Summary: What has Christ called us to do as a church and as individuals who are part of the church? How can we be more effective at fulfilling what Jesus calls us to do not only with our words, but by living our life in obedience to Him?
The Great Commission
During the month of November we focus several weeks on missions. We heard last week from Craig Parro from Leadership Resources, one of the missions we support. They do a great work in training up pastors and leaders around the world to preach the gospel and teach the word to their own people. His message on the 4 marks of a Great Church that looked at the church at Antioch from Acts 11 was both encouraging and convicting.
It is encouraging to see what God can do through a single church that is sold out for the Lord and teaching and preaching the word and being sacrificial in their help of other churches and sending out people to plant and assist in forming new churches.
It is convicting because we see all the more that God wants us to do than we are doing in fulfilling the great Commission and being a great church.
I look forward to Hickory being used in even greater ways during this next year.
To do that, I think that it is important that we have a clear understanding of what we are called to do in the Great Commission and that we ourselves are following the Lord in obedience so as we have opportunity to tell others, it is not only words coming out of our mouth, but we are communicating also through living our lives for the Lord.
So this week, we are going to be looking at the Great Commission.
Turn with me to Matthew 28:18-20.
It is vital for all who are believers in Christ and part of a church to understand this mission. If we don’t know what we are supposed to do, then we will most likely not end up doing it.
And Christ thinks this is important enough for the church to make these his final words to the disciples before He ascends into heaven.
So what are Christ’s final words to His disciples and to the church?
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
With these words, Jesus lays out what every church and church member is supposed to be doing and working on. This is the Great Commission.
Three Aspects to the Great Commission
that Jesus speaks about that I think it is important that we understand.
Jesus starts out first with the Command to
Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”
Making Disciples means helping people to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Now, to be someone who follows Jesus Christ means that you have to believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior. That is the good news, the gospel.
Every one of us who is a believer in Jesus Christ needs to know how to clearly communicate the gospel to someone who wants to know “What must I do to be saved?”
We know to be saved that you have to believe in Jesus, but what does that actually mean?
What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?
If you have been at this church for any length of time, you have heard this before.
And if you stay beyond this for any length of time, you will hear it again.
That is because believing in and receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior is the difference between an eternity in heaven and an eternity in hell.
So, if we are going to be fulfilling the commission that the Lord has for us, we have got to be making disciples by first helping them, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Now, I want to walk you through this so that you will be able to lead someone to Christ as you have the opportunity.
People get scared sometimes that they are going to mess up explaining the gospel. I want to give you a way to help you remember what to tell them.
For a person to believe in Jesus Christ and begin their journey as a disciple, they must
Believe in Who Jesus is
Jesus is God in the flesh
Believing in the deity of Christ is essential. There are some who say that Jesus never claimed to be God.
He certainly did and the Jews of the day recognized his claim that, as the Son of God, He was claiming to be God in the flesh.