Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV
As we consider our Commission from the Lord Jesus Christ several factors are of the utmost importance. Our text is the basis for the Commission and is based on the Authority of Jesus. We are informed in Ephesians 1:7 that we have been redeemed through His blood and therefore candidates for the Commission. In Colossians 1:13 we discover we have experienced a transfer of kingdoms. Our citizenship has shifted from the kingdom of darkness to God’s kingdom of light. Then in Colossians 2:11-17 we find that Jesus “legally” owns us, has “legal” standing to seek for us and His authority is backed by the full force and authority of Heaven’s Power.
Why are those things important? It shows that our Commission is not just a directive to go search for whoever might be interested but is a Rescue Mission for all those who Jesus bought and paid for with His blood on the Cross. We are “plucking them as brands from the burning.”
In Matthew 16:18 our Lord makes us aware of a powerful encouragement that even the powers of hell are powerless against us saying that the gates of hell cannot prevail against His church. I want you to catch the truth and powerful encouragement that we are sent or commissioned based on God’s Supreme Redemptive Authority to Rescue the Perishing! We are empowered and sent as Representatives of Heaven. In a very genuine sense, His Power is now our power because we are His commissioned representatives.
Mark 16:15-18 has a direct connection to this overall commission. We are to go In His Name which means we are representing all He is, does, and will do. We have been given legal standing and authority over all the powers of darkness, including demons, dangers, and diseases.
Therefore, in the light of our commission to go, we go in His Stead and His Power. We have been given biblical and legal authority to bind demons, defeat danger, and destroy disease. We may or may not be doing that, but it is the biblical commission. That is an incredible Weapon if we can believe it and learn to use it. In the biblical record, it is first “bind the strong man” and then “spoil his house.” The devil’s claim on man has been revoked by Jesus’ sacrificial work on the Cross.
If we link the statements of Mark 16 with Evangelism, we can see the incredible power afforded to the followers or disciples of our Lord. When a person is free from satanic bondage, they are more readily able to hear the message of the Gospel. We have been promised divine protection and have the promise that the sick will be healed as an expression and demonstration of the Love of God, which also opens new doors to proclaim the message of the Cross. We have also been afforded the Spiritual power and authority to pray in the Spirit and even when we do not know how to pray as we should the Holy Spirit does and prays through us. These thoughts make my heart rejoice and increase my anticipation daily.
- The Commission is GO.
This is the soul-winning part of the commission and the starting point. Until we launch out, we have no hope of filling our nets with fish (souls).
- The Commission is to MAKE DISCIPLES.
This is the grounding and anchoring of the new convert. It is not enough to win converts we need to equip them for walking the walk and living the life. We are to disciple and that means investing in individual lives and imparting to them the Word and Wisdom of God. It means an investment of TIME!
- The Commission is to BAPTIZE THEM.
Some have overlooked that this is the responsibility of the Evangelist or Soul Winner. We do not just win them and leave them floundering on the shore. We invest time or ensure that time is invested in making disciples of them and we lead them in the public declaration that is evidenced in baptism. In their being baptized they are making a declaration of their conversion and testifying to the world, “I am now dead to the old and rising to the newness of life in Jesus.”
- The Commission carries PROMISE.
Jesus said, “I am with you all the time and until the end of your earthly journey.” What a Promise! We take the message of John 3:16 with the knowledge that those who come to Christ will have their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life and can look forward to eternity with God, but also that in the interim they can go in total confidence that He is with Them!
Our love for others and the lost should be easily demonstrated because of His Love for us. I suppose that we could say that if love can be measured at all it can be measured in our desire and willingness to please and obey Him.
I pray that you are never hesitant or timid about sharing the reason for the hope that is in you and demonstrate the Love of God in today’s world.
God bless you as you embark on this leg of your journey in Christ.