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THE GREAT

COMMISSION: THE
PURPOSES OF THE
CHURCH
First we will look at the structure
of the Great Commission.
Secondly we will look at the Great
Commission and the purposes of
the church.
STRUCTURE OF THE
GREAT COMMISSION
1. PROMISE OF POWER
2. THE GREAT COMMISSION
a. Make disciples
b. Go
c. Baptizing
d. Teaching
3. PROMISE OF HIS PRESENCE

GREAT COMMISSION
Make disciples
Go
Baptizing
Teaching
Source of mission
Scope of mission
Content of mission
Shape of mission
The Secret of Accomplishing
the Great Commission

1. The Promise of His Power

2. The Great Commission

1. The Promise of His Presence
The Great Commission: The
Purposes of the Church
The Great Commission has four
main elements. These are:
1. To make disciples
2. Go or going
3. Baptizing them
4. Teaching them
To Make Disciples - Mission
To make disciples is the main verb of the
passage. It is in the imperative –
command. The Great Commission command
the church to make disciples
To make disciples is the primary mission of
the church.
Like fire exists to burn so the church
exists to make disciples.
To make disciples is the same as
evangelism.
Evangelism: Mission of the
Trinity and the Church
Mission of God the Father –John 3:16
 Mission of Jesus Christ – Luke 19:10
 Mission of the Spirit – John 16:8; Rev. 22:17
 Mission of the church - the body of Christ – Matt.
28:19; Acts 1:8; Rev. 22:17
 To make disciples therefore is the primary mission
of the church given by Jesus.
 We must never stop to evangelize. When we do we
loose the meaning of our existence.
Go or Going
Going is a participle (helping verb) in the
Greek. The command is not in the word
“go”. We may be going places, towns,
villages but if we do not make disciples we
are not achieving the Great Commission.
However, we cannot make disciples if we do
not “go” to the next house, village, town
etc. Thus going assists in accomplishing the
Great Commission.
The command therefore says, as you “go”
make disciples.
“Baptizing them”
Baptizing who? “Baptizing them” . Who then
is the word them refers to? The disciples,
those who already believed in Jesus. (Mark
16:16) .
We do not baptize all the Tom, Dick, and
Harry that walk off the streets to the
church.
We baptize disciples who accept Jesus as
Savior and Lord of their lives.
Baptism and Fellowship
 Baptism is a doorway to the body of Christ (1C0r.
12:13)
 Luke says: “So those who received his word were
baptized… And the Lord added to their number day
by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:41;47)
 Baptism admits ones into the membership and the
fellowship of the church.
 Thus the NT not only calls us to believe in Jesus but
also to belong in the body of Christ.
 Therefore one may believe in Jesus individually, but
he is never meant to live individually. The call to
discipleship implies a call to faith in Jesus and to
fellowship is the body of Christ – the church.
Baptism and Fellowship
Rick Warren writes:
“As Christians we’re called to belong, not just to
believe. We are not meant to live lone-ranger lives;
instead, we are to belong to Christ’s family and
members of his body. Baptism is not only a symbol
of salvation, it is a symbol of fellowship. It not
only symbolizes our new life in Christ, it visualizes a
person’s incorporation into the body of Christ.”
The Purpose Driven Church, 105
Baptism and Disciples
Baptism is not the means of making disciples.
It characterizes it. “He that believeth and
is baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16;16)
The means of making disciples is the
preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15,16;
Acts 14:21). It is when you preach Jesus
that disciples are made. Once disciples they
are baptized as a sign of genuine faith in
Jesus.
Thus baptism characterizes discipleship.
“Teaching them”
 Teaching them? Who does the word them refers
to?
 It refers to those that are already baptized. Is
teaching them pre-baptism or post baptism
instructions?
 It is teaching the baptized disciples to grow in
Jesus Christ, therefore post-baptism instructions.
 This is where nurturing is in the context of the
Great Commission.
 Therefore nurturing is part of our mission.
Nurturing: Purpose of the
Church
Thus disciple making does not end in baptism.
It is a process of growth from a “lesser faith
to a greater faith” in Jesus. (Jon Paulien
comments on John 2)
The purpose of “teaching them” (nurturing) is
that the new disciples may grow into maturity
in Christ. The NT not only invites people to
accept Jesus by faith as their Savior and
Lord. It also demands that people grow into
maturity in Jesus. (Eph 4:12-15 )
Going, Baptizing, Teaching
Warren says:
“In the Greek text of the Great Commission
there are three present participles verbs:
going, baptizing, and teaching. Each of these is
a part of the command to “make disciples.”
Going, baptizing, and teaching are the essential
elements of the discipleship making process.”
The Purpose Driven Church, 105.
The SDA Church and The
Great Commission
The SDA church is very good in in evangelism
–making disciples and baptizing them. But
very weak and lacking in teaching them –
nurturing them to maturity and keeping them
in the church.
But the Great Commission calls the church to
make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching
them – caring for them.
Annual council and
Nurturing
James Cress ministerial secretary of the GC
says:
“The church task is not completed just when
people are baptized. In fact, the Bible and E.G.
White say that those brought to conversion
without adequate efforts to follow-up, nurture,
and discipleship, end up worse off than if they
had never been contacted.”
South Pacific Record, “Balancing the church,”
Nov. 6, 2004, 6
Gary Krause
“The call to outreach and the call to nurture
are both vital part of our mission. Ignore
either, and our mission is distorted and
unhealthy. “ Ibid.
The Great Commission gives us a balance
ministry of making disciples, baptizing them,
and teaching them.
“Failure in one of these areas and our mission
is distorted and unhealthy.” Ibid.

October Annual Council
In the Annual Council (Oct. 9-14), the
delegates voted to accept the
recommendation of a working committee on
the new SDA church fundamental belief -
28, which will be on the agenda of the
2005 GC session. The new fundamental is
“Growing in Christ.” Ibid.
Thus teaching them – nurturing will now be
considered as important as the Sabbath,
the Second Coming, etc.