The Church of Jesus Christ is the glorious gathering of men and women who have been moved from darkness into His glorious light; A people who are being transformed by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. The church is not a building, an institution or a denomination. The church is a divinely driven, purposed and empowered group of people.
“18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth and he sends us out. This means we are “deputized” to act on his behalf. He gives us His authority to continue the work of building God’s kingdom on earth. We are not sent on our own ability or strength but His.
The command “Go” is best interpreted as “where we are.” Wherever you are is the place God has sent you and where we make disciples. Dr. Richard Halverson, Chaplain of the United States Senate from February 2, 1981 until December 31, 1994, was fond of ending his weekly sermon by saying, “You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you. Wherever you are, God has put you there.” This is the essence of Jesus’ command to “go” in Matthew 28.
The church exists for the purpose of reaching people with the gospel message of Jesus Christ and to disciple and teach them everything God has commanded. Discipleship in its basic form is teaching others what you have been taught. As you grow in your faith take time to share what you have learned with someone else. Discipleship is not the sole responsibility of a Pastor or church staff but of everyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ.
As Jesus prepared to step into the public eye He met with a man named John who was baptizing people in preparation for the atoning work on the cross. Jesus was baptized and set the example for those who would receive salvation through the cross and resurrection. As we “go and make disciples” we are to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Great Commission is not the Great Suggestion. Every believer has been given a divine mandate from heaven to establish and advance the kingdom of God, make disciples and baptize them. Make a commitment to praying for and seeing one person this year come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. You have His authority empowering you to carry out this mission. Ready. Set. Go!