I thought I would post my notes here from last Sunday's message at PRISM. I would love your feedback! Thanks!
“16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him [Jesus] they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” A few things Jesus IS saying to those who call themselves “Christians”; His followers… and a few things Jesus IS NOT saying in this passage:
A few things Jesus IS saying to those who call themselves “Christians”; His followers… and a few things Jesus IS NOT saying in this passage:
1 – We are called to sow the seeds of the Gospel broadly but not carelessly.
Matthew 13 – Parable of the sower
Some of the seed falls on the road, some on hard ground, some among weeds. But the threat of some of the seed falling in bad places doesn’t keep the sower from sowing the seed.
There is a potential pitfall in an approach that throws out a simple Gospel and people might even respond… but they don’t become disciples, not because the message is insufficient but because the sower didn’t tend the seed that was growing or entrust it to another to help it grow. And we do an injustice to the Gospel and the seedling (new convert) by not doing the job with care.
2 - We are called to a simple Gospel but not a simplistic gospel
1 Tim – “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of which I am the worst.” It is a foolish and wonderful thing that Jesus’ death and resurrection is available to save my soul and bring me into communion with a Perfect and Holy God… But Jesus says, “teaching them to observe/obey everything that I have commanded you.” The depth and breadth of Jesus’ teaching is ESSENTIAL to one who would follow Jesus and become a disciple.
I pray a prayer or fill out a card and I am “IN” without true regard for the fullness of Jesus’ Gospel and words. It is not a free ticket… it is life transformation! Jesus Changes everything.
** a simplistic view of the Gospel feeds inaccurate understanding of salvation. I am a firm believer in the “Preservation of the saints” that means that once someone is truly saved… it is irrevocable! (Romans 8) The main argument is that someone can’t just sign their name on a card and then live life however they want… and I would agree with that statement 100% Salvation is simple in that the Gospel is simple and straightforward, and at the same time Salvation is HUGE because Jesus re-orders EVERYTHING about life.
3 – We are called to make them disciples of Jesus not disciples of anything else
Jesus was the PRIME example of caring for another’s needs (Matthew 9:9-13) But, he saw their true need… (they were sick) and offered the solution… himself; in the midst of meeting their need.
In caring for other’s needs we need to be careful to NOT make people disciples of comfort, or food, or shelter, or clean water, or medical care. To be MOST faithful to the Gospel we need to keep Jesus at the center.
**as a side note we see in Acts and in the history of the Church that the good works of caring for the poor and the helping of widows and orphans follows right behind the proclamation of the Gospel and the beginnings and growth of Christ’s Church as it is planted and as it multiplies.
4 – We are called and sent in the AUTHORITY of the risen and exalted Christ
“it was an unlikely thing that they should persuade people to become the disciples of a crucified Jesus…” but a RISEN Jesus… entirely different!
This is the bookend to the whole commission: He starts with, “All Authority” and ends with, “and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
It might go without saying, but I will say it,; the power of the Gospel, life change, wholeness, redemption is Inextricably bound to the death of Jesus on a cross, bearing our sin and shame and rising victoriously to put a finish to death and hell.
This generation is very friendly with the picture of Jesus in the gospels… the incarnate Jesus who hung out with sinners and prostitutes… and that is a beautiful picture of how to pattern our lives… but it must be in the power and authority of the risen Jesus who, right now, sits exalted in heaven and bears the scars on his hands and feet and will come, as Revelation describes, with fire in his eyes, a sword in his mouth, and a tattoo on his leg that says, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”
We are called offered, by this risen Jesus, this great gospel and to those who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God.”