Our Great Commission

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Photo by Maria Krisanova on Unsplash

The Great Commission that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to us, His Church, is:

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Our Lord in the “Great Commission” gives us:

A Promise
A Direction
An Action
and A Teaching

Let’s look at each of these things in detail, as what Jesus said is what we as His Church are to do and believe.

Let’s Examine The Promise

Matthew 28:18 … All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.

Jesus said “All power is GIVEN unto Me”. Who gave Jesus power, all power? Unless you believe the Doctrine of the Trinity of God what the Lord said makes no sense.

One of the most difficult doctrines of the Scripture is the Trinity of God. Some people believe that the Trinity is a human invention. Our Oneness Pentecostal brethren believe that there is no Trinity, but the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all manifestations of one God Who is Jesus Christ. But we know this is not true on several levels. For instance, when Jesus was baptized John the Baptist did not want to baptize the Master. But Jesus told him:

Matthew 3:15 {Allow} it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.

Baptism is a ceremonial washing that priests were to undergo before they served God (Leviticus 8:6). Baptism symbolizes a separation unto God. Jesus was already separated unto God. But if Jesus was going to be our Messiah and the Lamb of God Who would suffer and die for our sins, then Jesus had to do what God expected of Him. So Jesus was baptized. Immediately following Christ’s fulfillment of all righteousness the Scripture says:

Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

You see both the Holy Spirit descending like a dove to Jesus, and the Father speaking from Heaven. Jesus Christ is indeed God. The Book of Hebrews declares:

Hebrews 1:8-9 But unto the Son {God} saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

God equates Jesus to be God. Jesus is God. He is God the Son, the Word become flesh Who dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus is equally God with the Father (“I and my Father are One” – John 10:30). Jesus Christ is the God-Man. God Incarnate. God Who was:

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

It is this same Jesus Who tells us:

Matthew 28:18 … All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.

When Jesus Christ was born He lowered Himself to come to this earth for us. He took upon Himself the weaknesses of the human frame – but NOT its sin. Jesus Christ was always and will always be without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus is the “Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36). Jesus emptied Himself, laying aside albeit temporarily He eternal power as He did the Father’s will. Jesus told us that:

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father

All power has been given to Jesus. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When Daniel saw Christ he said:

Daniel 7:14 And THERE WAS GIVEN HIM dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

When Jesus Christ gave His Great Commission He was not speaking as some Rabbi or Didaskalos (Master Teacher). Jesus was speaking as the Son of God, the King of all Kings. Of His kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:33). God the Son said:

John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

Everything belongs to Jesus. All things – whether in Heaven or on earth – are under His direct control. Furthermore, Jesus said:

John 5:22-27 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

As Jesus spoke His Commission, He did not speak as a mere person, but the Very Person of God. All power is given unto Me! Last week we sang and clapped to:

He’s got the whole world in His hands;
He’s got whole wide world in His hands;
He’s got the whole world in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands!

The Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3). Jesus prayed:

John 17:2 As Thou {O Father} hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him …

It is this Lord, this Eternal God made flesh Who directs us to go outward. It is He Who able Who says “Go”. Our Jesus is:

Ephesians 1:20-22 … Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come …

This Lord has bid that we go. This Jesus is with us. Unless the lost believe in Him, there is no hope. For there is

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given unto men whereby we might be saved.

It is He – the Great God Who controls all things – Who bids us “Go”. We need not fear what anyone else might bring against us, for our God is able! Jesus Christ is able! The One Who gave the Great Commission has promised to stand beside us and enable us to do as He has decreed.

Let’s Examine The Direction

Matthew 28:19 GO ye therefore, and teach all nations,

GO. This is an action verb. GO. Not STAY HERE, but GO. Go where? To only people like us? No, to every person.

GO to those of color.
GO to the sexually confused.
GO to the spiritually confused.
GO to the poor.
GO to the rich.
GO to the alcoholic and drug abusers.
GO to the haters.
GO to the racist.
GO to the sick.
GO to the elderly.
GO outside of your comfort zone.
GO and tell others of Jesus.

Our Lord Jesus was not a “respecter of persons”, nor is the Heavenly Father a “respecter of persons”. The Scripture says:

Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Jesus came for all, and we should GO to all. The Bible says that when He first came “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11). Jesus Christ came to the Jew first because God had promised Abraham and his descendants the blessings of salvation. So the glorious Gospel was first preached to the Jews. But Jesus never intended to keep the Gospel just among the Jews. The Apostle said:

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

God made all people in His image and in His likeness:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

We all descended from Adam and Eve.
We are all
remnants of the Noahic Flood.

It is God’s intention to save all humans regardless of color if they would but turn to Jesus. The Bible says:

Psalms 22:27-28 ALL THE ENDS OF THE WORLD shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and ALL THE KINDREDS OF THE NATIONS SHALL WORSHIP BEFORE THEE. For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Mark 16:15-16 … Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

We are to tell all who will listen that if they but repent and turn from their ways to follow Jesus, they too shall be saved (Luke 24:47-48). Respect of persons” is an evil that God does not condone.

Galatians 3:26-28 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Every soul is equally valuable to God. Jesus Christ died for all men, women, and children (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Our God shows no partiality – and neither should we (Acts 10:34; Colossians 3:11).

Let’s Examine The Action

Matthew 28:19 … teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The Great Commission of Jesus directs us to both TEACH as well as BAPTIZE.

  • Can you be SAVED and not be baptized? Absolutely. Jesus Christ told the thief who died next to Him on Calvary that day:

Luke 23:43 … Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Jesus could not baptize this man, nor could the man be baptized. The thief was nailed to the Cross next to Christ’s Cross. The Roman guards were not going to let him down to be baptized. So yes, you can be saved and not be baptized. If baptism were mandatory for salvation the Apostle Paul would have never said:

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

But now I ask the other question.

  • Can you be LOST and not be baptized? ABSOLUTELY. You see, our Lord Jesus commanded water baptism. In fact, our Lord Jesus was Himself saved. Let’s go back to something we already covered that you may have slept through. When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John refused to do so initially because he felt unworthy. But Jesus told John:

Matthew 3:15 {Allow} it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. {Then John baptized Jesus}

Jesus told John it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus’ ministry did not start until He was baptized. He was baptized – sinless as He was – to fulfill all righteousness. Baptism is an act of obedience. We who are saved are baptized because Jesus said to do so. Just as God the Father wanted Jesus to be baptized, we who are saved by faith in Him are baptized in the same way. It is an act of obedience.

For a Christian to refuse to be baptized is the same as saying “No” to Jesus. This is what the Master commanded. So we who love Jesus are baptized. Not to be saved, but because we are saved. Baptism marks your commitment to Christ. It is your way of saying “Yes, Lord” to Him Who loved you, and gave His life to you. What saith the Scripture?

Acts 2:38-39 … Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Repent (turn from your sin and toward Jesus) AND be baptized for the remission of sins AND THEN you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. God comes and binds Himself to the person who is obedient to His commandment. The proof of salvation is that you keep Christ’s commandments. Jesus said:

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

The proof that you love Jesus is that you do what He says. Your actions are witnesses to what is in your heart. Jesus went on to say:

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

You can say “I love Jesus” all day long, but to willingly refuse to do what He has commanded is proof that you really don’t love Him. You see, many love God for what God can give them, but they have no love for God. God knows if you love Him. And when you are obedient, God comes to you and makes His abode (dwelling place) with you (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Beloved, be obedient to Jesus. Be baptized. Follow Him. This is proof of your love.

Let’s Examine The Teaching

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU:

What is it that we as God’s people are to teach. Our opinions? What we think is right? Our political affiliations? The words and ways of the world? No, no, no, no … absolutely not. We are to teach them to observe all things that Jesus commanded.

ἐντέλλομαι entéllomai, (pronounced en-tel’-lom-ahee)
to order done

God made us, and God knows what is best for us!

God told His Old Covenant people:

Deuteronomy 5:32 Ye shall observe TO DO therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe TO DO it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Our Lord Jesus commands us as His New Covenant people to not just hear what He says – but to DO it. The early Church was so serious about this that the Apostle said:

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Those who rejected the Word of Christ and refused to follow His commandment were shunned from the fellowship of the Church. Beloved, we are called of God to serve our God. We are born again into God’s Kingdom to follow our King. The Apostle said:

1 Timothy 6:3-4 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing,

The Christian who disobeys his Lord is at danger of God’s punishment, not to mention he or she brings destruction on themselves. Beloved, let us remember the words of our Lord:

Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

May God touch your hearts with His Word and Spirit. Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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