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The Mission of the Church (Part 2)

May 21, 2023 Preacher: Chris LaBelle Series: Various Messages

Topic: Gospel Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

Sermon Text:

Main Point: In God’s Story, we all play a role.    


Transition: Since we saw that Christ is the foundation last week, we see first here that Jesus has all authority in the grand story of the Bible.



  • Jesus and Biblical Theology (v.18)



Explanation: Read v.18 What is biblical theology

  • Much of what is covered in this first part is found in the book Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide For Ministry.
  • The author, Michael Lawrence, writes, “biblical theology is about reading the Bible, not as if it’s sixty-six separate books, but a single book with a single plot—God’s glory displayed through Jesus Christ. Biblical theology is therefore about discovering the unity of the Bible in the midst of its diversity. It’s about understanding what we might call the Bible’s metanarrative.
    • Biblical theology is viewing the entire bible as a narrative, in which God creates the world, the problem of sin enters the world through the disobedience of His authority by man through the deception of a serpent, and God through the history of redemption, completes His work through His Son to redeem mankind back to right relationship to Him.



  • 7 Covenants *Write these Scripture references down, not the entire passages.


    • Covenant of Creation (Gen.2:15-17), 
    • Covenant of Redemption (Gen. 3:15), 
    • Noahic Covenant (Gen. 9:16), 
    • Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 17:7-8; 19), 
    • Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 20), 
    • Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7),
    • New Covenant (Jer. 31:27-34; Matt. 26:27-30).


  • In Jesus’ established authority after His resurrection, we see the scope of the bible’s metanarrative in biblical theology.
    • Jesus has all authority in Heaven and on Earth. The Scriptures from the book of Genesis to Revelation, point us to Christ. For by Christ, all things were created, both in heaven and on earth. All things have been created through Him, for Him, He is before all things, and all things hold together in Him (Col. 1:16-17). Jesus is the promised “seed” from the woman in Genesis 3:15. Arguably the first sacrifice in Gen. 3:21. We see God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham, promising through him a nation and land in Gen.17:7-8;19. We see the establishment of Law through Moses, pointing to the standard of the holiness of God and separating them as a nation for the purpose of the “seed” to enter our world. God relating once again with His people in the Tabernacle and Temple. Where the blood of bulls and goats would be sacrificed to cover sins temporarily. Where only the high priest was able to enter. There had to be a blood sacrifice for him to enter the Holy of Holies. The establishment of King with David, where Jesus would rightfully fulfill that role as King over His people (2 Samuel 7). Jesus offered His blood as our High Priest in the Temple in heaven, a copy of the earthly Temple, making it a once and for all sacrifice for all people who would believe (Heb. 9:23-28). Now, when people are born again, their bodies are considered temples, filled with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 12:1). Now, Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the day of judgment, in which He will return to judge the sins of mankind and establish a new heaven and new earth. Romans 1:18-32 tells us of the continuing progression of man’s sin, that Jesus is currently storing up His wrath for in judgment (Rom. 2:5). Now, the authority of Christ stands on His Church, where those who are born-again will make disciples, who will make more disciples, who will make more disciples. All accomplished by the helper, the Holy Spirit of truth (John 15:26). 


Transition: Knowing that Jesus has been given all authority, He tells us to go and make disciples.



  • Go, Make Disciples: Share the Gospel (v.19) 



Explanation: Read v.19

    • If we are thinking through the bible as one big story, the story, now we are called to share the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • Making disciples is no longer limited to the reach of the Israelites. His plan is now universal in application.


  • The word ἔθνος or “nations” means, “a body of persons united by kinship, culture, and common traditions, nation, people.” What’s first step in this? Speak the story to the world. 




  • Two Ways to Live Evangelistic Approach. Produced by Matthias Media as an evangelistic tool to help share the gospel and tell the story of the Bible in 6 pictures. While there are many good ways to share the gospel, this is the way I was trained to share the gospel, and the method I have used to tell people about Jesus.

  • Picture 1: God’s creation. It was very good (Gen. 1:31).
    • Is that the way it is now?

  • Picture 2: Fall of man. We all inherit Adam’s sin (Rom. 3:10-12). Ray Comfort’s Good Test.
    • What will God do about this rebellion?


  • Picture 3: God’s judgment. Death is the result of rejecting God (Hebrews 9:27). 
    • God’s justice sounds hard. But…

  • Picture 4: Because of His love, God brings fallen humans good news through His Son Jesus Christ. He always lived perfectly under God’s rule. Yet by dying in our place, He took our punishment and brought forgiveness (1 Peter 3:18).
    • But, that’s not all…

  • Picture 5: God raised Jesus to life again as the ruler of the world. Given all authority in heaven and on earth. He has conquered death, now gives new life, and will return to judge (1 Peter 1:3).
    • Where does that leave us?

  • Picture 6: Two ways to live (John 3:36).
    • Our way: Reject the ruler, like Adam and Eve. Run life our own way.
      • The result is condemnation, death, and judgment by God. An eternity separated from Him.
    • God’s new way: Submit to Jesus as our ruler. Believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
      • The result is forgiveness and given eternal life.

Transition: If we know the story, and we tell the story, what does it mean to make disciples and be discipled?


Explanation: Look at the 2nd part of verse 19. “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


  • Making disciples also means receiving those that answer the call by faith to commit to Jesus as Master and Lord. 
  • When believers come to salvation, through the hearing of the Word, they are then accepted into the assembly through believers’ baptism. This is the first public act of faith by the believer. They are going public with their faith, making a proclamation of the unity they shared/share with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. This is Trinitarian in nature. Believers baptism demonstrates our unity in the body of Christ not only with Jesus, but with its members having the same mission in mind.


Illustration: This also means we are making a statement about what we believe as believers. Those that are baptized testify to the Trinity. We testify to our unity with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection and to the nature of who God is. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

Transition: So, the mission of the church is to understand Christ’s rightful place of authority, to go, and make disciples in the sharing of the gospel through God’s Word, but also just as important, to learn and grow in the likeness of Christ.



  • Go, Make Disciples: Grow in God’s Word (v.20)



Explanation:  Read v.20

  • Jesus gives us further instruction in making disciples, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
  • As I mentioned last week, we are not only called to make disciples by going out into the world, but by also growing in the knowledge of the Lord. Growing in our sanctification.


Application: As Pastors of Redeeming Grace, we are going to do our best to be faithful to teaching and preaching God’s Word. We are going to be faithful in equipping you to know His Word and to apply it to make disciples and grow in the likeness of Christ. As I have been saying, this means understanding our role in God’s story.


2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.


Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


  • We believe when God saves us, we are justified by faith, through grace, meaning our standing before God the Father is now deemed as righteous, because of the sufficiency and potency of the work of Jesus in the gospel. The Holy Spirit indwelt within us, now testifies within us that same reality, crying “Abba, Father”. If we are in Christ, there is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from the love of God. 
  • Now, we find ourselves in God’s story. Written in the pages of Scripture. The Church. Jesus being the head, we the members. As we are compelled to live for the Lord, we have the Spirit, to work on our behalf. We read the Word ourselves, asking God to use it to change our thinking, our behavior, and how we apply it in others lives.


Explanation: Read v.20b, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” We can now move forward in this life knowing that Jesus is with us always. 

  • As we learn and grow in God’s Word, we will see how in fact, we are one with Christ. If you are born-again, God plucked you out of sin and death, and has given you life. The very Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, is stuffed inside of you. This interconnection we now have with God is made possible by the Helper God has given us in the Holy Spirit. Abiding in Christ means we are actively seeking the work of the Spirit in our lives in every aspect. 


  • How we relate to one another. How we serve one another. How we grieve with one another. Getting to know one another. Asking for the right words to speak to one another. How we spend time with one another. All of these are opportunities to grow in the Lord and depend on the work of the Spirit in the life of the Church. 
  • Not only in our relating to one another, but also how we respond to temptation and sin in our lives. The Spirit reminds us of Scripture for hope and a reminder of the gospel. This means we no longer live as lone-wolf Christians. 
  • When we are abiding in the Lord, we can respond to temptation and sinful failures by running to the cross. We can run to one another, to bear each others burdens. We can use the spiritual gifts that God has given each of us to encourage one another in Christ. We can speak biblical truth to one another about God’s story and our role in His story. 
  • We can proclaim God’s story from the rooftops. Telling the world of the supremacy of Christ. He lived a sinless life. He was put to death for our sins. He conquered death. He rose again. He sits at the right hand of the Father. And He now dwells within those that are born-again, giving us joy, peace, and victory over this world and our sin.
  • And we go forward, by this power, to make disciples.  



Exhortation & Application: So, if you are here this morning and you know Jesus, I want to remind you. You are in God’s story. As believers, we can rest knowing Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. We can rest knowing that when we were saved, we have the Spirit of truth within us, helping us to live a victorious life in battling sin, loving one another, suffering, and encouraging one another to pursue Christ. We exist in God’s story, to tell others of the greatest story ever told. And I pray Redeeming Grace would continue to make disciples, depending on the Lord through prayer, sharing the gospel, calling people to make a decision to believe in Jesus, and helping others to grow in Christ.


Invitation: If you are here this morning, and you don’t know Jesus, you still are a part of God’s story now and in the future. The part of His story that has dire consequences if you reject His Son. If you do not know Christ, I want to plead with you this morning to believe in Jesus. To surrender, and repent of your sin, turning away from your sin toward The Son. Receive the free gift of salvation found in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. If you have any questions regarding salvation in Christ, please do not leave here this morning, without hearing the goodness of God’s grace. Let’s pray.

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