Monday Bible Study(August 31st, 2020)
CHRIST’S COMPELLING COMMISSION FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
This study reminds us of Christ’s compelling commission for all Christians: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”. Although many believers are familiar with the great commission, they do not obey it (Luke 6:46). We must reflect on how well we have obeyed this command. The Lord wants us to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only”. The person who accepts, believes, embraces and obeys God’s word, “and continueth therein… shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22,25).
Point 1: THE PARTING COMMISSION OF CHRIST TO ALL CHRISTIANS
The parting commission of Christ to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” are the last words He spoke before He went to heaven. This commission is for ALL Christians who are born again and are beneficiaries of God’s grace. There are three things to note:
(i). Preach the Gospel to Every Creature
Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46,47; Acts 5:42; 10:39-43; Romans 10:8-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:5,6
The command and commission to “preach the gospel to every creature” is very clear, simple and straightforward. We must tell those we come across, interact with and see regularly or occasionally of the gospel. Our preaching should be about the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ on the third day. Also, “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name”. The gospel is the reason for our salvation. Therefore, we must preach it to get sinners convinced to come to the Lord. We must inform them that “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Everyone who hears the Word, believes the Lord and completely lean on Him for salvation will be saved.
(ii). Proclaim His Grace to Establish Converts
Acts 20:24; Ephesians 2:8-10; Acts 15:11; Titus 2:11,12; Hebrews 2:9,10; 4:16; 13:8,9
Believers must proclaim the grace of God to establish converts. To criticize sinners for their sin, fault or evil practices cannot lead them to salvation. Instead, we should present Jesus Christ as the Cure for sin and Means for conversion. We must let the converts know that grace recreates them in Christ “unto good works”. Because new converts do not know about righteousness, godliness, sobriety and humility, it is our privilege and responsibility to tell them of the result of God’s grace. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”.
(iii). Provide Guidance to an Edifying Congregation
Acts 2:41,42,47; 5:14; 9:26-31; 11:24-26; Ephesians 2:20-22; 4:11,12,16; Colossians 1:28
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Through the congregation of believers, we provide guidance, enlightenment, edification and the means of growth for new converts. An individual soul-winner can provide the gospel, but not the fellowship or congregational worship of the body of Christ. New converts should not feel isolated. Therefore, we must bring them to the congregation so that they can continue “stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” By so doing, they will be “builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”.
Point 2: THE PREMIER COMMITMENT OF CHRISTIANS TO CHRIST
The priority of every Christian must be to obey and do the will of God. Note three things:
(i). Go: Prompt Commitment to the Command of Christ
Mark 16:15,6,7,10; 5:18-20; Psalm 119:60; Acts 5:20,21; 8:26-30; 9:6,15-17; Galatians 1:15,16
The command to “Go” propels every child of God to reach out to the lost. The command is not only for the apostles, leaders, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church, but also for everyone who is saved. Having received forgiveness of sin, we must go and tell our friends and neighbours how the Lord saved us from sin. We must respond promptly to this great, profitable opportunity to win souls for Christ.
(ii). Go: Passionate Consecration for the Commission of Christ
Luke 19:10,13; John 2:17; Acts 5:40-42; 8:1-4; 11:19-21; Revelation 3:19 Psalm 119:139,140; Titus 2:14
Christ came “to seek and to save that which was lost”. His passion and zeal are transferred to us the moment we surrender our lives to Him because we have His likeness and nature in us. He has finished His work on the earth and gone to prepare a place for us. He, therefore, instructs us to “Occupy till [He] come”. The Lord wants those who have failed in this aspect to repent of their lukewarmness, lethargy, ignorance, and “be zealous”.
(iii). Go: Prevailing Concern for the Condemnation of the Christless
Luke 19:41-44; Romans 9:1-3; 10:1-4; Acts 22:17-21; 1 Corinthians 9:19-22; 10:33; 2 Peter 3:9
“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it”. Here, Christ expressed His concern for the condemnation of the Christless, who He had preached the gospel of salvation to but they failed to repent. We must have Christlike compassion too for the unconverted. Like Paul the apostle, our “heart’s desire and prayer to God for [the people who are close to us should be] that they might be saved”. We must also show concern for others as well because God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Point 3: THE PROMISED CONSEQUENCE OF CONVERSION OR CONTRADICTION
Christ has promised that those who believe the gospel and are baptised “shall be saved”. But “he that believeth not shall be damned”, even if he is baptised and tries to copy the lifestyle of a Christian. There are three things to note here:
(i). He that Believeth and is Baptized
Mark 16:16a; Acts 2:37-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-34; Romans 10:9-13; 6:4-7; Colossians 2:12-15
Baptism is done once for those who are saved and keep believing in the Lord. The Philippian jailor showed the evidence of real conversion. Thereafter, he “was baptized …and all his” household.
(ii). He that Believeth not but is Blinded
Mark 16:16b; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; John 3:18,19,36; 8:24; Acts 13:38-41; 28:23,24,27; Hebrews 3:12,18,19; 4:1,2
There are people who are blind to the gospel and grace of God, His glory and requirement. They think religion, almsgiving, regular attendance to church services, etc., are enough. They are blinded by the devil. Christ said, “He that believeth not [because he is blinded] shall be damned”. Such people hear about Christ the Saviour and Redeemer, but they are blinded by unbelief. They do not understand the necessity of repentance and believing on the Lord for salvation.
(iii). He that Believeth without Bearing Fruit
Mark 16:16; John 2:23-25; 15:2,6; Acts 8:13,18-23; Hebrews 6:7,8; Galatians 5:1-4,19-24; 2 Peter 2:20-22
Some people claim to believe the gospel but they are not bearing the fruit of repentance, righteousness, regeneration and redemption in Christ. Their behaviour, character and lifestyle do not match their profession. Like Simon, they do not have the character that should accompany real conversion. If we truly believe the gospel, we will not continue in the works of the flesh. Rather, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit which make it possible to share the gospel with everyone cheerfully and without discrimination.