The Great Commission

Here are the sermon notes from 4/7/13.

Today I am preaching from a passage of scripture well-known as the Great Commission.   Missionaries commonly use these verses in encouraging missions support.  This text is excellent for that purpose, and for much more.

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 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.

All Authority:  Jesus lived during the reign of the Roman Empire.  The Romans were polytheistic, believing in many gods.   The Jewish people were a part of a monotheistic religion; believing that only Jehovah; their God, was real.  It was common for nations to have their own god that they claimed as their own.  When Jesus proclaims that all authority has been given to Him it says that He is Lord over all; all kingdoms, nations and people.

Go:  This is an active pursuit, not passive.  It is like the difference between stalking deer or sitting in a deer stand waiting for them to come to you.  We are not to sit in our churches waiting for people to come to us, we are to go to them with the gospel message, to share the hope that is within us.

Make Disciples:  We are asked to record the number of new conversions that take place each year in our ministry.  Conversions are important, but they are only the beginning.  A new convert must become a disciple, and a disciple is a life-long servant and student.

All Nations:  We are sent into all the world with the hope of the gospel.  We should all share the message in our particular circumstances; watching for the ‘divine appointments’ that God may bring our way.  We should also be open to hear God’s call to further missions involvement.  We may be called to the mission field as full-time missionaries, or short-term assignments, or whenever the opportunity arises.  We also should support those who do go around the world with our prayers and our offerings.

Baptizing Them:  Christians throughout the centuries have argued over the form, timing and meaning of baptism.  We all recognize that if you are Christian, then you should be baptized.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  This statement of Christ continues the progressive revelation of the triune God.  The nature of the trinity is hinted at in the Old Testament, more fully revealed in the New Testament, and hammered out through time by the reflection of God’s people upon God’s Word.

Teaching Them:  As I have already said, a disciple is a life-long student.  If we think that we already know everything, then we really understand very little.  We should continue to both learn more, and teach others what we have learned.

To Observe:  We are not simply to know, we are to do.  For someone to say I know I should but… is wrong to accept.  If we know we should, then we should do.

Always With You:  The comfort of the knowledge that Christ is with us always is immeasurable.  It is one of my favorite portions of scripture.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  We do not face the challenges of life alone.  Christ is with us always.

The Great Commission

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 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.

 

 

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2 Responses to “The Great Commission”

  1. Carey H. Beck Says:

    World English Bible Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.

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