Summary: An evaluation of the five Great Commissions
The Five Points of ‘Christian-ism’
During the years the Lord has put me in the ministry I have been consulted and confronted on numerous occasions concerning the five points of Calvinism. Although this topic appears to be at the forefront of many discussions in the Christian arena, it is my desire to emphasize the subject that I believe the Lord Jesus Christ would rather we discuss and that is what I call the Five Points of ‘Christian-ism’ which in reality are the Five Great Commissions! These commands were and still are at the very heart of our Saviour and therefore must be at the very heart of the Christian if they are to be Christ-like in their daily ongoing conduct.
The first is found in Matthew 28:18-20:
‘And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power [AUTHORITY] is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’
The unique emphasis of this First Great Commission is the AUTHORITY that Christ has over the earth, and His command to us in view of that AUTHORITY. Because we are His representatives here on earth, and He has vested in us His AUTHORITY by and through this command, we must therefore simply obey and go, teach, baptize in His name!
Christ is Lord, He is in charge, He has the right to act, to exercise AUTHORITY and He has given it to us so that we can carry out His work here on earth of spreading the precious Gospel of Christ throughout the world! The first Great Commission then provides us with the AUTHORITY of the Lord Himself to do His work here on earth!
The Second Great Commission is found in Mark 16:15,16 where Jesus gives us a similar command with another unique emphasis: ‘And He said unto them, go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that BELIEVETH and is baptized shall be saved; but he that BELIEVETH not shall be damned.’
Here Mark gives us the first part of the Gospel message which is believing. Yes, before man can repent of his sin he must have faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so Mark’s emphasis focuses on the first part of the Gospel message, BELIEVING in the Gospel Message.
The Third Great Commission emphasizes the second part of the Gospel Message and that is found in the third Gospel:
‘Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’ (Luke 24:46,47)
The progression of the Gospel Message here includes REPENTANCE after one has believed. The necessity of REPENTANCE can not be over-emphasized for it is through REPENTANCE that the soul is cleansed as the Holy Spirit accomplishes His regenerating work, thereby creating a ‘new creature in Christ’, the born-again Christian!