How to Live out the truths about your commission in Christ. The First in our serries on Building Christ's Church. Preached on the Launchday of Harvest Bible Chapel - Perth.
Duration:42 mins 29 secs

Commissioned By the Resurrected Lord

Mt 28:16-20

Introduction

Mission Statements- there is hardly a company without a mission statement. Everyone has one – that’s good for 

V  A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making.

V  Many Churches have missions statements -

V  Here at Harvest - Ours is to: Glorifying God in the fulfilling of the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment.

V  That is a powerful statement, one which is Biblical and one that will keep us busy till the Lord returns. It will guide out actions, it spells out our goal, it provide a path to follow and guide for  our decision making.

V  SO I can think of no better way at the inaugural service of Harvest Bible Chapel – than to turn to God’s word, and to His Commissioning of the church -  Great Commision – where he gives his people their marching orders 

V  - Please turn to Mt 28:16

Need

V  Today’s message is important to us here at Harvest.

  • This message is for us a sort of our flight plan.  Before a pilot flies to a specific destination a flightplan is lodged
  • He needs to work out a fight plan; where am I going and how am I going to get there.

V  This message is also important for you who may worship elsewhere and are visiting us today – this messge wil serve as an inflight check if you will – to determine if you are still are you holding your course, are you maintaining your altitude - are you still heeding the call are you still engage in your commission?

Turn to  Mt 26:16-20

We find ourselves towards the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He has fulfilled His purpose- He lived a perfect life of obedience and He offered the perfect sacrifice – A sacrifice God the Father accepted for He raised Him from the dead. Now He has called His disciples together for He had an important task to give them.

Read 

Proposition: This morning there are three compelling truths a disciple of the Resurrected Lord must know to fulfill His commission  - repreat

You Are Called to faith in the resurrected Lord

You are commanded to go in All authority and assurance of the Resurrected Lord

You are commissioned to Make Disciples of the Resurrected Lord

 I.   You are called to faith in the Resurrected Lord  vv16-17

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

  • In the section preceding our passage, we read of the great cover up, a cover up to hide the truth about the resurrection of Jesus. The soldiers guarding the grave took a bribe to silence them and to circulate the lie that His diciples stole His body during the night. – a lie that still surfaces today in the hearts and minds of those who refuse to believe
  • Now – in contrast to these lies -  the eleven disciples went to Galilee as instructed by the Lord. Now there were only eleven, for Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, the one who betrayed Him is dead. His sin still fresh in his conscience when suddenly he had to stand before the Lord of glory, the One he betrayed in the flesh. A sobering thought indeed.
  • But the eleven disciples – heeded the call of the Lord, to come to Galilee, a call He first gave them in Mt 26:32 the just before he announced to Peter that he will deny him three times, saying : “After I am raised up I will go before you to Galilee”, then also through an angel to the women at his grave in 28:7 and them by Jesus himself – meeting the women on the way to tell the disciples 28:10 – “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
  • The disciples were called to a meeting with their resurrected Lord.
    • In reality they were called three years ago when Jesus picked them to be his closest disciples – They have had three years of intensive discipleship by Lord himself –
    • The title disicple comes from the word “learner” or a “ Pupil” one who adheres to or follows the teaching of a particular teacher or leader.
    • Therefore a disciple of Christ is one who follows Christ, who loves to learn from Christ and who is eager to do what He teaches.
    • Tell me are you a disciple of Christ, do you follow Him, do you love to learn from Him, are you eager to do what He teaches?
      • If you are – then praise God!, But if you are not then I have Good News for you today- For today is the day of salvation!
      • The Bible commands you to repent of your sins: Let the wicked forsakes his ways and the unrigheous man his thoughts and let him turn to the Lord, that he may have compassion on Him, and to our God, for He will abundently pardon. Isa 55:7
      • Turn away from all that dishonors God and turn to Christ in faith as your only hope of salvation and He will forgive you your sins, he will reconcile you to Himself, He will adopt you as His child and He will give your Eternal life. Jesus said  Jn 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
      • If you do not know the Resurrected Saviour Jesus Christ – then I implore you, I beg you, beseech you – Repent and believe and you will be saved from the wrath of God.
      • If you are a prodical son/or daughter – repent from your sins, return to your heavenly Father. Humble yourself, seek His forgiveness and devote your life to worship Him – love Him , obey Him.
      • Walk in faith – faith in the resurrected Lord.
    • A disciple is one who is following Christ and these eleven obeyed his instruction
      • So here we find, the disciples gathered on the mountain to which Jesus had called them. I think they were still a bit shell shocked by the events of the last few days- Their Messiah, their Hope was crucified, they saw Him buried, then they heard the lies of the sodiers and now this great news, this great expectation that He has risen from the dead – wow a lot was going thru their minds , I’m sure
    •  V 17 is very interesting and I marvel at the honesty of the Bible for God did not need to include this short phrase, and yet He did, for it is the truth.   We read ……they worshiped Him, but some doubted.And then it just leaves us there – not giving us an further explanation or clarification at all! Lord how can this be, what does this mean, How can the disciples worship and some doubt? 
      • This intriguing statement has led to a number of proposed solutions. Let me take you to the classroom for a moment – don’t fall asleep – its important

i    Some proposed that there were more than just the 11 disciples gathered on the mountain, probably some of the women and other disciples even possibly the 500 eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection as recorded in 1 Cor 15:6. This is certainly a possiblity but the text only mentions the eleven. Not anyone else.

ii    Others propose that some of the disciples worshipped Him while other disciples  doubted – though that is a possible way of explaining it. The evidence for the third option is stronger.

iii    Now this third option is that the eleven worshipped Him but they were also hesitant, they also doubted

  • This is the position I land on and here’s why. 
  • The phrase  some doubted – is better translated as “they doubted”  and the Greek word here translated as doubt – has more the meaning of hesitation – it speaks of one who comes to a crossroad and then hesitates, waivers before deciding which way to go. It does not mean total unbelief. 
  • This word is used only twice in the Bible here in Mt 28:17 and in Mt 14:31 – when Jesus said to Peter as He was sinking having started out walking on the water- “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Why did you hesitate, why did you waiver. At both of these times it is used in reference to the disciples who doubted, who hesitated.
  • So what is being described here is - The disciples saw Jesus a little way of and seeing Him they worshipped Him but they were also hesitant, They were not sure if it was Jesus, they fluctuated between worship and indecision – a lot has happened and they were not sure – I think this explanation is truest to the original text and it highlights the struggle in every disicple – the fluctuation between worship of Christ and moments of indecision 

 

V  Maybe that is where you are in your walk with the Lord?

  • You have met the resurrected Lord in the pages of Scripture or through someone proclaiming to you the Gospel.
  • You have responded in repentance and faith and so He has called you to be a disciple of His. One who should love Him and one who is eager to do all He teaches
  •  - But sometimes you’re not sure, on occasions you are not completely convinced, if you are honest with yourself - there are moments of doubt, or of waivering, of hesitation.

V  Is that You? Does that describe you? Do you relate to the disciples.

  • Do you find yourself worshipping Christ on a Sunday but denying Him on the Monday?
  • My brother always says: only the parts of the Bible you obey are the parts you truly believe – that is a high standard, but a true one. Everytime you willfully sin, is a time that you say, I know what you say Lord, but I disagree, Surely you don’t mean that so you doubt, you reinterpret His word, you hesitate and you sin against a loving God.

Listen to me – If you are a disciple of Christ who worships Him, but still have lingering doubts, you need to meet with your Saviour again, confess to Him your doubts, your little faith.  Numerous times in the gospels Jesus rebuked and reprimanded His disciples for their little faith – but He did not reject them – confess your sin of unbelief and then fill your heart with the words of the living God and act upon it.

V  Believe in Him. Have faith in the Resurrected Lord! Put weight on the promises of God – remind Him of them, God wants us to call out to Him in prayer reminding Him of His Word, His promises. Worship Him and do not doubt; do not hesitate; do not waiver.

V  To the extent that you believe in the resurrected Lord, to that extent you will engage in making disciples of Christ! To that extent you will be involve in the great commission.

V  Let me put it in another way – if you habour doubts in your heart, it will render you ineffective as a disciple maker for Christ.

V  Ask yourself this – in what way am I fulfilling the great commission I have been called to? 

V  Are you sharing the Gospel with unbelievers, Are you discipling someone else to maturity in Christ at his present time, are you being discipled by someone else?

If your answers is No to these questions then the next verse is very important to you
  • V18 - He came closer and then assured them that He is the One who has ALL authority. He commanded them to go and make disciples of ALL nations, teaching them to observe ALL He had commanded them and v 20 that He will be with them at ALL times.

I believe that starting with these words and continuing over the course of forty days before His ascension and with the pouring out of His Spirit -these disciples were changed into men of faith – faith in the Resurrected Saviour. The Book of acts and the epistles bear witness to that fact.

You have been called to faith in the Resurrected Saviour and you have been commissioned by Him - If you still hesitate, if you still doubt……. then hear this 

II.   You are commanded to go in All authority and Assurance of the resurrected Lord    v18, 20

The resurrection of the Lord, has enormous implications to the Christian for 

the disicple of the Resurrected Lord is commisioned by the One who holds ALL Authority and can be assured of His presence at ALL Times.

V  The task of the disciple is indeed a daunting one. To go and make disciples of all nations – left to our own human devices and strength this task is too overwhelming.

V    But thanks be to God that we are not left alone – Disicples of the Resurrected Lord go emboldened by His authority and His presence, not occasionallybut always

V    First let’s look at being commissioned by the Resurrected Lord who has All Authority.

18 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me Jesus”

Jesus came closer – maybe providing us more detail as to why the disciples doubted in the previous verse. They were not quite sure if it was Jesus. But He came closer and spoke to His beloved disciples.

V  We normally would interpret that “all authority has been given to me” as Jesus receiving it following His death and now resurrection, but the entire Gospel of Matthew stresses the authority of Jesus Christ.

V  There was authority to His teaching (Matt. 7:29). He exercised authority in healing (Matt. 8:1–17), and even in forgiving sins (Matt. 9:6), something only God has authority to do.  He had authority over Satan, and He delegated that authority to His Apostles (Matt. 10:1) when he sent them out with authority over every unclean spirit and disease.  And Here at the close of his Gospel, Matthew made it clear that Jesus has ALL authority

V  He has received the fullest possible authority, for it is authority in heaven and on earth. The Resurrected Lord is making clear that the limitations that applied throughout the time of His incarnation no longer apply to him anymore. He now has supreme authority throughout all the universe!

V  And this One with Supreme authority – ALL authority is commissioning you to go and make disciples!

You are to go in His name and in His authority when

  •  You go and proclaim the Gospel – you know that Christ has authority over each and everyone, whether they want to liesten or not.
  • When you bring the word of God to bear upon the life of a believer, know that Jesus’ teachings are not human ideas, they are God’s and they come with ALL authority.
  • Disciples of the resurrected Lord -  Behold- All Authority in heaven and earth has been given to the resureected Lord- You are sent by the one of Supreme authority!

V  You remember when you were still young and kids of today do the same. You’d play around and pretty soon someone would be horsing around doing stuff that you should’nt be doing. Your little bother or sisiter shout out -  Stop that, or don’t do – but you being the big brother /sister, you are not going to listen to your little pip-squeek sister. Who is she anyway for bossing me around – but then she says those dreaded words and with such confidence – Dad said… or Mom said… you are not allowed to do that or go there - all of a sudden now you are in a dilemma – because little sis is not speaking on her own authority anymore – But Dad’s authority – that is a totally diferent matter – the consequences are a considerably more serious to disobey dad - it normally hurts when Dad is disobeyed.

Now the same as a disciple of the Resurrected Lord – You are not sent in your own authority – You are sent by the one who has All Authority in heaven and on earth. This should have a major impact on your confidence and your boldness in making disciples – It is God commanding you to repent, it is God commanding you to live a holy life – not you, not me, we are but following but His decrees.

Believe and do not doubt anymore – go in His authority

You are commissiond by the Resurrected Lord - in All Authority but also in the knowledge of His abiding presence.

V20 –reads “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

He is with you at ALL Times, till the end ot time. 

Dr G Cambell Morgan who spent the last part of His ministry as the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London recounts an occasion while teaching a group of elderly ladies. He said that here in v20 we have the promise from the Lord that he would be with us always – and one lady scuffed - A promise!, Dr Morgan that’s not a promise, that’s a fact.

V  You know that lady is absolutely correct – Jesus is with His disciples, not physically but spiritually. You are never alone, for the Spirit of God is with you at all times.

The question is – do you believe it?…or are you still doubting/hesitant/unsure? 

V  I would call on you to believe this fact, stand on it, put weight on it, live it out - for it will be your strength when pressures will prevail against you to compromise.

When no one wants to listen to you.  2Tim4:3-4 warns you that  “the time is 

coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

When you’re tempted to change the commission like so many have -  not making 

disciples anymore – not bringing God’s Word to bear on the lives of those who claims to be His disciple-  when self-help programs or humanitarian aid or the practical needs of people supplants the application of the Gospel to everyday life then you are merely make people comfortable on their way to hell. When the Gospel and God’e Word is not hold in high esteem – not relevant to people they claim.

  • Know that He is with You…….. watching you……., grieved that you are doubting Him.

V  When you are being opposed, persecuted and rejected - It will be your strength when you are being misunderstood, mistreated and rejected it will be your comfort – the Resurrected Lord is with you.

  •  He is with You always

V  When the Elijah syndrome hits – O Lord I am all alone – no one else is left , I am alone in standing for you, no one else seems to honor You and Your word – The presence of the Resurrected Lord will be your strength and your comfort- He will whisper in your soul - I am with you , I will never leave you nor forsake you !

V  Disciples of the resurrected Lord do not fear and do not falter, for I am with you till the end of the age- till the end of time.

You have been called to faith by Resurrected Lord

You have been commanded by the resurrected Lord - in all authority and with His abiding presence. And 

  1. You are Commissioned to go and make disciples of the Resurrected Lord

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”

 

V  Jesus is saying “Therefore” - Because of who I am, because of my authority I am commanding you to go and make disciples.

V  Now the main verb, the main command is to “make disciples” with the 3 other participles describing the characteristics associated with disciplemaking. “Going,” “baptizing” and “teaching.”  Each taking on the imperative quality of the main verb

V  So His command is to go and make disciples – or in going make disciples – we have to go, not wait for people to come to us. Not merely inviting people to the church – you share the gospel with them and then bring them to church.

V  It grieves me to say this but many of those who claim to be disciples are not able to articulate the gospel message to others – That is a whole sermon on it’s own – But one reason is doubt, hesitation, uncertainty and often that is because the church in general is not equipping people to be able to share the Good News of Christ – People are encouraged to invite others to church, to a outreach event where a professional – a pastor –will give them the gospel, they don’t share the Good News of Christ.  That is not “going” nor is it disciple making.

V  Remember a Disicple is one who stand in the relation of a pupilor a learner to a teacher. Submitting to His authority accepting what he says as true because he says it, and submitting to his requirements as right because he makes them.  And you can do this knowing the one who sent you has All authority in heaven and on the earth.

So go and make disciples of all nations – You have to go, you have to do it, starting with your neigbour next door, the suburb you live in, your city, your nation and the world beyond – go means go. Kevin Prost a British musician once said – “which part of the word go do you not understand?” And Disciples throughout the ages have heeded this command and missionaries have been engaged in world wide missions to reach the nations. Nowadays you do not even have to leave your neighbourhood to reach the nations.

V  Today we live in such a wonderful cosmopolitan society that just by walking down your street, you can visit India, Thailand, Nigeria, England. and others places by visiting your neighbour or just wander past it around dinner time – all the flavourful aromas will give you a good indication of their origin. The Lord has brought the nations right to our doorstep - So Go and make disciples of all nations– without distinction or discrimination.

There are two other characteristics of disciplemaking included in this command. Baptism and Teaching.

Baptizing is mentioned first, not to show that it is more important or to indicate that one is to be baptized before he is taught anything at all, but because it is natural.  The person who trusts in Christ is to be baptized at the outset of his faith in the resurrected Lord, for he is now desiring to show his identification with Christ, but he must be taught all of his life.

V  To be ready for baptism requires repentance (Acts 2:38, 41). It requires “receiving the word” (Acts 2:41). This also shows that a certain amount of teaching must precede being baptized.

Baptism is very important for in submitting to it you make a very public declaration. You declare that you have broken with the world and you are now in union with God, the the Triune God and you intend to devote your life to Him.

Baptism is very important – because it is the first command to obey following repentance and faith – be baptized.

V  Have you submitted to this command of the Resurrected Lord? Have you been baptized? I am not talking about infant baptism - Here in our passage the context is  clear, Jesus is speaking about those who are old enough to be able to listen to the preaching and teaching of His Word. He is not speaking here about infants.

If you claim to be a disciple of the resurrected Lord and have not been obedient to this command, I want to encourage you to humble yourself and make a public declaration of your allegiance to the resurrected Saviour, to the Triune God - be baptized.  DO not doubt but worship God through your obedience.

V  To be baptized “into the name” of – means a declaration of allegiance – of putting up my hand sayng I belong to Christ – it means becoming associated with the power and authority of Jesus.

V  The singular “name” followed by the threefold reference to “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” suggests both unity and plurality in the Godhead.

V  Being baptized “into” the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is an affirmation of being in relationship with the triune God and coming under the authority of the Lordship of God.

V  Making disciples is characterized by baptisms and

V  The other characteristic of making disicples is that of teaching. This is not only the impartation of knowledge- no it says teach them to observe all I have commanded you.

Teach them the commands I have given you and then help them,  train them, and hold them accountable, so they would observe them, obey them, follow them.

V  This is off course a life long proses. Baptism is a one off event, but teaching takes place throughout the life of the disciple.

V  The Lord spent three years training his disciples, three years of intensive discipling, they practically lived to gether, they spend most of their time together.

V  That is what discipleship is all about – doing life together as brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Disciples engage in disciple making are not reserved for those who has it all figured out, for those with all the answers and with apparent perfect lives.

Disciples are those who overcome their hesitation, their doubt and act out in oabedience

V  People believe me we all need to be discipled, we all need to be taught, from God’s word and through the example of obedient lives, through accountability. Disciplemaking means – you can call a brother or a sisiter and say – please pary for me, please impart wisdom, God’s wisdom for I am struggling, I am weak, I am doubting. Here in Harvest we take disicplemaking serious – it is part of our Mission – and our main vehicle of disciplemaking is our small groups – where men an women do life together. Encouraging one another, love one another and all the one anothers we find in Scriptures – all commands we need to obey.

 

V  You have been called to faith by the Resurrected Lord

V  You have been commanded in all the Authority and Assurance of the resurrected Lord

V  You have been commissioned to go and make disciples of the Resurrected Lord

V  Start right here, right now and from this day on – do not waiver, do not doubt stand firm in the faith and get busy making disciples of the resurrected Lord.

V  Glorifying God in the fulfilling of the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment.

Amen.

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