ENDOWING THE GREAT COMMISSION
We call Jesus' instruction for evangelizing the world
the "Great Commission", for it represents the"marching
orders" for the church. The other three Gosple
writers also record the Great Commission, though in different contexts with
different wording (Mark 16:15, 16; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:21-23).
This repetition implies that evangelizing the world was considered a top
priority by Jesus and should be viewed as such by His followers.
We are to teach all nations
, or, to bring out the meaning of the Greek more fully, "make diciples"
or followers of Christ of as many people as we can. Those willing to
make such a commitment are to be immersed in water, which
is the actual meaning of the Greek word rendered baptizing .
When applied to a believer, it washes away sins (Act 22:16) and enpowers him
for Christian living with the sanctifying "gift of the Holy Ghost
(Acts 2:38; Romans 8:11-13).
Though the theological world loves to debate the subject of baptism, for
most believers all that needs to be said is that, in His Great Commission,
Jesus commanded that it be done. Since He has all authority, our obedience
to Him in this matter should be unhesitating and without question.
Our task of evangelism is not complete when a person rises for the waters of baptism. There remains a lifetime of "teaching", for the Word of God has a depth that is never exhausted; and our lives are always in need of constant challenge and growth. As the church performs its dual task of evangelism and nurturing, Jesus promises to be "with us" and thus to support us, "even unto the end of the world"".
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