"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'" Matthew 28:18-20
To whom is the Great Commission of Jesus Christ given?
As the video above stated, the Great Commission is given to every follower of Jesus Christ. The immediate context of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 has Jesus delivering marching orders to His closest followers, the remaining 11 disciples. The very nature of the command from Jesus makes it clear that this order was never intended to end with these men, but was to move from generation to generation until disciples have been made of "all nations." Therefore, the command of "make disciples" from Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 is still in place until it is completed, and what was originally the marching orders of the original disciples continues with us as His disciples today.
What does the Great Commission command of us?
When examining the passage containing the Great Commission, there are four main action verbs. Go, Make Disciples, Baptize, and Teach. Of these four verbs, only one is a command from Jesus. Make Disciples is the command of the Great Commission. The remaining three verbs of Go, Baptize, and Teach are participles pointing to the way in which disciples are made. So when it comes to our Savior's final words to those closest to Him, it is clear that His desire was that all of us would engage in making disciples of Jesus Christ. In order to make disciples, it is very important that you understand what you are making. To understand what is meant by disciple, click here.
When should we make disciples?
"Go," which is often confused as the command of the Great Commission answers this question very clearly. The word "go" is actually "as you go" or "having gone." Therefore, "go" is not calling followers of Christ to make some special trip in order to engage in the Great Commission. Going is assumed. The very moment our eyes open each day we begin going. Therefore, followers of Christ are to engage in the Great Commission at all times because we are constantly going. This does not negate the need for short-term or full-time foreign missions. For more information on how you can be involved in making disciples around the world click here.
Where do we make disciples?
We find the answer in the phrase "all nations." This occurs through multiplication. Renowned disciple-maker Herb Hodges once said, "I can reach the world with the Gospel and never leave my back porch." How is this possible? It is possible through multiplication. If we remain faithful to make disciples and teach them the importance of making disciples the circle of influence that God creates will be ever increasing until all nations are reached with the good news.
How do we make disciples?
The answer to this question is found in the three words, Go, Baptize, and Teach. "Go" shows us that we must be intentional as we are going to make disciples. This is the first step.
"Baptize" is the evangelism aspect of the Great Commission. Jesus instructs us to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In other words, we are to introduce them to the Triune God through sharing the Gospel.
"Teach" occurs in two ways; Truth and Life. Truth teaching occurs in settings where the Bible is studied together for the purpose of instruction and growth. Life teaching occurs as truth moves from theory to practice. As you live truth out before those you disciple, true transformation will occur.
Why do we make disciples?
The most important answer to "why" is because "make disciples" is a command from Jesus. Jesus possess all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18). For all who have repented of their sins and placed their faith in His completed work, He is both Savior and Lord. "No Lord" is a contradiction. The moment we answer "no" to a command from Jesus, we position ourselves outside of His Lordship. If He is your Lord, then your only answer to the command of "make disciples" is "Yes Lord!"
If you want to know more about how you can engage in the Great Commission at Colonial Heights contact the Discipleship Ministry by clicking here.