Rethinking the Great Commission
How do disciples live out the Church's mission?
We believe in our community that the gospel is the account of God coming to dwell in the midst of his people, so we read the gospel lesson from the midst of the congregation. The gospel lesson this week comes from the Gospel of Matthew, the 28th chapter, and we'll be reading verses 16-20. This is the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
This is the gospel of our Lord. Praise to you, Lord Christ.
I have chosen as our theme tonight "Rethinking the Great Commission."
Perhaps one of the most damning criticisms of evangelical Christians is that they talk more about the Bible than they actually read it, and when they do read it, they tend to read a Bible within the Bible—favorite proof texts on which we build our theologies. And this text, which traditionally has been called the Great Commission, is, in my view, one of those texts that has been selectively used and misused in the recent history of the church. So I want to give you a different way of approaching and reading this text than perhaps the one that you've been brought up with.
The location of the Great Commission
Let's begin by noticing that what's called the Great Commission is actually sandwiched between a great affirmation on ...
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Vinoth Ramachandra lives in Sri Lanka and has an international ministry as Secretary for Dialogue & Social Engagement, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.