Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions The Goal of the Great Commission Is Disciples

The Goal of the Great Commission Is Disciples

b. Bible knowledge

The other participle in the Great Commission is “teaching.”

Some people love teaching and learning. Indeed, they are vitally important. But these are not the goal. The goal is devoted followers of Jesus who don’t just know biblical information but practice it.

Nikita Khrushchev, former Premier of the Soviet Republic, was diligently taught the Bible as a child. He had memorized large portions of the Bible. It is possible he even memorized the entire four Gospels.

Yet he was an avowed atheist and gave “unyielding support to political bloodshed.” He met his arrest quotas and personally signed death sentences for many Russians, some of whom had been his personal friends. Under his leadership many churches were closed. He was a greater enemy of Christ than even Stalin.

Have you known people who know the Bible well, but act contrary to it? Have you been one of them?

We must teach the Bible, but more importantly we must live out the Bible and help other disciples to do the same!

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22 NLT)

03. Biblical disciples:

So what are real disciples? A great article by Hans Kvalbein outlines the Great Commission and then gives 13 theses on discipleship.

Here is his outline of the Great Commission:

a.  A declaration of power: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

b. The commission goal: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

c. The commission means: “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.

d. A Promise: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Here are four of Kvalbein’s 13 theses as summarized by John Starke in an article titled “Give Up Your Weak Definition of ‘Disciple’”:

• The first word for Christians was not “Christians” but “disciples.” Newcomers to the faith saw themselves in relationship to the risen Lord Jesus in some way similar to the relationship of the first disciples to the earthly rabbi Jesus.

• A disciple learns by hearing his Master and doing like his Master. This is explicitly commanded by Jesus in John 13: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

• Life as a disciple is “death and resurrection” with Christ, inaugurated in Christian baptism. Baptism is initiation into discipleship, giving admittance to the “school” of Jesus and starting a new life in obedience to him and his commands.

• To be a disciple is to be called to make new disciples. Throughout the New Testament, the term “disciple” is a dynamic concept. It implies multiplication. All nations have been invited to this mission. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

Questions (please leave your thoughts below): What shows that you are a true disciple of Jesus? How are you helping others become true disciples?