The Great Commission #5
Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.Matthew 28:18-20 (WEB)
The substance of our Christian lives ought to be different from that of the world. If we talk the same, act the same, think the same, and do all the same things that the world does, then we must question whether we are truly born anew. Disciples are not meant to be the “same” as those who follow their own fleshy or sinful desires.
If that is a shock to you, then perhaps the Great Commission has yet to be fulfilled in your life. Maybe you have believed in Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, yet no one has taken the time to teach you to obey.
And so, we come to the third part of the Great Commission which Jesus gave to us. To teach disciples all that He commanded.
Obedience may not seem like a very exciting topic to you, yet it is crucial we learn to observe what Jesus told us to do. It will lead us to God’s kind of success, blessing and most importantly, the glory of God.
Having made disciples, and baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, we must then teach them. This task will take a lifetime, and most people (myself definitely included) are slow learners!
Where do we begin? I suspect there is no right or wrong answer to this, and it might be different for everyone.
Firstly, we are to teach people to obey all that Jesus commanded. We might strictly interpret this to mean following only the red letters in our Bible, and thus dismissing most of the epistles and the entirety of the Old Testament… I do not think this is so however!
Every Scripture is God-breathed and[a] profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,2 Timothy 3:16 (WEB)
The entirety of Scripture, the totality of God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments, the letters, the history and the prophecy are all inspired by the Spirit of Christ. In my opinion, it is all to be taught and learned.
Now can you see why it might take a lifetime?
How can we teach the entirety of the Bible ourselves? Again, I believe it is a team effort. If you are a pastor, or are called to teach, then it might be more obvious how you can fulfil this part of the Great Commission. Use your pulpit, wherever it is, and teach the people to obey Christ. You may lead a church or be privileged to speak at one, you may write a blog or books, or you may be recording and sharing videos on YouTube or other media platforms. All of that contributes to the teaching of God’s people.
For the rest though, who do not have such platforms, or who do not feel called to teach, how can they comply with Christ’s instruction to teach?
Parents can and should teach their children. Older members of the church family may instruct the younger. The members of a small group will encourage and challenge one another, whether they are leading the discussion or just participating. As we do life together, the church ought to be helping each other to grow in faith and obedience.
Even if you personally have little opportunity to teach someone with your words, let your actions be the lesson.
If you have little opportunity to #teach someone with your words, let your actions be the lesson. #Bible #Jesus #ChristianityTweet
Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1 (WEB)
Here, the apostle Paul, urges the Corinthian church to follow him, as he follows Jesus. Imitate me, he cries, as I imitate Christ. This is not easy, and if we take a hard look at ourselves, we may not feel like the best examples of Jesus’ lifestyle. But each of us should be striving forward to observe what Christ has taught us, and as we do, let us bring others along for the ride.
Sometimes we think of the Great Commission as only relating to evangelism. I hope these words have shown you that it is not so. Fulfilling this Commission does, of course, involve telling others about our faith, but it also encapsulates our journey into maturity as believers. I do not think there is one Christian who can claim to observe all that Jesus commanded us, and so we are all to keep walking with Him, bearing fruit and growing in faith.
What will you do?
I want to ask you:
- How well do you feel you obeying Jesus at the moment?
- What is your “pulpit”? i.e. in what ways can you be a teacher and encourage others to obey Christ?
- What one thing can you do to be a better example for Jesus?