• Bryce Stafford

Now What?: Christ's Commands

As I have had the opportunity to travel the world, to places where the Gospel has scarcely been -- or been at all in some places -- I have noticed a distinct difference in the people that begin to follow Jesus. The Gospel they hear is the same. It is not presented any more eloquently in one place than the other, with the exception of a person here and there of clear discernable speech or with charismatic ability to communicate, even still there are and have been those in each place.

That being said, people come to Christ and are saved by Christ with the same Word of God, the same Gospel in Africa, Asia and Europe as they are in Australia and North or South America. Not by the ability of man, but by the power of God. For it is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), so no one can boast, other than in the power of God.

All that to say: What do you do after someone gives their life to Christ? Easy answer: You disciple them. But how?

In certain places, such as South Asia, the process is easy and people buy in immediately. You team them biblical, simple reproducing tools to be a disciple that makes disciples and they do it. In areas where there are few believers and the only example they see is exactly that, bought in and sold out. Those believers are disciples that make disciples by training people in the Commands of Christ seen in the New Testament, no matter the push back that may come with the surroundings they live in.

But, if the only thing they see in Christians being disciples that are training up others to be disciples, then they know that making disciples is also their role as a follower in Christ. On the other hand, in places where I have grown up and spent the majority of my life, Oklahoma, where discipleship seems to be -- or is assumed to be -- more complicated, we do not see a consistent theme of people being disciples that make disciples. The problem that comes with that is people seem to not know what to do. They read the Bible and know they are supposed to make disciples, but the examples that they look up to are not doing it.

We see "good" Christians that go to church every time the doors are open and believe that is what it means to be a disciple, and that is the end of it. They go to church, pray a prayer, say the right words, get involved at church during their services and that is it. What is missing with that? The relationship, challenge, authority and obedience pieces to the Christian walk as you follow Christ.

So what can we do to influence others to seek relationships with others in order to challenge them so followers recognize their authority in Christ? We see that what Christ wants from us is obedience and abiding no matter the outcome. We disciple and invest according to the Word of God, and one way we and others can do that is using a simple tool called the Commands of Christ.

These commands include Scripture that portrays a story, a verse showing the command and a study method called the sword that asks questions causing us to dig into the Word. What do we learn about God? What do we learn about man? Is there a promise to realize? Is their sin to avoid? Is there an example to follow?

There are seven commands that we use as launch pads to start the discipleship process that mobilizes us to our neighbors and the nations. The commands are repent and believe, be baptized, go and make disciples, love, pray, Lord's supper and give.

If we grasp and practice these commands, we will see people that are disciples that make disciples. Then we will see more people living out that discipleship focused lifestyle that urges us to obedience. People will see this great example and want to live it out as well.

Instead of the mixed messaging of silence and staying in the box of cultural Christianity, let us be not only bold Gospel sharers, but also bold Jesus disciples. Let us multiply His image more than we multiply anything else.

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