And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18–20—NKJV)

The business of the church is disciple making. All other activity of the church (whether evangelism, missions, charity, community involvement, or any given program) needs to keep disciple making central to its purpose. If any of these endeavors does not keep that focus, though it may be commendable, it stands in danger of failing to bring “glory to God,” of the type of glory the Lord greatly desires. Disciple making is heavily dependant upon people of faith who are faithful to the Great Commission of Disciple Making.

Paul reminds us of this principle in 1 Corinthians 4:1–2, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required [to seek out in a man] in stewards that one be found [to examine and find out by inquiry] faithful.” John writes his third letter to Gaius in which he commends him, “Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do [active at a work, business] for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well” (verses 5–6). Vines states, “To do a faithful work is to do what is worthy of a faithful man.” The thing that elevates spiritual faithfulness above common faithfulness among men is John’s phrase, “in a manner worthy of God.”

This sentiment is what is behind the words found in 2 Timothy 2:1–2, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Most people think that the qualities of the soldier, the athlete, the farmer, and the student, which quickly follow the admonitions of verses 1 and 2, are the qualities to look for in order to identify faithful men. A closer look at the text shows that these sturdy qualities are qualities of disciplers who are commissioned to disciple faithful men. Though you may not feel fully capable of being an exemplary soldier, athlete, farmer, or student, you still have the full capability of being a “faithful man” in the sight of both God and man. The leading qualities of disciplers will come, in time, to one who is faithful!

A quick review of the Greek words found in our Lord’s statement in Matthew 28:19–20 shows His words to be translated more fully by, “Make disciples having gone, by baptizing…, by teaching to obey all things I have commanded you.” The church saints are to press on to the ends of the earth, discipling by evangelizing the lost (healthy sheep produce healthy sheep) and bringing to maturity those who rest the care of their soul upon the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first step of faithfulness is found in this passage: immersion (showing identity with Christ and His local church) in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Notice, it does not say “into” the Name (as in baptismal regeneration) but “in” the Name.

The second step is “teaching them to observe [obey].” Obedience to the commands of the Lord does not stop with simply trusting Him for salvation or observing His ordinance of believer’s immersion. Rather, it is the task of the discipler to place in the hands of the young believer the “whole counsel of God” as God states it, giving His commands. As the believer obeys God’s Word he begins to live a faithful and holy life. He will keep his commitments, live honestly, order his life in godly disciplines, yield his will to his heavenly Father’s will, display profound thankfulness, be quick to repent and restore, love the brethren, and reflect biblical thinking in his decisions and actions. His allegiance and his obedience to the Lord will become known among men, just as Gaius, for his faithfulness will be characterized by the very same words—“in a manner worthy of God.”

It is instructive that Matthew records just a few chapters earlier (25:14–30) that Christian success is defined as “can God say, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant?’” The quality of Christian faithfulness is the clay from which God fashions a masterpiece fit for His use. Are you born again and faithfully obeying your Lord as much as He wants you to be? Be known for your faithfulness. Trust and obey.