John Stott once put it like this:
“Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet; they cannot live together in harmony.”
Sin disrupts our fellowship with God. Fellowship with God disrupts our relationship with sin.
Leading people to Christ is only the beginning. The next step is to continue a life in Christ – an abiding, lifelong process. Without this, any decision or commitment we make to Christ will be lifeless, growth-less, fruitless. So the next phase can be described as:
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Abiding in Christ and encouraging others to do so is the essence of discipleship. The goal of evangelism is not merely decisions, but disciples. The Gospel of Matthew ends with these words:
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)
A disciple is literally a “learner”. The disciple is constantly learning. The disciple-maker must be a disciple first and then a teacher of others – teaching others to “observe all things” that Jesus has commanded – all of which we find in His Word.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.'” – John 8:31 (NKJV)