DISCIPLES ARE MADE
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
How does a lost sinner become a disciple of Jesus Christ? Is it a matter of self-reformation – of turning over a new leaf? Is it a matter of undergoing a certain religious ritual? Does baptism make a sinner into a disciple of Christ? Does baptism have anything at all to do with making a lost sinner into a disciple?
What does the Bible teach? In John 4:1-2 we have the answer to the question. There we read: “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples).” Notice that there are two things that both John the Baptist and Jesus did. Both of them (1) “made” disciples and both of them (2) “baptized” disciples.
Henry Ford made and sold more automobiles than the Studebaker Brothers made and sold. Obviously it is one thing to make a car and quite another to sell one. So it is in our text quoted above. It is one thing to “make” a disciple and it is quite another to “baptize” a disciple. Any person not blinded by prejudice can understand both the making and selling of cars and the making and baptizing of disciples.
Plainly speaking: nobody ever became a disciple by being baptized. Baptism is not for lost sinners. Baptism is for disciples! We know this because both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ baptized those whom they had already made into disciples. (Jesus Himself baptized not, but He authorized His disciples to do that work.)
A man is only hurting himself by butting his head against the brick wall of Scripture by attempting to maintain that baptism has anything at all to do with making disciples. Disciples are made by preaching. John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ were both preachers. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matthew 3:1-2). “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matthew 4:17).
It was in connection with their preaching that men and women were made disciples by the Holy Spirit. Godly sorrow, repentance and faith make up the triple experience of the Spirit-born disciple of Christ. Baptism is a matter of the obedience of a disciple. Jesus persuaded John the Baptist to baptize Him saying, “...it becometh [is fitting for] us to fulfil all righteousness...” (Matthew 3:15).
Men and women can involve themselves and their children in religious rituals involving either small or large amounts of water, but they will never become disciples of Christ nor will their children by such practices. Cars must first be made before they can be put on the showroom floor and be sold. Disciples must first be made before disciples can be baptized. And the Scriptures are clear as quoted at the first of this little article: disciples were “made” and disciples were “baptized.”
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726