Making Disciples: Simply Teach God’s Word Simply

Christianity is often made more complicated than it need be. Sadly, we as Christians are typically the one’s responsible for causing the confusion and creating the unnecessarily complicated platform that has become the common understanding of Christianity to those outside of the faith. We need to reel this back.

In a conversation with a very good friend and pastor just the other evening, he stated that he is longing for revival in America. Social issue have caused much division as of late, with protests and politics working their way into every thread of our community fabric. While I agree that we need revival in America in general, my friend spoke the precise words that I was thinking, “But we need revival in the church first!” How so very true.

The church must come to grips with biblical truth. It must accept this truth regardless of person prejudice, personal feelings, social norms, ever-changing cultural customs and bad theology. Truth is truth, and the bible needs to be the deciding factor in all that. With this as a platform from which to leap, we need to reexamine these truths, simplify what we do as Christians, and above all, make certain that what we take part in is in line with these truths.

Jesus gave us one job when He left the earth. This is frequently called the Great Commission, and can be found in Matthew 28: 19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you”.

So how do we go about this? Some think the best way is to win every argument. While I’ll confess, there are places where arguing in the apologetic sense is right and needs to be done. As someone before me has so wisely stated, there are some hills worth dying on (in a dogmatic theological sense), but they are few.

I think the best way to make disciples is laid out for us in scripture. In the biblical charge to “make disciples, our responsibility is simply stated in Acts 20:27.

For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

We must share God’s word in its entirety if we are to make true disciples. This means teaching the Word, right from scripture with explanations based on scripture. We must be certain we are not injecting our personal thoughts or feelings into our interpretation. We must make sure that we are not allowing the influences of culture to sway the way we receive God’s word. We must not allow our political leanings to be the deciding factor in how we relate God’s word to the people who need to hear it. We are doing no one any favors when we soften God’s word so that a person is less offended or “convicted” by what God’s truths are. As a matter of fact, when we do this we are acting in a counterproductive manner, and are disrespecting God. Worse yet, we are allowing beliefs that may affect the eternity of the very people you are trying to reach.

Our responsibility is to share the gospel – NOT change people’s minds, influence their opinions, or even convert them to Christianity. In other words, ours is not to change the hearts and minds of the people. This is the sole responsibility of the Holy Spirit. We plant seeds and water, the Holy Spirit does the changing of hearts and minds and harvesting.

The gospel is ours to share, and the word of God is ours to teach. But the hearts are God’s alone to receive, as only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction and change. We are NOT the Holy Spirit. Stop trying to be. Stop making this more difficult than it needs to be. Simply share the Word simply. Allow God to do thew rest.

 

2 thoughts on “Making Disciples: Simply Teach God’s Word Simply

  1. There is no John chapter 28! Not in my bible anyway!

    And that statement was made by Jesus, not John.

    Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    You stated, “We must be certain we are not injecting our personal thoughts or feelings into our interpretation. We must make sure that we are not allowing the influences of culture to sway the way we receive God’s word.”

    And I wholeheartedly agree. But do these “modern” translations do that? Are they the true word of God? Please, let me share just a few scripture comparisons with you:

    NLT for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
    ISV because you were bought for a price. Therefore, glorify God with your bodies.
    NIV you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
    ESV for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
    ERV for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.
    ASV for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.
    NASB For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

    So we must honor God ONLY with our bodies? What about our spirit? Or does our spirit not matter?

    KJB For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    Or how about this one:

    KJB Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
    NKJ “Known to God from eternity are all His works.

    Notice what it say here. “KNOWN TO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS…..”

    Now notice the wording in the below perversions. And one wonders why I only use the King James Bible. It’s because of perversions like THIS:

    NLT he who made these things known so long ago.’
    ISV that have been known from long ago.’
    NIV things known from long ago.
    ESV known from of old.’
    ERV Saith the Lord, who maketh these things known from the beginning of the world.
    ASV Saith the Lord, who maketh these things known from of old.
    NASB SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO.

    Let me share just one more with you:
    Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
    The Angel of the Lord God Almighty told Marry, the Mother of Jesus, that “His name shall be called,…”

    I ask you, how many gods do we serve? I only know of ONE! In the scripture above, Jesus, the only begotten son of God, is called, “the mighty God.” But Jehovah is God. How can JESUS be God also? Then the angel continues with, “The everlasting Father.” Wait! We only have ONE heavenly father. But the Angel just called JESUS Father. So now we have TWO Fathers? Not possible! The only conclusion is that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one and the same person. Thus, baptism in the name of Jesus is the ONLY proper way. I have many scriptures to share with you on this. Proof that Jesus is God in the Flesh. There are no three personages in heaven, but ONE!

    What do you think?

    1. Thanks for pointing out my errors in textual reference. I made that correction. I could not however find a place where I might have mis-accredited the quote to John? It was of course Jesus who made the statement and if I did mis-accredit the quote, I’m happy to change it of course.

      I could not agree with you more that modern translations are a bit off track. For continuity purposes I generally use the NKJV version as this is what is used typically at our church we attend. For serious study I’ll use NASB95, and have been known to use the ESV (which I become slightly less enamored with as time goes on). But I never study without my Greek texts to confirm the translations and clarify thoughts and context.

      As far as Jesus being God, He most certainly is. In the microcosm of the verse you shared, one might derive your conclusion. That conclusion however cannot stand in the context of the entire bible. God is in fact a triune God with three distinct persons ALL being the One God. Scripture makes this very clear in many places, and has been Christian dogma for millennia. This topic has been covered by many thoughtful and qualified authors, I’ll leave you to them, rather than try to cover such a topic in a reply.

      Thanks for reading!

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