Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 3
Memory Verse: “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.” (Matthew 28:20)
Introduction: In this lesson we place emphasis on what might be called the rest, or remainder, for the Great Commission. Who could count the worthwhile volumes that have been written about the first part of those delegated responsibilities to the Church? Many sermons are preached to congregations telling them to go forth to convert and baptize as Christ commanded. And yet neither can we ignore the rest of that command. We must accept our obligation to teach these “born-again” and baptized believers all of the things that Christ commanded.
How true it is that it costs us something to know the truth of the Scriptures! Truly, it is pitiful that multitudes of people in the major denominations know so very little truth. However, those who are aware of truth, but not particularly interested in sacrificing to disseminate it, are also to be pitied.
We, therefore, cannot shy away from our responsibilities to do as Paul did in teaching the entire commission of Christ. Notice his statement to the elders of Ephesus: “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). We all would benefit by adopting this same attitude. It is not enough for us to teach only the things that the orthodoxy of our times approves; but we are to teach all that Christ taught, practiced, and predicted. We are obligated to declare the whole counsel of God.
In teaching the “whole counsel of God” and the full Gospel we are faced with the real task of preaching and teaching the whole, comprehensive Gospel. We must not allow ourselves to be side-tracked into unprofitable specialization. We are not a “cult” or a “fringe society” with a pet doctrine or system of religion. We help compose the “called out” Church, commissioned to teach every command and precept given by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Why should the needs of those around us prompt us to relate the things that God has revealed to us through His word? Acts 17:16-17.
- How much of God’s will is important? Deuteronomy 8:1-3; Matthew 4:4; 7:21.
- What is our source of authority to teach and practice according to the Scriptures? 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Matthew 28:19-20.
- How did the organized Pharisaic religion of Christ’s time differ with Christ and true religion-Christianity? Matthew 23:1-4, 23.
- What was the origin of most opposition to Christ’s teaching? Contrast Matthew 16:21; 26:3-4 with Matthew 21:9 and Mark 12:37.
- Should we be persecuted by others for our Scriptural peculiarities? What should our reaction be? Matthew 5:12; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:59-60.
- What is our obligation under the Great Commission? Matthew 28:19-20. What is required to fulfill it? Doesn’t it include some provision for development and activity beyond conversion?
- As we seek to obey all of the Gospel delivered to us, it is well that we guard against a breakdown between theory and practice. What was the Apostle James’ instruction that should be helpful to us in this relation? James 1:22-25.
- How do we obey all of the Gospel that we have received? Galatians 2:20. Is it a matter of exercising our own power that accomplishes this victory?
- Are you known to your acquaintances only by your peculiar doctrines, or do they know that it is your intention to practice the entire Gospel of Christ? Discuss.