How goes “The Great Commission” in your church?

The Matthew 28 passage presents us with “The Great Commission,” as these are the marching orders for our faith and practice! This is also the hallmark passage for evangelism and missions! This is the climax of redemption and the critical call of the Church. This passage contains the ultimate wonder of the universe-the incredible impossible, and the incredible triumph. Jesus was crucified; He died, and was buried.

 

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What does make disciples mean to your church? What has your church done with Christ’s most important call? Why do so few churches and Christians do this?

 

The history of man, his fallen state, the move of our Lord though history and our lives has interwoven to the finishing point. He lived on our behalf. He has died in our place to absorb God’s wrath and pay our debt of sin; now, He rises back to life, conquering death, and giving us victory and grace for a life of fulfillment and fullness (Psalm 16:11; 107:09; Isa. 26:3; John 14:21; Gal. 5:16; 22-23; 1 John 1:7-9; 3 John 4)! 

Let’s look at what this all means: 

“Make disciples” literally means someone who pledges to be a “learner.” Moreover, it is someone who follows another’s teaching, and adheres to it. It is a commitment and a process. It involves commitment, and time to undertake the learning, and, as a Christian, a yearning to imitate Jesus!  

This refers to what rabbis did, that is, take people under their wing and teach them the Scriptures and procedures of the Temple and life. Thus, they could then become rabbis, and so forth. There were few formal schools then; and, even after going to a formal school as Paul did, becoming a disciple was still paramount, as it is yet today! The Jews baptized, but not in the name of people, but rather, for repentance. Jesus is God and He saves; we respond by repenting (Matt. 4:17; Eph. 1:3‑14; 2:8-9; 1 Cor. 1:18‑2:16; 15:1‑8).  

The difference is that rabbis made disciples like themselves, with their traditions and beliefs. We are called to make disciples like Christ, and teach His precepts and ways!  

“Baptize” meant conversion and identification; the person was to become identified as a person of faith and as a follower of Christ. It does not presuppose a ritual, but rather a mindset. The physical act of baptism is essential (not for salvation), as it is a public showing of our faith and commitment. The specifics of how and when are not as important as the faith and obedience to follow Christ (Matt. 4:18-19).  

“Teaching” means to show what is in the Scriptures, how to understand God’s Word, what is God saying to us, and how to live by God’s Word. Personal instruction helps us understand and then apply His precepts into our lives. We are to live for Him and to serve Him. For the rabbi, this meant the Law, Commandments, and the Prophets. Now, it also means the teachings of our Lord.

“Observe.” We are called to learn what to believe and to obey. We do this by observing; it is cemented in us by doing! This passage is called “practical holiness.” Jesus calls us to observe (to learn and grow) and then to do it!  

“Always be with you.” The great comfort we have is that the God of the universe, our Creator and Lord, knows us, loves us, and will be with us! This also refers to Jesus being fully God. One of Jesus’ names is Immanuel, which means “God is with us (Matt. 1:23).”  

To make this all work, the remaining disciples had to surrender their will to His in order to know who He was and what He was doing in them (John 3:30). 

We cannot make disciples of others until first we, ourselves, become disciples of Jesus (2 Pet. 1:13)! 

The disciples bore witness to His call to make disciples of all nations; they were His witnesses and His messengers. What will you do about this today (Acts. 1: 22; 4:2, 10, 33; 2 Cor. 5:20)?

 The key to implement this is to realize who Jesus is-and His authority! When we have acknowledged His authority, then we can allow His work in us. Then, He can use us in the lives of others. The opportunities and potentials are limitless (Luke 10:17-20; John 15:7; Acts 20:24)! 

What can you do to help your church see the veracity of The Great Commission and do a better job of knowing Christ so they can then make Him known? What would your church look like doing this? What would your neighborhood look like?

 

http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/?articleid=42799&columnid=4540

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True Worship will have these Six Aspects

“At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

1. First, worship is appreciation and our identification, of who Christ is in our lives. He first reaches out to us, and because of our gratitude, we are to love Him back. We are to respond to Christ’s claim upon our lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can recognize God’s revelation to us. We can see who our Redeemer is, what He has done for us, and what He requires of us.

2. Second, worship is a response to God’s revelation, because God makes known His love to us. Christ reveals Himself to us in the Word and in His character. God revealed Himself to the Patriarchs, and then to Moses, and gave us a pattern for worship. He reveals Himself in the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, and in the quiet assurance that He is there with us!

3. Third, worship is a relationship, because God seeks us, then abides with us. Thus, in worship, we are praising and speaking to the audience, and that audience is God! Then, we are to listen as He speaks to us through His Word. Christian worship is a conversation with our God through His Holy Spirit. It is not a performance or a show; we are not seeking to entertain or promote ourselves, but to make known Christ, crucified. Worship is also an intimate and personal encounter with the Creator of the universe who first loved us. We are to make known our adoration, gratitude, and our needs, (not needs first!) and through this, discover His Will for our lives–to know Him, and make Him known.

4. Fourth, worship is reverence. We need to know the seriousness and awesomeness of God. We are to fear Him as in Proverbs 3:5. He may be our best friend, and we can talk to Him in that way, but He is first, and foremost the King and Creator of all. He is to be placed first, and is not to be an after thought, especially in church! God does indeed desire that we admit our spiritual need for Jesus Christ, so we can put away pride and arrogance, and be surrendered and poured out to Him (Gal. 2:20f; Phil. 3:10). This reverence is the essential duty of all Christians, and is the proof of the working of the Holy Spirit within us. His presence (Spirit) will cause us to give glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

5. Fifth, worship is a cleansing of sin. We are to acknowledge our sin, and turn from it. Then, we will see our churches revitalized and sanctified. Then, we can have an impact in the community and world. We have to be the people of God to do the work of God! When we become emptied of all self-concern, pride, and arrogance, God will enter in with more power! What is stopping Him now? Us! It is our petty political struggles, gossip, slander, pride, self-delusions, and refusal to acknowledge Christ as Lord over all! We have to realize the Christian life is about seeking God’s direction of holiness and service.

6. Sixth, worship will lead to renewal. The point of the Christian life is to know Christ, to be like Christ. Thus, the longer we are in surrendered worship and prayer, the deeper in the walk with Christ we become; through the power of the Spirit, renewal will come.

Our understanding of what a church worship service is must reflect the precepts of Scripture. This includes our influence, and the format of our worship services. Our influence must not be just trends or data from surveys. It must be from His Word, period! We can mix in new ideas, such as songs, prayers, ways of delving the sermon, but not the fundamentals; nothing we do in doing church can contradict God’s Word!

Worship will be the central aspect of Heaven. (Rev. 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:9-17; 11:15-18; 15:2-4; 19:1-10) Thus, it must be the central aspect of doing church, and of each Christian’s life (Col. 3:17)!

Worship must be taken seriously! Worship must be done with pure hands and heart (Psalm 24:4)!