“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Amen.
Matt. 28:18-20 NKJV
Commitment - Now that's a word you don't hear used in our culture today. Or when you do hear the word, it has a different meaning than just a few short years ago. We live in a culture where people seldom want to commit. They want to keep all their options open.
This lack of commitment runs the gamut from “one and done” star athletes, to couples who avoid marriage, to employers laying off workers, and everyday people not keeping their word. Sad to say, many in the church are not committed as they once were.
After His resurrection, Jesus gives specific instructions to His followers going forward. This instruction has been called “The Great Commission.” Jesus commits Himself to His followers and expects His followers to in turn commit themselves to Him and His mission. This great Commission is found in Matthew 28:18-20.
Sadly, for many churches, the Great Commission has become what someone has called “the Great Omission.” Churches and members have other things to keep us from our commitment to Jesus and His plan for growing His church.
The Great Commission is a simple straightforward command. There are three main components to this commission. They are as follows: 1) Go and Make disciples of all nations, 2) Baptizing these new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and 3) Teaching these disciples obedience to His commandments.
The authority of the Great Commission comes from God to Christ and then to the church. He gives us the authority to carry on His work. Included in this is the promise by Jesus to be with us as we carry out the commission. We are not alone but have the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.
Even though there seems to be an overall lack of commitment in our society, it doesn’t mean that people do not understand real commitment. When I googled the definition of Commitment, the site for the Urban Dictionary came up with the search. The top definition chosen by the readers is:
Commitment is what transforms the promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time After time after time, year after year after year.
I love the first part of that definition: “commitment is what transforms the promise into a reality.” When Jesus gave His followers the Great Commission, He gave them His Plan A for building His church. There is no Plan B.
The Great Commission is more than just words; it requires putting these words into action: Go, Make, Baptize, and Teach. It’s not just a onetime commitment; we keep on going, keep on making, keep on baptizing, and keep on teaching. It demands a constant renewal and recommitment to doing what Jesus commanded.
Beginning Sunday, July 14, 2019, your pastors will begin a 5 part sermons series entitled “Recommit” based on the Great Commission. On the final sermon on August 11 we will recommit ourselves and our church to the Great Commission. Our prayer is that you will recommit with us to fulfilling our part in the Great Commission as individuals and as a church.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.