Life was designed to be lived in community.

01/06/13 Fishers of Men!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 Under: Sermon
Text: Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 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. Amen.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (KJV)

Intro: “On Mission by the Sea Sharing Christ Love!

What a great response last week to all those who were willing to except the call to discipleship and forsake all and follow Christ! I have really been encouraged by this and want to continue to pray for all of you who are taking this serious.

In almost every Great War movie there is a scene where the Commander stands on a hill or in front of his men and calls out the orders to charge! In the Bible there is a story told of where Jesus is on a hill in Galilee with all the power and authority of God to tell His disciple to charge…

Interestingly enough in most of these movies there is a great name that has been given for this location or event that goes with this charge: In Matthew chapter 28: 18-20 Jesus instructs His believer’s with a Mandate, the Great Commission. Our third objective for our Mission Statement is: “To be Fishers of Men by following God’s commandment to reach, teach and serve.”

Application: Fishers of men will follow by reaching, teaching and serving.

This authority that is given to Jesus is passed on to His follower’s

1. Authority Given: vs.18

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

I don’t know if Man can really grasp the power that is being referred to here! Authority in this verse means power. The entire Gospel of Matthew stresses the authority of Jesus Christ. There was authority to His teaching. He exercised authority in healing, and even in forgiving sins. He had authority over Satan, and He delegated that authority to His Apostles. At the close of his Gospel, Matthew made it clear that Jesus has ALL authority.

Since Jesus Christ today has all authority, we may obey Him without fear. No matter where He leads us, no matter what circumstances we face, He is in control. By His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies and won for Himself all authority.

Christianity is a missionary faith. The very nature of God demands this, for God is love and God is not willing that any should perish.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

Our Lord’s death on the cross was for the whole world. If we are the children of God and share His nature, then we will want to tell the good news to the lost world.

When we read the Book of Acts, we see that the early church operated on the basis of the Lord’s sovereign authority. They ministered in His name. They depended on His power and guidance. They did not face a lost world on the basis of their own authority, but on the authority of Jesus Christ.

I believe that is where the big challenge is with a large percentage of the Christians! It will be difficult on your own; however you have the authority of Jesus Christ!

This activity that is given to Jesus is passed on to His follower’s

2. Activity Given: vs.19-20

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Greek verb translated go is actually not a command but a present participle (going). The only command in the entire Great Commission is “make disciples” (“teach all nations”). Jesus said, “While you are going, make disciples of all the nations.” No matter where we are, we should be witnesses for Jesus Christ and seek to win others to Him.

The term “disciples” was the most popular name for the early believers. Being a disciple meant more than being a convert or a church member. Apprentice might be an equivalent term. A disciple attached himself to a teacher, identified with him, learned from him, and lived with him. He learned, not simply by listening, but also by doing. Our Lord called twelve disciples and taught them so that they might be able to teach others.

A disciple, then, is one who has believed on Jesus Christ and expressed this faith by being baptized. He remains in the fellowship of the believers that he might be taught the truths of the faith. He is then able to go out and win others and teach them. This was the pattern of the New Testament church: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV)

In many respects, we have departed from this pattern. In most churches, the congregation pays the pastor to preach, win the lost, and build up the saved—while the church members function as cheerleaders (if they are enthusiastic) or spectators. The “converts” are won, baptized, and given the right hand of fellowship, then they join the other spectators. How much faster our churches would grow, and how much stronger and happier our church members would be, if each one were discipling another believer. The only way a local church can “be fruitful and multiply” (instead of growing by “additions”) is with a systematic discipleship program. This is the responsibility of every believer, and not just a small group who have been “called to go.” Jesus took 12 men and changed the world, I would be glad to get and take twelve people in this church to take serious this call and we can change this church!

Jesus had opened the minds of His disciples to understand the Scriptures: “Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” Luke 24:44-45 (NKJV)

They knew what He wanted them to teach to their own converts. It is not enough to win people to the Savior; we must also teach them the Word of God. This is also a part of the Great Commission.

This ability that is given to Jesus is passed on to His follower’s

3. Ability Given: vs. 20

“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus is not only “in the midst” when His people gather together, but He is also present with them as they scatter into the world to witness. Had He remained on earth, Jesus could not have fulfilled this promise. It was when the Spirit came that Jesus could be with His people no matter where they were. There are no conditions for us to meet, or even to believe; for Jesus Christ is with us. Paul discovered this to be true when he was seeking to establish a church in the difficult city of Corinth. Obeying this commission, Paul came to the city, won people to Christ and baptized them and taught them the word. When the going was tough, Paul had a special visit from the Lord: “Be not afraid... for I am with thee”. “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city." Acts 18:9-10

The phrase “the end of the age” indicates that our Lord has a plan; He is the Lord of history. As the churches follow His leading and obey His Word, they fulfill His purposes in the world. It will all come to a climax one day; meanwhile, we must all be faithful.

Conclusion: Are you a Fisher of Men? Jesus gives us the authority, the activity and ability the rest is up to you – do you have it?

“But ye shall receive power!”

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