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Revisiting the Great Commission of the Lord Christ

Rev. Geoffrey Thomas



As Peter later wrote to a church, ‘In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord’ (1 Peter 3:15, 16). The most fundamental element in witnessing to Christ is that we are in a right relationship with the Son of God, that He is our Lord over everything in our lives, over every interest, every concern and every affection. We must make sure that we acknowledge that He reigns on the throne over our hearts. Witnessing is not a matter of gaining people’s attention by some striking ploy, dramatic words, a technique, or a method. There is something more fundamental than that. Are we right with God? Because if we are then nothing will prevent us speaking a word for him, and if we are not we will be incompetent and disinclined to bear witness. Our guilty silence will not be due to the absence of a dramatic hook on which to hang our words, or that we have failed to take a course in witnessing, or that we are not quick-witted enough, but that we are not right with God. The way to sort that out is to consider afresh the glory and greatness of the Christ who saved us and see where that relationship has gone wrong.



‘But how can I personally share with others the things that Jesus said?’ What an important question. ‘Invite them to church,’ is one answer, but hearing the message of Jesus does not happen if public indifference to Christianity is resulting in a permanent dumbing down of our worship. The entire framework of our worship has to serve everything that Jesus said. The indifferent world must have explained to them all the things that Jesus said about such things as what is coming out of the heart of man, and the reality of the judgment of hell that awaits the unconverted, and the universal need of a birth from above. And what goes on before the preacher announces his text serves to clarify and endorse this explanation of Jesus’ teaching. In other words, the preparation in praise and prayer for the climactic proclamatory aspect of worship also has to speed home the message of the same God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well as the deity of Christ. Should the church become a concert, a debating society, a series of endless trailer announcements for the ‘real’ meetings which are going to take place during the week, or when it has B-list celeb interviews, or the performance of witty personalities with jolly handovers between worship leaders and preachers then it becomes more difficult to carefully explain all that Jesus said, and apply the consequences of his serious words to all the congregation. We expect serious places to be serious, and so, just occasionally, a little dull. If that dimension of awe is extracted then a church has lost its point and the great commission cannot be effectively fulfilled. We don’t want the leaders of the church to extract the reverence and godly fear from hallowed places in the name of accessibility. We wish the church leadership would take very, very seriously the words of the Great Commission.



Most of all we are to cultivate a dependence on the Holy Spirit, intuitively to invoke his help, and at every moment of crisis seek for his energy and insight. There will come many occasions when we are facing situations we’ve not foreseen. We have no prepared answers. We lack any formulae and the answer then is to know what you believe and to learn to depend on the Spirit of the living God to give you words and tell you what to say. Without him we can never fulfill the requirements of the Great Commission. With him we can do more than conquer; we can gather new recruits who will speak for Jesus far better than we do ourselves.


Excerpt of an article reproduced with permission from the Banner of Truth website


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