THE GREAT COMMISSION The author of the book of Acts, here, refers to his earlier work, which is known to us as “the gospel according to Luke.” The commandments are known collectively as “the great commission.” Let us examine the commission, that we may see why it is “great,” and what its commandments are. The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:1-3)
MATTHEW 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” • Make disciples of all nations • Baptizing them [the disciples] • Teaching them [the disciples] to observe all things
MARK 16:15-16 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be con-demned.” • Preach the gospel to every creature • He [every creature] who believes and is baptized will be saved • He [every creature] who does not believe will be con-demned
LUKE 24:46-48 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” • Repentance and remission of sins to be preached • Apostles were to testify of the gospel facts
JOHN 20:23 “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” • If the apostles have forgiven your sins they are forgiven. • Otherwise they are retained.
COMPOSITE ACCOUNT • The apostles were to make disciples by preaching, teaching and testifying concerning the facts of the gospel [primarily, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ], the commands of the gospel [belief, repentance and baptism] and the promise of the gospel [remission of sins]. • Those who believed the facts and obeyed the commands would receive the promise. • Those who did not believe the facts or who did not obey the commands would not receive the promise.
ACTS 2:22-42 • Peter testified regarding the facts of the gospel in order to make disciples. (verses 22-36) • Some of the people believed the facts and asked about the commands [they became disciples]. (verse 37) • Peter preached repentance and remission of sins. (verse 38) • Peter put baptism between repentance and remission of sins. (verse 38) • 3,000 obeyed the commands. (verses 39-41) • The apostles continued to teach them. (verse 42)