This morning Ben Purves, our pastor for student ministers, preached a thorough message on the Great Commission. He began by showing the biblical-theological links from Psalm 2 and 2 Chronicles 36 to Matthew 28, then moved to explain how the grammar of the passaged emphasizes the command to ‘disciple’ the nations, and finished with a practical exhortation for how we can enlarge our hearts for the work of making disciples near and far.
Below you can find discussion questions to his sermon and further resources on the subject of discipleship. You can also sign up for our upcoming EQUIP Conference (September 23–25), where we will consider how marriage and evangelism work together to bolster discipleship in the church.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- In the sermon, Pastor Ben made some important biblical-theological connections between Matthew 28:18–20 and the Old Testament. What connection does 2 Chronicles 36:22–23, Psalm 2:7, and Acts 13:32–34 have with Matthew 28:18–20?
- Did Jesus have “all authority” before Matthew 28:18? (Hint: The answer lies in his two natures. In his divine nature, Jesus has always had authority over all things; in his human nature, Jesus did not have authority over heaven and earth until he received the kingdom in his resurrection).
- How does the kingdom motif of Matthew 28 impact your understanding of The Great Commission? What does it mean to ‘disciple’ the nations? Where do we see the kingdom of God today (hint: see the connection between the “keys of the kingdom” and the local church in Matthew 16:13–20).
- What is the key imperative in the Great Commission? How do going, baptizing, and teaching them to obey inform the command to make disciples? Talk about how only doing one or two of these three distorts the shape of mature disciple.
- Is baptism the only way to identify with Jesus? What would you say to someone who says, “I follow Christ, but do not need to be baptized”?
- What do you do to fulfill the Great Commission? Who can you pray for or reach out to either (a) evangelize, (b) encourage, or (c) disciple? How does the church fit into God’s plan for making disciples?
- Read a page (online / book) from Operation World. Pray for a country and the discipleship needs therein.
- The Mission: Make Disciples Who Make Disciples by Leonce Crump
- The Mission of Disciple Making by Jeff Vanderstelt — though aimed at church planters, the advice in this column apply to everyone
- We’re Called Make Disciples Not Simply Converts by R.C. Sproul
- The Son of God and the New Creation by Graeme Goldsworthy — this book nicely explains how the son of God recieved his reign via his resurrection
- The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
- Discipling by Mark Dever
- Operation World or Pray for the World (the abridged OW) by Jason Mandryk
Soli Deo Gloria, ds