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Lesson 4: The Great Commission and the Commandments of God

The Great Commission

You are now a disciple, a child of God, a member of God’s family. You have assurance of salvation. God calls you to spread the gospel and teach new believers to obey all of His commandments. Then they can proceed to teach even more people about the good news of salvation and train them also. There is a calling to share the gospel that we should hear each day.

Call from Above – from Heaven:

  • The call for someone to go (Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 28:18-20).

Call from the Inside:

  • We are compelled to tell others (1 Corinthians 9:16-17).

 Call from the Outside:

  • Paul heard the call from a man in Macedonia (Acts 16:9). Many may say nothing with their mouth, but their hearts call for us to share the good news with them.

We should not only lead people to become disciples of Jesus, but also to become successful trainers, training others to make disciples who will make more disciples (2 Timothy 2:2). God’s desire is for disciples to take the good news of the Kingdom outside the walls of the church building and start new groups of disciples in our homes or wherever we choose to gather together. We share the gospel with our family, friends, workmates, everyone we know or meet along the way. In this way, you can rapidly spread the gospel message (Acts 2:46-47).

Commandments of God

We as disciples of Christ need to take the great commission and our responsibility of sharing the gospel very seriously. But we often overlook this one little statement: “teaching them to observe ALL things that I have commanded you;…” (Matthew 28:20; emphasis added). God has given us other commandments and principles to live by. We need to take these just as seriously.

The 10 Commandments of God (Exodus 20:1-17):

These were written by God’s own hand and placed inside the ark of the covenant (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). As we learned in an earlier study, we are in a “New Covenant” with the Lord in which He has promised to put His laws in our hearts (Hebrews 8:7-13). Matthew 22:36-40 tells us Jesus’s answer about the great commandment. How to love God is summarized in the first four of the Ten Commandments. How to love others is in the remaining six. James calls it the “royal law” and “the law of liberty” in James 2:8-12.

  • Do we actually need to obey this “Law of Liberty”? (James1:22-25)
  • Does Jesus say we need to keep the commandments? (John 14:15)

The Forgotten Commandment:

In our day, one of the commandments is often forgotten, even though God told us to remember it (Exodus 20:8), foreseeing what would take place in the future. While the 7th day Sabbath of creation, Saturday (Genesis 2:1-3), is still honored and kept faithfully in some countries like Israel, others have adopted Sunday as the day of rest, calling it “The Lord’s Day”, forsaking the commandment of God. Sunday was another workday in the Roman Empire. On March 7, 321 AD, however, Roman Emperor Constantine issued a civil decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor, stating: “All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable Day of the Sun.” Many Christians today try to justify Sunday worship based on Jesus being resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday) even though no command is given in the Bible to make this change.

  • What did God say about changing the commandments? (Deuteronomy 4:2)
  • What is Jesus the Lord of? (Mark 2:27-28)
  • Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? (Luke 4:16)
  • Did the disciples keep the Sabbath? (Luke 23:56)

Ultimately, our true rest comes from the realization that our works avail us nothing (Titus 3:5-6). Our true rest is in the finished work of Jesus on the cross (John 19:30).