Telling Others about Jesus

What does it mean to make disciples who make disciples? Well, it may mean many different things to different people, but it all starts with seeing people in the same way that God sees them. It starts by seeing every person as someone special who’s been created in the image of God. Every individual person has been created in the image of God because God wants to have a relationship with that person.

And we make disciples by being very intentional in all we do, to point others to Jesus. Making disciples who make disciples is primarily about being intentional in all of our actions and in all of our relationships to move people in the direction of being more like Jesus.

We want others and we want ourselves to look and be more like Jesus. Five-weeks, ten-weeks from now, 6-months, 12-months from now, will we be more like Jesus than we are right now? Our friends or co-workers now, who don’t yet know Jesus, will they know more about who Jesus is and why it is worth it to give their whole lives to follow him? Will they know more about that in the weeks and months to come than they do right now?

Here’s a helpful visual. If we were to think of a number line—this number line has positive and negative numbers on it. It’s numbered from a negative 10 all the way to a positive 10. Negative 10 represents someone who is a militant atheist. This person gets aggressive at the very thought of God. That individual represents a negative 10.

A little further up the scale, we have a friend who’s heard the good news about Jesus. She may even be able to explain the good news to us, but she hasn’t yet repented of her sin and trusted in Jesus. She may be represented on the scale at a negative one or two.

Zero is the moment that a person actually comes to faith in Christ.

So, we have a family member who just became a Christian in the last month. She’s so excited to be a Christian, but she doesn’t know what following Jesus looks like. She would be a positive one or positive two.

And then we have someone who has been faithfully following Jesus for decades. He regularly practices spiritual disciplines. He tells others about Jesus. He may be a 7 or an 8 on the scale. [No one actually makes it all the way to positive 10 until we are finally glorified and with Jesus in heaven!]

So, we have this scale. We can all picture the scale in our minds. We may even have friends, family members, and co-workers, who, if we were asked, we could put them at some point along that scale.

Now, our job, in making disciples who make disciples, is to move that person to the right on that scale (toward the higher numbers). Now, it’s extremely important for us to understand that this is ultimately a work of God. “We” don’t do it. God does it. But God uses us as his means to accomplish this. He uses us as we open and share the Word of God with these individuals. He uses us as we are prayerfully dependent on the Holy Spirit to work.

So, for our militant atheist friend who is currently a negative ten, if we could, by God’s grace, get him to the point where he would acknowledge the possibility that a supreme being exists, that would be a win. He’s moved from a negative 10 to a negative 9 or maybe a negative 8. He’s moving in the right direction.

Now, of course, our ultimate goal is present everyone mature in Christ so we should have a godly desire to see this friend actually get to a zero and then to grow in Christ, but it’s still a win for him to move from a negative 10 to a negative 8.

And for our family member who just became a Christian in the last month, by God’s grace, we hope that she’ll move from a positive 1 to a positive 3 in the next twelve months.

We’re making disciples who make disciples by moving people to the right on that scale.

So, I have two questions to leave you with. First, what number would represent where you’re at right now on that scale? Second, if you’re a Christian, what are you doing to help move others (and yourself) to the right on that scale?

If we’re going to make disciples who make disciples, we have to open our Bibles and tell others about Jesus.

Rejoicing and Weeping (part 2)

In my last post, in light of Paul’s command to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15), we looked at 6 reasons Christians ought to rejoice. In this post, we will look at 3 reasons Christians ought to weep.

First, we should weep over our own sin.

In 1973, a psychiatrist named Karl Menninger wrote a provocative book titled, Whatever Became of Sin? In his book, Menninger argues that the idea or concept of sin has been slowly eroding away in our culture. Now, remember, this book was written in 1973. If we fast forward 45-years, we might want to call Menninger a prophet instead of a psychiatrist.

We’ve lost our moral compass. We’ve lost the idea of sin—personal sin.

We play the blame game. It’s not sin anymore; it’s just a mistake. And my “mistakes” aren’t really my fault.

  • I do that because I had a bad home life growing up.
  • I do that because everyone else is doing it.
  • I do that because it feels good.
  • I do that because I was just reacting to what this other person was doing to me.
  • I do that because if I don’t look out for myself, no one else will.

Each one of us can pick our own excuses, but we’ve lost our since of personal responsibility. I don’t write these things to minimize the devastation that can come out of a bad home life, but at some point, we need to look in the mirror and take personal responsibility for our sin. We need to be broken over our own sin.

In Luke 7, Jesus had been invited to a certain Pharisee’s house to have dinner. And while Jesus is reclining at the dinner table, a certain woman from the community comes in and begins washing his feet with her tears. Luke records it this way.

Luke 7:38
38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

The larger story has many important lessons. but I want to ask this question. Why was the woman weeping? Why was she weeping?

We know from the text that she was a notoriously sinful woman. Everyone in the room knew who she was. They knew of her reputation. Her reputation had preceded her. And I believe that gets to the heart of why she’s weeping.

She’s broken over her own sin, and she’s found in Jesus someone who doesn’t condemn her in her sin. She’s weeping over her own sin. There’s a lesson there to be learned by all of us.

Second, we should weep over the results of sin.

It’s one thing to weep over our own sin, but it’s another thing to weep over the results of sin. Here, too, our culture has missed the mark.

We often hear people talk about personal autonomy as if personal autonomy is the highest good. Here’s how that sounds. Someone will say, “I should be able to do whatever I want to do as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.”

Right? We’ve all heard that before. It sounds simple enough. We might hear it and even be tempted to agree with it. But here’s the problem with it.

All of our actions cause reactions. Everything we do has an effect on someone else. This is Newton’s third law of motion put into action in a cultural sense.

Just in case you don’t know what Newton’s third law of motion is, this is what is says. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Now, I know, don’t send me any emails, I know that Newton was talking about physics when he said this. But I’m suggesting that this is also true in a cultural or moral sense.

Whenever we decide to do what God has told us should not be done, there will invariably be negative consequences. God, who is the author of all things that are good, who isn’t the author of anything evil—when we violate his good and perfect laws, there will always be negative consequences. In other words, when we sin, it always has a negative consequence. This is a fundamental rule of how the universe is created.

So, we should weep over sin, and we should weep over the results of sin.

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is chastising the believers in Corinth because they aren’t weeping over the sin of one of their church members.

1 Corinthians 5:2
And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

Without getting too far into the context of this passage, suffice it to say that this man was embroiled in sexual sin that even the pagans thought was out of bounds. The church in Corinth, however, thought they were being tolerant. They thought they were being loving. They wanted to look the other way. Paul said that was the worst thing they could do. Rather, they should have mourned over that man’s sins and the havoc it was creating in the community.

Third, we should weep for those who reject Christ.

The Bible is very clear in that there’s only one way that God has given us by which we can be put into a proper relationship with him, and that one way is through Jesus his Son. So, we should weep over those who reject Jesus. It should break our hearts.

If we get a bad haircut, it’ll be better in just a few weeks. Don’t weep over a bad haircut. Hair grows back quickly. It will grow out and we’ll soon forget the bad haircut.

If we land a bad job, we can get our resume ready, and with a little help, we’ll soon have new job. Don’t weep over a bad job.

If we make some bad financial decisions and have to declare bankruptcy, even then, in just seven years, we can rebuild your credit. Don’t weep over that.

But if we die after rejecting Jesus, we will spend an eternity in place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Luke 13:28), and there will be no relief for us.

Friends, this should cause all of us to weep for those who reject Christ.

Rejoicing and Weeping (Part 1)

In Romans 12:15, the apostle Paul urges Christians to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep.

To rejoice is “to feel happiness or joy,” and to weep is “to cry aloud.” These words express emotion.

Paul is urging us to have empathy for one another. If our brother or sister in Christ is rejoicing in God’s kindness to them, we ought to rejoice with them. If our brother or sister in Christ is weeping, we ought to weep with them.

But this isn’t even a remotely controversial idea. After all, even our non-Christian co-workers will rejoice with you when you have a baby, and our non-Christian neighbors will weep with you when tragedy strikes your family.

So, how are these two commands, “to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep,” how are these two commands distinctly Christian? Let’s ask ourselves these two questions.

First, what are some things for which Christians should rejoice? And second, what are some things for which Christians ought to weep?

Since the Word of God tells us that we should rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, we should know when we should be rejoicing and when we should be weeping in the first place.

When should we rejoice?

First, we should rejoice when we face persecution for the cause of Christ.

In Matthew 5, Jesus said these words,

Matthew 5:10–11 (cf. Luke 6:23)
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Most of us don’t like being the object of persecution. That’s not our default setting. Our default setting is that we like people to like us. We want to be likable people—at least most of us feel that way. But Jesus tells us that we’re to rejoice when we’re persecuted for righteousness. We’re to rejoice when people say all manner of things falsely against us on account of Jesus.

We see this example carried out in the lives of the apostles. Early in the book of Acts, Peter and John and been put into jail for telling people about Jesus. When they got out of jail, this is what happened.

Acts 5:41
41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

So, we should rejoice when we suffer persecution for the cause of Christ.

Second, we rejoice in the cross.

A bit of cultural understanding is helpful and important here. When the writers of the New Testament mentioned a cross, none of them had on their mind a pretty piece of jewelry that was worn around one’s neck. That would have been the furthest thing from their minds.

The cross was a symbol of shame. It was a symbol of pain and suffering. It was a symbol of death. The cross wasn’t pretty, but as Christians, we rejoice in the cross, because it’s through the cross that we have life.

It’s through the cross that God removes the penalty of our sin. It’s through the cross that our sin is covered in the righteousness of Christ.

Romans 5:8
8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus went to the cross. He went to the cross and he bled and he died to pay a penalty that we owed. And then his body was laid in a tomb. But his body didn’t stay in the tomb. On the third day, God the Father raised his Son, Jesus, from the dead and victory was declared over the curse of sin.

If you believe this, you can have eternal life. If you turn from your sins and turn to Christ, you can have eternal life. And this is why Christians rejoice in the cross. Because it’s through the cross that Jesus bore our sin and gave us new life.

Third, and closely related to the previous point, we rejoice when others embrace Christ.

It’s one thing to rejoice in our own salvation, and, yes, that is something we ought to rejoice in. We ought to rejoice in our own salvation. But we should also rejoice when we see others embrace Christ.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells a series of three parables. All of the parables have the same message—the central message is this. Rejoicing when what had been lost has now been found.

In the first parable, a man has 100 sheep, but one of his sheep has gone astray. One of his sheep is lost. He searches everywhere for that one sheep, and when he finds it, he comes home and says this.

Luke 15:6
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’

In the second parable, a woman has 10 silver coins, but one of them is lost. She turns the house upside down to try and find the one coin that was lost. When she finds it, she says this.

Luke 15:9
And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’

In the third parable, a man has two sons, and one of his sons goes astray. He lives a life of sin and rebellion. When he finally gets to the end of himself, he repents of his sin and returns to his father’s house. This is what the father had to say.

Luke 15:23–24
23
‘And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

It’s good and right to celebrate when someone turns from their sin and embraces Christ.

Fourth, we rejoice in our sufferings.

This is different than rejoicing in our persecutions. With persecutions, we’re referring to suffering specifically for the cause of Christ. Here, with sufferings, we’re just talking about any run of the mill sufferings. We’re talking about the suffering that comes to all of us because we live in a broken and sinful world. We should rejoice in those sufferings.

Paul writes this in Romans 5.

Romans 5:1–5
1 
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

In the middle of this broken and sinful world, we WILL experience sufferings. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. Don’t listen to any false teacher who’ll tell you that by the word of your faith you can speak these sufferings out of your life. That’s neither biblical nor true.

We WILL have sufferings in this world. But listen to this—this is important—our suffering in this world isn’t pointless. Our suffering isn’t pointless. God uses our sufferings for our good and for his glory. Our suffering produces endurance, which produced character, which produces hope in Christ.

So, we rejoice in our sufferings.

Fifth, we rejoice when someone walks in obedience to Christ.

We rejoice when people repent of their sins and walk in obedience to Christ. Paul writes this in 2 Corinthians 7.

2 Corinthians 7:9
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

In this passage, Paul’s writing to Christians in the church at Corinth, and many of these Christians are living in a way that would bring shame on the gospel. So, Paul decides to write a harsh letter to them. He wants to confront them in their sin. And he does just that.

And as a result of this harsh letter, the Christians in Corinth grieve over their sin and they repent of their sin. So, Paul says, “I rejoice that you repented.”

Genuine repentance is a good and godly thing. It’s something we should rejoice over. It’s a good and godly thing to walk obediently in the truth.

Sixth, and the final “rejoice,” we rejoice when the gospel is preached.

In Philippians 1, there were some people who were preaching the gospel to make a name for themselves. In other words, they weren’t preaching the gospel for the correct reason, but they were preaching the gospel.

Their gospel content was correct, but their hearts weren’t where they were supposed to be. So, what are we to make of that? Should we be happy that people are using the gospel to make a name for themselves?

Now, let me be clear, this would be different than much of what we see on TV in America today. Many—not all—but many of today’s TV preachers preach for the wrong motivation AND then to top it off, they ALSO get the gospel wrong. Paul’s not talking about that.

Paul’s addressing people who have the wrong heart motivation, but they have the gospel right. This is what Paul has to say about those people.

Philippians 1:18
18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

So, we too rejoice when the gospel is preached.

These are 6 reasons Christians ought to rejoice, and we ought to rejoice with one another about these things.

My next post will explain why Christians ought to weep.

Walking Together

Perhaps you’ve read church membership covenants that are full of the language of “I” and “my”—first person SINGULAR throughout the covenant—no references to “we” or “our.”

Is this a problem for a church membership covenant? Is this significant? I would argue that it’s extremely significant.

But you might think that I’m making a mountain over a molehill. But this isn’t me making a mountain out of a molehill. This has everything to do with understanding what the church is.

We’re not the church individually. We’re the church collectively. Individually, we’re a part of the church. Individually, we’re members of the church, but we’re not the church individually.

In Ephesians 4:1, Paul urges his readers, “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” In our English language this fact may get past us since we have only one word for “you”—whether we’re speaking of the singular “you” or plural “you all” or “y’all.”

But the language that the New Testament was written in is more precise than that. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, and in Koine Greek there’s one word for singular “you” and there’s a completely different word for the plural “y’all.”

And, yes, I’m sure you’ve already guessed it, the “you” that Paul uses in this verse is the plural “y’all.” He goes on to expand on that by using the language of “bearing with one another” in verse 2.

The “one another” phrase clearly spells out the importance of relationship. It spells out the importance of community. But this isn’t the only place in the New Testament that talks about how we treat “one another.” Tthere are nearly 60 passages in the New Testament alone that speak of “one another.”

  • Encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11)
  • Bear with one another (Col 3:12–17)
  • Forgive one another (Col 3:12–17)
  • Teach one another (Col 3:12–17)
  • Serve one another (Gal 5:13–15)
  • Confess our sins to one another (Jas 5:16)
  • Honor one another (Rom 12:10)
  • Love one another (John 13:34–35)

And we could go on! The point is simple and clear. We weren’t made to live by ourselves. We weren’t meant to struggle by ourselves. We weren’t meant to pursue Jesus by ourselves. We’re meant to do that in community—with one another.

Here’s something important I tell people when they join the church. When you join a church, you’re giving permission to your fellow church members to get in your business! That’s what you’re doing when you join a church.

And the flip side of that is true also. When we as a people receive someone into church membership, we’re telling that person that he or she has permission to get into our business.

We’re saying to one another, “I love you enough to allow you to speak the truth of God’s Word into my life, and I love you enough to speak the truth of God’s Word into your life.”

Friends, we were made for this. We were made to live in community. The “we” language of a church covenant is EXTREMELY important. We do this together.

Formed by God

In their book, Whatever Happened to the Human Race, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop describe the horrors of Nazi Germany.

The first to be killed in Nazi Germany were the infirm, the senile, and the mentally retarded. Then came the aged and the “defective” children. Eventually, as World War II approached, the doomed undesirables included epileptics, children with badly modeled ears and even bed-wetters. The transportation of people to these killing centers was carried out by “The Charitable Transport Company for the Sick.” The plan then was to kill all Jews and Poles and to cut down the Russian population by 30,000,000.

We’re all struck by this great Holocaust and wonder how it ever could’ve happened. Leo Alexander, who served as a consultant to the Secretary of War in World War II and who was on duty with the office of Chief Counselor for the War Crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, says that what happened in Nazi Germany “all started with the acceptance of the attitude that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived.” In German, it was called lebensunwertes leben, which roughly translated means “life unworthy of being lived.”

An elderly German man who lived through the Holocaust tells the following story. These are his words.

I always considered myself a Christian. I attended a church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews; but like most people in America today, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we heard cries coming from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews.

Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing!

We could do nothing to help these poor people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns. If some of the screams reached our ears, we’d just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more.

Years have passed, and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.

Does this sound anything like the United States in 2018? Are we tempted to cover our ears and just “sing a little louder”? As we face a virtual holocaust on the dignity and sanctity of life, are we tempted to cover our ears and just sing a little louder?

It all began with “the attitude that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived”—lebensunwertes leben. We may think we’re beyond that. We may think that only oppressive Nazi regimes would pursue this. Surely, modern people wouldn’t think that there’s such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived.

But listen to this. Many people in the European country of Iceland have recently been bragging that they’ve virtually eliminated Down Syndrome from their country.

We may think this is good news. Have they found a cure for Down Syndrome? Wouldn’t that be fantastic! They could share it with the rest of the world!

But, no, they haven’t found a cure for Down Syndrome. They’ve just reached the point where virtually 100% of the babies who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome are killed in their mothers’ wombs. So, they’re bragging that they’ve virtually eliminated Down Syndrome from their country.

But Iceland isn’t alone. In Denmark, 98% of babies who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome will be aborted. In the UK, the number is 90%. In France, it’s 77%. In the USA, it’s 67%. That’s 2 out of every 3 babies who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. Do these babies represent lives not worthy to be lived? Are their lives lebensunwertes leben? Are we any different than the Nazis?

Have you ever thought, “If that person really knew me, he/she wouldn’t love me”? Many of us have deep, dark secrets in our lives that we don’t share with anyone for fear that people won’t love us if they know who we really are.

We may fear that we’ve done something in the past or that we’ve had something done to us in the past that makes us unlovable. In Psalm 139, David writes,

Psalm 139:1
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

These two verbs “search” and “know” are going to form “book ends” on this psalm. They appear here in the opening verse, and the same two verbs appear again in the same order in the second to last verse of the psalm.

The verb “search”—in the original language—means to consider something in detail, to analyze something so that you can discover its essential features. The verb “know” is used multiple times throughout this psalm [verses 1, 2, 4, and 23 (x2)]. In the original language, it means to become familiar with something through experience.

David’s point in using these two verbs in the opening phrase of this psalm is to let the reader know that God’s knowledge of us is both complete and intimate. There’s nothing that God doesn’t know about us. We may keep secrets from our parents. We may keep secrets from our siblings. We may keep secrets from our spouses. But we keep no secrets from God (cf. 139:2–6).

David declares in verse 7,

Psalm 139:7
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

This are rhetorical questions. They’re questions with an obvious correct answer. They’re questions designed to get us thinking. Where can we go from God’s Spirit? No where! Where can we flee from his presence? No where!

God is with us and he loves us. There are no invisible people in God’s eyes. We may make people invisible in our eyes, but there aren’t any invisible people in God’s eyes.

We make people invisible by refusing to think about them, by refusing to have open, honest conversations about them.

We take a young woman who’s a part of the sex industry, and pornography turns her into an object of lust. In our mind’s eye, she’s no longer someone created in the image of God. She’s become invisible.

We take the refugee who is fleeing persecution, and we complain that his presence here makes us feel uncomfortable. In our mind’s eye, he’s no longer someone created in the image of God. He’s become invisible.

We take the baby in the womb and we declare that what the mother does with what’s in her body is her choice. In our mind’s eye, both the mother and the baby are no longer people created in the image of God. They’ve both become invisible.

We take the elderly and the infirm and we warehouse them away and encourage them to choose death with dignity. In our mind’s eye, that old woman’s no longer someone created in the image of God. She’s become invisible.

God is the master craftsman (cf. 139:13–16). He forms us while we’re in our mother’s womb. God creates and gives life and God values human life—all human life.

God values the life of the women who is being sex trafficked.

He values the life of the refugee who’s fleeing persecution.

He values the life of the mother and of the baby in her womb.

And he values the life of elderly and infirm.

God values all human life because unlike any other part of creation, human life is created in the image of God.

Genesis 1:26–27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image after our likeness. . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

He formed us. He knitted us together. We were intricately woven together.This is poetic language, but it’s language that speaks of being carefully and thoughtfully put together. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (139:14).

But when it comes to the topic of abortion, we’ve taken this beautifully poetic language and we’ve exchanged it with cold, sterile, and sanitary terms like “pulling the plug” or “making a choice” or “fetal tissue.” And in so doing, we’ve removed ourselves from what’s really happening—the taking a human life.

There are only 7 countries in the world that allow an elective abortion after 24-weeks. And of those seven countries, only four countries allow for elective abortion at any point in the pregnancy—right up to the point of delivery:

  • The United States of America,
  • Vietnam,
  • China, and
  • North Korea.

How’s that for company to keep? Vietnam, China, and North Korea. All three of those countries are among the top of the list of countries where human rights are regularly violated. And that’s the company we keep in allowing abortion for any reason at any time during a pregnancy.

Statistics tells us that 3 in 10 women in the local church have had at least one abortion. But abortion isn’t just a women’s issue. Women don’t get pregnant without the help of a man. In many cases—not all, but in many cases—women choose abortion because the man leaves her with little choice.

Now, to be clear, having an abortion or coercing your girlfriend or wife to have an abortion isn’t an unforgiveable sin. It’s not. It is a sin. But there is forgiveness and grace to be found at the cross. God’s grace can cover all of our sins.

But we have a crisis on our hands. There have been over 60 million abortions in the USA since 1973. These are human beings. These are human lives.

But there’s also some good news here as well. There’s been a steady decline in the number of abortions since 1990. In 1990, there were 1.6 million abortions. That was the high-water mark of abortions in the USA.

In 2017, there were an estimated 900,000 abortions. That’s still a lot. That’s one abortion every 8 seconds. But that’s over a 40% decrease since 1990, and that’s good news.

Statistics tell us that the younger people are, the more opposed they are to abortion. And I think I know why. I think it’s the sonogram or ultrasound machine. We have a generation of adults now who grew up with a sonogram picture of their brother or sister taped to the fridge. When you use a sonogram machine to look at what’s happening in a mother’s womb, there’s only one conclusion you can come to: LIFE! What’s in mommy’s belly is LIFE!

And now we have generations of young people who have grown up seeing these pictures of their brothers and sisters in mommy’s belly. Some have even gone with mommy to the doctor’s office to see the baby in the womb. There’s no other way to say it. That’s a human baby in her belly.

We need to celebrate the sanctity of life. We need to celebrate the sanctity of life from conception until natural death.

So, you may be wondering what you can do. There are any number of things you can do. Here are seven things you might consider.

  • First, if you’re a parent, start by educating your own children on these issues. Show them what the Bible has to say about this.
  • Second, volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center. They’d love to hear from you.
  • Third, volunteer at a homeless shelter. When we talk about the sanctity of life, we’re not only talking about babies in the womb. Every human being on the planet is created in the image of God. All human life is precious.
  • Fifth, volunteer at an assisted-living facility. Some of the men and women who live in these facilities feel like they’ve been forgotten. They feel as if they’ve been warehoused in a facility and left there to die. Make it a part of your schedule to go and visit the residents of a local assisted-living facility.
  • Sixth, learn to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). There are refugees who have come to America because they’re fleeing persecution in their home countries. And they live here now. They want to speak better English. They just need someone to come alongside them and teach them.
  • Seventh, volunteer at a battered women’s shelter. These shelters serve as a temporary place of residence for women who’ve been in relationships that have been marked by domestic violence.
  • Eighth, become a foster parent. There are children all over this country who need a safe place to live. Without the foster-care-system, many of these children would be homeless. Show these children the love of Christ by bringing them into your homes.

Now, we can’t do all of these things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something. These are just a few of the things you can do. You can do many of these things either individually or as a family.

The point here is simple. There are men and women, boys and girls, all around us, all of whom are created in the image of God, many of whom are hurting, many of whom need to experience the love of God.

What can we do to show them the love of God?

Do You Know Who Jesus Is?

Jesus drew large crowds. People noticed his ministry. Among those people who noticed his ministry was John the Baptist. John is the one who baptized Jesus at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John is recorded to have said about Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).

John was well-acquainted with Jesus. He knows who Jesus was—or at least he thought he knew who Jesus was. In Luke 7, John appears to be having doubts. He seems to be second-guessing himself.

He calls two of his disciples to himself, and he tells them to bring a message to Jesus. And this is the message that they were told to deliver to Jesus. They were to say,

Luke 7:19b
Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?

It seems like John has lost his nerve. He’s lost his confidence. Does he know who Jesus is? What are we to make of this? Has he lost his nerve? Is his confidence waning? Is he having doubts?

Well, yes, in a way, he is having doubts. But let’s remember a couple of things.

First, let’s remember that John was a man. He was a flesh and blood human being just like any other person. He would’ve been prone to the same emotional ups and downs to which all of us are prone. We sometimes wonder if everything we believe in is really right. We may not have an overwhelming internal battle or an internal angst about our faith, but sometimes we wonder about it all.

We hear about a tragedy striking a small church in a small Texas town and it sends our heads spinning. But this is part of what it is to be a fallen human being. These things happen. From time-to-time, doubts creep in. John was a human being—no different than us.

Second, let’s remember this. John and most of his contemporaries had a mental picture of what they were expecting from their coming Messiah. And Jesus didn’t necessarily check off all the boxes. They were expecting someone who was going to deliver their nation from Roman occupation. They were expecting a military-type leader. They were expecting a political leader.

They were expecting one thing, but in many ways Jesus didn’t meet their expectations. Jesus didn’t appear to be the type of Messiah for whom they’d been waiting.

So, when he has doubts, John goes straight to the source. He sends his disciples to talk to Jesus—to ask Jesus this question.

Luke 7:19b
Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?

And what happens next is interesting. They ask Jesus this question, and then before he verbally answers them, Luke tells us in verse 21 that

Luke 7:21
In that hour [Jesus] healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight.

Before he says a word of response to John’s disciples, he performs these many miracles right there in front of them. And then, after they’d seen all of these miracles, Jesus answers the disciples and says this, in verses 22 & 23.

Luke 7:22–23
22 
And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

As with all of Jesus’ responses, this is an amazing response. There’s much to learn from it. His reply is instructive to our ears. He’s doing far more here than simply giving a run down on the things he’s been doing. HE’s doing more than sharing his resume. Jesus is alluding to scripture here. Any well-trained Jewish man would have known this. They would have heard Jesus’ words and they would have thought about the prophet Isaiah.

John has a question about whether Jesus is the one for whom they’d been waiting or whether they should wait for someone else. And Jesus replies by pointing John to the scriptures.

In essence, this is what Jesus is saying to John—and to us. “Do you want to know if I’m the one that you’ve been expecting? Do you want to know if I’m that guy? Do you want to know if I’m the long-awaited Messiah? Well, first, you need to forget what you think you know about this person. You need to forget that you think he’s supposed to be a military leader. You need to forget that you think that he’s supposed to be a political leader. You need to forget that you think that he’s supposed to free us from the Romans. Forget all of that and do this one thing. Look and see what the scriptures have to say about your long-awaited Messiah. If you want to know who the Messiah is supposed to be, forget about your individual expectations and turn to the word of God.”

That’s what Jesus is telling John. “If you want to know who the Messiah is supposed to be, forget about your expectations and turn to the word of God.”

That same advice is true today, friends. That same advice!

There are SO MANY people who have their own individual mental pictures about who Jesus is. We’ve created a Savior in our own minds. We think we know what to expect of the Messiah. We think we know what to expect of God’s anointed one.

But sadly, so many times, our idea of what to expect just doesn’t match up with what the Bible teaches. We often have a false idea of who Jesus is.

  • We have an idea of a Jesus who’ll look the other way at our sin.
  • We have an idea of a Jesus who’ll just sweep our sin under the rug.
  • We have an idea of a Jesus who was really good man, but not God in the flesh.
  • We have an idea of a Jesus who cares more about outward appearance rather than issues relating to the heart.

We often have these and other false ideas about who Jesus really is. We’d do well to ask the same question that John is asking. Are you the one, Jesus? Are the one that came to take away our sins? We’d do well to ask these questions and then turn to the Word of God to find the answer.

God loved us enough that he didn’t leave us without a written record of who he is.

It’s important that we believe in the right Jesus. You may believe in a Jesus of your imagination, but that Jesus can’t save you. Only the real Jesus can save you. Do you believe in the real Jesus?

Search the Word of God and learn who Jesus really is, and believe on that Jesus.

We need to make sure we know who Jesus is.

Jesus Is Worthy of Our Praise

As Jesus makes his way into the town of Nain (Luke 7), he’s greeted by a funeral procession. In ancient Israel, it would have been customary to bury the deceased soon after death. There weren’t any long waiting periods like today’s funerals. And unlike modern funerals and unlike the ancient Egyptians, there were no embalming techniques used. The body would have been put in the ground right away. No coffin. Just the body wrapped in material.

So, as Jesus makes his way into the town, he’s greeted by this sad sight. But what makes this situation all the more sad is that the dead man is the only son of a widowed woman. Her husband is already dead. And now her only son has died as well.

Now, to our ears, we hear this as very sad news. We feel bad for this woman, but we’re sure glad that society has “safety nets” built in to help this grieving widow. We’re glad that she’ll have access to social security. We’re glad that she’ll have access to Medicare. We’re glad that there’s an assisted-living apartment complex in her county. Now, that her family is gone, we’re so glad that she’s going to have access to these and other helpful services.

But wait a minute, she didn’t live in 21st century America, she lived in 1st century Israel. There wasn’t any social security. There wasn’t any Medicare. There weren’t any assisted living apartments. This widow would have been on her own. She would have been at the mercy of society around her. She had no standing in society for herself. So, this is more than an only son dying. This is a matter of life and death for this widow as well. The whole town knew it. That’s why there was such a large crowd with her.

But notice how Jesus reacts to this widow.

Luke 7:13
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”

His first reaction toward the woman was one of compassion. I hope we see something of the character of God here. Our God is a God of compassion. He cares for his creation. Maybe your idea of God is someone who’s vengeful, someone who keeps score, someone who’s going to let you get what’s coming to you. But that’s not who God is.

When Jesus sees this woman, his first reaction is that of compassion. Our God is a God of compassion. He cares for the widow and the orphan.

And then he tells her not to weep. Now if the story ended there, we’d wonder why he would say something like that to this grieving mother. After all, if anyone has a reason to weep, this woman sure does. She has plenty of reason to weep.

But then Jesus does something remarkable. He comes up to the funeral procession and touches the bier. The bier would have been a flat board on which they would have been carrying the wrapped-up body. He touches the bier and at that moment, he becomes ceremonially unclean. A good Jewish boy would have known better than to touch the plank which was carrying a dead body. Jesus is now unclean. But Jesus isn’t worried about ceremonial uncleanness. After all, he’s moved with compassion for this widow.

But it gets better. After the funeral procession had stopped, Jesus begins to speak to the dead person. Now the crowd thinks he’s nuts, right? I mean you don’t talk to dead people unless your nuts. Dead people don’t listen that well. He says to the dead man, “Young man, I say to you, arise” (7:14b).

And then the craziest thing happens. Verse 15, “The dead man sat up and began to speak” (7:15a). WHAT!!!??

Yes, at the sound of his voice, the dead man was made alive again.

And do you want to know something amazing? Jesus is still in the business of bringing life where there was death. Where once there was spiritual death, now Jesus makes alive. As you place your faith in him, he takes you from spiritual death into spiritual life.

Have you experienced that transformation from spiritual death to spiritual life?

And after he raised the young man to life, the crowd was amazed. Luke writes,

Luke 7:16
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”

In Deuteronomy 18, Moses old the people that there would one day come a prophet greater than him. This prophet would visit God’s people. For over a thousand years, the people of Israel had been waiting for this promise to be fulfilled.

And that’s what happened with Jesus. A great prophet had arisen among God’s people. But Jesus was more than a prophet. God had visited his people.

Do you remember what the angel told Mary to call her baby? You “‘shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:23b).

God was with his people. God had visited his people, and the people were rejoicing.

I wonder how you’d react if your favorite singer or your favorite actor or your favorite athlete showed up at your front door today. Would you “ooh and awe”? Would you ask for an autograph? Would you take a selfie?

Well, friends, somebody far better than any singer or actor or athlete who’s ever lived has come to live among us. His name is Jesus.

And he’s worthy to be praise.

What does “Lord” mean?

In Luke 6:46, Jesus asks a rather provocative question.

Luke 6:46
Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you?

Wow! This question may as well have been asked today in the church. For the last 30-years there has existed a debate within the church over an issue that is called “Lordship salvation.”

Here’s the crux of the issue. Must Jesus be your Savior AND Lord for you to be saved? OR can he be your Savior now and then at some later time you can commit yourself to his Lordship?

Those who argue in favor of Lordship Salvation—that is, in the necessity of confessing Jesus as Savior AND Lord—they argue that not to do so is to invite people who unrepentantly practice sin to think that they have the assurance of salvation when, in point of fact, they shouldn’t have any assurance of salvation.

On the other hand, those who are against Lordship Salvation—that is, that Jesus can be your Savior first and then at some later time, he can become your Lord—well, they argue that Lordship Salvation is adding “works” to salvation. They say that we’re saved by grace alone and through faith alone.

We should agree that we’re saved by grace alone and through faith alone, but we should also agree with James, that we’re saved by a faith that doesn’t remain alone. We’re saved by a faith that produces good works. That means Christ must be our Savior AND Lord. It’s what the scriptures demand.

In Acts 16, the Philippian jailer asks Paul and Silas what he has to do to be saved. Here’s their response.

Acts 16:31
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Now, there’s an evangelistic moment that’s hard to miss. You have someone coming up to you and asking you what he needs to do to be saved.

And notice what they tell him, “Believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved.” Right? Is that what they say—“believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved”?

No, that’s not what they said. They tell the jailer, “Believe in the LORD Jesus and you will be saved.” It’s not enough to simply believe in Jesus—in a Jesus of your own making—but we need believe in who Jesus is. He’s the Lord Jesus. No other Jesus can save you. Only the Lord Jesus can save you.

Here’s another scripture. This one is from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome.

Romans 10:9–10
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Just to state the obvious. Did you see what we need confess in order to be saved? We need to confess Jesus IS LORD. If you want to be saved, you need to confess that Jesus is Lord.

Now, making that confession doesn’t mean that from that moment on, that you’re going to live your life in perfect obedience to Jesus. No, that’s not what it means.

As long as we walk on this earth, we will be going through a process called sanctification. We’ll be learning every day what it means to follow Christ in obedience. Some days we’ll do a really good job, and other days, we’ll do a lousy job.

But confessing Jesus as Lord means that we recognize that we’re not in charge of our lives any more. It means that we recognize that Jesus is in charge of our lives. He is our Lord.

By virtue of what he did on the cross—through his death, burial, and resurrection—by virtue of who he is—he is God in the flesh—by virtue of what he’s done and by virtue of who he is, we confess him as our Lord and we seek to live our lives in obedience to him.

Will there be times in my life when we stubbornly refuse to do what Jesus has told us to do. Yes, there will be those times. In the ongoing work of our sanctification—that is, in the ongoing work of God conforming us into the image of his Son Jesus—in that ongoing work there will be times when we will stubbornly give into sin and there will be times when we achieve victory over sin in our lives.

But the trajectory is always upward. The trajectory is always in submission to the Lordship of Christ. It’s a day-by-day decision. It’s a moment-by-moment decision. So, Jesus asks, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

And then after asking that question, Jesus tells a story in verses 47–49 to bring the point home. Allow me to paraphrase.

There are two people. One person comes to Jesus and confesses him as Lord and actually does what Jesus tells him to do. Jesus tells us that he is like a house that has a strong, firm foundation of rock. When the storms of this life come, he won’t be shaken because his foundation is Jesus.

The other guy is someone who confesses Jesus as Lord—that is, he says the right things—but he doesn’t actually do what Jesus tells him to do. This guy, when he builds his house, his house doesn’t have a foundation. When the storms of life come against his house, there’s going to be a great disaster. This house is going to crash and Jesus says, “the ruin of that house was great” (6:49b).

So, now we should ask ourselves these questions.

In which house do we live? Which house represents our life?

Is our life characterized by doing what Jesus has told us to do through his Word or is our life characterized by a lack of obedience to God and his word?

We’re not suggesting that anybody’s perfect, but is our life characterized by a desire to do what Jesus has commanded us to do?

Is our house built on a firm foundation?

Practically speaking, is Jesus our Lord?

Lordship demands obedience.

Loving Your Enemies

Jesus said a lot of countercultural things when he walked on this earth, but near the top of that list has to be when he told his followers to “love their enemies.” It’s hard enough to just love our neighbor—which is something else that Jesus told us to do—but to love our enemies—for many of us, that’s just a bridge too far. Why should I love my enemies?

Many people will recall that in 2012 the whole idea of same-sex marriage was in the media almost every day. It’d be another three-years before the Supreme Court would make same-sex marriage the law of the land, but in 2012 the movement was already gaining widespread momentum.

In May of 2012, President Obama addressed his “evolution” on the issue—he was for it, then he was against it, and then he was for it again. The whole country was in an uproar. There wasn’t any middle ground. There wasn’t a safe space to hide and avoid the controversy.

That summer, Dan Cathy—COO of Chick-fil-a—announced his opposition to same-sex marriage, and as a result of his announcement, Chick-fil-a was immediately thrown into the cultural firestorm.

There were those who adamantly disagreed with Chick-fil-a’s stance and they threatened to boycott Chick-fil-a, and there were those who equally as adamantly agreed with Chick-fil-a’s stance and they rushed to Chick-fil-a in droves. It was—if you will—a political stalemate.

But maybe you wonder, what did Dan Cathy do? What did Cathy do while some were threatening boycotts and others were cheering support?

According to media reports, here’s what he did. He decided to move toward his “enemy.” Cathy decided to reach out to Shane Windmeyer—the founder and executive director of Campus Pride, a pro-LGBT campus group. Windmeyer was a gay activist and an openly gay man.

Cathy reached out to him because Cathy wanted to hear more about LGBT concerns regarding Chick-fil-a. Cathy said this about why he reached out to Windmeyer.

“We don’t have to agree with our enemies but we still have to honor and love them.”

Not long after that meeting, Windmeyer told the Huffington Post that he considered Cathy a friend.

How might our lives—how might our culture—look different if instead of cutting off relationships, we chose to say, “I don’t share your convictions on such-and-such topic, but I would like to hear more about why this is so important to you.”

How might our lives and our culture look different if we began to be civil to one another again? How might our lives and our culture look different is we began to love our enemies?

Kathy Litton, a pastor’s wife in Mobile, Alabama, wrote this profound statement. “As long as I think of my enemies as ‘bad’ people, they will remain my enemy. The moment I choose to see them with a gospel lens, is the moment I can truly love my enemies.”

Jesus has called us to live counter-cultural lives. There are any number of ways we can live a counter-cultural life for Jesus, but we can start by loving our enemies (see Luke 6:27b). Straight away we notice the counter-cultural nature of Jesus’ call to discipleship. He tells us that we’re to love our enemies.

The word that used here for “enemy” means to “hate someone and wish them injury.” This isn’t just someone with whom you don’t get along. This is someone who wants to see you get hurt. And Jesus tells us that we’re to love that individual or that group of individuals.

There are several different Greek words that are variously translated as “love.” Some of these words are more powerful words for love than others. The word used here is the most powerful of all of those words. It’s agape love. Agape love is a love that seeks the best interest of the other. It’s the kind of love that God has for us.

When God so loved the world—in John 3:16—he “agaped” the world. That’s the type of love that we’re to have for our enemies. That’s the type of love that we’re to have for those who want to bring us harm.

To love someone with agape love is to delight yourself in them. It’s a love that’s not motivated by what the other person can do for you. Agape love is volitional. It’s making a decision of the will to love another.

If we “love” only because we know that we’ll be loved in return, friends, that’s not what Jesus is talking about here—or anywhere else in the New Testament, for that matter. In Luke 6:32, Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”

Here’s what Jesus is saying.

If I love my wife (and I should love my wife and I do love my wife), it’s a pretty safe bet that I know my wife is going to love me back. And if I love my children (and I should love my children and I do love my children), it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll love me back.

There’s nothing counter-cultural about that kind of love. Jesus tells us here that even “sinners” love those who will love them back. And by “sinners” here, he’s not referring to the fact that we’re all sinners (cf., Romans 3:23). He’s using sinners here in a more designated sense. He’s talking about those who consciously choose not to follow Christ.

Even they have no problem with loving someone who will love them in return. In essence, he’s saying, “Give me a break. Everyone does that. Everyone loves the person who will love them back.”

So Jesus asks, “what benefit is that for you?” The word translated here as “benefit” is the same Greek word that’s elsewhere translated as “grace” or “favor.” In essence, here’s what Jesus is saying.

“Why should God show you any grace, why should he show you any favor for loving those who love you in return?”

Christians—those who follow Jesus—ought to be different. We ought not to just blend into the crowd. There should be something distinctive about the way we live.

When we see racial injustice, we ought to reply in a way that’s distinctively Christian.

When we see oppression, we ought to reply in a way that’s distinctively Christian.

And here’s why that should happen. When a Christian grasps—I mean when she really begins to understand—what Jesus accomplished on her behalf on the cross, it’ll change everything.

When she begins to understand that it wasn’t because she was such a lovable person that Christ loved her, it’ll change everything.

When she begins to understand that before she came to Christ, she was God’s enemy (cf. Romans 5), and that while she was still God’s enemy, God sent his only Son to die for her, it’ll change everything.

The reason many of us aren’t regularly amazed at God’s great love for us is that we think that we somehow deserve his love. We think we had it coming. It’s almost as if we say to ourselves, “It’s the least God could have done for me.” That seems to be the attitude that many people have.

But no, no, no, friends, listen. We don’t deserve God’s love. We deserve God’s wrath. But listen closely, friends. Here’s the glorious news. Even though we deserve God’s wrath, God sent his wrath on his Son Jesus as he hung on that cross. Jesus took the wrath that we deserve. And in return God sent his love to us.

It’s what Martin Luther called the great exchange. Jesus takes our sin, and God gives us his Son’s righteousness. And why did he do that? For the joy set before him (Heb 12:2)—because he loved us.

And because he loves us, his love transforms us. John the apostle said it this way. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

His love transforms us. Because he loved us, we’re able to love even the vilest of sinners. Because he loved us, we’re able to love our enemies.

Do you see? Because of his love for us, our attitude toward others is changed. We now have an attitude of love for others—and not just those who love us in return.

So, why should we love our enemies? Because the love of Christ has transformed our hearts and his love for us compels us to love our enemies.

Discipleship Manifesto

Potomac Heights Baptist Church exists for the glory of God and to make Christ known by making disciples who make disciples to the ends of the earth. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18b–20).

A disciple is a forgiven sinner who is becoming more like Christ as he learns Christ.

Disciple-making is a prayerful work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God which is accomplished as God’s people work through a life-on-life process whereby we serve one another by helping each other progress toward Christlikeness—moving from spiritual darkness through spiritual infancy and toward spiritual maturity—to reproduce our lives (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Tim 2:2). Disciple-making is a lifelong process that is marked by progress, not perfection. It is not a program, a class, a production line, or a Bible study.

There are many reasons why we should be about disciple-making. First, a Christ-centered reason, we make disciples because our Lord told us to do so (Matt 28:18–20). Second, a God-centered reason, we make disciples because this bring glory to God (Rev 7:13–17). And third, a human-centered reason, we make disciples because this is God’s means of rescuing those who are perishing (Titus 2:11–14; Col 1:13–20).

The making of disciples is ultimately God’s work, but it is accomplished as his disciples, who are prayerfully dependent on the Holy Spirit, persevere in proclaiming his Word into people’s hearts. As such, God’s people must be thoroughly saturated in prayer and with God’s Word. This disciple-making endeavor should happen wherever and whenever Christians are present (e.g., in the home, in the church, in the workplace, in our communities, in our state, in our nation, and any place in the world). Wherever Christians find themselves, they should be making disciples.

All Christian disciples should be disciple-makers. We should all play our role in helping one another learn Christ and grow toward Christlikeness. This should happen on multiple levels. It should happen as we engage non-believers with gospel truths. It should happen as we proclaim the gospel and urge non-believers to trust in Christ (i.e., evangelism). It should happen as we help new believers become established in their faith. And it should happen as we equip believers to better equip others (i.e., training trainers).