THE MISSION OF THE BODY

If there is any one thing that most Christians could agree upon until recently, it is what constitutes the mission of the Body of Christ. Walk up to just about any professing Christian, and ask that question, and the immediate response will probably be a quotation of what is commonly called "The Great Commission". As found in Matthew 28:19-20, the words of Jesus are; "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world".

While this might be the response of Christians, the actuality is far different. Each denomination seems to have a different point of emphasis. Some emphasize "all nations", and spend most of their efforts in hiring missionaries to send to every place else in the world. With this kind of emphasis, they generally tend to ignore that "go ye therefore" is better interpreted as "as YOU go...teaching all KINDS of people". This interpretation tends to put the burden of action on each individual to do something, rather than hire another and send them to do it. Of course, scripture tends to support the second interpretation, because Peter refers to us as each a minister, and a member of a royal PRIESTHOOD.

Some denominations place their emphasis on "observing all things I have commanded...", thereby building a legalistic system of do's and don'ts. These tend to forget that there is liberty in Christ, that He has delivered us from the bondage of the law, and that he who lives by the law shall die by the law.

Consider if you will this interpretation of vss.19 & 20, and the ramifications of obedience to it. "As you (insert your name here) go through your life, I am counting on you to make Christians and disciples among every one you come into contact with. When you do, baptize them in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. After that, take personal responsibility for these people and disciple and teach them of what I have taught you, and that is to Love God with all your heart, strength, and mind, and love one another in the same way. Don't worry about being able to do this, because all the power of God has been given to me, and I will be with you all the time, right up to the very end".

There is no question, regardless of the interpretation, that Jesus made several very clear points. One, that all power has been given to Him. Two, that he personally will be with us, individually. If He then has all power, and He is with us individually, so there is no cause to fear (perfect love {Christ} eliminates fear). Third, that our responsibility is to go (through life or to other places) and DO. Fourth, that the doing will result in the making of disciples. Jesus does not make a differentiation between a believer and a disciple. ALL BELIEVERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DISCIPLES!. Fifth, that believers are to be baptized the way he says. Sixth, we are to disciple (or teach) the individual after conversion, teaching them the doctrine of Christ (love God and love each other).

Whether we look to Matthew 5 through 7 to find this doctrine, or at the ten commandments, or anywhere else, we will find that all that has been said comes back to two simple statements of action. "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart (spirit), ALL your strength (fleshly ability), and ALL your mind (reasoning ability, and LOVE ONE ANOTHER IN THE SAME WAY".

The "Great Commission" as given in Matt.28 is really a summary and practical marching order for an earlier statement of Jesus found in Matt.5:14-166. Remember, if you will, that God told the Israelites (a type of the Church) what they were supposed to be in relation to the rest of the world, that being "a light unto the Gentiles", showing forth the existence, reality, and glory of God FOR THE PURPOSE OF DRAWING THE HEATHEN NIGH UNTO GOD. Now read Matt.5:14--16: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hidden (no secret disciples). Neither do men (or God) light a candle, and then hide it under a basket; but instead put the light on a stick, and raise it high so that it may shine upon all who are around. Let your light shine upon all men, so that they may SEE your good works, and as a result will GLORIFY GOD IN HEAVEN".

Notice that the Great Commission is the same as that originally given to the Israelites, that the words of Jesus in Matt. 28 are no different in practical application from those spoken in Matt.5, and that in all instances the actual orders require DOING SOMETHING, not just talking about it.

I believe that we may safely say, in accordance with scripture, that the mission of the Body of Christ, the True Church, is to live up to the responsibility of the position in which we have been placed IN CHRIST, and that this responsibility is individual in nature, as well as corporate.

  • 1. Live the life of Christ on a daily basis (if we don't walk it, we can't talk it).
  • 2. Never pass up the opportunity to tell someone of Gods love as shown in Jesus Christ (if we're walking it, we CAN talk it).
  • 3. Take EVERY new convert and teach them HOW TO WALK the life of Christ, understanding that this takes time, patience, and love. Teach them from the Word of God, not from the fables and doctrines of men. Our responsibility here is not to teach them how to believe, but HOW TO ABIDE IN CHRIST by reading, studying, praying, and fellowshipping with the saints (and that means ALL of them). The Holy Spirit is MORE than capable of guiding and showing the truth of Gods Word.

Friends, according to what Jesus said concerning a house divided (Matt.12:25) and what Paul spoke in 1Cor.3:3 we can begin to see why the world is in such bad shape. The Church is carnal, worldly, walking in the flesh, and divided against itself. To say that it is otherwise is to lie to oneself, and to God, and call Him a liar. What should cause some fear in us is to read the preceding words of Jesus in Matt.5:13 where He says "you are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its ability to flavor, what will it salt? It is good for nothing, except to be thrown away, and trodden under the foot of men".

If you think that the church is being mocked and laughed at by the world, then it is because the church is without flavor. Our responsibility, our mission, is to LIVE the life of Jesus, to SPEAK the love of God to TEACH others of this life and love, and in this to BRING GLORY TO GOD, not ourselves, our church, or our denomination.

Therein lies the whole responsibility and work associated with being a Christian. "He has showed you, o man, what is good; and what does He require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God". Micah 6:8

Footnote added in July, 2000.

In the first sentence of this chapter, I inserted the words "until recently". Although this book was originally written in 1990, and a later chapter deals in more detail with certain heresies, I feel that I need to insert here a few comments. There are today many who are falling into the satanic deception and corruption of the Word of God being fostered by so called "ministers" involved in the "Toronto Blessing", or the "Brownsville Revival". Claiming to be moving on with God, these false prophets have completely changed the scriptural Great Commission into a "mandate to take the planet, and to establish the Kingdom so that Jesus can come back". I call them false prophets, because what they preach is what people want to hear, and what will line their pockets the quickest. They do not preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they could care less what the Word of God really says. They use it to achieve power and glory for themselves, not for God.

Let it be known, you who call yourselves ministers and prophets, and apostles, and bishops...Jesus does not need you to do anything before He comes again. He will come WHEN the LORD GOD says come. And when He comes, it will be to wreak vengeance upon all those who have profaned Him by their words and deeds, and have caused the gentiles to speak ill of the things of God because of you. Many of you have been corrected and warned before, most more than once. Because of this, and your continued walk upon a corrupt path even in the face of admonition, may all God fearing and bible believing TRUE CHURCH saints turn their backs upon you, and treat you as the heretics you are, while continuing to proclaim loudly the falsity of your statements and actions. REPENT, while there is still time.

Chapter Five - Majoring In Minors