The gospel gives us a new identity. Because of who God is and what He’s done, we are forever new – given new identity in the triune God. The command of Jesus to go and make disciples, baptizing into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is about establishing people into their new Trinitarian identity (2 Cor 5:17; Matt 28:18-20).
1. God is our Father and we are His Family
2. Jesus is our Lord and we are His Disciples
3. The Holy Spirit is our Guide and Sender and we are His Disciple-Makers
(missionaries sent to make disciples who make disciples)
What you do doesn’t define your identity, rather your identity should define what you do. It’s our being that leads to our doing. In other words, how we live doesn’t influence who we are. Who we are influences how we live.
Because of who God made us to be, we seek to grow as disciples of Jesus, make disciples within our spheres of influence, and do both within the context of everyday life lived together as family.
As a young man Jesus grew in both wisdom and stature. He learned from local religious teachers, by living in community, and especially by communing with God through regular times of prayer and interaction with Him. Jesus called others to follow His ways, to be His disciples, and live in obedience to all that God commands. He then sent these followers out to make new disciples. We too are called to be followers of Jesus who take responsibility for our own discipleship and growth as well as the discipleship and growth of others. We do this by communing with God through the practice of spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, prayer, and confession. This happens in the context of both personal time with God and in the context of community through corporate worship and through Discipleship Communities. In this way, we EXALT God and bring him glory as we grow as disciples of Jesus. (Luke 2:52; Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 2:2)
God has always desired a people-an earthly family-who would live in such a way that the world would know what he is like. Jesus said that those who live in his ways and obey his Father are truly his family. So faith in Jesus Christ makes us God’s children and brothers and sisters with each other. It is our responsibility as God’s family to personally care for the physical and spiritual needs of one another. This means that we not only take responsibility for our own discipleship but for the discipleship of others in God’s family. We do this by living everyday life together in community and as family, but with gospel intentionality. This might look like us eating together, shopping together, or celebrating birthdays together. It may also look like babysitting for one another, cooking meals for those who are sick, or bearing each other’s burdens. This happens best through our DCs. In this way, we EDIFY the body and God’s people are transformed as we live like family. (John 1:12-13; Romans 12:10-16)
We’re saved not only for own sake but for the sake of others around us (“redeemed to redeem”). This means that we not only take responsibility for our own discipleship, but also for those within our spheres of influence. Our example is Jesus. He was sent by God to take on human form and live within the culture. He worked, ate, and interacted among the people, living in such a way that those around Him could see and experience what God was truly like and be restored to right relationship with God. We too are sent by God into our culture to work, eat, and interact with those around us, pointing them with our words and actions to the love and grace of our redeeming God. Our DCs are designed to support one another in this effort, living in community as the ultimate apologetic of the gospel. In this way, we EVANGELIZE the lost and join God’s plan for redemption as we live as disciple-makers. (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; John 1:14; 20:21)