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Galatians 3:14, “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

 

Yes, God would bless all nations through Abraham.

 

Isaiah 53:4-6, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham.

 

The last words of Jesus to his disciples before He ascended into heaven were these, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

Let’s dissect this “Great Commission” step by step and see what we find.  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore...”  The United States was at the edge of a cliff, on the verge of attacking a defiant Iraqi army.  Our nation was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety.  At this time, President Bush assured our nation that if our people went to war, they would be backed by every resource and power of the United States.  The soldiers would not be in there half cocked, half armed, and half backed.  They would be fully backed.  Jesus told us as the Commander-in-Chief of the Universe that we would be backed fully by His authority in Heaven and on earth.  In addition, if you always obey a commanding officer, how much more the commander with unmatched authority.

 

Now Jesus commanded us to do three things: make disciples; baptize; and teach.  In the original language there is one dominant command and two supportive commands.  It is generally thought that the main command is “go,’ but it is not.  What the beginning of verse 19 says is, “as you are going, make disciples of all nations.”  The emphasis being on making disciples.  If a person is not making disciples where they are at, how can they expect to go to a different place and make disciples?  The best foreign missionaries are those who are missionaries wherever they are at now, whether home or abroad.  The main command in the Great Commission then is: as you are going from the cradle to the grave, choose to actively pursue making disciples of all nations.

 

This main thrust is supported by two other commands that give the main command some tracks to run on.  These are baptize and teach.  Let’s first deal with baptize.  In our day in America, if a person tells you they were baptized, it probably will not give you much of a feel of whether or not they have really accepted Jesus.  Being baptized is almost a cultural event of growing up remotely related to a church.  This was not true in many cultures of the past or in

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