Session Two Objectives
• To show that the Great Commission (to make
disciples) is inseparable from the Trinity,
• the goal of disciple-making is fellowship with
• the manner of our disciple-making should be
Not an Option
Personal discipleship isn’t
merely one methodological option,
it is deeply and eternally theological.
The ground and the goal of discipleship,
as well as the entire process of discipleship,
are all Trinitarian.
Completing the Trinitarian Commission
WARNING: THEOLOGY AHEAD
Apart from the Trinity, discipleship is like
“trying shoelaces tighter to make up for
bad fitting shoes.” ~Fred Sanders
A TIGHT FIT
The Great Commission and the Trinity
Matthew 28:16-20 & Acts 1:1-8
Making disciples is carried out
under the authority of the Father
by the power of the Spirit
for the sake of the Son.
Two reasons the Trinity is the
theological basis for discipleship:
Disciple-making relates to a particular God.
There is a confessional commitment to discipleship.
Certain facts about God must be communicated.
“God minus creation would still be God,
but God minus Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
would not be God.” ~Sanders
The Trinity keeps disciple-making
from being idolatrous.
Disciple-making relates to a particular God
who is a personal God.
There is a confessional commitment to discipleship
and a relational commitment.
Certain facts about God must be communicated
that we would have fellowship with God.
The Trinity keeps disciple-making
from being idolatrous
and from being impersonal.
There are two ditches to avoid.
Intimacy: Revealed in Creation
Creation: God sharing Himself with persons
Men are made in His image,
with capacity for relationship
because of His relationships.
When man fell, the intimacy,
both horizontal and vertical,
Death is separation.
Intimacy: Revealed in Redemption
Redemption: God restoring persons to Himself
Q: Does God prefer the doctrine of
justiﬁcation or adoption?
1 Peter 3:18 Galatians 4:4-6 Romans 8:15-32
“Pardon, acceptance, and adoption are distinct
privileges, the one rising above the other in the
order which they have been stated...The privilege
of adoption presupposes pardon and acceptance,
but it is higher than either.” ~J.I. Packer
God’s eternal purpose is to invite individuals into
eternal life, that is, invite persons into His life,
into intimacy like the Trinity and with the Persons
of the Trinity. It’s not business. It’s personal.
That means impersonal discipleship is false discipleship.
Discipleship requires relationship.
The basis for us to make personal disciples is that
making disciples is God’s goal to share Himself,
eternal life, and the relational joy of the Trinity
with men and women from every nation.
So, making disciples is
completing the Trinitarian commission.
The three persons are never in conflict of
purpose, never jealous over another's
position or specific work, never prideful over
one's own position or work, and they are
always sharing fully the delight in being the
one God and accomplishing the unified
purpose of God.
(Bruce Ware, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 20)
How we disciple must be personal
if we’re to reﬂect the Trinity that commissioned it.
Trinitarian facts prevent our discipleship from being
shallow and sentimental, let alone idolatrous.
But an only-for-fact’s sake Trinity
leads to an only-for-fact’s sake discipleship.
ours with God and shared with others,
keeps our discipleship from being
cold and distant, let alone suppressive.