DOES BAPTISM MAKE A DISCIPLE?

Baptism does not make disciples.  The Great Commission has three parts – the first and second parts are not the same.  He did not command the apostles to make disciples by baptizing men.  They did not baptize anyone who had not responded to the first part.  Those who responded to the first part were ready to be baptized.  The command is to “Go therefore and teach (the original Greek is go and make disciples) of all the nations, baptizing them. . .”  When he says “baptizing them,” to whom is he referring?  If he is saying “baptizing them (nations),” we can understand that this is impossible.  All nations would not submit to baptism.  If he is saying “baptizing the them (disciples),” they must have been made disciples before they were baptized.  If baptizing someone makes them a disciple, then the one who is being baptized does not need to know why he is being baptized.  If baptizing someone makes them disciples, then many of the denominations are obeying the first part of the great commission when they immerse someone in water because he has already been saved.  Scripturally, the one being baptized must have a change of mind and understand what he is doing before he is qualified to be baptized.  This qualification Jesus calls ‘making disciples.  There is a process in making disciples.  John 4:1-3 says that  Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John .  As Jesus was teaching some of the Jews believed on him.  Notice how they were told to be disciples indeed: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed . . .” (John 8:30-31).  If baptism makes one a disciple, then “once a disciple always a disciple,” for it is impossible to get ‘unbaptized.’  Jesus knew how to make disciples.  We must follow our master’s example on how to make a disciple but first we must know what a disciple is.

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