Biblical Expectation

The Great Commission was never “Plan B” according to God’s agenda. From the very beginning, God desired to create a community of people helping one another to follow Him.

The Old Testament 

  • At its core, the biblical message centers on people learning how to follow God.
    • “And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lev. 26:12).
    • “Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so” (Deut. 4:10).
    • “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deut. 10:12-13).
    • If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well (1 Sam. 12:14).
  • God expected His people to pass on a legacy of faith to the following generations.
  • God gave three types of relational environments for the sake of discipleship.
    • Families
      • The most critical discipleship environment has always been the home.
      • References – Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:4-9; Josh. 24:15; 1 Ki. 2:2-3; Ps. 78:1-8; 103:17; 127:1-5; Prov. 1:8; 22:6; Mal. 4:6
    • Relationships
      • God expected leaders to utilize any relational platform to further the faith of others.
      • “The disciple was in training to carry out the master’s work once the master passed from the scene” (Wilkins, 62).
      • Examples – Jethro and Moses, Moses and Joshua, Moses and Caleb, Naomi and Ruth, Eli and Samuel, Samuel and Saul, David and the Mighty Men, Elijah and Elisha, Jehoidah and Joash, Jeremiah and Baruch, and others.
    • Faith Communities
      • God’s instruction for organized religion was for people to obtain a version of Eden restored.
      • References – Ex. 12:17, 26-27; 13:14-15; 20:2; Lev. 23:41; Deut. 29:22-28; Josh. 22:27; Judg. 2:10; Ez. 7:10; Ps. 22:30-31; 71:18; 79:13; 100:5; 102:18; 145:4; Isa. 12:4; Lam. 5:19; Dan. 4:3

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14

The New Testament 

  • Jesus’ Call to the Disciples
    • When Jesus called His first disciples, He did not command them to obey, serve, or fear, but follow (Matt. 4:19).
    • His initial requirements for His disciples were characterized by these key elements:
      • Pursuit – “Whom He desired” – The most humbling aspect of Kingdom work is found in the fact that Jesus doesn’t need us but that He wants us.
      • Presence – “Be with Him” – Don’t attempt things for Jesus before you have spent time with Jesus.
      • Purpose – “Send them out to preach” – We participate in Kingdom ministry by sharing with others what Jesus has taught us.
      • Power – “Have authority to cast out demons” – Ministry is pushing back Satan’s dominion and ushering in God’s Kingdom.
  • Jesus’ Call for the Disciples
    • Jesus provided the disciples’ marching orders through the Great Commission.
      • Commission – “Make disciples of all nations” – Our call is to go everywhere so we can disciple everyone.
      • Commitment – “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit” – Our faith is not to be private but a public association with God’s people.
      • Commandment – “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded” – Our job is incomplete when a person places initial faith into a Savior who expects complete devotion.
      • Communion – “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age” – Our proximity to the King is intricately linked to our productivity for His Kingdom.
  • Jesus’ Consummation with the Disciples
    • The end goal is when we are within such proximity to Jesus that our eternities are spent following Him.

“Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God…And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

Revelation 21:3, 22