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The Great Commission

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2021 8:00 am

The Great Commission

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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May 18, 2021 8:00 am

If you have heard it and received it and by the grace of God believed it, the Gospel is not something to hold as a treasure just for yourself, but something to share with others. On The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Boice inspires us to spread the Gospel to a dying world. This is the Great Commission.

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If you have heard it and received it and by the grace of God believed it. The gospel is not something to hold as a treasure just for yourself but something to share with others coming up on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce inspires us to spread the gospel to a dying world. For this is the great commission.

Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically worldwide evangelism is the primary goal of the great commission. This is a daunting task but Jesus promises to be with us to the very end. As we obey this calling Dr. Boyce now concludes our series in Matthew with the close of chapter 28 we come to the conclusion of two things that I want as our missions conference and the other is our two year long series of expositions of Matthew's gospel. I regard that as providential of years ago I was with Dr. Bob God Fraley resident of Westminster seminary on the West Coast. I said that something was providentially reminded me, quite rightly, that all things are providential meaning the God directs all things that come to pass, although I acknowledge that that is true, I can't help but think that some things are providential or than others. And certainly to come to their final morning of our missions conference and I have before us is great tax that concludes the gospel of Matthew. Those verses known so well as the great commission. Seems to me strikingly fitting and directed by God, I'm sure you've noticed in your study of the New Testament that nearly all the resurrection appearances of Jesus, and with his telling those who learn obvious resurrection to go and announce the good news to other people. Certainly the case with Mary Magdalene.

He said go to my brothers and tell them I'm returning to my father and your father to my God and your God was the same with the women that were returning from the term angel had said to him, he's not here he is risen justice. He said come see the place where he lay, and then go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead. When Jesus appeared to the women shortly after that, he said to them, don't be afraid to go tell my brothers to go to gallantly in their will see me.

The New Testament records at least 10 appearances of the risen Lord. Plus one other one. Some years later that the apostle Paul and in eight of those there's an explicit commission and in five of them.

The command to go into all the world with the gospel is given in very formal terms, so it is in Matthew's arrangement of the gospel significance that Matthew doesn't end with the resurrection itself. He doesn't include an account of Christ's ascension. Instead what he ends with are these verses that we call the great commission. Apparently, it was evident to him as it should be evident to us also that this great gospel that is centered in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord places the burden upon us and we imparted received it by the grace of God believed it is not something that we are to hold merely to ourselves as a treasure for ourselves alone, but something rather to be shared with others. That's the way Matthew writes the 11 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain were Jesus and told them to go when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

Jesus came to them and he said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you shortly.

I will be with you always, even to the end of the age of those words are for all of Christ's disciples. Of course, not merely for the original 12 what that means is that if you have turn from your sin and have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then that is your responsibility to work with other Christians to lead people to faith through the preaching and teaching of the gospel to bring them into the fellowship of the church. The sacrament of baptism with in that fellowship continued to teach them along with others. All of the Lord Jesus Christ is commanded and furthermore we are to know as we do, that Jesus's promise to be with us even to the end of the age is to be with us to bless us also to bless our efforts. This business of teaching others spreading the word is something that will not return either to us or to God in vain. When we study this great commission. One thing we notice about it is that the word all occurs four times gives us an outline for the passage which somewhat hidden in some of our translation is very apparent in the Greek text that lies behind first of all, we are told that Jesus possesses all authority self-evident architect. Secondly, he sends us to all the nations.

Thirdly, we are to teach people all that he is commanded our version says everything and then finally, as we were to know that Jesus Christ will be with us always relate all the days now.

He begins with his authority all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, that's no weak authority as the one who had authority has been given is no weak mastery is the risen Lord because he is the risen Lord all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. Now that suggests a number of things, all of which are important fact that authority in heaven has been given to Jesus could merely mean that the authority that he was to exercise on earth is been recognized in heaven that's the case, it would be an assertion of Jesus divinity because any authority that's recognized in heaven must be the authority of God is probably much more to the statement than that because when the Bible speaks about powers or authority isn't usually speaking about spiritual and most often demonic powers.

We think for example of Ephesians 612 says of the Christians warfare. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world. The spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms are very clear what is talking about their began to go back to an earlier chapter in that same book chapter 1 verses 20 and 21. They tell us that God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the aged, when we put Christ's announcement in that context, but the verse is talking about is not so much in acknowledgment of his authority in heaven, but that his authority is superior to over all other authorities whether spiritual heavenly demonic or otherwise as resurrection proves his authority over any power that can possibly be imagined and therefore we go to do his work. We don't fear Satan or earthly powers or anyone else because Jesus has all authority and is committed to task us now. That phrase also suggests that Jesus has authority over everything on earth.

In this sense means, among other things, that he has authority over us because we are his people, how can it be otherwise, we truly are his people and we have confessed ourselves to be sinners in a committed ourselves to trust him and follow him as our Lord and Master. Then obviously we have pledged to serve him as our master and our Lord say they were Christians is hypocrisy but doesn't include that other element. Jesus told the disciples you are my friends if you do I command on 15th work things out with her not doing what he commands were not his friends or even worse were not even Christians because our obedience is when evidence of the fact that we really have been rescued from sin and had been given a new nature because were under Jesus authority that we are to take his gospel to the world and make disciples of all nations again amplifying on that phrase. The fact that Jesus has authority over everything on earth shows that he has authority over those who were not yet believers versus authority extends to the people to whom he sends us with the gospel follows from active Christianity is a world religion because Jesus Christ is a universal Lord and it is also at the same time, a statement of Jesus ability to bring power from our efforts to tell others about Christ, one for that power our efforts to do that would be hopeless if it weren't for his widespread and universal authority are attempts to do that would be wrong, but they are not. Here's the way John Stott summed it up in the message that he gave the world Congress of evangelism in Berlin in 1966. The fundamental basis of all Christian missionary enterprise is the universal authority of Jesus Christ in heaven and on earth. If the authority of Jesus were circumscribed on earth if he were but one of many religious teachers, one of many Jewish prophets, one of many divine incarnations. We would have no mandate to present end of the nations is the Lord and Savior of the world. If the authority of Jesus were limited in heaven. He had not decisively overthrown the principalities and powers, we might still proclaim them to the nations, but we would never be able to turn them from the darkness into his marvelous light and from the power of Satan to God only because all authority on earth belongs to Christ.

There we go to the nations only because all nations in heaven as well. All authority in heaven as well as his have weak in the hope of success and that puts it very well in the second grade universal of this text is all nations refers, as I just anticipated to the universal authority of Jesus Christ over all peoples on earth and therefore to the worldwide characteristic of Christianity surprising you know that Matthew should end on this note. Above all Gospels.

Each of the Gospels has its own distinct emphasis and thrust as commentators frequently.

Note John's Gospel is regarded generally is the most universal and presents Jesus Christ as the Savior world phrase appears in John 542. Luke's gospel is generally thought of as predominantly a Gentile or Greek book, it's usual to think of Lou presenting Jesus Christ is the ideal man which he certainly is. Mark seems to of been written largely from a Roman audience.

He stresses Jesus as a miracle worker. He gives us attention to his discourses is teaching than the others general consent. Matthew is the predominantly Jewish gospel is meant to show Jesus is the son of David and the fulfiller of the Old Testament prophecies that we've seen in our studies going back many many months. I will again and again he brings an Old Testament text to show how Jesus fulfilled the other gospel is so limited to the immediate historical and ethnic climate in which Jesus was born and to which he ministered yet is this gospel which ends on the most universal note this commission. We learn that those few Jewish disciples, it would follow Jesus through the three years of his ministry and the were now being commission formally to take his gospel to other people were not to limit their operations to Judaism. We might expect, but rather they were to go in the all world of the gospel bring the message of salvation to all nations say that the church is done this. It has prospered and whenever it's failed to do this. It has stagnated and dried up. Why is that, well, it's because discipleship demands evangelism. It's an aspect of our obedience to Jesus Christ and Jesus blesses obedience were following Jesus will be obeying Jesus and obeying Jesus will be telling others about the gospel and we will be supporting friends of ours who know Christ were trying to do it in places to which we can't go disobedient church on the doesn't evangelize. And as a result of that, it begins to dry out and sometimes even dies. What does it mean to evangelize. Jesus doesn't allow us to remain vague on that point is very clear in the text exactly what's involved. Personally tells us to make disciples on the King James Bible. There is an on fortunate translation where it is rendered teach all nations. The word that is translated teach. There is not the same word is the word translated teach later word really does mean teach did ask colonists to do with today asking teaching. It's word from which we get our work in didactic, but the first word is Martha Hale, which literally means to make a disciple. That's why the new international version is correct it translates it that way make disciples of all nations. That means make them disciples of Jesus Christ.

That means is were to preach the gospel in such a way by the power of the Holy Spirit people are converted from their sin to Christ, and thereafter come to follow him as their true Lord in this commission.

Evangelism is the primary task. On the other hand, if you read this verse.

What follows is also important because without it. This matter of evangelism is one-sided, Jesus goes on to show that those who are his must lead their converts the point of baptism in the name of the father and of the son of the Holy Spirit doesn't mean near empty rights or formalism, or ceremonies not to take the place of a vital relationship to Jesus Christ. But it means that at some point. Once commitment to Jesus, the Savior must become public because baptism is a public act and also it must take place in a way which visibly unites the newly converted person to the body of Christ people together. In other words, we come part of his visible body, the church, with both natural and necessary because of a person is truly converted is necessary that he be joined other Christians were his own growth is natural because of these truly converted. He will want to. Thirdly, we are told that our task is to teach everything or all things. Jesus commanded, so we recognize that our Lord has all authority senses to all the nations, and as we go to all the nations were to teach all things means that a lifetime of learning has to follow conversion and ones following after Jesus Christ especially important in our superficial age.

What we've seen in our day seems to be the exact opposite of this. We have approach to evangelism or church growth which assumes that people don't like spiritual things and can understand them. And besides that are offended by particular aspects of the gospel message and so our task is to eliminate the offensive things and simplify the point where the gospel actually has been dumbed down to the level of the general populace problem with that of course is that a core gospel like this is distorted and gets to the point where it's no longer gospel at all. It's usually a message of grace without judgment.

Love without justice. Salvation without obedience and triumph without suffering, I acknowledge that the motivation of some of these revisionists may be good. They want to reach the lost of the methodology is faulty. Excellent methodology of the world and the world's methodology and final analysis always produces the world's results. It's not Christian work.

Robust disciples are not made by watered-down teaching.

What I want to say is that the church today more than ever needs the whole counsels of God that that's what Jesus is telling us to do in the great commission. Many people, that seems foolish.

You were asked, many so-called Christians what should be done today in order to reach the whole world for Jesus Christ. There entire response would be in the area of methodologies that talk about literature campaigns use of radio and television founding seeker sensitive church is recruiting worshipers how to raise funds and so forth.

So what Jesus is talking about Jesus talks about here has to do with content.

It's teaching his commandments. Think about that. What the site involves teaching the whole counsels of God. Well, it means everything in the Bible of course we have have a focus for only suggest a few things very much need to be included in our message. First of all a high view of Scripture. Our day in our generation and perhaps would degrade the generation before us. We've seen the effect of liberal teachers trying to undercut the churches. Traditionally, high view of the Bible are saying it's only a human book being a human bucket naturally contains errors.

It may contain troth and inspirational passages valuable for lap and certainly nothing, by which we should correct all the things that we are doing and do it that way. That kind of theology is produced a weeks church significant. I think that with only a few exceptions, most of the honest scholars in this area even though they may be liberal scholarly knowledge that this high view of the Bible was at least the teaching of Jesus Christ peers up like with one of them wrote a book called the religion of yesterday and tomorrow.

He was no friend of evangelicals are Bible believing Christianity that he wrote in that book of fundamentalist may be wrong. I think he is, but it is we who have departed from the tradition body. I am sorry for the fate of anyone tries to argue with the fundamentalist on the basis of his authority Bible in the corpus theological of the church are on the fundamentalist side were going to be faithful the Bible and all its teachings.

We have to begin the teaching of the Bible about the Bible itself. This is what Jesus Christ said and it should be part of our theology. Cycling is this we should teach the sovereignty of God is the say that God is God being God is sovereign, especially in matters of salvation recall years ago that the English Bible translator JB Phillips wrote a book called your God is too small. Title, which is also a statement might well be spoken of many of today's professing Christians who have a God and profess to believe in God but is a God made in their own MAG's a fallible week in adequate God, especially in matters of salvation that we labor to do everything we can to make up for God's deficiency. Rather than pray and ask God to do the work, church, which is like that of course becomes weak church, we have to say that God is sovereign sovereignty refers to rightful rule and it means that God doesn't hold any rules in all matters in all places. Nothing is an accident. Nobody catches God off guard over. He does what seems best possible Paul wrote about in Romans nine, saying God has mercy on nobody wants to have mercy on the hardness of me wants to harden God less than that is not the true God. The third thing we need to talk about is the depravity of man church people seem willing to talk about human beings is less perfect than God and that they need God's help to live a godly life that isn't very offensive to anybody. It's only an arrogant person would claim to be perfect. The Bible's teaching the Bible teaches that men and women are in rebellion against God's not that we are marred by sentences were dead in it as far as anything spiritual is concerned that we are so debased by Satan that even our thoughts are corrupt and that it always is how God speaks of it in Genesis 65] the beginning of the Bible. The Lord saw how great man's wickedness had be, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. Great is man's depravity that left to himself or herself. Nobody is able to come to God unless God is first of all present to draw that person to faith in Christ is what Jesus said no one can come to me except the father who has sent me draw him we really believe that we would depend seriously and intently upon God's action in our witnessing and preaching and we would pray for him to bless is the fourth thing. Salvation by grace alone. I would throw that in our selves. We can't come to God and Christ were not inclined to do it. As a result of that we live under his judgment. God is nevertheless acted in grace to save some of her perishing. It is by grace alone.

Talk about the gospel is being because of grace alone through Christ alone on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ alone. That's justification.

That's the doctrine that Luther said is that by which the church stands or falls. Teaching about salvation of its anything less than that is not the true gospel is less than authentic Christianity is 1/5 thing we have work to do. Although God does the work of saving individuals, drawing them to Christ. He doesn't abandon them at that point, but rather he directs and empowers them to do meaningful work for him. Also, Jesus teachings about discipleship fall into this area, so does Ephesians 2 1011 those verses, which are talking about salvation being entirely the work of God by grace are saved through faith in someone nevertheless goes on to talk about the work God has appointed us to do for we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do what's necessary we do these good works. As Christians of all ages have because as we do them. We have no assurance that we really are Christ followers by Jesus himself. Christians are to stand for justice to do all in their power to comfort the sick to rescue the outcasts to defend the oppressed, and to save the innocent also to oppose those who perpetuate or condone injustice. Here's a six thing security of the believer in Christ Jesus was very strong in cautioning against presumption let anybody think that it was possible to be a Christian, merely by giving verbal assent to something calling them. For example, Lord, Lord, but neglecting to do what he said anybody in that category is no true believer warned us against that can be in church you could profess to be a Christian. Install parish in your sentence the same time Jesus cautioned against presumption, nevertheless, also spoke the greatest words of assurance and confidence to those who indeed do follow him.

He said they will never be lost in the how could they be if he's the one was responsible for their salvation on 1028 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out my hand. No one know I want to know thing either because as Paul says in Romans eight. Nothing either in heaven or on earth will be able to separate us from the love of God in our Lord doesn't mean never be any dangers for Christians.

In fact, it implies that because of Jesus said that no one would be able to snatch is out of his hand, it implies that there are going to be people will try Christians will always face dangers dangers from without. That is, from our enemies and also dangers from within. Because we have a sinful nature, some of these problems. In Romans eight. Nevertheless promises that those who have believed in Jesus Christ will not be lost.

Christian may be deprived of many things he may lose his job as income. His friends, his good reputation, but he will not lost promises not the house burned down, but that the people all escape safely. Now that this message that we need to preach today.

Not just going out to do what so many are doing which is to say, adopting the theology of our culture to speak of the depravity of human being. So much so that there's no hope for anyone apart from the grace of God in Christ. We need to speak of God's electing love, showing the God enters the life of the individual in grace by his Holy Spirit to quicken understanding and draw the rebellious sinner to himself.

We must show that God is able to keep does indeed keep those whom he so draws his screws and the supporting doctrines go with them need to be proclaimed forthrightly and we need to say. As Christians, this is where we stand. We do not adopt the world's theology do not accept the theology of the worldly church as we do this we can consider ourselves to be obedient disciples of Jesus Christ, or even his disciples of all, we come to the last of these, all such and it's always all the days even to the consummation of the age. It's a great empowering promise and it is wonderfully true and on the first chapter of Matthew, Jesus was introduced as Emmanuelle unless we don't understand what that means.

The explanation is given, it means God with us.

Matthew 123 here are the very last verse that same promise is repeated. John Stott says this it was, not the first time Christ did promise that Ms. Rosen presents earlier in the gospel we have undertaken to be in their midst. When only two or three disciples were gathered in his name and out as he repeats the promise of his presidency attaches it rather to their witness into their worship only when we meet in his name when we go in his name that he promises to be with us that a guy who pledges his presence is the one who has universal authority and who sends forth his people so that's the way this first and longest of the four gospel lands ends with the promise of Jesus Christ to be with us he's given us a very great task but is telling us that we don't need to attempted in our own strength.

Indeed, we dare not says we have his power at work within as well as his promise to be with us to the very end. As we obey the great commission.

That's the commission is giving to us today. Father, we bow our heads to acknowledge these words of Jesus Christ. These are not the words of mere man. This is not the idea of the preacher, but this is what Jesus Christ himself has laid upon the church to confess his name. We recognize that that is the commission which he has placed upon us. Our obligation to search how and how best we might actually obey us to lead us in our thinking in this hour. Granted, as we respond.

We might have your blessing and your word might go forth in power, the salvation of many who are yet lost Jesus name. You are listening to the Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Reich and and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia PA 19103 or you can visit us online@alliancenets.org for Canadian gifts mail those 2237 Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON M1 C2 line 9 asking a free resource catalog featuring books, audio commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologian. Thank you again for your continued support and for listening to Bible study


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