“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus gave this command to his Apostles after he was resurrected from the dead and shortly before He ascended into heaven. Jesus outlined what he wanted His disciples and those who followed them to do in His absence. The centuries following Christ’s ascension reveal how the church has persisted toward obeying Christ’s command.
More than anything, I want to see Miracle Temple fulfill the Great Commission. I want our local church to be known for our great efforts at making disciples. I cannot overstate how important it is for us to obey God’s command to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. Taken at face value, this is an enormous task, and indeed it is. It is one that we cannot do in our own strength or efforts.
The Great Commission begins with Christ proclaiming that He has all authority and power. His power is self-evident. He is the pre-existent God, the word of God made flesh, and the root and offspring of Jesse. We cannot begin to do what God has called us to do without a strong conviction in the authoritative power of Christ. We may experience times of discouragement because the results of our evangelistic efforts are not what we think they should be but Jesus is in control, and He is in charge. He is the King of the kingdom of God and everything that we do for Him is worth it for this reason alone – Jesus has all authority.
The first command involved in Christ’s commission to his Apostles was to Go. There is so much I can say about going. The church must go. Go into the world, the nation, the culture, the community, and the family. Go everywhere with the good news of Jesus’s miraculous birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and second coming. All of these facets of the Gospel has enormous implications for the believer. The disciples were to go in the power of Jesus’s authority. Going can be scary but you’re not going based on your own word, opinion, or philosophy. Many believers live secret lives. Many of their close relatives and friends do not know about their professing faith. The argument is that they do not know how to share their faith; they are nervous about it or afraid of what others may think.
Don’t be afraid to be a witness for the Lord. Pray for boldness to stand out for God. Be kind, courteous, and respectful. Being a witness for God does not mean you have to be rude or aggressive in your approach. Sometimes listening, reflecting, and slowly offering biblical principles that are digestiable may be the solution or the need for the moment. Whatever the case, get up, get going, and watch how God uses you to advance His kingdom agenda.
A major theme in both the Old and New Testaments was discipleship or teaching. Being a disciple is about learning and becoming. Of all the biblical references on the topic, the NT Gospels discussed discipleship the most. Jesus told His disciples to make disciples. Can you hear the reproductive nature of discipleship? Every disciple takes what he has learned on the road to becoming like his or her teacher and applies it in another mentor/disciple-making relationship. The twelve disciples followed and learned from Jesus, and now it was time for them to go and do likewise. The Spirit led them to find persons who needed the Gospel, teach them the ways of God, and grow up into Christ in every way.
Miracle Temple, if we don’t do anything else, I pray that we take the command seriously to make disciples. In the church today, discipleship is referenced in many ways. Some churches refer to discipleship as a teaching ministry, Christian education, discipleship, Sunday school, Bible study groups, etc. Whatever they are called, we must make sure that we promote an effective path toward discipleship, growth, and maturity so that everyone can grow fully into Christ.
Another aspect of the Great Commission is baptizing believers. The NT places a lot of emphasis on being baptized. Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Baptism has significant meaning in the Bible. Throughout the NT, it refers to our being raised with Christ. It is a powerful picture of the believer coming into the newness of life with God. Taking their rightful place and position in the Lord Jesus. As Jesus was raised from the dead, believers are also raised from the deadness of trespasses and sins in the same manner.
I really want us to make baptism services a priority in our church. And not only baptism services, but everything that is necessary before a person is baptized. One is baptized when they have made a personal confession of faith in Christ. They have given their lives to God, repented and confessed their sins, and submitted themselves to His lordship. This is when a person seeks to be baptized. Baptism is an outward sign that the person has received salvation life. So they make a public declaration of faith by being baptized. I believe the more baptisms we do, the more we can say that persons are coming to Christ.
This is what we want! We want souls to come to Christ. We want people to receive Jesus into their life and heart, resulting in a changed life, renewed attitude, fresh vision, and new desires.
I alluded to teaching in the section about making disciples. But teaching is important. Discipleship doesn’t happen without intentional, strategic, and biblical teaching and preaching. I do my very best to develop thought-provoking, heart-stirring, and anointed sermons each week. I want people to hear the word. The word is what people need. They don’t need my opinion or philosophy. They need to hear what God has to say about their problems, their pains, their fears, and their futures. So, I want to lead the way in proclaiming Bible content each week here at Miracle Temple.
However, I also want this desire for teaching to spread like wildfire across our congregation. I want everyone to start teaching. Pick up your Bible, develop a prayer life, and ask God for a fresh anointing from on high so that we can teach with conviction, power, and authority from Christ. Here at Miracle Temple, we have a Christian education department. I hope that we can develop the best Christian education we can. A Transformative Christian Education ministry that is in the enterprise of making disciples. I want to offer several classes and programs based on varying interests, stages of life, gender and age category, and hobbies. All of them would have various approaches, but at the bottom, they are teaching ministries.
Miracle Temple and watching world: Let’s GO, MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE, AND TEACH.