The Great Commission.
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The Great Commission must be distinguished from the Limited Commission (Luke 10). The Great Commission is great because of its scope and the covered territory. It was the springboard for first century Christianity. The Great Commission is linked to two great events: The resurrection (Luke 24: 46, 47) and Pentecost (Luke 24: 49, Acts 1: 8). It is rooted in the Lordship of Jesus (Matt. 28: 18, 19, Acts 2: 32, 33, 36).
“18: 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 alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28).
“15: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16).
“46: And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48: And ye are witnesses of these things.49: And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24).
“21: Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22: And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23: Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained” (John 20).
Teaching is vital.
1. They were to “teach all nations…” and then “…teaching them…” (Matt. 28: 19, 20, cp Eph. 4: 20, 21).
A. Primary teaching (John 6: 44, 45).
B. Secondary teaching (Matt. 28: 20, Acts 14: 21, 22, etc.).
Preach the gospel of salvation and condemnation.
1. The gospel will save or condemn (Mark 16: 15, 16, cp. 2 Cor. 2: 15, 16).
A. Jesus is the author of salvation to all that, “…obey him” (Heb. 5: 8, 9, 2 Thes. 1: 7-9).
They were to teach all nations.
1. “…disciple all nations” and “…preach the gospel to every creature…” (Matt. 28: 19, Mark 16: 16).
A. Further activated in Acts 10 (cp. Isa. 2: 2, 3).
They were to baptize in the name of the Godhead.
1. “…into the name…” (eis to nonoma, Matt. 28: 19, cp. Acts 2: 38, 8: 16, Col. 3: 17).
A. Such established a relationship, cp. I Cor. 10: 2, 1: 13.
Repentance and remission of sins began in Jerusalem.
1. New attached meaning (cp. Luke 24: 47, Heb. 9: 15, Matt. 26: 28).
A. Organization (“begin in Jerusalem,” cp. Acts 1: 8).
Make disciples by baptizing them.
1.The language is literally, “You make them disciples by baptizing them” (Matt. 28: 19). “The present participle denotes the mode of initiation into discipleship. Make them disciples by baptizing them” (Pulpit Commentary, see Romans 6: 4, Col. 2: 12, Gal. 3: 26, 27, etc.).
Miraculous assistance would be provided.
1. The Holy Spirit was promised to the apostles in a special way (John 20: 22, Acts 1: 4, 5, 8).
A. Word confirmed by miracles (cp. Mark 16: 20).
1. “…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (age, Matt. 28: 20).
Ten days after Jesus commissioned the twelve, the Great Commission began (Acts 2). The charge to, “…preach the gospel to the world” was fulfilled in about 26 years (Rom. 10: 18). The church and individuals today have a responsibility to preach the same gospel (I Tim. 3: 15, Phili. 2: 16). Men and women are made disciples in precisely the same way today (cp. Gal. 1: 6-9).