Last post we talked about what it means to fulfill the Great Commission through the avenue of making disciples. We defined making disciples as simply bringing people to salvation in Christ and training them to treasure and obey Christ. Now we turn our focus to the initial part of our text in verse 18.
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore…." Jesus gives us profound insight in this text on the foundation of why we are able to go and make disciples of all nations. I would like to first say that Christ does not HAVE to use us to fulfill his mission here on earth, he simply, by his grace and for his glory, chooses to use us. So what gives us authority to go and make disciples? It is the authority of Jesus Christ himself. He has ALL authority in heaven and on earth! This authority was given to him by God the Father and will never be taken away from him because he himself is God. This is why Jesus can say to us "Go therefore…." The foundation of our going to the nations is the authority of Christ over all the nations.
This brings out three basic truths that should give us full confidence in risking our lives for the nations.
Truth #1 - If Christ has all authority than there is no such thing as a closed door. Since Christ has all authority and he has called us to reach the world, we can have confidence that any country, language, or people group can be reached with the gospel. Even if there is government restrictions or hostile natives, God can do the impossible!
Truth #2 - If Christ has all authority than his will is going to be accomplished. Christ desires that all his sheep from every tribe, nation, and tongue be brought into his fold and this WILL happen. He is totally sovereign over his mission and this causes confidence in us to labor in his authority to see this accomplished!
Truth #3 - If Christ has all authority than we don't need too. As Christians it is not our position to have all authority, it is Christ's. This is freeing for us. Our mission to be faithful an obedient in his service, not to take matters into our own hands and try to be the messiah. We simply point people to the messiah and watch him change lives!
Lastly, here are some implications to these truths as we labor to fulfill the Great Commission in Christ's authority.
1. Walk in Christ's authority, do not fear, be bold.
2. Rely on Christ's authority, do not be prideful , be a servant.
3. Rest in Christ's authority, do not be anxious, be trusting.
4. Rejoice in his Christ's authority, do not lose heart, be joyful.