Summary: And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:20
And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:20
The early Apostles heard the command of Jesus and it was very clear to them what they were to do. These men followed Jesus for 3 years prior being taught of him commands and how to follow in the ways of God. And now our Lord was giving the task to these men to make disciples similar to how he made them disciples. In modern Churches there are many ideas on how to teach new believers and what they should learn. The early Church followed though the simple mandate to teach what Jesus taught. We see this in the epistles written by early believers that they echo the principles and commands of the Lord often. They did not seek to get new believers to understand doctrinal phrases or subjects. But rather taught them the way of obedience in being Disciples of our Lord who follow in his footsteps (1 John 2:6). The way of humility is one virtue that Jesus exemplified but is rather admired or taught to new believers. The need is not for us to be full of knowledge of words but to walk in godliness and wisdom from above (James 3:17). The desire of Jesus was for his followers to become more god-like in their attitudes and living. Humility, forgiveness, mercifulness, meekness, kindness and many other virtues were the example of our Lord.
Clement of Rome said, “Let us therefore, brethren, be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He spoke, teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For thus He spoke: ‘Be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven to you; as you do, so shall it be done to you; as you judge, so shall you be judged; as you are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure you measure, with the same it shall be measured to you.’ By this precept and by these rules let us establish ourselves, that we walk with all humility in obedience to His holy words.” When we seek to maintain our rights and not die to ourselves (Galatians 2:20) we end up causing much hurt to others. The Corinthian Church that Clement was writing to was very divided with many different ideas being expressed. You could say that it was denominational christianity before denominations really existed. Many of these differences were because of pride and self-will. Believers had angry feelings toward others, in haughtiness some were considering themselves more superior to others. Such attitudes were not following in the way of Christ but the carnal flesh. No wonder there was division, sin, gossip, slander and all kinds of evil amongst believers in that ancient city. Our unity should not come from different doctrinal ideas that are outside the foundation of faith. Rather our unity needs to be based on the following in the example of the our Lord Jesus as we teach other new disciples to obey all things Jesus taught.