What Is The Great Commission: Understanding Christian Mission and Evangelism

The Great Commission is a mandate that lies at the heart of Christian faith and practice, encapsulating Jesus Christ's call for discipleship and evangelism.

The Essence of the Great Commission

The Great Commission is a mandate that lies at the heart of Christian faith and practice, encapsulating Jesus Christ’s call for discipleship and evangelism.

Biblical Foundations

The Great Commission originates from key passages in the New Testament, where Jesus Christ issues a transformative directive to His followers.

After His resurrection and before ascending to heaven, Jesus approached His disciples in Galilee, empowering them with a profound mandate that would shape the future of Christianity.

Recorded in Matthew 28:16-20, these verses express Christ’s authority over heaven and earth and His instruction to go forth, spreading His teachings to every corner of the world.

The Commission also finds mention in other Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.

In Mark 16:15-18, Jesus underscores the importance of belief and baptism, while Luke 24:44-49 highlights the promise of receiving “power from on high.” Furthermore, Acts 1:8 foretells the apostles becoming witnesses to the ends of the earth, aligning with the Great Commission’s global mission.

The Call to Discipleship

Central to the Great Commission is the call to “make disciples of all nations,” a task that involves both baptizing them and teaching them to observe all commandments.

This mission extends beyond mere conversion; it requires guiding new believers in the path of discipleship, fostering a deep, lasting adherence to the principles laid down by Christ.

The Commission not only envisions a geographical spread across all nations but also a depth of teaching that transforms individual lives and communities.

The Great Commission enjoins the disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, signifying the induction of believers into the communion of the Christian faith.

It implies a trinitarian model of relationship and belonging that remains a cornerstone of Christian theology.

Through the centuries, the command to “go and make disciples” has fueled countless missions, leading to the establishment of the church across various cultures and continents.

This enduring charge continues to inspire contemporary evangelism, making the Great Commission a seminal aspect of Christian ministry and identity.

Practical Implications and Historical Impact

A group of people from various backgrounds listening intently as a figure speaks with authority, surrounded by symbols of different cultures and historical landmarks

The Great Commission has guided the purpose and mission for individuals and churches while shaping the course of Christianity.

Its influence extends from personal faith practices to global evangelistic outreach and reflects a deep historical impact on many cultures and societies.

Personal and Church Mission

The Great Commission represents a direct command from Christ to his followers to share the Gospel, rooted in the responsibility to obey and herald the message of Christ’s death and resurrection.

The charge to “teach all nations” has informed personal missions for believers, urging a transformation in how they live to reflect their faith.

Within the church, it’s seen not only as a duty but a deep-seated purpose that impacts church programs and initiatives aimed at sharing their faith and forgiveness of sins through Christ.

Global and Cultural Outreach

Historically, the command in the Great Commission has led to the spread of Christianity to far corners of the world, transcending cultures and nations.

Figures like Hudson Taylor were propelled by this mandate to establish significant missions in places like China.

Additionally, the translation of the Bible into various languages, such as with the King James Bible, facilitated the expansion of Christian teaching and ideals to different ethnic groups and cultures.

The Great Commission continues to direct global evangelistic efforts, reflecting a legacy of cross-cultural missions that uphold the vision of universal reach and inclusivity of the Gospel.

Influences on Christianity

Throughout the centuries, the Great Commission has been pivotal in forming foundational Christian doctrines and actions.

The initial labor of the apostles, such as their ministry to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and their turn towards the Gentiles, illustrates this profound influence.

Furthermore, the integrative approach of the Gospel with elements from the Law of Moses, the Psalms, and the prophecies clearly aims to fulfill the promise of Christ to bring peace and salvation. Historical figures, such as Justinian von Welz, adopted this mission as their life’s work, exemplifying the enduring power and purpose the Great Commission imparts to Christian believers.