December 1, 2019
Which Commission Pt 1
This past week many of you know Valerie and I were in the Bahamas. After the hurricane that hit the Island in such a devastating way a few months ago the both of us were anxious to see and help. We know their country and communities are reliant on the money generated through tourism. As we took a taxi to Port Lucaya and spoke to the driver about the rebuilding and the destruction that took place she spoke of the number that died and were still missing – likely forever missing as they were swept away into the sea. A horrific thought. People unaware just days before swept away.
I’m sure any of us here would have loved to be able to save even just 1.
- Would you have given them a life vest that didn’t float
- Taken them to another part of the island and told them they were safe
- False securities
- Or removed them from danger by evacuating them to safe areas
Today I want to talk with you about how you can help save others from an even worse fait than a natural disaster and how to avoid giving people a life vest that doesn’t float. I want to clarify our commission. Our marching orders. For the soldier, the orders must be clear. When they are not confusion and disorder result.
“We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ.… …Where is the clear voice speaking to the crucial issues of the day with distinctively biblical, Christian answers? .” –Francis Schaeffer
- Civil war-Gettysburg-changed course of war-Gen Robert E Lee gave an order to Gen Richard Ewell to take Cemetery ridge “if practicable”. Ewell did not understand that order to be as it was
- Confusion in orders in battle lead to problems
Co 14:8 – For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
The “great commission” is it ours?
- So-called (by man)
- It is a great commission – for Israel for the tribulation & Kingdom
One Commission & Five References – Matt.28:18-20; Mk.16:15-18; Lk.24:45-49; Jn.20:12-23; Acts 1:8-9
- It is to be performed unto Gentiles. In the Bible, “the nations” refers to the Gentiles. This commission therefore was to be performed by Israel unto the Gentiles. In Reverse, Gentiles have salvation in this dispensation and can be seen ministering it to Israel (Rom 11:11).
- Water baptism is included. Water baptism was a ceremonial washing that was for the cleansing of animals, people, and priests. Baptism was taught for the remission of sins, unlike the one dry baptism we receive into Christ (Acts 2:38 vs. Eph 4:5, 1 Cor 12:13).
- Matt 28:19 – obviously water – can you baptize with the HS? Only Christ can
- It teaches the law. (vs 20 – whatsoever I have commanded you)
- Jesus did not come to destroy the law (Mat 5:17) .
- The twelve were to follow Moses’ law according to Jesus’ instructions (Mat 23:1-3).
- Mat 6:25 Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
- Israel was to minister the law from Jerusalem to the nations according to prophecy (Isa 2:2-3).
Look at Mark, Luke, and John next week but I do want to show you the consequences of misunderstand orders – We better be right – Rom 2:16
Understanding our commission is not simply about the content though. If all we are interested in is pointing out that others are wrong and we are right then we, too, are missing the point. The point of the commission is in understanding we all have a mandate, message, and mission from God.
The commission to the body of Christ, found in 2 Cor 5:17-20.
- Is not to follow the law but we are freed from it
- Is to be ministers of the word of reconciliation
- By grace they can be reconciled with the creator of the universe
- Is to win people to Christ with the message that by faith in the finished work of Christ, the one who knew no sin, they can put on His righteousness
- We are not priests between man and God but ambassadors for God