Summary: This sermon, the fourth and conluding sermon in this series, is a short review of what we have covered, and a look at the problems the early church faced in following this command.
Go, Go, Go
Church of God Seventh Day Meridian, ID
November 25, 2000
Today, we will be concluding what we have been talking about throughout this last month: The Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. With it being Thanksgiving weekend, I also have a message of thanksgiving tied into this, for us to take home with us.
I want to briefly review what we have been talking about this month, we have a number of visitors here today, but also for those of you who may have missed a Sabbath or, for those of you who have been here, to bring it fresh in your head.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
We have broken this verse down into three distinct, yet connected commands:
1. GO therefore, and make disciples. We have defined this as Mark does in Mark 16:15 “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
In writing to the church in Ephesus about the gospel, Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation”
We have a reponsibility to live up to this command and share the gospel of salvation.
In doing this, I urge you to earnestly pray and listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In looking at the Bible, and the message it contains, to know the verses, and to be able to effectively use them in sharing our greatest thanksgiving, that Jesus came in the flesh, died as a sacrifice for our sins, and was resurrected and ascended into heaven. Because of this, we are forgiven and have the hope of resurrection and eternal life.
2. Go therefore and baptize them, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The second distinct yet connected command is to baptize, as Mark writes in vs. 16 of Mark, chapter 16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;”
We used the analogy of a marriage, and baptism as the wedding. It is a ceremonial act that symbolizes the commitment we have made.
Baptism is also symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. We identify with that death, and we put our “old man of sin” to death.
The other aspect of baptism that we discussed, in looking at the Greek word for it, was that baptism was by immersion.
3. GO therefore, and teach them to obey all things that I have commanded you.
We covered a number of things in looking at this, the most important one I thought was that before we can teach, we need to learn. As I said before, we do not need to learn everything before we teach anything. Once you have learned something, and you are OBEDIENT to it, you are the best person to teach it.
If you keep the commandment of the Sabbath and you know why you keep it, there is no reason you can not teach the Sabbath. I presented the three sets of verses I use in teaching the Sabbath. They were the three sets of verses that taught me to obey the Sabbath, almost ten years ago. Since then, I have studied the Sabbath in great detail, I have studied the history of it, why people keep Sunday today, and most of the verses relating to it. In all of that study, those three sets of verses are the same ones I would use in teaching a new believer about the Sabbath.
*may have questions
*why do you believe what you believe – don’t take my word for it
In looking at our scripture reading in Matthew, I believe, as the commandment states, this is the responsibility of all believers. We are all to go out and make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them.
As I was saying, if you have received the gospel of Jesus Christ, if you have accepted the gift of salvation, if you understand what Jesus has done for you, then you are the perfect person to show someone else that which you have received, forgiveness and peace through Jesus.
If you have been baptized, understanding its significance, seeing its relevance, than you are the perfect person to teach someone else what baptism is, and then, to baptize them. I believe that the act of baptism bridges the gap between bringing someone the Christ, and teaching them obedience. There may be reasons you do not want to baptize someone, or they may be more comfortable with a pastor, or an elder, and that is fine. But, do not leave it there, after the baptism, continue in this process of teaching obedience.