The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19-20, states, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." This is a command from Jesus himself to all of his followers to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.
Making disciples is not just about leading people to faith in Jesus, but also about helping them grow in their relationship with Him and become more like Him. This is a lifelong process that involves teaching, mentoring, and modeling the way of Jesus.
One of the key elements in making disciples is the act of baptizing. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward transformation. It is an act of obedience and a public declaration of one's faith in Jesus. It is also a symbol of being washed clean from one's sins and being made new in Jesus Christ. Romans 6:3-4 states "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
Another important aspect of making disciples is teaching them to obey everything that Jesus commanded. This involves not just learning about Jesus, but also putting His teachings into practice in our daily lives. This is a process of sanctification, where we are being transformed more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 4:11-13, it says "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
Making disciples is not just the responsibility of pastors, evangelists or missionaries, but of all believers. In 2 Timothy 2:2 it says "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." We are all called to be disciple-makers and to invest in the spiritual growth of others. This may involve one-on-one mentoring, leading small groups, or even just sharing our faith with those around us.
One practical way to make disciples is through the practice of intentional discipleship. This involves finding someone who is interested in learning more about Jesus and committing to investing time and energy into helping them grow in their faith. This can be done through regular meetings, studying the Bible together, and praying together. In Colossians 1:28, it says "He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ."
Another important aspect of making disciples is the role of community. We were not designed to do life alone, and we need the support and encouragement of other believers to help us grow in our faith. Hebrews 10:24-25 says "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see
the day approaching." Being part of a community of believers allows us to share our struggles and victories, to be accountable to one another, and to encourage one another in our walk with Jesus.
Another important aspect of making disciples is to be intentional about sharing the gospel with those around us. In 1 Peter 3:15 it says "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." We should be ready to share the message of Jesus with anyone who is open to hearing it, whether it be through intentional conversations or by living out our faith in a way that attracts others to Jesus.
The Great Commission is a call to all believers to go and make disciples of all nations. This involves leading people to faith in Jesus, baptizing them, teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded, mentoring and investing in the spiritual growth of others and sharing the gospel with those around us. It's not an easy task, but it is a task that is of great importance, as it is the mandate that Jesus left us before ascending to heaven. As we obey this command, we can be sure that we are fulfilling our purpose and being a part of God's plan to bring salvation to all nations.