Summary: The Great Commission gives the church both life and purpose

The Purpose of the Church (Part 1)

Matthew 28:16-20


I. Louis Pasteur

A. The creation of the vaccine

1. Pasteur’s time was deadly

a.) 1000’s died each year from rabies

b.) Pasteur worked for years on the first vaccine

2. The first major experiment

a.) Pasteur was going to test the vaccine on himself

b.) A nine year old boy was infected with rabies

c.) Joseph Meister’s mother begged Pasteur to test the vaccine on the boy

B. The legacy

1. Pasteur tests on the boy

a.) Pasteur injected the boy for 10 days

b.) Meister lived because of the injections

2. Pasteur’s epitaph

a.) Many things could have been said about this man

b.) Pasteur’s grave reads: “Joseph Meister lived”

II. The legacy of the church

A. We are to have an eternal legacy

1. The church has an enduring legacy

2. The message of the church remains the same – Eternal life

B. We are to live out this legacy

1. The church is merely one generation from extinction

2. Our greatest task is to carry on the legacy of the church

Question: How do we carry on the legacy of the church?

Answer: We must carry out the mission of Christ


I. The Divine Appointment

A. The disciples meet with Jesus

1. They return to Galilee

a.) this are was their home and they knew it well

b.) This was the region where they first followed Jesus

2. The appointed location

B. The presence of Jesus

1. The worship of Jesus

a.) The post resurrection glory

b.) Jesus had nearly finished his ministry on earth

2. The existence of doubt

a.) Even now there were some who doubted

b.) Jesus seeks to resolve their doubt

II. The Divine Authority

A. Jesus had been given all authority

1. Jesus has absolute authority

a.) This authority is in the ultimate extreme

b.) This authority is surpassed by no one and no thing

2. Jesus has authority over all creation

a.) This sets in mind the scope and nature of his authority

b.) Allows for no misunderstanding

B. Authority comes from God

1. Jesus submitted Himself to the Father

a.) This authority was given to Jesus by the Father

b.) The authority came only after he submitted to the will of the Father

2. God elevated Him to a supreme place

a.) Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords

b.) No one surpasses Jesus

III. The Divine Agenda

A. Evangelism

1. Jesus commands them to go

a.) This is not a mere suggestion but a command

b.) This is a continual act – it never ends

c.) It occurs only when we are on the move

1.) It is beyond the walls of the church

2.) It means touching lives where they live

2. Jesus commands us to build up

a.) Human nature is to destroy

b.) Jesus calls us to build others up

c.) Jesus desires us to prepare disciples

1.) More than just winning them to Christ

2.) This is training them to live for Christ

3.) Enabling them to go and win others

B. Sacrament

1. Worship intensive

a.) Sacrament is a vital part of worship

b.) Sacraments are important to the life of the church

2. Grace effectiveness

a.) Sign of God’s active grace in our lives

b.) Sacraments reveal our receptiveness to God’s grace

C. Instruction

1. Jesus commands for us to teach His ways

a.) New birth means a new start

b.) We must teach to give freshness to believers

2. Jesus’ design for disciples

a.) Jesus has given us the gospel

b.) Jesus set a model of instruction

D. Presence

1. Jesus is with us

a.) We are never alone

b.) We are to follow as Jesus leads us

c.) He magnifies our service

2. Jesus is present until time ends

a.) Jesus will bring the completion of time

b.) Jesus will be given a universal rule

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