Quotes (684)

voddie-bauchamFor too long we have been committed to forms of evangelism that ignore the crucial discipleship element explicit in the Great Commission. We have been called to make disciples, not converts.

– Voddie Baucham

20 thoughts on “Quotes (684)

  1. This is one of the points that so many seeker sensitive preachers needs to have nailed to his mirror. They are so focused on “bringing them in” and so inclined to soft-pedal the Gospel (via Finney) that they end up with a “church” that looks and behaves just like the lost culture they’ve been marketing to.


  2. Isn’t amazing the early church survived without rocking praise bands, coffee & doughnuts and flag football? Who would’ve thunk it?


  3. Yes indeed and discipleship is not some program and is shared across the body; it is a commitment to grow the body of Christ so we are conformed to Christ, elders teaching the younger and everyone submitting to one another. It should happen everyday and not just in “holy” settings or at “holy” time; rather it should be in our homes, while we drive with one another, while we eat, while we shop, etc.

    It is so needed because the church today looks more and more like the Babylonian culture we are living in. This is what makes discipleship a lot harder than just preaching a sermon. You need to get deeply and intimately involved in the brethren’s lives even as they do yours. It is hard, very hard and I’ve only been on the fringes of it where often you can look like the bad guy. Kind of like the way many of us are viewed on DefCon when we speak out against the nonsense in the church.

    But the rewards, just like raising a child/children in the faith (I have not done this), are innumerable. I pray we all will commit ourselves this year to look into the Scriptures and see how WE can play our part. I especially encourage woman to study the Scriptures to see how important it is for them firstly to be grounded in the commands for them (modesty, submission, how to prepare for marriage, how to be godly wives, how to raise children, keep the home, etc.), and then, while walking in these, to help and teach the younger. A ministry that is much needed in my estimation.

    And I also encourage parents to take the Biblical responsibility of raising their children in the faith seriously and not to hand them off to some 20-something “youth pastor” or children’s church. Keep them with you while you worship and worship God as a family.

    And you teach them, you train them; it is your job where you especially need to teach them to honor the elderly and not to simply want to hang out with the young and foolish. The latter being what youth group instills in them where we have all these separate cliques in the church – just like the world. This ought not be so.


  4. “No wonder people want entertainment and not expository teaching.” ~ John

    Check out the new Albert Mohler article where he talks about how people want to be entertained and how only about 5% of England’s population attend church and that it is estimated that there are more Muslims attending mosques than Christians attending church; more Brits listening to imams than preachers – if you will.

    “The preaching of the Word of God is the chief means by which God conforms Christians to the image of Christ. Rightly understood, true Christian preaching is not aimed only at this earthly life, but is the means whereby God prepares his people for eternity.” Albert Mohler

    How Will They Hear Without a Preacher?


  5. I posted a brief article about “Finney” at my blog. It is a quote from him on imputed righteousness. No wonder the methods that are used today that are modeled after his fail. His foundation was rotten from the start. Plus no one wants to truly study their Bible. They will do a surface level devotional reading and say that it is enough.
    sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh


  6. I agree with the gist of what Mr. Baucham is getting at, but I have to disagree with how he’s said it.

    I’ve heard many “Christians” say nearly the same thing to me when they want me to stop witnessing and go away. I think the Christian lingo we use is often unbiblical and this is a good example of how we use biblical words (“disciple” and “convert”) incorrectly. A convert and a disciple are the same thing. I checked the KJV, NIV, NASB and ESV, and they all use “convert” or “conversion” to refer to genuine disciples. A true convert and a disciple are the same thing.

    I think that when Jesus commanded us in the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) to make disciples, that’s the equivalent of making converts. We make disciples (who will be disciples of Jesus–not of someone else) by giving people the gospel.

    Then, teaching them to obey all that He has commanded is how we get to take part in Jesus discipling people. Churches should teach both new converts and old converts/disciples. Someone who is mature in age and faith is still a disciple of Jesus. I’ve written about this in the past.



  7. Bill,

    I respectively disagree with your definitions. A disciple is a student or a learner – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciple_%28Christianity%29

    A convert is someone that the Holy Spirit has transformed. A convert is someone that has been born again. Jesus commanded for us to make disciples (students) not converts. We don’t have the power or authority to make converts; only the Holy Spirit can do that when a man is born again. I would venture to say that all converts are disciples (at least I would hope they are) but not all disciples are converts. Unfortunately there are some atheist that can quote Leviticus better than 90% of Christians that are out there. The atheist that can do this is a disciple (because he studies the word) but he’s not a convert because he doesn’t believe and he hasn’t been born again. Our call to carry out the Great Commission is what it is; to deliver the gospel but it is God the one doing the saving, not us; we should never forget that.


  8. Hi Wade,

    Do you really think an atheist can be a disciple of Jesus?

    Do you think that all Jesus was commanding in the Great Commission was for us to cause people to take an interest in the Bible?

    Furthermore, unless I’m misunderstanding Mr. Baucham, which is certainly possible, he’s saying that a church with a bad gospel message can make a convert, but is unable to make a disciple.

    It seems he’s saying that a convert is not necessarily saved, or is not really a disciple, while a disciple is truly saved and following Jesus. If I’ve understood him correctly, your definitions are the exact opposite of his.

    John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    John 15:8 says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

    All disciples are truly born again. There is no one who is not born again who is a disciple. A true disciple is the same thing as a true convert.



  9. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your gracious reply. I’m not a Greek scholar by any means and your rebuttal has driven me to get a clear meaning of the word.

    According to the Strong’s Greek Dictionary;



    the word for disciple is “mathetes” (3101) or manthano (3129) which means a learner, pupil or to learn and or to understand. Like I said earlier, I do not know Greek and am NOT a Greek scholar by any means but from what I can tell from the definitions listed it does mean to be someone’s student. The links I provided above provide scripture where the word is used and from what I can tell, it was mostly used when Jesus was addressing His disciples (His students) and lacking any other sort of implications other than they were His students.

    I will attempt to address your questions about the scriptures you provided one by one;

    John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    If we substitute the word “student” in for disciple” it does not change the meaning of the verse at all; For example, “By this all men will know that you are my students, if you love one another.” The context of this verse is pertaining to a “new commandment” (v34) that Jesus is giving His disciples. To love wasn’t a new commandment because after all they had this command from Deuteronomy 6:5 (to love God), Leviticus 19:8 (love your neighbor as yourself), etc. The new commandment that Jesus was giving them is to love others as HE HAS LOVED THEM (I’m not trying to yell but only emphasize…sorry). Since this was a new teaching, people would know that they are His disciples if they carried out this teaching (His teaching). Surely the holy righteous sacrificial love of Christ has never been demonstrated by anyone other than Christ and therefore this teaching would by no doubt be exclusively Christ’s teaching and He’s calling for them to demonstrate His love to others in order to teach others about the love of Christ.

    John 15:8 says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

    The context of John 15 is that Jesus is the vine, we are the branches and God is the vine dresser. God will prune or do away with Christians that aren’t bearing fruit. The reason that they’re not bearing fruit is because they have not remained in Him (they haven’t observed His teaching/instruction; they have not obeyed Him ). God is pleased when Christians bear fruit and by doing this they are proving to be students’ of Jesus. The chapter is teaching obedience and we “prove” to be students of Jesus when we remain in obedience to Jesus and continue to grow by bearing fruit. We can only bear this fruit, however, when His words (His teaching) abide in us(v7). From this verse I will concede that you have to be a follower to prove to be a disciple. Perhaps the word is closer to being the equivalent of being an apprentice than a student? In Matthew 28:20 Jesus is also emphasizing the importance of remaining or obeying His teaching when He’s telling them to make disciples.

    With this, however, I still not consider this to be the equivalent of conversion. Consider the parable of the soils in Matthew 13 where men were taught and fell away; they were false converts the same as referenced in 1 John 2:19 when John talks about them falling away because if they were of us they would not have left, etc. I think this is the point Voddie was getting at in his quote. We can make disciples in that we can tell about Jesus, we can instruct on Jesus’ teachings and we call illustrate Jesus’ teachings through how we treat others but we can’t convert because only the Holy Spirit can convert men. Its preachers asking men to make a decision for Jesus instead of telling them that Jesus commands for us to believe that is responsible for false converts because men are trusting a decision instead of trusting Christ.


  10. If y’all don’t mind me weighing in, I think each of you has a part of the answer. The big problem (as one of you pointed out) is the way we use the words “convert” and “disciple.” When many people hear that someone “converted to Christianity” they think that the person has simply adopted the ideas and creeds of a certain religious group.

    But listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 18:3-4“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

    We then balance this with the command He gave us in Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)“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” (The KJV actually misses it when translating this verse. It should indeed say “make disciples of all nations” rather than “teach all nations.” The word mathēteuō literally means “to be a disciple” or, here, “to make a disciple”).

    When we view these verses together, we see more of the big picture. We become converted; we then preach the gospel (Romans 10:15), lead people to Christ, and show them the need to “be converted and become as little children” in following and obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ–including the command to “Go…make disciples.” When we preach the gospel, the Holy Spirit performs the conversion–we then make them disciples.


  11. Hello,

    There are false converts and false disciples. They aren’t born again, and will go to hell.

    There are true converts and true disciples. They are truly born again.

    People are either dead in their sins or born again. There is no in between. There is no such thing as a fruitless Christian who needs to move from being a convert to a disciple so that they can become a fruit-bearing Christian. I have no doubt that new Christians have a lot to learn, and we are commanded to teach them–not to disciple them.

    There are 4 parts to the Great Commission:
    1. Go
    2. Make disciples
    3. Baptize
    4. Teach to obey Jesus’ commands

    When Christians say, “I’m discipling Bob.” What they should say is, “I’m teaching Bob to obey Jesus’ commands.” (That’s not nearly as catchy, though.) They’re doing #4, not #2. If someone says they’re discipling someone, I believe that is a misnomer. If I disciple someone, they’re my disciple, which is wrong. We are all disciples of Jesus, not of any man (as far as the matters of eternity are concerned).

    Number 2 on the list can only come about by proclamation of the gospel. When God saves someone, this is also known as converting. And it’s also known as becoming a disciple of Jesus. Those terms are synonyms, and I’ve seen nothing to show otherwise.

    If Mr. Baucham meant to say “false converts” instead of “converts”, that’s fine. I certainly make no claims to eloquence in my speaking, and I don’t mean to nit pick what he’s saying. It’s just that in the Bible, a convert is not some lesser form of Christianity (even if that’s what it’s come to mean in modern, American Christianity).

    Romans 16:5 (NIV) says, “Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.” Each translation seems to use the word “convert” in different places, but they all use the term to refer to disciples of Jesus, or true converts or born again people. It’s all the same; there is no differentiation in the terms.

    Just as only the Holy Spirit can convert someone, only God can cause someone to bear fruit or grow in obedience (Phillipians 1:6, Eph 2:10, John 15:4). We are privileged to play a role in God’s work of converting someone, and teaching them obedience.



  12. Thank you for your help fourpointer. I agree with your assessment. When I hear the word convert though I think of someone that has actually been born again via the Holy Spirit. I think the terms can get slippery and from what I’ve been reading yesterday, the ambiguous terms is how false teachers sneak through the door. I also think that loose terms are the tools of ministers watering down the gospel to make it appealing to the mass so that lost men will “make a decision”.

    I owe you an apology Bill and I’m sorry for mis-speaking. I do believe that there is such a thing as a false convert though so if that is true is it possible there is such a thing as a false disciple?


  13. Be blessed to call Voddie Baucham, “Pastor”, I can assure ya’ll that his meaning on “convert” in the was what has, in this thread, terms a “false convert”. I’m thinking soil with lots of weeds that choke out the seed after a short time of happiness.

    Wade – false disciples would those who follow anyone or thing other than the biblical Christ. They are legion.

    Bill – we can make disciples of men without making them disciples of the men who are discipling them. That’s what happens in solid churches. Yes, we are more than able to make disciples after our own sinful selves – but that’s not the goal nor is it the way of the humble servant of the living God.

    Peace to ya’ll in Jesus – Who is the Christ, from beautiful Formosa.


  14. Manfred–

    I assume you mean to say that you are writing from Formosa, not that Christ is from Formosa 🙂

    (Actually, yes, I could be more ticky-tacky, why do you ask?)


    You don’t have to worry about Voddie watering anything down. I don’t believe that is anything anybody could ever accuse him of doing.


  15. fourpointer – LOL! Christ is in His heavens and I am in lovely Formosa! But He is also in me and I am also seated in the heavenlies with Him – so it all depends on your perspective 🙂


  16. Wade,

    No need to apologize for anything. I haven’t taken offense at anything you’ve said, and I hope you can say the same about me.



  17. Thanks Bill, you haven’t offended me either so its all good.

    It really is a blessing to be able to come on here and seek the truth with fellow heirs in Christ. God bless you all.

    I’ve only heard snippets from Voddie’s sermons and with that he’s never given me the impression of watering anything down.


  18. I think we might be getting a little carried away.
    Rather then technical explanations, we should seek to grasp the point.
    Most sound people would mean, that we should seek to do more than get people to accept Christ (which can certainly lead to false converts), but to actually spend the time and energy to assist the growth of a believer (it’s a lot easier to preach and go then to stay and nuture).
    Voddie Baucham has clearly made the point before appealing to the pastoral letters that this process is seen by older women teaching younger women and older men teaching younger men.
    True mentoring, life teaching, is quite rare in most churches. This surely is not limited to seeker friendly or even unsound churches, but solidly theological churches which can tell you what to do but no one is showing others HOW to do it.
    This is the problem with celeb preachers and those local pastors who try to be like them, they then don’t spend much time with the sheep (totally UNLIKE the Puritans). Paul Washer has made the comment that ‘you don’t hear of famous PASTORS’ well Mc’cheynne was known for his shepherding heart. I was recently blessed to meet Pastor Albert Martin and one of the statements which many have said of him is that he ‘smells like sheep’, he’s touchable and has poured much time into individuals.
    So, if we consider ‘discipleship’ as the hands on, face to face, training of babes in Christ, then it’s clear that there is a great need for such people who would and could do that. It’s quite a thing to actually OBSERVE someone walking out the truths you learn (in ministry, in family, study, witnessing, devotions etc..).
    How many would contend for the necessity of FRUIT following conversion? How many have said that many need to EXAMINE themselves? Well, out of that crowd who’s ever spent the time doing that with someone??
    grace and peace


  19. Its funny how God is always leading you somewhere. Not even thinking about this topic when I picked up this book to read today I ran into;

    “The word convert is a translation of the Greek epistrepho, which means – and is sometimes translated – ‘turn’. We think of conversion as a work of God, and so from one standpoint it is; but is striking to observe that in the three New Testament passages where epistrepho is used transitively, of converting someone to God, the subject of the verb is not God, as we might have expected, but a preacher. The angel said of John the Baptist; ‘Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. James says; ‘Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner…shall ave a soul from death… And Paul himself tells Agrippa how Christ had said to him: ‘I send thes (to the Gentiles) to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God’. and how he had obeyed the heavenly vision by proclaiming to both Jews and Gentiles ‘that they should repent and turn to God’. These passages represent the converting of others as the work of God’s people, a task which they are to perform by summoning men to turn to God in repentance and faith.”

    from – “Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God – J.I. Packer

    Just thought I would share it.

    All for God’s glory,

    From the same book…

    “When the Scriptures speak in this way of converting and saying, and of saying, too, as a task for God’s people to perform, they are not, of course, calling in question the truth that, properly speaking, it is God who converts and saves. What they are saying is simply that the conversion and salvation of others should be the Christian’s objective. The preacher should work to convert his congregation; the wife should work to save her unbelieving husband. Christians are sent to convert, and they should not allow themselves, as Christ’s representatives in the world, to aim at anything less. Evangelizing, therefore, is not simply a matter of teaching and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than tha. Evangelizing includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is a matter, not merely of inforting, but also inviting. It is an attempt to gain, or win, or catch, our fellow-men for Christ. Our Lord depicts it as Fishermen’s work.”


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