook.  Jesus called them to follow Him and watch Him pray, heal diseases, and interact with people.  Then, if something was not clear, Jesus would explain it to them.


Bible studies are important and seminaries have their place, but teaching people to obey Jesus is letting them see you obey Jesus.  This takes consistent and close relationships with those we are teaching.  Remember the greatest command is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself.  This applies to those you’re teaching.  Love them deeply from the heart.


In addition to love, scripture gives us a blueprint for discipleship.  2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”

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