“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” vss. 19-20
The Great Commission provides a simple, uncomplicated formula for the mission of the Church. Only two things are included in the authorization to make disciples: baptizing and teaching. We’ve done a pretty good job with the first part of the commission…to this point billions of persons have been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…and we keep on doing it! Even people with only casual connections to the Church make sure they get their children baptized, just so their souls won’t be in jeopardy! The second part of the commission has been a bit more problematic, probably because it takes commitment and time. We’ve not been good about teaching the baptized to obey everything that Christ has commanded. Oh, there’s usually a bit of Sunday School or maybe confirmation…a kind of general religious education. But teaching people to obey what Christ has commanded would mean exposing them to the Sermon on the Mount and saying that this is the way disciples are expected to live. And that’s a tough sell! The result is that while many are baptized, few ever become disciples…it’s just too costly for folks who have gotten accustomed to a steady diet of cheap grace.
Thought for the Day: Why is baptizing easier than teaching?