Praise God! You have put in the prayer and effort needed to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But what’s next? There are many good, and probably correct answers to this question. Baptism? Sure. Joining a church? Perhaps, depending on the culture and location where you are. Having them tell others about what Jesus has done? Absolutely necessary!
But what about teaching them to obey Christ?
“18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
You’ve obeyed Jesus and made a disciple. There is the need to baptize them as a profession of their faith. And the next part is to teach them to obey! How do you do that?
A practice that is becoming very common in missions among the unreached and reached is the process of Obedience Based Discipleship. Essentially, we want to teach our new disciple to be able to study the scriptures for themselves, with a heavy emphasis on figuring out what they are being taught to do and then obeying it.
How does it work? Let us show you. We will use Joshua 9 as an example. Click here to open the passage in a new window/tab.
After reading the passage. There are four questions you should ask yourself. First,
What does this passage teach me about God?
Then answer the question.
verse 10 says He conquers kingdoms
verse 14 says He can be inquired of
verse 20 says He wants us to honor our promises, and will punish harshly if we don’t
There are definitely more items we can put here! But for brevity’s sake, we’ll move on.
The next question is:
What does this passage teach me about man? (humans, mankind, our condition, etc)
verse 4 says we tell lies
verse 14 shows that we tend to look at the physical world and trust it, also that we can inquire of the Lord
verse 18 (2nd part) shows that we may grumble against our leadership’s decisions
The third question to ask is:
Are there any sins to avoid or examples to follow? (or commands to obey)
verse 14 (sin) people did not inquire of the Lord
verse 19 (example) says we should honor our commitments
And finally, the most important question to ask yourself is:
How am I going to obey?
It is absolutely important to teach your new disciple (and yourself) to be specific in answering this question. Hopefully, you have entered into the study being open to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach you. And as you answer each question, you should be getting a pretty clear idea of how you need to make a change in your life; either in a sin to avoid or example to follow. But the key is to be specific. Often, we Christians are really good at giving vague answers that are hard to quantify. For example, “I’m going to love people more.” Does that mean anything? How can we determine if you have truly loved people more?
But if you say “I’m going to stop saying hateful statements to Stephen”, that’s an action that you can obey!
Now, after studying Joshua 9, how are YOU going to obey?