[edited for readability]
Welcome. As you’re seated, open your bibles. We’re going to be in Matthew 28. A lot of guests and visitors this morning. We’re so glad you’re here. My name is Dave and I’m the lead pastor. I get the honor each week of just opening up the scriptures [with you]. How[ever] you found your way to a Hillside… [know that] we’re a very simple church. We love to make much of Jesus Christ because we believe wholeheartedly that Jesus changes everything. I am a new creature in Christ, a new creation. The Lord saved me from alcohol addiction and methamphetamine addiction. So if you’re here and your life is broken and hurting – I’ve been there and Jesus really can change and transform everything. Each January as a church we start out looking at the Church Series. So January has been spent looking at The Church that was called out of the world. Jesus called us out. He said “Don’t be conformed to this world, be transformed by the renewing of the minds.” (Ref Romans 12:2) So we get together as people who have been called out of the world. He’s called us into the body. He didn’t save us just so we can sit around and wait for Him to come back. He put us in this body so that together we can express joy, expose sin, endure hatred and explain God to a lost and dying world. Last week we looked at my favorite sermon, and yours too – submission.
Listen, you should have seen the crowd last week… it was half this. Y’all knew it was coming. And that’s right. I’m going to do it again this week. And so we looked at The Church called under authority. One thing we all wrestle with… We all battle with, is submitting to authority. In a world in rebellion, God gives us good authority so we can submit to it. We can expose the rebellion in our hearts because one day we’re going to stand before the creator and maker of all things. The one who has all authority… and then the consequences will be eternal. So now he gives me a lot of practice submitting to a lot of authority so I can repent of rebellion and learn submission now.
This week we’re going to look at what were called to. The church is called to this mission to join Jesus on this great commission. See, our God is incredible. He wishes that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Jesus Christ changes everything. And He uses The Church, the body, to do that – to reach out. You see, you were once lost too. Believe it or not… you were born dead and your trespasses and sins and the Lord sent someone to come love you, serve you, encourage you, and point you to Jesus Christ. Isn’t that amazing? I think about that young lady back in Oregon that shared Christ with me. [I’m] so grateful… I don’t [even] know her name. Now He calls us to go out and to do the same. So today we’re going to look at the major cultural hurdle that I’ve got to jump over. I’ve got some major issues in my heart that I’ve got to work through so that I can function in submission to his mission and join the great commission and stop pushing my own mission… but rather engage in His mission. I’m going to jump into Matthew 28. We’ll go [through] verses 18, 19, and 20. God says, Matthew writes; concerning what Jesus (the Son of God, the second person in the Trinity) said…
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Now before we jump into this, let me give you a big theological picture so that you understand where I’m going with this. I’m going to take it from beginning to end. If you just started reading the bible, (some of you aren’t Christians) you’ve never come to that point, believing that Jesus Christ the Son of God, lived a life without sin, died and on a cross in your place for your sin, was buried, and rose again. [He] invites all to come confess their sin and put their faith in Him and receive eternal life from Him. If you started reading the bible you would realize that it is the most majestic, wonderful piece of literature that’s ever been on the face of the earth. There’s a reason it’s the best seller of all time. God is the perfect storyteller. This book that He has put together is the perfect story of His mission to rescue, redeem and ransom broken, hurting people and to draw them into His kingdom for His name, His fame, and His glory. It’s the perfect story about His mission that He’s carrying out.
Now you’d also realize if you read through this book that the small theological picture is this: because of sin’s entrance into the world, into my life and your life… I no longer want to join His mission and write His story for His name, His fame, and His glory. Guess what I want to do? I want to write my own story about my own name, my own fame, my own glory, my own mission and it’s going to be all about me. In this story [the bible] Jesus is the hero but in my story, I’m the hero. And it’s going to be all about what I can achieve and I can accomplish. You see, this is what happens. We begin to write our own stories. We’ve gone off script. So what the gospel (The good news of Jesus Christ) does is, the Storyteller enters the very story that He’s telling to seek and to save that which was lost. To redeem and to reconcile us so that my story might be brought back in line with His story, His mission, for His glory. That’s what the good news tells [us]. Now we gather together this Sunday morning as a people who are called to mission. Jesus’s mission. But what I’m going to show you this morning is that because of sin, I still struggle and I want to write my own mission. And whatever I say this morning… know this: my sin is far greater than your sin. And I mean that. Because I often write my own story and I do it with The Church. Instead of making The Church all about Jesus, I often want to make it all about me and the Lord graciously shows me that, so I can repent. But oftentimes what we do is we make it all about us and ask Jesus to come and bless our story, to bless our mission. We’re actually here to bless Him and to submit to His mission. That’s what the church is.
We come together to function in submission to His mission and join the great commission, as missionaries. You see, submission doesn’t function off on its own. We function in submission, to His mission, to join the great commission to seek and to save that which was lost. Watch where it starts out in Verse 18. We’re going to enjoy it together.
“Jesus came up and spoke to them saying all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
This is an important point: please note, Christianity begins with submission to Jesus’s authority. I’m going to say this again because I’m so bad at it…. Christianity begins with submission to Jesus’s authority. This is why one of the favorite titles that the bible writers use for Jesus is ‘Lord’. That’s not just a name. That means master, owner. That means when I came to Jesus, He opened my eyes to see my sin, my depravity and I placed my faith in Him. I’m no longer my own. I’ve been bought with a price. Jesus is now my Lord.
Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. The world, and those who dwell in it.
Romans 10:9 – that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Philippians 2:10 – so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
See, this title? I can go on and on from here…
He is Lord and so Christianity begins with me bowing the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ, The One who owns and is over all things. Now that’s where it begins. Jesus is in authority. I’m not. Jesus is writing a story and it’s awesome. I’m writing my own story and it’s not that awesome. He caused me to submit my mission to His mission and join the great commission. Now something happens in America and I’ve seen it in my heart. The only reason I know it’s happening (even here this morning) is because I sense it in my own heart. So I want to walk you through it very carefully because there’s been a giant shift in postmodern Christianity. I’m going to show it to you very evidently because I’ve seen it in my own life.
I actually learned it from my 2 year-old daughter. I love it when my daughter (who can barely talk) teaches me deep theological truth. I just love that… When God will use infants to teach me an eternal profound truth. So my daughter, her name is Kate. She’s incredibly cute. She’s like one of those babies when you see you’re like, “Oh wow!” Bleach blonde hair, bright blue eyes… And she’s a fourth-born so she’s happy. She just dances because life’s so wonderful for her…
Now since she’s fourth-born she gets more freedom than the rest [of the kids]. So when Brooke and I are dressing the other kids, our fourth-born will sometimes be in a diaper… (oftentimes naked) and she’ll be playing with her Shopkins. Anybody know what Shopkins are? A couple of you… She’s got these little toys and they’re called Shopkins and she just loves playing with them. She creates her own little Shopkin village and Shopkin narrative and Shopkin story. We’ll come down and it’ll be time to go for “Family Fridays” (we all get together go to the zoo or the Doseum or wherever) and we will say, “Katie! Time to go.” She’s so cute… She’s learned this word… She’s like, “No thank you. I busy!” At two! And Brooke and I will be like, “That was so cute. You can’t…How do we discipline that?” Like the cuteness factor is over [the roof]. It’s like a tidal wave of cuteness and we’re struggling to discipline that. “What did you say babe?” “No thank you. I busy! Shopkins. Daddy come!” “No, you come..” “No, daddy come play Shopkins.” And so we’ll walk through this thing where she’s got her mission, her narrative, her story that she’s writing and Brooke and I invite her to come join our story, our mission, our narrative (family day) and she says ‘no thank you. I busy.’
What the the Lord used to open my eyes in this, again and again, is that this modern shift in Christianity is probably not so modern. But see, I grew up thinking like this:
“Are you a Christian?”
“Well yes, I’m a Christian.”
“Why are you a Christian, Dave?”
“Well, I invited Jesus into my life. I invited Jesus to be part of my life. I invited Him into my story and I graciously, benevolently, invited Jesus (The Creator and Maker of all things) to come and join my narrative and my story.”
“Well Dave, do you obey him?”
“Well, I mean, yeah, I try to… but mostly I just ask him to bless my story.”
“Have you listened to yourself pray?”
See, I started listening to myself pray and it was very shocking to me… “Jesus, would you make this go well? Jesus, would you bless this?” Here’s what I realized most of my life has been like. Let me draw it out for you.
Hopefully this will help you. See, I invited Jesus to be part of my story. Early on I started asking Him to help me out with stuff because I needed a lot of help. I barely graduated high school so that’s when I started asking Jesus for help.
“Number one: Help me out with high school, Jesus. I would just like to graduate. Not a lot of people in my family did, so I would like to walk the stage and graduate. So if you would help me [with that] and if you would help me get some good grades so I could get into college… That would be great. And Jesus, if you could bless college for me? I’m not asking for Phi Beta Kappa brilliance but if you could just bless college and make college good for me… And then Jesus, once I get done with college, will you bless me with a J-O-B? Because I need a job.”
“Dave why do you need a job?”
“Well to make some M-O-N-E-Y right? And Jesus, would you bless my job and maybe even turn it into a career, so I can get [more] money?”
“Well Dave, why do you want money?”
“Well simple, so I can get a house! Jesus, will you bless that house? Will you bless me with a house?”
“Well Dave, why do you want a house and a job and money?”
“So I can get a spouse, of course! Because I’ve got to have a house before I get a spouse… But don’t worry, my house will be Christian. I’ll put up Christian signs. Jesus, if you bless it, I’ll bless you back! And Jesus, I would never marry a non-believer. You said ‘don’t be unequally yoked’ so I would never [marry an unbeliever]. I don’t even like eggs, so I wouldn’t do that.”
(It’s a farming [joke]… anyway…)
“And then Jesus, if you would bless me with kids… [But] not too many! Like, don’t over bless [with] that, right? I just want 2… Maybe 1.5 (American Standard). Not a whole bunch because they’re uncomfortable!! [And] we’ll raise Christian kids… We’re not going to do the whole ‘non-Christian kid’ thing. So Jesus, would you come and bless that?”
“Well Dave, why do you want high school, college, job, career, house, spouse, [and] kids?”
“Well silly… So I can get all done with that; And then Jesus, would you bless me with a great retirement? See Jesus, I’m just asking you….”
Notice none of these are bad things are they? None of them, in and of themselves [are bad things]. It’s [like the situation with] my daughter. She was playing with Shopkins. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not like she’s out cooking meth or robbing a bank. She’s two! She’s playing with Shopkins. It’s not like, “Oh my goodness!! She’s playing…” It’s not that we ask Jesus to bless bad things. It’s not like, “Jesus, bless me as I go rob a bank.” No; High school, (that’s a valid request) college, job, money, house, spouse, kids, retirement…
“Jesus, bless my story. So that I can retire.”
“Well, what are you going to do when you retire, Dave?”
“Well, I’m going to travel around and collects spoons.”
Listen I’ve been over to some of y’alls’ houses. I’m not going to out you. I’m not going to rat you out, but you would think [that] we’ve asked Jesus to bless all of these things for like 40 years so we could travel to California and get a gold spoon.
“Dave, I’ve got a I got a spoon from California. It’s awesome, I shine it, I rub it. And it’s awesome.”
“Where’s that one from?”
“New York. Look it’s got an Empire State Building on it. It’s my spoon collection.”
“So you asked Jesus to bless all of this you can go to Rhode Island and get a little bitty spoon? Like that’s what you want? That’s your goal? That’s what you’re going to live for?”
See how foolish our stories are? and Jesus came to me and said,
“Okay, you want me to bless High School, bless college, bless your job, bless your house, bless your spouse, bless your kids, bless your retirement day… Dave, that’s funny. It’s really cute that you have asked me to come join in your story and your mission about spoons… But your story, your narrative – just isn’t big enough for me. And Dave, I’ve got a list for you as well. It goes something like this: (And I sure hope it’s pleasing to you, Dave, and I sure hope it’s okay for you…) But I just need you to sign down here at the bottom.”
And I said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute… There’s nothing on that list! You’re asking me to do things and you haven’t told me what to do! Dad always told me, “Don’t sign things before you read them” and there’s nothing there to read. I’m not sure I can sign that. Jesus, what if you put ‘poverty’ on there? What if you put ‘didn’t graduate high school’? What if that’s on there?
Jesus says, “Is that your dropout point? Is that your ‘done with Jesus point’? Poverty – That’s good to know, because that’s what I’m trying to dig out of you.”
“Well Jesus, No, I’m not saying that. I’m not saying that. But what if you put on here ‘suffering’? What if you put on here ‘homelessness’? What if you put on here ‘being hated and reviled’?”
and Jesus says, “Man, [that] sounds like you’re describing my story. Is that such a bad story, Dave?”
See, He calls me – not to include Him in my story… He’s not all that interested in being included in my story because as this story plays out, in the end, it’s not a whole bunch of people saying, “Look at all my collections of spoons! What a wonderful life I lived.” It’s “Worthy is the Lamb of God who was slain and purchased for himself men from every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation.” Jesus invites us to be part of His story. You see, it’s actually very confusing to Jesus – It’s very confusing when I come to him and I call him ‘Lord, Lord…’
(ref. Luke 6:46). He said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
“You see, you claim to know me but by your deeds you deny me. You claim to love me and want to join in this great mission, this great commission, of seeking and saving that which was lost but your whole life is spent chasing after spoons. And that’s odd to me. You call me ‘Lord’ but don’t do the things that I say.” This is the shift in modern Christianity. “Come to Jesus and He’ll bless your story” and it doesn’t talk about that anywhere in the Bible. If you submit your life to Jesus Christ He’ll write an epic narrative that is beyond what you could ever imagine. Since I began surrendering and submitting my life to Jesus, I can’t believe the wonderful story and narrative He’s writing – but it’ll cost you more than you think. It’ll include more pain, more suffering, more loss, more sleepless nights, more heart-filled-with-grief, but it will all be worth it. You see, Jesus is worth everything that you are and everything that I am and everything that we have. So if we’re going to understand the story that Jesus is writing, what he’s calling us to, we’ve got to look at verse 19. That’s what I’m so excited for. To walk with you through Verse 19 and 20. How many of you enjoy grammar?
Grammar. Verbs. Nouns. I’m going to walk you through verse 19 and 20. I’m going to lose some of you but I’m going to tell you that I’m going to lose you before I lose you. So that when I lose you, your mind is going to say, “He told me he was going to lose us…” and [then] I’ll pull you right back in. I’m just going to look at one main verb and three helping verbs. The one main verb answers the question of what we are ‘to be about’. That’s the main verb. What we’re going to be doing. [Then I’m going to show you] three helping verbs [that tell us] how we’re going to do that – how the Spirit of God in us is going to empower us for His mission. Let’s jump in before I lose you.
Here’s your main verb. Get ready for it. Listen, great, super-duper, wonderful Greek makes for a horrible English. And so, when we translate out of the Greek we have to shuffle things around. It’s totally a shuffle game just to make it read well in English. I’ll show you. When you read verse 19 it says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all...” We get lost in that English and we’re like, “What’s the main verb?” We think the main verb that outlines and directs everything else in verse 19 is ‘go therefore’ but it’s not. The main verb here is ‘make disciples’.
This is where the church in America, in the modern context and modern culture, just kind of taps out. We get confused. Most of the time when we talk about making disciples [people think],
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about. We don’t do that anymore. It’s just weird. And Dave, one time I decided, “Okay, I’m going to be a disciple maker.” So I got on Amazon and I [typed into the search bar] “how to make a disciple book.” And there’s over 20,000 [books on that topic]. Did you know that?”
It is overwhelming (the number of means, manners, methods and modes that people have come up with with how to disciple). There is ‘discipleship for thinkers’, ‘discipleship for feelers’, ‘discipleship for doers’… There’s ‘wild immersive discipleship’. There’s ‘relational discipleship’. I could go on, and on, and on with the different methods, modes, manners, and means of discipleship. So typically when we’re overwhelmed we just tap out and say, “Well, I don’t know…” That’s why in America we just pay a pastor to make disciples and critique him on how he’s doing. Because that makes it a lot better doesn’t it? It’s like, “Well, I’ve outsourced my discipleship.” You think I’m kidding?
“Do you disciple?”
“Absolutely. I give 30 bucks. I give 30 bucks a week. I’m discipling like crazy! I expect a pastor to do it and I measure him. I measure how he’s doing. “How busy is he?” If he’s not worn out, I’m all over his case. So I am disciple making.”
And we wonder why like 1,500 pastors a month burn out… I’m not here to run a circus where you can watch me disciple and measure that. I’m here to equip the body for the work of service – for the work of ministry. If you became a Christian just to invite Jesus to bless your mission and your story, you’ve totally missed it. Here’s the main verb. We make disciples. You say, “I don’t know how, Dave. I don’t understand what that means.” This is so simple that Jesus didn’t even expand on it. Here’s the simple truth. Every single one of you – Every single person alive, every single human being – is a disciple. We follow something or someone. Everybody does. From the clothes that we wear to the music we listen to. From the cars that we drive to where we live. We follow those people [or things] that we believe will give us the most hope and happiness. You don’t believe me? Go watch commercials. Advertisers have this nailed down. You know what advertisers are trying to find? Disciples. “Come follow us. Spend your money.” This is why every commercial is filled with happy, happy, happy people. I don’t get to watch too many commercials but when I do, I just start laughing. My wife will be like, “What are you laughing about?”
“Did you just hear that commercial? These people are dying of heart disease, heart failure, liver failure… They said, “Take this pill and it will be better!” and they’re like, “Yay!!!” But the side effects are death, death, death by disease, death by decay, slow death, slower death, bleeding out, death, or death. or just plain death… And they’re all happy. “Yay!” They take the pills like, “Oh it’s all better!”
You see, what this world is trying to get is disciples. This is the most amazing thing – read back through your Bible. This is why we get together to express joy. In Christ there is life abundant. Abundant joy. On this point… God has just tossed us a softball and said, “Knock that junk out of the park, yo”. Because we are going to be a joy-filled people. I wish you guys could be up here with me, just for a minute. It’s like, “Is he still talking about grammar?” No…
Total side note: If I haven’t told you before – It is amazing to know Jesus Christ. He met me in my addictions and my alcoholism, in rehab. He called my name. Instead of calling me disgusting, horrible, rejected, condemned and judged; He called me His child. He took all of my sin, all of my guilt, all of my shame, and gave me all of His righteousness. He filled me with His Holy Spirit and said, “Come follow me. Let’s walk together. I will give you grace upon grace daily.” He calls me adopted, accepted. He says I have access. He says He will never, ever, ever leave me. He’s given me security into all eternity. There is never any fear of condemnation. He says, “Don’t worry about anything. Don’t be anxious about anything. Rejoice always.” So, it’s really good to know Jesus Christ. Really good – amazingly good. And I wish you all knew it. But I’m going to keep preaching Jesus until you do get it. So we’re going to be a joyful people in a world of anxiety, panic, stress, fear and worry. We’re going to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. And we’re going to say, “Come follow Jesus with us. He’s really good.”
What the church didn’t know in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s is the message of the gospel is not, “Hey world, quit smoking, quit drinking, quit having sex and come be grumpy, grouchy and judgmental like us… I keep telling them! Quit drinking, quit smoking, quit having sex and come be grumpy and grouchy like us – Why are they leaving?” [Because] that’s not the good news. It’s just not. Listen, in my alcoholism and my addiction and when I smoked all kinds of stuff and you came and said,
“Dave, quit smoking, quit drinking, quit doing all kinds of sex and bad things”
I should have been like, “That sounds lame. You can go be grumpy grouchy and lame all by yourself. I don’t need your grumpy grouchy lameness.”
[Because] the message is actually “Hey, Jesus Christ changes everything. Would you like to come follow him?”
“No I don’t like that. I’d rather be an alcoholic or an addict.”
“Okay, let me know how that turns out for you. Because the bottom will fall out on that. I’m not going to give up on you. I’m not going to stop loving you. I’m not going to stop serving you because when the bottom falls out, I want to invite you to come follow Jesus Christ. Because this world is empty. And Jesus Christ gives meaning.”
So – main verb – Make disciples. “Well Dave, how are we going to do that? Are you going to explain how to do that?” Absolutely. Here comes your three helping verbs… (watch how awesome this is. I’m just going to give you the grammar of the text.) Main verb: Make disciples. Clear enough. That’s our mission. We don’t get to come up with our own mission statement. Jesus already did that. We go and we love people. People matter. People are eternal. So we go invite them to follow Jesus. How? Here comes your three helping verbs: Go baptize – Your first helping verb. How easy is this? “Well Dave, what do we do to make disciples?” You see it there. Right there. You guys can’t see that it’s just ‘Go’. [You ask me,] “Well, where? How long? How fast? How often? Dave, there’s a lot of questions here about [the word] ‘Go’. I’m not sure I get. I’m not sure I get it. What did He mean by ‘go’?”
It’s actually more complex than that. You know what we have here is a rare breed of word. This is a nominative plural masculine aorist passive deponent participle.
What? See, I told you I going to mess with your brains grammatically. Now, that’s true. What you’ve got here – “Go therefore” is actually one word. It’s a nominative masculine plural so it’s ‘everyone’. But it is [also] an aorist passive deponent. So it’s like a broken messed up participle. We don’t know what to do with it. It’s amazing how hard it is to translate the word ‘go’. What do we do with go? In some of your bibles (look at your study Bibles – it has a study mark by it) it means ‘going therefore’. In some of them it has a study mark [that says] ‘having gone therefore’ or ‘having already left and gone’. So we don’t know what to do with the word ‘go’.
Listen, we can mock the Clintons all we want like, “That depends what the meaning of is, is.” But we don’t know what to do with the word ‘go’! The most amazing thing about this nominative plural masculine aorist deponent participle in the passive is you can drag it over from the from the Greek and translate it into English, “Go” or Spanish “Ir” or Hebrew… I’ll go through 20 different ways to to translate this junk. You can translate it into Aramaic, into Eucharitic, into Syriac, into the Hutu language… Every way you translate it, into every or any language, guess what it means? Go! It’s a synonym for ‘Don’t stay’. It’s Jesus saying, “Break the huddle!” And you say, “But I don’t know where and I don’t know how long and remember, I’ve outsourced my faith so I’ve paid others to go overseas… and we’ll measure how [missionaries] are doing…” That’s not what Jesus [meant]. It’s a plural. It’s for me, it’s for you. And the idea with this plural masculine nominative aorist passive deponent participle is to go from where there is a knowledge of the Gospel, to where there isn’t.
I’ve got children who do not yet know Jesus Christ, nor the work that Jesus has done for them on the cross. So this morning I was able to obey this command and go. I didn’t have to walk far. I walked out of my room, into their rooms, and loved them and served them. I didn’t even have to get in my clothes to go this morning. I was able to go in my underwear. How wonderful is that? You see, here’s the thing about post-modern America: I can guarantee you are surrounded by people who do not know Jesus. At work, in your communities – I’ve got them all around me. I am surrounded with opportunities. My family goes to IHOP; surrounded with opportunities to love and to go from where there is a gospel knowledge about Jesus Christ, (who loved me, and served me, and lived the life that I couldn’t live, and died in my place for my sin, and was buried, and conquered the enemy, and totally forgave me and justified me, and has sanctified me, and will glorify me) [to a place where there is no knowledge of this truth]. There is opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to invite people come follow Jesus. He’s so good. Come join us. So there’s your first your first helping verb. Going.
You see, some of you see your job as a place to make money. I can guarantee you, it’s so much more than that. There are so many people there who don’t know Jesus and need to see the light of Christ in and through you. I can guarantee you think [that] you bought that house because it was awesome, it’s got a great floor plan, great neighborhood… I can guarantee you [that] Jesus put you there because there’s people around you that don’t know Him and need to know Him. He’s writing such an amazing story but His story begins with submission to His mission and joining Him on the great commission. Not asking Him to bless your mission because your spoons just aren’t that awesome, bro. They’re not. You know how awkward it’s going to be for me to do your memorial service – when I sit down with your family and I say,
“Tell me about your dad’s story, his narrative, his life…”
and your children look at me and tell me, “Dad loved spoons.”
I say, “What?”
“Dad loved spoons. He collected spoons. He had us, but we were a bother. He really loved spoons.”
So I’ve got to get up and talk about your narrative, your story, your life – as one who loves spoons and not people. People matter. Spoons don’t.
“Go therefore and make disciples…”
“So do I go here?”
“Do I go to spring branch?”
“Do I go to San Antonio?”
“Do I go to work?”
“Yes. Everywhere I go, every day, with everything I am and have, I’m going and saying ‘Lord, [it’s] your story’.”
Watch where He goes from here – There’s the first helping verb: ‘go’. …Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There’s your second helping verb. What do we do? We baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This isn’t some kind of code. This isn’t just a formula like,
“Okay, we get people in a tank and say ‘we baptize you in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit.’ Well, we did it right. That’s good. We used the right formula.”
This isn’t a point of debate where we get together [and say], “[Do] we dunk them deep? or a little bit? or (can I say it?) Sprinkle them…?”
“No, we dunk them deep. I looked up the word Baptizo in the Greek. It means ‘take them deep’. So let’s go form up and we’ll attack the other denominations that don’t do it.”
It’s not a point of debate. What we’re doing is inviting people into a community that reflects the Trinity – this oneness, this harmony. We express that through the ordinance of baptism, where we’ve been crucified with Christ, we’ve been buried with Christ, we’ve been raised to newness of life, and we now function in submission to His mission and join Him on the great commission together. It’s a way of inviting people to live a life of submission and join the great commission in unity together because we realize there’s people who are lost and dying and don’t know Jesus Christ. So we’re going to go. We’re going to baptize. Verse 20: It’s very simple – “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We get together and we make disciples by going and saying, “Lord, where do you want to use me today? I want to be used for your glory as part of your story.” When we begin to invite people into the community to redeem [them]. we say “Come! Come follow Jesus Christ.” When they come in, we teach them about who God is, who man is, what sin is, what the gospel is, and how to grow in Christ Jesus. Let me end with this: Have you seen Christianity? Have you seen your Christianity as inviting Jesus to bless your story?
“Jesus, will you come bless my mission? Jesus, will you come and bless the things that I want to do?”
You see, Jesus doesn’t exist to bless your story, to bless your mission, to bless your narrative or to bless what you want. He’s calling to us to come function in submission to His mission, to join the great commission because there are so many people out there that don’t know Jesus Christ. The church is called to carry the Gospel to the nations. We start here by reaching our neighbors, by reaching those he puts around us at work each day. We function each day in submission to his mission saying “Jesus Christ – The story is yours.” And we look forward to that day when, all together, we worship him and say, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Your story is the greatest story. My story was nothing. It’s all about spoons” Submit your spoons to him. Follow him. Function in submission.
Father God, thank you for this morning. Thank you for the time with this, your body, and I pray that those here (Father, I pray for my own self) those areas, those places where I’ve been seeking to write my own story and function according to my own mission… I just repent this morning. I say Lord, I’m sorry. Father, I long for you to carry out your mission. Join you on that great commission to see more and more people saved. So I pray you’d set us free from slavery to self, slavery to these little stories. That we might offer up these stories to you for your glory in Jesus name. Amen.
Matthew 28:16-20 NASB
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Hebrews 13:17 NASB
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
Romans 12:2 NASB
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Psalm 24:1 NASB
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. The world, and those who dwell in it.
Romans 10:9 NASB
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Philippians 2:10 NASB
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Luke 6:46 NASB
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
- Authority & Submission – Matthew 28:16-20
- The Church – Hebrews 13:17
- Who does the Bible say has all authority? How do we show this and practice this as a church? What does submitting to Jesus look like in your life?
- Where do you struggle the most with submission? Why do you think you struggle?
- Why does God tell us to submit in so many areas? Ephesians 5, 6; 1 Peter 3, 5; Romans 13
- Jesus had all authority and also was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. What do we learn about authority and submission from the life of Jesus?