Series: Our Mission Statement
Article 1: The Call and Commission of the Church
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Page 3: The Authority Given to Us: Our Mission to Spread the Gospel
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 (Matthew 28:19)
We have been given authority in our mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”. We don’t need permission to worship Him, to proclaim His name, or to raise our children in His ways. We have the authority to do these things without seeking anyone’s approval. While we still need to exercise wisdom in certain situations, the ultimate authority comes from God and His Word. We can trust in His authority as we carry out our mission to share the love and truth of Christ with the world.
There is an old song by Bill Gaither, a Southern Baptist singer, in which he sings: “kings and kingdoms will pass away”. However, Jesus’ kingdom will not pass away. It is eternal, and we belong to it. As followers of Christ, we are called to go forth with his power and program, which is to make disciples. We do not need permission to do this. As Christ teaches, making disciples involves baptizing and teaching others. This is what we want to be doing.
Ultimately, the central idea is making disciples. We want more people to hear of Christ, believe in him, follow him, and live with him in heaven for all eternity. Jesus himself made disciples, whom he called committed followers or apprentices. As we train under him and practice his ways, we too become disciples and pass on his teachings to others.
Jesus invites us to follow him, not just to believe or agree with him. He says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” You may have followed other things in the past, such as the devil or yourself, but now it is time to follow the true Lord.
Following Jesus means obeying his words and being obedient to what he says. As his followers, we are to live a life of obedience.
Baptism is a significant aspect of our faith. When we baptize, we do it in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This singular name emphasizes the unity and diversity of the Godhead within the personhood. Baptism demonstrates that we now participate in the triune life of the triune God.
Baptism is not just a statement of faith in Christ and a declaration of our union with him, but it is also a political statement that declares our belonging to the kingdom that has all authority. It is a command from Jesus, and it is not optional. It is a way to tell the world that we are followers of Christ and identify with him and his people.
Teaching is also an essential part of our faith. We are to teach for obedience, not just to provide good content or entertaining stories. The goal of teaching is transformation, to impact the listener so that they obey what is spoken and have their lives transformed. Teaching involves instructing others to observe all the things that Jesus has commanded us.
Jesus emphasizes the importance of obedience to his words, comparing it to “a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-27). He warns that many will call him Lord, but if they do not obey him, they are not truly his followers (Matthew 7:21). James also stresses the importance of being “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1,22)
David Guzik, a prominent preacher in the Calvary Chapel movement, emphasizes that the church should not be a mere “sermon appreciation society.” Instead, it should consist of people who heed the words of Christ and live them out in the community. This is what it means to be a disciple and ultimately, a Christian.
Discipleship and obedience to Christ’s teachings should be central to the life of the church, from young age to newcomers and new converts. The mission statement of the church should reflect this, as we seek to grow together in the knowledge and love of Christ, following him, and making him known.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations
This directive is not limited to a particular group or region but is intended for every individual in the world. It is reflected in our value statement “god’s kingdom doesn’t stop with us”, we believe that God’s kingdom extends beyond our community, and we have a responsibility to share the treasure we have received. It is our duty to actively participate in the expansion of God’s kingdom.
Our mission is universal because we’re an international church. We’re grateful for the representation of so many different cultures and backgrounds in our fellowship, and we want to thrive in that because it’s a great representation of the kingdom of God.
We strive to be a place of “practical discipleship” where we understand that being a disciple goes beyond simply studying the Bible, but involves integrating our faith into every aspect of our lives. This includes our work, our friendships, and our interactions with those around us.
And so it is “with the power of Christ”, with the program of Christ, and now finally with the promise of the presence of Jesus.
He says: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
It’s important to note that Jesus’ promise to always be with his followers sets him apart from other spiritual teachers, including Buddha, who never made such a claim. This promise is reminiscent of the Old Testament, where God assures Israel that he will never leave or forsake them.
In fact, Matthew’s gospel begins and ends with the same message: Jesus is “Immanuel, God with us,” the fulfillment of the great promise made in the Old Testament. Jesus is not just a supernatural baby; he is God in the flesh, dwelling among his people. As John’s gospel puts it, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory.”
In the final verses, Jesus reinforces this message by stating, “I am still with you,” “I will always be with you,” and “I have always been with you.” When reflecting on your life as a Christian, you may admit that you haven’t always lived as a disciple.
If I take a step back and look at the broader context of my life, I can see the hand of God at work. Despite the pain, trauma, and broken relationships that I’ve experienced, I can see how God has been with me all along, protecting, caring for, and preserving me. Then, the day came when I heard him call my name and I responded as one of his sheep. Since then, I have continued to face pain, drama, and broken relationships. But I’ve come to realize that God has been by my side every step of the way.
Isn’t it incredible to think about the promise that Christ is with us always? We can forget about the mission statement and everything else and simply treasure this personal promise. It’s important to remember that God is always with us, even when we feel abandoned or alone. As a human, I understand how it feels to doubt God’s presence. But I want to encourage you that no matter what you’re going through, God is always with you. He has promised to be with us until the end of time and doesn’t just send us out on our own. This is such a wonderful thing because we would fail without him, wouldn’t we?
God doesn’t just give us a blueprint and send us out to accomplish things on our own. He promises to stay with us and empower us, working through us to achieve our goals.
If you want to understand the big picture of the book of Acts, it’s the story of Christ’s ministry from heaven through the power of his Spirit in and through the church. This is why, when someone does something great for God, we don’t credit them alone. Instead, we recognize how God worked through them and commend them for their faithfulness.
It’s essential to understand that the Christian life and ministry of the church is not something done apart from Christ, nor is it something we do for him. Rather, it is Christ with us and working through us, leading us to accomplish his divine will.
In the beginning of a service, I prayed to Jesus, our high priest, to lead us in worship and for him, as our king, to rule over us. I didn’t pray this for the sake of sounding theological or eloquent, but to express the truth that Christ is present among us in the church, leading and nourishing us.
He is always with us, exercising his absolute authority as he sends, accompanies, guides, and empowers us. Our ultimate goal is to deepen our intimacy with him, to allow him to lead us and to work through us in his service. As we go forth, we can trust that he will carry us and sustain us along the way. In this way, we can continue to serve him with joy and confidence, knowing that he is always by our side.
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