Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

The Great Commission

This past Sunday was Ascension Sunday on the liturgical calendar and the Gospel reading was the Great Commission in Matthew.

    Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.."
    Matthew 28:16-20

It occurred to me in church Sunday, while I stood and heard these words proclaimed aloud that many Christians were familiar with the first two imperatives of Christ, but few seemed to faithfully follow the third imperative. The three imperatives are:

make disciples of all nations

Overall, Christians have done well spreading the Good News and converting all nations to Christianity. However, are we fulfilling the Great commission to make disciples? Converts are not necessarily disciples. Note how often the Bible refers to Jesus and his disciples and not Jesus and his converts. Who was called a disciple in the Bible? The Apostles, not the crowds that followed. In order to make disciples, we need to be faithfully be implementing the third directive in the Great Commission.

baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Catholics and Orthodox immediately recognize these words, as most are recited while making the ancient sign of the cross and recalling their own baptism. Here we have a command from Christ to baptise using a "Trinitarian" formula. Seems pretty clear to me and its also well documented in Christian writings from the Didache forward as THE words for baptism. How some congregations continue to baptise in Jesus name only, I will never understand.

teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

When you hear someone mention the Great Commission, do you immediately think "obey everything I have commanded you"? I didn't. "Make disciples" and "baptise" are what pop into my mind. In fact Sunday, I was almost shocked to hear that there was a third part to the Great Commission.

Obey everything. Its somewhat difficult to obey everything when one may not know everything Jesus commanded. This where my beef with "sufficiency" and "essential" and "non-essential" doctrines comes from. Jesus didn't equivocate. Sufficient is not everything. Sufficient is some lower level. Ditto for non-essentials. According to this portion of the Great Commission there is no such thing as a non-essential. The third imperative is clear: "obey everything I have commanded".

So, let us all go forth making disciples by teaching them everything, so they may obey everything that Christ commanded.


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Blogger Santiago Chiva, Granada said...

Hello. Congratulations for your blog. Do you know why the young people pray the holy rosary? You can watch here fifty testimonies of young university students
(in Spanish, with english subtitles)
See it:
It is one of the most watched videos on Youtube in May.

Santiago (Granada, Spain)

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. love God with all your heart and all your mind
2. love your neighbor
3. as yourself

6:51 AM  

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