Thursday, May 16, 2013

Go, Make Disciples of All Nations

Matthew 28:16-20 NIV

The Great Commission

16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18Then Jesus came to them and said, 

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This Gospel writer passes over other appearances of Christ, recorded by Luke and John, and hastens to the most solemn; one appointed before His death, and after His resurrection. All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship Him as God. Yet the faith of the sincere may be very weak and wavering. But Christ gave such convincing proofs of His resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts.

He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and His ministers to go forth among all nations. The salvation they were to preach, is a common salvation; whoever will, let him come, and take the benefit; all are welcome to Christ Jesus. Christianity is the religion of a sinner who applies for salvation from deserved wrath and from sin.  Christ applies to the mercy of the Father, through the atonement of the Incarnate Son, and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and gives up Himself to be the Servant of God, as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons but one God, in all His ordinances and commandments.

Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing, or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer's justification. Let us examine ourselves, whether we really possess the inward and spiritual grace of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, by which those who were the children of wrath become the children of God.

Believers shall have the constant presence of their Lord always; all days, every day. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present with His churches and with his brothers. The God of Israel, the Savior, is sometimes a God that hides Himself, but never a God at a distance. Even so, Lord Jesus, be with us and all Your people; turn Your face to shine upon us, that Your Way may be known on earth, Your saving grace among all nations.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

This passage shows that the full and clear knowledge of God, which had been but darkly shadowed out under the Law and the Prophets, is at length fully discovered under the reign of Christ. True, indeed, the ancients would never have ventured to call God their Father, if they had not derived this assurance from Christ their Head; and the Eternal Wisdom of God, Who is the fountain of light and life, was not wholly unknown to them. It was even one of their acknowledged principles, that God displays His power by the Holy Spirit. But at the commencement of the gospel God was far more clearly revealed in Three Persons; for then the Father manifested Himself in the Son, His lively and distinct image, while Christ, illuminating the dark world by the full splendor of His Spirit, let them know about Christ.

There are good reasons why the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are expressly mentioned; for there is no other way in which the efficacy of baptism can be experienced than when we begin with the unmerited mercy of the Father, who reconciles us to Himself by the Only Begotten Son; next, Christ comes forward with the sacrifice of His Death; and at length, the Holy Spirit is likewise added, by Whom He washes and regenerates us, (Titus 3:5,) and, in short, makes us partakers of His benefits.

Thus we perceive that God cannot be truly known, unless our faith distinctly conceive of Three Persons in one Essence; and that the fruit and efficacy of baptism proceed from God the Father adopting us through His Son, and, after having cleansed us from the pollutions of the flesh through the Spirit: creating us anew to righteousness.

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