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May 26, 2022 12:01 am
The Great Commission cannot be fulfilled apart from teaching. Today, Burk Parsons identifies what it is that Jesus has commanded His people to teach as we strive to make disciples.
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Is it possible that in our attempt to fulfill the great commission going and making disciples of all nations that we've neglected our own nation. Many churches and many pulpits that used to herald the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ. No longer do so and so we are in essence re-evangelizing the unchurched and the D churched and those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ is_leader ministries most recent state of theology survey.
We were disheartened to learn that more than 60% of professing evangelicals believe that God accepts the worship of all religions. 40% believe that the Bible has no authority to tell us what to do. Overall, the survey shows us that self identified evangelicals are losing one strongly held convictions. It's with that in mind that today on Renewing Your Mind. We continue document person series on the great commission before looking at the first portion of verse 20. I want us to consider. Just briefly the significance of Christ's call to the nations. We've already established and considered how it is that we are to go to the nations while we also need to consider that in many parts of the world today.
The nations have come to us even for us here in central Florida we have the nations all around us. We have people from every tribe and tongue and nation here at our doorstep and their coming by the droves. And so while we still need to be about sending and supporting and mobilizing training and equipping people to go to be sent to the nations to unreached people groups. We also need to consider that in many ways the nations are all around us. And so while we need to be about the business of both. We also need to recognize that for those of us in major metropolitan areas. Even quite frankly, in many small towns throughout Europe and drop these United States. There are many foreigners and many people who have never heard the gospel is also very significant. For those of us in the United States where there churches in just about every quarter for us to recognize that just because there is a church on every corner doesn't mean the gospel is proclaimed on every corner.
Especially today, many places many churches and many pulpits that used to herald the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ that taught the whole counsel of God. No longer do so and so we are in essence re-evangelizing the unchurched and the D churched and those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm constantly amazed, even in the past 10 to 20 years as so much as changed in America. How when we go to people we can no longer assume they know who Jesus is no longer assume they know the gospel is even for those people who attend church. They may not actually understand the gospel. They may have actually never heard the gospel surely heard stories about Jesus.
Perhaps they were teaching about Jesus. Perhaps in his morals. Perhaps some of his teaching, but they never actually perhaps heard the gospel of Jesus Christ that victorious announcement and proclamation of all that our triune God is done through Christ by the power of the spirit is so while we are always to be about going to the nations, going to the unreached peoples. We are also called to go to those around us to our neighbors, even to those so-called churches that are no longer proclaiming the unvarnished truth of God's word, and so as we consider the nations.
It's also important that we see how Christ is the fulfillment of what the Scriptures have foretold, as it pertains to the covenant that God made with Abraham and the Lord's promise to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 is a term there with me just briefly will see in Genesis chapter 12. At the outset of the chapter as the Lord calls Abram and forget Abram was a pagan from the Chaldeans, Abram wasn't seeking God it wasn't going after God wasn't seeking the things of God. Abram was a rebellious enemy of God among a pagan people in the Lord as he always does calls to Abram.
She is the one who initiated this key is the one who reached out and saved Abram look at what we read in Genesis 12 verses one through three. Now the Lord said to Abram go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you and I will make of you a great nation.
I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse and a new, all the families of the earth shall be blessed is in that beautiful know those who look at the Bible and think that God is only concerned about the nations in the New Testament haven't really read and studied the Old Testament we see from beginning to end. In the Old Testament how the Lord is concerned for the nations he calls Abram out and he tells them to do what go she tells him that through Abram. The Lord is going to make him into a nation and that through him all the nations and all the families of the earth will be blessed. It's not for no reason that Matthew and his gospel account begins his gospel with the genealogy and notice where Matthew takes us and that genealogy under the superintendents of the Holy Spirit. Matthew takes us not only back to David back to Abraham reminding us that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah comes from the seed of Abraham, and it's also no mistake that Matthew's gospel ends with a great commission that is strikingly familiar to the same commission that the Lord gave Abram and his call in Genesis 12 go the nations, all the families of the earth will be blessed. Matthew a very studied and careful Jewish historian of the Scriptures shows us how it is that Christ is the fulfillment of the Abraham.
It covenant how he is the true and greater Abraham that in Christ, the nations will be reached in Christ and through this fulfillment of the great commission. All the families of the earth will be blessed is not amazing how God uses us and calls us to take part in this great commission to go in one sense, to ask end and fulfill that early promise in that covenant that the Lord made to Abram that we are part and are going and are sending in our mobilizing are supporting are raising up and are setting forth their being sacrificial in our giving, we are taking part in that original promise of the Lord gave Abram to bless the families of the earth. We are part of that nation going forth into all the world, even as the world comes to us as God's people as we are that nation that God has saved and redeemed and called his own. We are those who are going forth into all the world to proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is also significant that we point out that in calling them to go. Jesus is very clear as we read about of the end of Luke's gospel in a parallel account of the great commission wherein Jesus tells them to go but before they go. He tells them to wait to wait in the city that is to wait in Jerusalem until they have been clothed with power from on high. That is, go when I've poured out my spirit upon you fulfilling the prophecy of Joel reversing Babel the Lord pours out his spirit on the church and that is the time when the disciples and when the church is to go every nation when they have received the empowering work of the Holy Spirit to do their work when they have been clothed with power from on high. You see, dearly beloved, we cannot go in our own power. We must go in the power of the spirit, the Holy Spirit is the one who enables us and empowers us. He is the one who enlivens us. He is the one who gives us that constant motivation to go.
He is the one who goes before us and prepares hearts and minds to be receptive to the gospel so that when we proclaim it. That, in time according to God's will and God's timing and not ours. Spirit regenerates the spirit makes those who belong to the Lord his own spirit is going before us as we go another thing that's important to keep in mind that Jesus calls us to go and he calls each of us to go in some measure not only locally but some of us into international territories and to some of us in the farthest reaches of the world into the remotest villages where the word of Christ and the word of God has not been known. It's important that we keep in mind that every Christian is called out of darkness and into the marvelous light of our Lord and his soon as the Lord calls us in as soon as the Lord brings us, and what does he tell us to do because is to go back into the darkness and shine what we shine with. We shine with the gospel of God, the teaching of God's word and that's when Jesus tells us in chapter 28 in verse 20 of Matthew that making disciples entails baptizing and entails teaching. Teaching is one of those other subordinate clauses that we considered earlier. Teaching is part and parcel of what it means to make disciples look at what Jesus says there in Matthew 28 in verse 20 we read teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Teaching James tells us and warns us in James 31 but there not be so many teachers among you, brothers. As such, teachers will incur a stricter judgment. Teachers will be held to a higher account. Now James has in mind there. The office of teacher even as Paul makes clear in Ephesians chapter 4 that those who are called to be pastors or shepherds are also teachers that phrase shepherds and teachers or pastors and teachers is a hint deities to names, speaking of the same title and so pastors are teachers teaching and preaching is one aspect of what we do is pastors. It is a vital aspect. It is a significant aspect of what we do, but it must be mentioned that it is only one aspect of what we do. We are first and foremost shepherds were not first and foremost lecturers were not even first and foremost preachers preaching and teaching is part of what we do but it is not the sum total of what we do. We are called the shepherd.
We are called the server recalled a lesson where called the Council.
We are called to come alongside were called to be involved in church discipline, were called to administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper were called to pray teaching and preaching is one aspect of that but it's a vital aspect and so we need teachers that are apt to teach 20 teachers that are qualified to teach.
We need teachers that are trained not by going to seminary. Simply getting a degree but going to seminary and learning and studying to show themselves approved and not trying to get in and out of seminary as quickly as they possibly can simply so that they can get a piece of paper to hang on the wall, but rather taking their time in studying and examining the teaching of Scripture. The doctrine of Scripture.
The languages of Scripture. The history of Scripture and the history of the church that God would be equipped so that they would be able to teach that they would be held that higher account but in one sense every Christian is involved in teaching.
Every Christian is involved in teaching one another.
Every Christian is involved in teaching within the home and sometimes within the church, whether it's in Bible studies or whether it's in Sunday school classes or even if it's one-on-one mentoring and discipling every Christian in some measure is teaching and notice that Jesus says teaching. He didn't say giving our testimonies, although that can be helpful and often important as we teach and as we share the gospel. But our testimony is not the gospel were called to teach not give stories not somebody fill our messages were Bible studies with sociocultural or pop psychological anecdotes were not called to fill our messages and are teaching simply with conversation, we are called to teach. We don't go into worship service or into a Bible study reading a passage in simply asking everyone what what does this mean to you. We go and prepared to teach studied equipped ready to give people the word of God, according to what God's word teaches and not according to our own fancies. So we are called to teach where called to instruct.
We are called to help people understand and that means we need to study so well so that we are equipped not to impress other people not to use big words simply so that others might think highly of us are that were extra intelligent, but rather that we would study in the greatest depth that we possibly can so that we can boil things down in simple ways so that people can grasp what teaching we do that with children and we do that with one another, just as Christ did with his disciples. But notice, Jesus says, not just to teach them any tells us what to teach teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you how many people when they quote the great commission.
Typically the outcome to this portion of the great commission and you listen I heard it. Just a few weeks ago. In fact, were people quote the great commission and they will leave out a certain portion of it. See if you can notice it. Teaching them all that I have commanded you. What part did I leave out the most important parts of the great commission, but so often when we hear the great commission recited or quoted.
That's what we hear.
But Jesus didn't just say teach them all that I've commanded. He said teach them to observe that word is a very significant word some of your translations translate that were not observed. But keep or obey, even in those are all appropriate nuances of that term. In the Greek language.
While there's another important nuance in that word in the Greek wherein we are to understand the word to mean guard. In fact, it's translated that way in other portions of the New Testament, even in acts where they set a guard over the prison and so that term to observe, to keep to obey. Also has this nuance of guarding something. Paul tells Timothy to guard the deposit that's entrusted to you in teaching the nations to observe. We are teaching them to obey. We are teaching them to keep these things to know these things and carry out these things and all of life's work is teaching them things that they have big heads were teaching them things that they might have big hearts and lives full of living out their doctrine and all that they've been taught not just teaching them to give lip service to these things were teaching them to live these things out and all of life.
And so the word of God is clear we are to teach the people of God to keep and to observe a disciple is not simply one who believes a disciple is one who believes in that belief that true faith leads to a life of fruitfulness and following the Lord Jesus Christ. That second nuance of that term is very significant as an teaching them to guard teaching them to keep and guard the Bible tells us that we are to understand the word of God and the doctrine of God tells us we are to learn that faith that has been passed down to us and also tells us that were to contend that faith, the faith once delivered to the saints. As Jude writes in Jude 3 that were to contend earnestly for we are to guard where to draw certain lines in the sand and build necessary walls and necessary offenses. We are to guard that which God has preserved for us. One of the ways we do that is through creeds and confessions is we are setting parameters where psych this is what we believe the word of God teaches and we are going to guard it. We're going to keep it. We are going to put parameters around it so that no false teaching no error. No heresy can creep in and that we must be willing also to even give our lives for. We are called to guard to keep to preserve the word of God in the doctrine of God, not just for our sakes, not just for our salvation, but for the next generation. So Jesus says teach them to observe, to obey and to guard if you will all that I've commanded not just some of what I've commanded. He said put all that I've commanded teach them to observe everything I have given you everything I have taught no what did Jesus teach what did Jesus command what committed not only what's recorded for us in Matthew not only was recorded for us in all the Gospels but what's recorded in one sense in all of Scripture because Jesus is the fulfillment of all Scripture is the yes and amen to every promise of God in Scripture. Jesus did not abolish the law, the prophets, he came to fulfill them. So we are called to go forth and do teach not merely the gospel, and not merely the account of the Gospels, and not merely what we want to pick and choose from in the Gospels, but rather we are to go forth into teach the nations to observe all that Christ commanded in a bowl of Scripture.
That's why preaching the whole counsel of God is absolutely vital. We are called to go forth, and to give people the word of God where to remind them regularly of the gospel of God as we see that gospel of God, highlighted and foreshadowed and pointed to and fulfilled throughout all of Scripture. Jesus said these are things I've commanded things I've suggested, not options, but things that I've commanded no hard part for most of us, and for most Christians, and for most churches is that we are called to be faithful in teaching the nations to observe everything that Christ commanded the little language there is interesting it's all things whatever I've commanded. It's this all encapsulating, all encompassing thing all the Jesus only teach the gospel that he only teach the good news about what he came to do no, he taught the fullness of the word of God teaching the nations to observe all that Christ commanded means also teaching them to love their neighbor it means to love their enemies to pray for those who are persecuted, it means that we would teach the nations how to be pure and chaste and not only outward expressions but also of the heart. The where to go forth and teach and disciple the nations in all that Christ commanded and that includes how he also exemplified the word of God, the law of God and all the teaching of Scripture that we would go forth and walk in his footsteps as we go to the nations, shining as a light to the world, reflecting the light of Christ going forth in teaching all that he commanded teaching people to observe it to keep it so that they might pass it on to their children. The problem that has occurred for many decades and even in many centuries. Is that many people of gone and they have taught certain elements of Scripture or they simply taught the gospel in doing so in other nations and even here in the United States if they've not taught all that Christ commanded if they've not taught the whole the entirety of Scripture, and what happens is is that people go away. Having only tasted of certain elements of the truth of God.
But we are called to go and give them the entirety of the word of God.
We don't just give him a New Testament. We don't just give them a book, but rather we strive to give them resources and commentaries and exegetical guides and studies in the original languages translating these things and making them available in every language font earth so that generations from now if the Lord tarries. We hope he doesn't, that they might have the same tools and resources and books that they might continue to teach and to train all nations to observe all the Christ has commanded that this is indeed a great and high calling but also helps us to recognize the full formed nature of the great commission.
We're not just called to go and make converts were not just called to go and evangelize. We are called to go to teach what are we to teach the word of God. Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, with a significant number of professing Christians fail to understand the central biblical truth, the gospel itself is at stake in the church's witness is jeopardized. Dr. Bert Parsons has been providing us with an in-depth study of the great commission this week. Your on Renewing Your Mind.
In his five-part video teaching series. He walks us through this command.
Verse by verse will send you all five lessons on a single DVD when you contact us today with a donation of any amount like you requested. Renewing Your Mind.org or call us at 800-435-4343 no in line with what we just heard from Dr. Parsons, our Pres. and CEO Chris Larson wrote a letter to friends of Ligon.
Her ministries and he said this unless we have a firm grasp of the truth that God is revealed in his word, we will not understand who he is who we are or what is the purpose of our lives.
More serious still if people don't know their Bibles.
They cannot have a saving knowledge of God as we heard from Bert Parsons today part of the great commission is to go out literally and teach these truths. Your gift of this ministry help sustain and expand like in your Scripture centered outreach. So on behalf of all of my colleagues are avoiding her ministries.
Thank you. Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach avoided her ministries. Thank you for joining us. I hope you make plans to be with us again tomorrow