GOD'S COMMAND - "GO!"
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19). The word “Go” means to “travel or move from place to place so as to carry over or transfer.” In the context, this involves taking a message to all “ethnos or people groups” so they become disciples and identified with Jesus Christ through baptism. Part of this message includes “teaching them to observe (keep, guard or obey) all that I (Jesus) have commanded you.”
Jesus expands on this command in Luke 24:47; “and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47).
One more point on this command – the disciples had a special ‘send-off’ to begin their mission. “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you”” (John 20:21). It is true that we need the Holy Spirit and the local church as part of our sending, but the Father and the Son are also part of the GREATEST COMMISSION ever given to man because it is the GREATEST MESSAGE!
Have you heard the COMMAND? Have you determined to obey and GO? How are you being sent? It makes all the difference in the fruitfulness of your work and whether you keep moving under divine direction.
Baptism as presented by Jesus in this section (Matthew 28:19) has a very unique message which is usually overlooked by most. As David Hesselgrave points out, the word “in or into” (eis) “implies that they come into the ownership of the Triune God.” As Paul describes baptism in Romans 6, he uses the word “united” (symphytoi) which means to “be one with” Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. It is no wonder that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that “you are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” The gospel message of salvation from sin and hell must include that we have new Owners: God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In making disciples, make sure that we help converts understand this “ownership” principle. If the Holy Spirit teaches them this principle through our message, there will be few problems with “observing (obeying) all that Jesus commanded.” New life in Christ brings with it a new relationship and a new purpose and plan for living – God’s glory!
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