“I will make you a disciple.”
These are the very words I spoke with Albert one morning while having coffee together at my house. He is the first person that I journey with to follow Jesus in a daily-life-together.
“What is that?” he replied with curiosity.
“I’ll help you how to follow Jesus, that is to be His disciple.”
As he listens intently I continued, “God has already saved you. He died on the cross to pay for your sin. When God created man he was fallen short of His plan by being independent of himself instead of being dependent on God. Man choose to follow himself. That sin of independence has penalty which is death. That’s why Jesus have to die on the cross.”
“So what should I do then?” Albert inquired.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, that’s all. There is nothing you can do ,” I said and paused for a moment. “The work of the cross is done, Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished” not “To be continued. God loves you that He gave His life on the cross. There is absolutely nothing you can do to change what had happened. All you have to do is believe and accept that fact.”
“And what should I need to do next?” he insisted.
“Nothing,” again I sternly replied. “Sorry, you can’t help yourself to get saved. It was already done 2,000 years ago, that is while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Albert can’t seemed to believe what he heard. He knows that Jesus came and died on the cross to save mankind, including him, yet it is quite a bit hard to accept that he can’t do anything at all. He somehow believe that at least we got to do something to help ourselves. As these words sunk deep within it is time to continue to make him a disciple.
“There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less. Absolutely nothing. However, there is something that you need to respond to what He has done for you.” Albert’s mind again was triggered to hear what comes out of my mouth.
“Oh? What’s that?” he asked eagerly while staring at my eye.
“Repent of your sin. Since Jesus paid the penalty of your sin which is death on the cross, you are not on your own now but you are bought with a price, so sin does not own you now but Christ. What sin did for you – making you a slave of it – Jesus puts an end to it by you believing on what He has done on the cross.
Repentance is being aware of your sin and that you become enslave to it and remorse from it. It is leaving your old way of life of sinning and turn towards God’s Kingdom rule in your life. It is to fear God and turn away from evil.
“Are you willing to live this new way of life? Are you willing to get rid of independence and live dependence with God?”
Albert nods his head while eagerly listening to me.
“Other response that you need to show your willingness Albert is to go through baptism.”
This is your own funeral service, a dying to self. Jesus said that “if anyone wants to be His disciple he must deny himself and take up his cross daily.” The goal of the cross is crucifixion, a death to self. The life of independence has come to an end. And now a new life, that is dependent on God, has now come. Just as Jesus died, that is He overcome sin and death, so also we must die to ourselves, bury the sin in us under the water. And just as He rose from the dead, that is He becomes the author of life, you also rise out of the water and live a new life.
“Baptism is only a symbol of your death Albert, daily death to self happens when you follow Jesus leading everyday. Are you ready to go through baptism? Do you want to be one of His disciples?
“Yes, I want to but,” he replied, “I was already baptize when I was a baby?” [Albert is a Roman Catholic by birth, majority Filipino‘s are]
“The Bible says that, “He who believes will be baptized.” Do you know how to believe then when your parents decided that you be baptized? To believe is to know something what to believe. It is to hear something what has been done. God knows you even before you were born but you don’t know Him and what He has done for you until someone told you so, just as what I have done now to you. Now you believe.” Albert nods his head.
How I wished I’d baptizes him directly right at that moment. But he was baptized after a week along with his friend Jomy whom he makes disciple that same week. They were baptized together, but I only baptized Albert since I am the one who makes him a disciple. Who baptizes Jomy? It’s Albert because he is the one who makes him a disciple.
Whoever can make a person a disciple of Jesus Christ have the privilege to baptize him. No need to wait for a ‘Baptism Sunday,’ which is another holy day to observe. The early church baptizes anyone directly who becomes Jesus disciple and the ‘Lord added to their number daily.’
Since then, whenever anyone in my extended family makes disciples through their friends they baptizes him or her directly, that same day and time that they shared the Gospel.
In our experience, the fastest we can make disciples is 15 minutes.
For a span of one year since we first re-structuring our 8 years time of starting and maintaining house churches from once a week meeting-based church to family-based gathering around the meal and everywhere, a daily life together, 39 extended individual person that is around my Jesus Family, my extended family – that’s a real house church in the New Testament times – being family together, doing things together, extending the Kingdom of God through making disciples of Jesus. And these 39 individuals have their own extended families as well since they make disciples also through their friends.
I have no idea how many are we now since each one has different capacities to make friends. And how expert you are to make more friends the better you are to have people around you who you can make disciples of Jesus. That’s the secret of making disciples.
I don’t worry much of the quantity, all I care is if you r-e-a-l-l-y know how to make disciples, that is the quality of each believers, the germs that you know you are spreading, don’t worry about where its going!
But know one thing for sure, know those people well who you make friends and ultimately make them Jesus disciples for they will become your extended families everywhere. And since you are the one who makes them Jesus disciples you know them by name. You have become their ‘parents in the Lord’ and they become your ‘children in the Lord.’ Why? Simple, because church is a family, nothing more, nothing less.
“Yes, I am a disciple of Jesus now!”
These are the words that came out of Albert’s mouth when he rises up from the water during his baptism. Right there and then, Albert baptizes his friend Jomy.
Albert is my ‘extended’ family, or better say have become my family. He is a part of us and we become a part of him. Jomy has become Albert’s extended family as well, and to us. The most normal of what a family does together is eating. We call it, ‘The Lord’s Supper’ or we say it plainly, ‘eating with God.’ It is a way of accepting new disciples in Jesus family.
“Should I get out of my religion?”
This is mostly a new disciples concern after conversion.
“Nope, not at all. You don’t remain as you are for you are a change person, but you remain where you are co’z it is where God uses you to make other people His disciples. You have become a light and salt now. Let them see your new life, let them tell the difference and influence them.
Jesus said to us as His disciples to ‘go’ around everywhere and meet people and make them His disciples. We are ’sent already’ to this world, so the ’going’ is not hard to understand. It is making friends everywhere and right time comes you can make them disciples.
This is the command.
Who Am I?
Your identity is a disciple of Jesus Christ, a follower. If you are a Catholic then you are a follower of Jesus in a Catholic Church. If you are a Mormons, then you are now a follower of Jesus in a Mormon Church. Don’t get out of your religion but influence them to follow Jesus. If you are a Muslim then be a follower of Isa in the Muslim community.
The world is the field and in the field there are different weeds [religions]. Don’t worry about them, let them worry about you for you have the One greater than that is in the world, in you!
“What Church should I go?”
A question every religious people asked, “What Church I belong to?” We don’t go to church nor do church to maintain our Christian life. It is being church because we are the church. Christ died for you and you believe in Him and then He lives in you. This is enough for you to be the church: Christ in you. We trust Christ alone, not a lot. You may go to a church building, be it a Mosque or a Catholic Church, it doesn’t matter. What matters is your relationship with God and your purpose to ‘go’ anywhere or ‘get in’ any place is to make disciples. Somehow people have their own belief of religion and to get them is to get in to where they are sitting either that’s a ‘smoking’ area or ‘non-smoking’ ‘religious’ or non-religious’ sect. Either in or out of the jail, we search the lost in every corner of hell.
We are not told to ‘go to church’ but to ‘go to the world!’