Lesson 1 The Chief Goal of the Church
Yes, the main purpose of the church is to go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize and teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded. So we put programs together and find those in our church willing to lend a helping hand. We use any means we can find to assist in this chief mission of making disciples of all nations.
But what makes one a disciple of Jesus Christ? Is it making a decision, walking an aisle or promising to do your best to follow Jesus? Is it saying the words, “I believe in Jesus Christ” and therefore I’m now a disciple of Jesus ready to make other disciples of Jesus? How can we make disciples and know that we’re making them as Jesus commanded?
In Jesus’ opening statement of “The Great Commission,” He declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).
It's important to understand that the foundation upon which Jesus received all authority in heaven and on earth is His work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. In other words, because Jesus died and rose again, He has been given all authority, “in” heaven, and “on” earth.
Notice the text prior to Jesus making this monumental statement about “All authority” being given to Him in heaven and on earth, and we will see that Jesus' authority flows out of the gospel:
"Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." Matthew 28:1-6 ESV
Question 2: According to Matthew 28:1-6 what event took place before Jesus had declared that, “All authority” has been given to Him?