Our commission isn’t to make converts, believers, or “church-members.” We’re to make disciples. A disciple is a student, one who sits at the teacher’s feet and implies continual learning. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 28.
All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into disciples, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. – Matthew 28:18-19
To make disciples, we must first be one. Discipleship happens face to face. We are not discipled from a pulpit. That’s preaching. The older (mature in the faith) teaches, the younger in the context of authentic relationships. (Titus 2)
The mark of a true disciple is one who is becoming just like his teacher, learning to walk as he walks. We’re to imitate Jesus, the teacher, not just learn about Him or give His teachings mental assent. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Try to imitate me, even as I myself try to imitate the Messiah.”
For it is not merely the hearers of the word whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what the word says who will be made righteous in God’s sight. – Romans 2:13
Jesus is the living Word – the Word became flesh. In the Hebrew culture and language, belief and action were not separated. I believe, therefore, I do.
What good is it brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such a faith able to save him? Faith unaccompanied by action is dead. – James 2:14
For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror, who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But if a person looks closely into the perfect Word, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does.
I’ll end this post with one more Bible verse (James 1:22) that will call us all to action, “Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it!”