Watering the Tulips
February 4, 2015
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20
This is the work of the Lord’s churches. There is no other work. Without a doubt, we must constantly be reminded of this. When a church stops doing the above work, she should stop referring to herself as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Simply, the Lord’s churches do the work of the Lord. It is to this purpose that we have been called.
Notice clearly, the first part of this mission is to “make disciples”. The Greek wording here can mean nothing else! We are to be making disciples – that is our duty. If we are not doing the first part of our mission, we certainly cannot expect to do the next two parts. We are to “make disciples” by preaching the Gospel to them in hopes that the Holy Spirit will open their hearts to believe it (Romans 1:16; Acts 16:14). We are to preach this message to “all the nations” indiscriminately. If we are not doing this, we are not functioning properly as one of the Lord’s churches.
When somebody comes to faith in Jesus, we are to baptize that person. They are not baptized in order to get into Heaven. They are baptized because they have borne the fruits of having been saved (Acts 10:44-48). We certainly do not mean to lessen the importance of baptism. Jesus walked from Nazareth in Galilee to John the Baptist at the Jordan to be baptized. This is better than 60 miles! So, baptism certainly must be important. That point should be stressed. Baptism is a prerequisite for church membership (Acts 2:41). It is part of our work, as one of the Lord’s churches.
A church should be a place of learning. Evangelism should occur in the daily lives of the membership. And certainly, the pastor may preach an evangelistic sermon from time to time. Without a doubt, the Gospel must ever be the foundation of everything that we do in church capacity. But, every service cannot be set up merely for evangelism. If they are, we are not “teaching them to observe all things that [Jesus] has commanded.” Churches are to be places of learning. In the assembly, believers should be given clear, Biblical instructions on how they can serve God in their daily lives – “in to learn, out to serve.” If we are not teaching, we are not doing our work. Let it be noted, this “teaching” must be Bible teaching. We cannot get hung up on “pet doctrines”. God’s people need to be taught truths from Genesis to Revelation. It’s all God’s Word and must be taught in context.
Today, churches have often become a stench to the unchurched. Hopefully, some of this is due to our godly lifestyles not our hateful attitudes. Without a doubt, some of it is due to churches getting into things that we have not been commissioned to do. If we are spending our time fulfilling the Great Commission, we will not have time for other things.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!