24 April 2015

Sunday School Lesson

The Great Commission--God reconciles sinners to Himself through the Gospel of Christ.


Bible Background


A1 Objectives

B1 Explain the purpose of the Great Commission.

B2 Describe who is responsible for fulfilling the Great Commission.


A2 Scriptures

B1 Matthew 28:18-20 The Great Commission

B2 Romans 1:16-17 The importance of the Gospel

B3 Romans 10:14-17 The need to preach the Gospel


A3 Notes

B1 Matthew 28:18-20

C1 Commission--a formal appointment by a superior to do a particular job. It comes with all the authority and ability to accomplish the task.

C2 Who

D1 Context--the 11 Apostles

E1 By pure, simple, plain interpretation this commission is given here to the 11. Judas is dead at this point. The other 500 witnesses to Jesus's resurrection may have also been present ("Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep." (1 Corinthians 15:6, EMTV). The text does not say. For surety we know that the 11 were present.

E2 This commission to preach the Gospel is given to these 11.

D2 Application--all Christians

E1 We also must preach the Gospel.

E2 Humans

F1 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, (Ephesians 4:11, EMTV)

F2 You however be watchful in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5, EMTV)

E3 Angels (referring to the Tribulation Time--"Then I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people," (Revelation 14:6, EMTV)

C3 Major points

D1 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me."

E1 Not just authority to commission preaching the Gospel.

E2 Not just authority to be head of the Church.

E3 Not just authority in spiritual matters.

E4 But all authority whether spiritual, governmental, familial, financial, medical, etc.

E5 How much authority does God have?

F1 Does He decree every action, thought, desire, word, and deed?

F2 Does He decree that there will be a limited, liberation free will?

F3 The former is TULIP Calvinism, thus everything that happens has been decreed by God--every breath, every heartbeat, every blade of grass in the meadow so also every rape, every sickness, everything uncomfortable that happens.

F4 The genuine plain, normal reading of the Scripture sure does seem to include a free will to make choices.

F5 God is still sovereign, and when He wishes something done, it will be done, none can stop or hinder Him.

D2 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations."

E1 Go--not sit around. Wherever we be or whatever we do, we can be ready to preach.

E2 Make disciples--followers of Christ. Teaching them doctrine and God's rules for living. It would include "preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2, EMTV)

E3 We have to believe the Gospel ourselves.

E4 We must know what the Gospel is.

D3 "...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."

E1 This baptism is the physical baptism.

F1 A witness to a clean conscience because of the cleansing blood of Jesus. "...which as an antitype, baptism now also saves us—(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21, EMTV)

F2 Water does not wash away sins.

F3 Baptism shows that we have obeyed Christ's Gospel and ask for a clean conscience.

E2 The baptism of the Holy Spirit is upon all believers by the Holy Spirit, Himself.

F1 "...in whom you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14, EMTV)

F2 "...who also has sealed us, and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:22, EMTV)

F3 "...so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:14, EMTV)

D4 "...teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you..."

E1 Through Jesus and His Apostles there are over 1,000 rules that cover everything needed in this life either directly, by example, or by principle.

E2 The word "observe" is "tereo" and means to guard to prevent escape. So applied it could be said of marriage, laws, responsibilities, This is sort of like watching the speedometer to maintain the speed limit. Compare:

F1 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

F2 "...that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Timothy 6:14, EMTV)

D5 "lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."

E1 Though Jesus is in heaven, He sees and knows all things. He is able to help instantly. He is able to comfort any and all sorrows and fears. We cannot do this, but God can.

E2 He says this to encourage believers knowing full well that they will experience persecution.

E3 "But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fulfilled, and all the Gentiles might hear, and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (2 Timothy 4:17, EMTV)

E4 "But whenever they hand you over, do not worry how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; (Matthew 10:19, EMTV)

B2 Romans 1:16-17

C1 Not ashamed of the Gospel

D1 Some people are ashamed to the point of denying that they are Christians.

D2 Some water down the Gospel so as to not be "offensive."

D3 Some are ignorant of the Gospel and so preach a false gospel.

D4 Some deliberately preach a false Gospel

C2 Power of God

D1 The word power here is strength, power, not necessarily authority though someone with strength and power would have authority.

D2 Thus God is able to do what He says.

D3 The Gospel, when the conditions are met, does have strength, power, to accomplish what God wants.

C3 Salvation to everyone who believes

D1 The condition--believes. Believes what? What God has said.

D2 It is limited by those who believe or do not believe.

D3 It is not limited by God decreeing some in and some out whether it be a passive or active view.

E1 The Westminster Confession is the active view of there is a set number of those elected to salvation and those elected to damnation. Chapter III iii and iv.

iii. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels(1) are predestinated unto

everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.(2)

(1) 1 Timothy 5:21; Matthew 25:41

(2) Romans 9:22,23; Ephesians 1:5,6; Proverbs 16:4

iv. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and

their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.(1)

(1) 2 Timothy 2:19; John 13:18

E2 The passive view is that God does not actively choose but rather just passes by/over them. John MacArthur is one who believes that God just leaves them to go on their sinful way.

E3 So what's the difference? In either view the unchosen crowd cannot/will not be saved.

C4 Jew first

D1 Per God's promise. Does not mean that a Gentile could not be saved but that God gave opportunity to the Jew first.

D2 Still holds true. God is interested in saving Jews as well as Gentiles.

C5 Then Greek--Gentiles.

C6 Righteous of God

D1 Sin debt must be paid.

D2 God is righteous in this and accomplished it with the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

C7 Revealed from faith to faith--preaching the Gospel from one generation to other, one people group to another, and so on.

C8 The just shall live by faith--the Gospel has always been the same. It was the same Gospel preached to Adam and Eve as it is today. Abraham is an example of Old Testament person being saved by faith.

D1 Romans 4:9 Does this blessing then come upon the circumcision, or also upon the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.

D2 Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith that it may be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those of the law, but also to those of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

D3 Galatians 3:6 EMTV Just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."

B3 Romans 10:14-17

C1 What about those who have never heard? Do they have no opportunity for salvation?

D1 The Gospel is the same whether Old Testament or New Testament.

D2 Believe God in the same way Abraham or any other Old Testament person.

D3 God still uses prevenient faith to initiate salvation, just as He does for any person.

D4 Those who have never heard have heard and can believe.

C2 God considers preaching the Gospel a beautiful thing.

C3 Not everyone who hears the Gospel, believes the Gospel. Paul quotes Isaiah--Romans 10:16 EMTV But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

C4 Faith comes by hearing. God initiates salvation. When the prepared heart hears, they can resist or not resist.

C5 The importance of the Scriptures in preaching. "Hearing comes through the Word of God."

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