Committed to the Great Commission
Last week we started the Sunday school class with the question, what comes to mind when you hear or read the Great Commission. We at SICC are committed to the Great Commission. What does that actually mean?
The Great Commission found in the Bible in Matt.28:19-20 is Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples before he went back to heaven. It is the last command Jesus gave his followers. It is the mission Jesus left for those who are his disciples.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. He is in charge in heaven and on earth. It is his idea.
Therefore, Go and make disciples. (As you go, where live takes you, where you live)
Disciple, (make disciples) of all nations. Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. In other words, Jesus commissioned them to multiply, to make others followers or disciples of Jesus just as they were already. A disciple is a learner, a follower.
This task is global.(all nations) It includes people from all over the world, all walks of life. The word here for nation is ethnos (ethnicity). God is calling people from all ethnicity to become his disciples. In God’s overarching plan, all people matter, all lives matter and he wants all people to become his disciples. Jesus was talking to Jewish followers at the time he gave this command. Disciple the whole world, all people groups, all people no matter who they are or where they come from.
Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of The Son and of the Holy Spirit. (v19) Why baptism?
- a) Jesus commanded us to do it. This task has been appointed to us by Jesus himself. “All authority” is his, he is in charge)
- b) Every disciple was baptized. Baptism was the sign that showed people were committed as followers of the one in whom you were baptized.
Baptism is a public declaration that we have accepted Jesus and are turning our back on the old life of sin and are now trusting Jesus to live a new life as his followers.
John the Baptist Baptized his followers and they were known as followers of John
The Pharisees baptized their followers. John 4:1-2 the Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John.
Every believer in Jesus was baptized (immersed in water) in the name of the Triune God, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The apostles preached repentance and baptism. Acts 2:38
Acts 2:41 Those who believed the message were baptized and joined their number.
Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ. Rom. 6:3-4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
It reminds us of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. The gospel re-enacted.
Gal.3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit
Every disciple of Jesus in the Bible was immersed or baptized in Christ. This speaks of our new identity as his followers. Baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We at SICC are committed to immersing people into Christ when they make a decision to follow him. We have to let them know about baptism since Christ commanded us to do it. It is not a matter of whether you think you need it or not, or whether you want to do it or not. It’s just a matter of obedience to the one who called us.
It was the disciples of Jesus who were given the name Christians in the first century. Acts 11:26
The Ethiopian Eunuch asked to be baptized and Philip baptized him Acts.8:36-38
Ananias told Saul to get baptized Acts 22:16
Disciples were baptized as they began their journey with God. The Great Commission is the mission Jesus left for those who call themselves Christians or followers of Jesus. Where life takes us, we are to influence people with the message of the gospel, so that they too like us, may decide to become followers of Jesus.
“Making disciples is the process of cultivating relationships with unbelievers, mentoring them into developing an intimate, transforming relationship with Jesus, and teaching them to perpetuate the process with others.” Wilgram. The Analytical Greek Lexicon, 257
How are you influencing others to become followers of Jesus? This task has been appointed to you church and the church must find the way to disciple those people who do not yet know Jesus. In Matt.28:18-20 there were only 11 men when Jesus told them these words to go and make disciples. There are so many disciples of Jesus in the world today because committed followers have been serious about multiplying themselves. As Christ’s church we must remain committed to the Great Commission until he calls us home. Eph 3:10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.
It will be by our commitment to the Great Commission that others will know about God and find salvation.
Teaching them to obey (observe) everything I have commanded. Why teaching?