5 – Discipleship involves the Trinity

Following Christ is faith in action, living as a new creation resulting from spiritual rebirth by the Holy Spirit (2Co 5:17; Tit 3:5-6; 1Pe 1:3). Therefore, reproducing Christ in others is Jesus’ authoritative work for every believer as His ambassadors. God making his appeal through us (2Co 5:20), this is NOT optional, we are to “Go”.

Text:     Matthew 28:19b
…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

This is water baptism (Immersion under water), as spiritual baptism is only done by the Holy Spirit at salvation (Rom 6:1-6).

Baptism forms a picture of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s active involvement in a disciple’s life. A new believer needs to accept and submit to the controlling power of God in this truth.

Baptism is a public testimony of identity with God through faith in Jesus Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is a submissive act of obedience following salvation, telling the world of union with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism tells the world that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). Jesus’ resurrected life is to be lived through the believer’s life.

This public testimony of baptism is the testimony of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through both the one being baptised and the Church members doing the baptising.

To refuse baptism is an act of disobedience. So, baptism is a critical part of making obedient disciples who will follow Jesus at any cost. Obedience is one of the primary marks of a true believer (Jn 3:36).

In baptism, the new disciple is acknowledging that baptism is NOT making them a Christian. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16). Disbelief, not failure to be baptised, is what makes salvation impossible. Salvation is by faith, confessing the resurrected Lord Jesus (Rom 10:9-10).

In Jesus’ great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, He  commands believers to obediently go in His place, to make new disciples who begin with water baptism by immersion following their salvation.

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