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. Matthew 28:19-20
The passage above is the mission statement of the Christian church known as the Great Commission. It is what the church should be doing in this world. Go out from the church, tell people about Jesus, and call them to worship the One True God. When someone trusts in Jesus by the working of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of the faithful, a disciple is made. This person is a follower of Christ, so they are taught the truths of Scripture and should grow in knowledge and understanding.
If you have been in the church for a lengthy stretch of time, it can be easy to see this Great Commission as a calling to go and do for others, while neglecting the ongoing truth that is present in this same passage for even the most seasoned of believers.
Perhaps a way to sum up the point of this article is, “Once a disciple, always a disciple.” While the Great Commission calls the church to make disciples, the people converted remain disciples for the rest of their days. The church is then supposed to be about the business of “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” And so the calling of the Christian and the Church is not complete with salvation. The lengthy process of sanctification (growth in grace) then begins.
If we remember that God is infinite, we will realize that the knowledge that we can obtain about God is also infinite. If we remember that God is good, we will realize that more we know about our good God, the “gooder” our lives will be. The potential here in seeking to know God better is infinitely good!
The reverse is also true. If we know that the human heart is prone to wander. If we know that the desire of our heart is all too often to neglect the grace God has given. Then the resulting fruit will be to forsake the infinitely good God. We will be given to worldly teaching and not the infinite and perfectly good truth of God.
So, I want to challenge you to consider your status as disciples of Christ. Are you seeking to get more of the infinite goodness? Are you learning? Are you becoming more and more sure of the gospel and the truth and your own salvation and thereby gaining rest?
This is the wildly difficult balancing act. The call to discipleship can become an exhausting treadmill. However, growth comes from God alone. We attend discipleship ministry seeking to deepen the unbreakable relationship that has already been established and cannot be broken. Rest in Bible Study. Rest in personal devotion. You are in the arms of one that loves and wants to reveal himself to you. Be diligent, work at it, but be at peace, for nothing can separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.