Monday, June 2, 2008

American Gladiators & The Great Commission

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 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 28:18-20)."
Therefore, go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

There are 4 parts to this great commission that we should pay attention to as we try to live it out. The first is go make disciples. This is what I think we mean when we talk about evangelism. We are going out after people who do not know who Jesus is to tell them, to tell them why they should be a disciple or follower of the Way. Second is making disciples of all nations. Here is another fun, separating term used in Christian culture, missions. People who are called to mission travel across the world in order to make disciples for Christ; this is what they feel they are called to. Thirdly we are to Baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This little ditty is all about “discipleship,” helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus to the point where they desire to publicly illustrate the death of themselves and resurrection of a Spirit-led life in Christ. Finally, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Knowing who your Father is and obeying Him are two different things. A child knows their parent is, but doesn’t obey the, naturally, we have to teach obedience to children, they rebel on their own. So once someone knows the Father, made a step in faith by being baptized, we are to continue to teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded.

I’m not saying pack your things and tell your wife you’re moving to Russia. I’m simply saying that since we cannot fulfill each part of this command fully, we should help each other in whatever part we feel like we have strength in. This does not we should not have part in it. So for the cooperate worker, white collar and large bank account, stay in Ohio and teach financial stewardship to the local church, but be sure to support those going places to spread the message of Christ, support “evangelist”, support, “missionaries”! Missionary, with your grizzly beard, dreadlocks and bandana make sure you are teaching others how to teach deeper truths once they have accepted Christ so you can continue to proclaim the gospel message. Discipler, make sure you are teaching those who are growing in their walk to also share their faith regularly. See how all this works together. This is the beauty of a unified body. This is the American Gladiator of the church in action, following Jesus’ great command to us, “go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

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