Jesus instructed his followers in the Great Commission not only to baptize disciples, but to teach them everything he’s commanded (Mt. 28:19-20). Every congregation, it seems, is tempted to honor one part of the Commission at the expense of the rest. Some churches turn their attention inward and build comfortable nests for themselves while multitudes outside pour into hell. Others make evangelism their main focus while ignoring their own lack of spiritual maturity; new converts seldom see Jesus in that setting and usually fall away.
So how can a congregation fulfill the whole Commission? The Apostle John tells us that keeping Jesus’ commandments is evidence of knowing him (1 Jn. 2:3). The answer, then, lies in the second wing of the Great Commission: Jesus is with his disciples even now, and will be forever. Once that reality begins to sink in, we’re on the way.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley