Another late at night table conversations again with just Ronie, Jomie and I. This time his struggles of catching up people that needed to be baptized immediately has been delayed. And there are already some of them who are backing out.
“Why, you cannot baptize them directly?” I ask Ronnie.
“They are still on their working time,” he spoke in a soft voice, “these people are bakeshop workers.”
“Well, since the owner allowed you to hold Bible studies to her workers why not ask for a couple of minutes to take them to a nearby sea or pool or let her buy a big water drum to use it for baptism just at the back of her shop?”
“I already ask her permission but it was too late. Probably next time we could do it.” Ronnie is very excited about making disciples, he is sure now that he knows how to make people disciples of Jesus. It is however a normal struggles for beginners. Especially when you are used to preaching to the crowds or just sharing the Good News to someone hoping to let them do a “sinner’s prayer” and gave them ‘new’ life without burying the ‘old.’
We had the same experience here in Cebu when I made Albert a disciple, not until Albert made Jomie a disciple that both of them were baptized together. But I only baptizes Albert, and let Jomie help me out. And after I baptized Albert I let him baptized Jomie and I help him out. Passing the baton of not just making disciples to the next generation but also doing baptisms is important for multiplication. I suspect, in Acts 2, after Peter’s preaching to the crowd, there are those who was ‘cut to the heart’ and ask, “What shall we do to be saved then?” Three thousand souls were added to the church that day. How did they do baptisms then? In Jerusalem there are pools around to use for taking baths. More than 30 of them scattered in the city. So, they divided the crowds among the 120 disciples with Peter and baptizes them all in one day. Probably baptizing each other too.
From Albert, whom I made and baptized, he is the first person that I make a disciple of Jesus two and half years ago. And on his wing alone, he made 42 disciples up to the 12th generation. Actually, its Jomie and him partnering together. Several times, both of them made two, each take on each one and within just 5-6 minutes they baptizes the person already. Many stories after stories from their sites www.albertpacquiao.wordpress.com and www.pation.wordpress.com
John 4:1-2, ‘When the Pharisees heard that Jesus has made and baptized more disciples than John, [although it’s not Jesus but His disciples]…”
Imagine that, as early as John 4, Jesus and His disciples is already making disciples and baptizes people.
We have another ‘holy day’ except Sunday Worship Service. It is called “Baptism day.” Waiting for that appointed day of man, for those people who decided already to follow Christ and yet have to wait for that day to be baptized. The result is simple disobedience. Victor Choudhrie says, “Baptism delayed is disobedience.” These disciples are called “unbaptized believers.” It’s a ‘half-baked christians.’ Victor continued. Early in my making disciples journey and meeting Victor at a Conference, he always ask me, “So, Molong have you made any disciples yet?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Did you baptizes them?”
“Later, not now.” I said.
“Why, what’s your problem?”
I was left dumbfounded!
Back to Ronnie.
“When you start making disciples, and started to baptized them though not immediately, is this your first time doing it?” I ask.
“Yes, because before I only do evangelism on the street or to someone, or do Bible Studies, etc. But have never know exactly how to make disciples and baptizes them.” He answered.
I remember thoughts running in my head when he says about Bible Studies. [“How can you do a Bible Study to unbelievers, people who are dead and stinky? How can you try answering their religious inquiries when they cannot understand at all because they are dead?”] But I keep this in my mind and save it for this letter. 🙂
“What’s in with having Bible Studies that you cannot baptized them?”
Ronnie wa a bit silent, he knows what’s the answer of my question: “Because there are ‘Stages of Growth’ to follow before you introduce baptism on them.”
I was reminded quick of my Discipleship Trainings before. Trained unbaptized, unburied, stinky people to save more people?!! Exactly, this is another hindrance to baptism. “Discipleship Trainings” are the main hindrance to making disciples. Imagine that, what ‘proof of good works’ [to show his maturity,] that you are looking to a person who is dead before you bury him through baptism? No wonder Hebrews talks about “Repentance from dead works!” We have to repent from those ‘good works’ that we tried to do because they are ‘dead works’ simply because the person who does them is dead. Those ‘good works’ then is only trying to earn salvation and earn our own righteousness. What good works can we do to please God? Even Ephesians 2:10 when it says, “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works in which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Does not mean that that can add something to what He has done for us on the cross already. He said, “It is finished” not “To be continued.” Christ is the end of the law [Romans 10:4]. We thought of serving God as if He needed anything.
“Good works” in Eph.2:10 if you study it carefully means Jesus work sighting Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
How good you would have to be to earn God’s gift? If ‘good works’ saved us then Jesus won’t have to go on on His journey to that cross. “Father, let this cup pass from Me.” He could have decided Himself not to go through it. But He himself deny himself and follow His Father’s will. How about us? “If anyone wants to be my disciple he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” The goal of Jesus cross is death. The same way for us. As we take up our cross, we are reminded that we are no longer live for ourselves but to Him who died for us.
Again, I normally tell a person who I will make into a disciple of Jesus, “The way God deals with your old-self is to kill you, that’s why I need to bury you.” God is not into repairing old things in our lives, He ask us to leave that. He is into creating something new [2Cor5:17]. His faithfulness is new every morning. He will create new heaven and new earth. He ask us to leave the old behind and start walking in the newness of life.
One reason many Christians struggles sin is because somehow their focus is on their ‘old-self’ thats trying to live and they are trying to die. Real “Stages of Growth” is found not in human invention Discipleship training. It is found in 1John, that the ‘little children’ is challenged about their struggles with sin but John, our ‘father in the Lord’ secures us that ‘our sins are forgiven us for His Name’s sake.’ And the ‘young men’ is challenged to ‘overcome the wicked one’ but is reminded to abide in the Word of God. And the most challenging of them all are the fathers. They have to ‘know’ the Father. Simply because, as they are fathering the next generation, they have to know the Father’s heart for His very own ‘sons and daughters.’ But this ‘stages’ is for disciples already, not unburied stinky souls in a Bible study group or Discipleship classrooms.
Where are you at now? Still fighting with your sin? You’re not nailed yet, you’re still kicking. Keep denying.
Or are you still trying to overcome the evil one? For how long do you fight? How many rounds do you need? When will you going to ignore him? Giving more attention to the devil [Deliverance Ministry] and giving him time to make a ‘show’ [vomiting] makes him proud and he loves it. Why not get rid of food rats rather than the rats? You know, demon spirits are like rats, they come again and again because there is food in the house. Find those bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, pornographic materials in your closet and surely there will be no devil would entices you.
Or have you started begetting sons and daughters in the Lord yet? Or still taking pills to prevent pregnancy? Start making disciples. Start fathering and mothering your next generation. Help expand the Kingdom of God by extending your families. Don’t be too comfy to stay home. Go out and make disciples.
Read Alfredo’s story of how he was made into a disciple, and in less than 24hours, he made another two! CLICK HERE