Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Post-Resurrection Great Commission

“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."
- Matthew 28:18-20

“Christ’s triumph, then, will be the triumph of evangelism.”

- R.B. Kuiper, God-Centered Evangelism, p. 241

“Jesus Christ is the ‘missionary’ par excellence: the basic and foundational mission is his. He has been sent by the Father to effect forgiveness and salvation, especially through his death and resurrection, and then to announce it to Jews and Gentiles alike. In fulfillment of the Servant’s role his task is to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.”

- Kostenberger and O’Brien, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, p. 269

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Family and Friends,

Last week we celebrated Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. In these two events lies the good news of the gospel. Christ has ransomed sinners for Himself through His own blood on the Cross and He was raised for the sinner’s justification in God bringing Him back to life. At the Resurrection all authority was granted to the risen and ascended Lord and it’s in this authority that mission can move forward. We have no other authority by which we can evangelize or advance the gospel forward than that which has been given by the resurrected and ascended Christ. Everything the church does is to be grounded in Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension, because it is here where authority has been given and here that authority is derived. This gives us hope in evangelistic advance, such as the making of disciples, in teaching, and in baptizing, therefore, we have hope that our efforts will not be in vain. The resurrected and ascended Lord is our source and power. We mustn’t preach the gospel without the power of the resurrection. We cannot have the one without the other. The Cross alone is forgiveness without effectual power and the Resurrection alone is power without forgiveness for sins. In our mind they must be inseparable as we carry on our evangelistic efforts. Christ’s triumph is the triumph of evangelism.

I’m grateful for the Great Commission that is grounded in the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ,

Pastor Dan

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