What is so Great About the Great Commission?

September 6, 2019 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Missions Emphasis

Topic: Missions

Home Group Study - Sermon Date: 06 September 2019

Text: Matthew 28v16-20

Opening Discussion: There are many sects, cults and religions that ‘make disciples’ of their followers. Even though they are not following the truth and ask people to do absurd things, people still believe and follow! What are some of the most absurd or strange things you have heard people do in their misplaced faith?


“What is the church’s mission?” In a nutshell:

The church’s mission is to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel to the lost and making Christlike disciples who make Christlike disciples.

There are other ways to say it. J. I. Packer (Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs [Tyndale], p. 194, wrote: “The task of the church is to make the invisible kingdom visible through faithful Christian living and witness-bearing.” Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert (What is the Mission of the Church? [Crossway], pp. 62, 241) argue that the mission of the church is the Great Commission. They elaborate, “The mission of the church is to go into the world and make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and gathering these disciples into churches, that they might worship and obey Jesus Christ now and in eternity to the glory of God the Father.”

New Life Church’s’ mission statement is briefer: “We want to glorify Christ by making and developing disciples of Jesus Christ.”But the process isn’t complete until the disciples we produce are making other disciples. As repentant sinners become disciples, they make other disciples. In other words, disciple making is a process of multiplication, where disciples make disciples who make more disciples. Each of us is a product of that process.

Paul put it this way to his disciple Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:2: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” There are four generations of disciples in that verse: Paul, Timothy, the faithful men whom Timothy taught, and those whom these faithful men would teach. So if you came to faith, but you aren’t making other disciples, you are short-circuiting the process. We are not functioning as true disciples unless we are seeking to make other disciples who will still make other disciples. This mission is possible because Jesus has risen from the grave and ALL authority has been given to Jesus in heaven and earth and because Jesus is with us ALLWAYS.  

Investigation & Interpretation:

  • Read: Matthew 28:16-20
  1. What do we see the disciples doing in verse 16? Why were they doing this? (See 28v10)
  2. In verse 17 we see the disciples worshipping but also doubting? Was this a weakness in their faith? Can we worship and still doubt?
  3. What does Jesus mean when He says ‘ALL authority’ in verse 18? What does this mean for us as His disciples?
  4. In verse 20, Jesus calls us to action, based on the fact that He has all authority. What has He commanded us to do? (Underline the verbs in verse 20)
  5. Where do we as believers get the power, confidence and strength from to do what Jesus has asked us to do? v.20

Application - How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

Jesus has said that He has all authority in heaven and on earth. This doesn’t mean some authority over some areas, but ALL authority over everything in heaven and on earth. But does this truth effect our daily actions as we go about our lives? Why do you think at times this doesn’t give us the confidence and joy it should?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

At times we are fearful of the command to “go and make disciples”. Perhaps this is an issue of not seeing Christ for who He is…and we doubt. Perhaps it’s an issue of incorrect worship, submission and obedience to the commands of our King? What do you see as your greatest struggle in obeying this command?

  • Is there a Behavior to be changed?

The Westminster Catechism says that our purpose as believers is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Let’s remember the context of Matt 28 is the resurrection of Jesus. True service flows out of an attitude of worship. When God is not truly worshiped, he cannot be truly served, no matter how talented or gifted his disciples may be. How should this truth effect out behavior? How can you be more intentional about making disciples?


There was a story written about a British bus company that received complaints that their drivers were speeding past lines of up to thirty people waiting for the bus. The company defended its drivers, stating, “It is impossible for the drivers to keep their timetable if they have to stop for passengers.” The company also commented, “Get rid of the people and the system runs fine.”

We could say the same thing about the church! But let’s not lose sight of our purpose as a church: “to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel and making Christ-like disciples who make Christ-like disciples.” To focus on anything else is to get off course. The reason we exist is to bring glory to God. We glorify God by making and developing disciples.


Prayer Points:  

  1. Pray we would make ourselves available to be used by the Lord.
  2. Pray we will faithfully, even in our times of doubt, worship the Lord for who He truly is.
  3. Pray we will be submissive and obedient to this command to make disciples of our Lord.
  4. Praise the Lord for the promise that He is always with us, giving us the supernatural power to do what He has called us to do!

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