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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2009-08-09 "The Great Commission and Discipleship "

A CD copy of this sermon is available.  Specify date & title with your e-mail request, along with delivery information.



          In our region the Trumbull County Prayer Initiative (This is a coalition of more than forty pastors and churches) brought in a special project that is called “The 99.” It is one of the most creative approaches to contemporary evangelism I’ve ever seen. It uses a huge tent and actual actors and enactors to dramatize the leading causes of the premature deaths of up to 99 adolescents and young adults who are dying every day in this country. More than 18,000 people attended the event over a 12 day period, and more than 5,000 precious young people signed decision cards and prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer” to receive Christ into their lives.

          Billy Graham who specialized in “Crusade Evangelism” has lamented at the end of his life about what a small percentage of those who make initial commitments to Christ actually end up as life-long followers of Jesus. We are presented with the same challenge.

          While I GREATLY REJOICE in the number of people making the decision to follow Christ, this is only the FIRST STEP in the Christian life. The real challenge for the churches of TCPI is to bring the people into the spiritual life of healthy churches. Helping people into that transition is called “Discipleship” and calls for Christian people in the churches to get involved in healthy mentoring relationships.

          This sermon is dedicated to that process.


Pastor Phil  <><<


August 9, 2009

 Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland


Matthew 28:18, 19, 20

 “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.



          A. Jesus’ last words to His disciples before His Ascension

            B. His Commission is His last orders to those who follow Him

                        1. The granting authority to undertake certain functions

                        2. He is authorizing His Disciples to share their faith

            C. Evangelicals see His commission is to lead others to Christ

            D. Evangelize means sharing Good News with the world

                        1. Doesn’t mean going to church regularly

                        2. Doesn’t mean repetitively listening to the Gospel message

                        3. Doesn’t mean paying a missionary/preacher to do it for you

                        4. Doesn’t mean memorizing and reciting texts to “sinners”

            E. The Great Commission is to go to “All nations.”

                        1. All nations are now arriving on our shores

                        2. All nations are dynamically leading our lost to Christ

            F. What the Great Commission is NOT:

                        1. Giving the “Plan of Salvation” to the same bored listeners

                        2. Inviting people to your church each Sunday

                        3. Getting people to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” with you

                        4. Holding endless evangelistic meetings



      “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”

          A. “G O” – This may involve travel  - James 2:26

                 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

                        1. It could be to an overseas mission project

                        2. It could be just a walk to your neighbor next door

            B. “MAKE DISCIPLES” – Ma-thay-tayse = “Learner”

                        1. Not through Programs

                            a. Before people will learn from Jesus, they learn from you     

                            b. People learn through Relationship

                            c. “Like Begats Like”

                            d. People will learn from your example

                        2. It is relationship that wins people to Christ

                            a. Jesus caused passion in His disciples – Luke 24:32

                                “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on  the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

                            b. Augustine: “One loving heart sets another on fire!”   

                        3. Cultivate a life-long passion to learn from Jesus

                        4. Develop a desire for relationship with Jesus in others

                            a. Have a relationship with Him yourself

                            b. Cannot lead others on paths you have not first traveled

                            c. Spend time with Him

                            d. Listen to Him through His Word and your own heart

                            e. Enjoy spending time with Him, taking Him where you go

            C. B A P T I Z E  T H E M – “Bap-tid-zo” = “Immerse”

                        1. Immerse / Overwhelm them with Jesus – Acts 2:38

                           “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;

                              and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

                             a. Baptidzo means, "to dip, to immerse, to wash oneself."

                             b. Greek Sailors referred to a sunken ship as “baptidzo”

                             c. Greek Sponge Divers called pre-harvested sponges

                        2. Baptism is a Drama in which we outwardly enact Jesus' Death, Burial and Resurrection - Romans 6:4,5

                           “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,

                             that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the

                             Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we

                             have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly

                             we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,”

                        3. Baptism is an Outward Witness of an Inward Event

                        4. Baptism Identifies you with the Body of Christ

            D. T E A C H   T H E M

                        1. Instruction in the Words of Jesus

                        2. Teaching Involves Several Factors:

                            a. Proximity to the Teacher

                            b. Repetition and Memorization

                            c. Accountability and Application

                        3. Teaching involves Life-Long Application

                            a. We are leaky vessels that need continuous filling

                            b. We are forgetful and need reminding

                        4. We have the Promise of His Presence

                           ”lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.