Matthew 28:19-20 Tells us three things to embrace in becoming a disciple of Christ:
Accepting the Gospel Message – What gospel then are we to receive? [biblegateway passage=”Acts 10:34-48″] tells us about this gospel especially in verses 39-40 39 We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
To go and make disciples, it would mean for us accepting the gospel of Christ. But why do we need to accept the gospel of Christ? First, we need to accept it because that is the foundation of our faith. We all desire to have salvation, to have eternal life and because of that we are to know how.
Secondly, we need to learn what we are going to teach. Discipleship is a teaching cycle. A disciple will eventually become a discipler. So it is important that the things that is being taught to us is passed on diligently. There is a necessity for us to learn the right things because it is difficult to redo what has been taught wrong and was already embedded in our Christian culture.
Accepting Baptism ([biblegateway passage=”Matthew 3:13-17″]) – The second thing that one must accept upon accepting the Lord Jesus is baptism. We have talked a lot about baptism before. But as a review, let’s open it in Matthew 3:13-17. This passage talks about the baptism of Jesus.
Jesus went out to meet John the baptist so that he can be baptized. John refused but Jesus said; “So let it be now so that we can fulfill all righteousness.” We can see here that Jesus himself set an example for us to follow. It is important for us to understand the value of baptism. A Christian, a person who accepted the Lord Jesus also needs to accept the baptism He set before us.
It’s not only by setting an example, but in our passage, it is very clear that Jesus also commanded that a disciple has to be baptized. As someone who accepted the Lord Jesus, he submits himself to the things that Jesus wants in one’s life. Therefore, there is a necessity to obey a command and to which it includes baptism.
It’s not an infant baptism. It has never been an infant baptism. It is about obedience and one is baptized because he is a follower of Jesus and he accepted Jesus as his Lord, Savior and King of his life. And by so doing, it is fulfilling all righteousness.
Accepting the Church– The final thing that we have to accept is the Church. Just as we discussed about the importance of the Church, the Church is inseparable in a Christian life. One cannot accept Jesus but reject the Church. No, it comes with it. Once you accepted the Lord Jesus, you become a fellow citizen of the household of God ([biblegateway passage=”Ephesians 2:19″]), you are no longer an alien.
Matthew 16:13-20 tells us about Jesus as he was talking to his disciples and asked them who he is. And Peter said, “You are the Christ, Son of the living God.” It’s a declaration that is hard to swallow by someone who does not have faith in Jesus. But here, as Jesus explains, it is God who revealed it to Peter. Let’s take a look:
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
There has been a lot of misunderstanding of this passage. The Catholics interpreted it as Peter ordained by Jesus to be the first pope of Christian Church. However, looking at the passage carefully and having a “word study” we can see that Jesus was explaining that “Peter” a small stone will be add up to “Petra” a big rock where the Church will be built. So this passage is actually consistent with [biblegateway passage=”Ephesians 2:19-22″] “19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by5 the Spirit.
where it says Jesus as the Chief cornerstone of the Church. “
Therefore, accepting Jesus is inseparable with the Church. To accept Jesus as Lord, Savior and King, is also to accept the Church where he himself is the Chief Cornerstone.