The Great Commission
One sentence that encapsulates the most greatest3 task given to mankind in human history. Significant both in size and importance.
We have a message to carry to all people, everywhere, in every generation until the Lord returns. It is a life and death message with eternity on the line. Missiology4 and evangelism5 are top priorities for the Church of Jesus the Christ.
Our call, however, is not limited to making converts; it is to make disciples.
Disciple8: one who is ever growing in the knowledge of and obedience to God.
Disciple = Follower
To be a disciple is to be a follower9, or one whose life follows10 after Christ. You are not a disciple if your knowledge of Christ is purely academic and your life does not follow11 or resemble his teachings12.
To follow or walk13 with the Lord is to imitate him in life and manner; to resemble God in His good and upright ways.
The Goal of Discipleship
This is the goal of discipleship: A life that reveals the glory of God by embodying14 His character and person in our daily living.
Perfection on our part is not the point. God is a rewarder of those who seek Him15 and who place their trust in the Lord Jesus to be their perfect righteousness.
It’s about becoming who we are and who we are created to be. In Christ the work is already completed. We are reconciled with God and restored to our pre-sin reflection of the Creator whose image we bear. If we were to look at our self from the outside of time, as God does, we would see a completed work.
From our time locked position, however, we are working out our salvation 16and sanctification through progressive and sequential moments in time.
It is the paradoxical tension of truths we live in.
Discipleship, then, is about following in the paths of righteousness 17and good works our Creator has planned for us since before creations beginning18. It is identifying with our God and growing into His likeness19.
More on Discipleship…
[post_connector_show_children slug=”discipleship” parent=”559″ link=”true” excerpt=”false”]
NLT MATTHEW 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”↩
Matthew 28:18-20 is known as the Great Commission↩
Missiology: the area of practical theology that investigates the mandate, message, and mission of the Christian church, especially the nature of missionary work. Missiology is a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural field of study incorporating theology, anthropology, history, geography, theories and methods of communication, comparative religion, Christian apologetics, methodology, and interdenominational relations.↩
Evangelism: the preaching of the Gospel with the intent of converting non-believers to Christianity.↩
Gospel: (εὐαγγέλιον) – “Good News”; the account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and His mission to reconcile man with God.↩
The concept of Lord is poorly understood in our culture today. In short, it is an acknowledgement of Jesus supreme authority in one’s life.; NLT ROMANS 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.↩
In Matthew 9:9 Jesus calls the Matthew to be his disciple saying, ‘Follow me.’ (Ἀκολούθει μοι) and Matthew ‘Followed Him’ (ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ)↩
ἀκολουθέω in the semantic sense of: to follow someone as a disciple, be a disciple, follow[BDAG meaning 3]↩
ἀκολουθέω in the sense of: to comply with, follow, obey [BDAG meaning 4]↩
NLT LUKE 6:46“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?; The rhetorical answer being that person is not truly consider Jesus Lord. ; NLT 1 JOHN 2:3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.↩
The Old Testament semantic equivalent of follow is walk (הָלַך): ESV GEN17:1When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”; ESV EXOD 18: 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do.; ESV DEUT 5:33 You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.; ESV DEUT 8:6 So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.; ESV DEUT 13:4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.; ESV DEUT 28:9 The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways.↩
In one sense we are to be ‘incarnational’ as Christ was, revealing in earthly flesh and bodily form the unseen Father in heaven.↩
ESV PHILIPIANS 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.↩
NLT 2 CORINTHIANS 3: 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.; ESV ROMANS 8: 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.↩