A Little Clarity on the Commission

Written by: Corey Latta

The believer’s participation in the Great Commission is mandatory.  Matthew 28:18-20 is clear about that. Christ, our Lord, has commanded, and we obey. But knowing that you should heed the Great Commission can seem, to some, far removed from knowing how to go about living it. As a way to help get our minds—and our lives—around actively living the Great Commission, here are some practical points to consider.
1 – The Great Commission’s aim is for Christ’s disciples to move the needle from casual relationship to involved discipleship. The Great Commission isn’t about abstract spirituality.  Nor is it only about witnessing to strangers with a momentary gospel. The gospel implies relationship. Not only does Jesus say we should baptize, a sign of conversion, but also that we should teach. To teach is to invest. Teaching, discipleship, takes time.  Teaching is relational; thus, the Great Commission is relational.

2 – In its original language—Koine Greek—the text reads, “as you are going,” which speaks to the ongoing, daily nature of the Commission. You don’t have to move to China to fulfill the Great Commission. The most urgent mission field might be the most immediate. Your daily life, your job, your family, the local grocery store, your gym, the small things of life beg for the gospel. As you’re going, announce it.

3 – Focus on dependence, not just obedience.  It’s easy to make obedience to God the heart of the Great Commission. And obedience is hugely important. But self-willed obedience to God without selfless dependence on God is fruitless effort. Christ says that all authority has been given to him, and it is in that authority that we live, move and spread the gospel. Depend and obey—and always the two together. Remind yourself that any effort spent on Great Commission is an exercise in trust.

4 – Begin with what you know. You can only teach what you’ve been taught. So, what is it you have to say? What can you pass onto another? What has Christ shown you? What have you learned at your weekly Bible study?  Teach what you’ve been taught.

5 – You’re never alone. Christ himself has promised to be with you forever. Not only, but when Jesus commanded you to baptize, he implied the presence of a Christian community.  Even a prayer as simple as “Christ, I know you’re here with me” can empower you to embody the Great Commission.