The Great Commission – A Call to Action for Christians

Closeup shot of a couple sitting and reading the bible

The Great Commission – A Call to Action for Christians – Lawson Perdue

What is the great commission? The great commission is the directive that Jesus gave His disciples following His resurrection before His ascension to heaven. The great commission gives the church today direction until the time that Christ comes again.

The great commission scriptures are found in the last chapters of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. While each of the authors give direction, each of them focus on slightly different aspects of what believers are to be accomplishing until Christ comes. Matthew focuses on discipleship. Mark focuses on evangelism and Luke focuses on the message of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

We will look into each of these great commission scriptures and share some basic insight into directives that can be followed today to help us stay on track with Jesus’ great commission to the church as His body, the fullness of Him that fulfills all things (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, All power is given to me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world, Amen.

When Jesus shares this great commission with His disciples, He begins with the statement, All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. The word for power here is the Greek word Exousia. It speaks primarily of authority or dominion.

Jesus demonstrated dominion when he walked on the earth. He demonstrated that dominion through His power over sickness, sin, lack, and death. Jesus never faced a situation where He was at the mercy of the circumstances. Jesus demonstrated His authority on earth when He overcame every temptation of the devil. Specifically in the areas of lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life (Matthew 4 and Luke 4).

The temptations that Jesus overcame in His life were inevitably the same temptations that Adam and Eve faced in the garden in Genesis chapter 3 and John spoke of in his epistle (I John 2:15-17). Jesus never gave in to sin and lust. Jesus overcame these temptations as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus ultimately had been given authority in heaven in the beginning with the Father and the Holy Spirit creating all things. He now had demonstrated that on the earth, and overcame the devil, both on the earth, which gave Him victory over sin and Satan in the grave. After His resurrection, He declares that victory: All power (authority) is given to me in heaven and earth. He also declares victory in Revelation 1:18 when He declares: I am he who lives and was dead, behold, I am alive forevermore amen, and I have the keys of hell and of death. Jesus demonstrated dominion in every realm.

Since He demonstrated Lordship or dominion in every area, Jesus gives us as the church and his disciples directive, Go you therefore and teach. In the original language, Christ is actually commissioning his followers to go make disciples in all nations.

We might answer a simple question, so what is a disciple? A disciple is a disciplined student of Jesus, one who hears what He says and does it. Secondly according to the scripture, a disciple walks in love and brings forth fruit (John 13:34-35; John 15:8).

In Matthew’s rendition of the great commission, Jesus declares that believers are to baptize these new converts from all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The disciples did this in the book of Acts; however, they baptized new converts in the name of Jesus. Baptism was a sign of identification with Christ and His message.

When we look into the root of the word baptism, it means “to immerse into.” New believers were to be immersed into the teaching of who the Father is, who the Son is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Recently we have developed a brand new children’s curriculum that we have made available free of charge. The first year of the curriculum deals with these truths, then it deals with the truth of who believers become when they become followers of Jesus. (This curriculum and many other teachings can be found and downloaded free on our website at it is in the store under curriculum).

As a foundation, the church is to teach the truth about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit. When people get a hold of these truths and understand them at a heart level, then they will take the next step. They will begin to surrender at a heart level to the teaching of Jesus. In turn, they will begin to walk as Jesus walked (I John 2:6) and demonstrate His authority on the earth.

While Matthew focuses primarily on the teaching aspect of the gospels much like a local church should do, Mark focuses on the evangelistic aspect of Jesus’ great commission.

Mark 16:15-18: And Jesus said unto them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who believes not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them who believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

Mark is more direct in his approach to the great commission: Go everywhere and preach the gospel to everyone. What is the gospel? The gospel is, in its simplest form, the good news. The good news is the message that Jesus already paid for our sins and gave humanity a way to be restored to the right relationship with the Father God.

Mark follows this up with he who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who doesn’t believe shall be damned. Salvation or condemnation is each individual’s choice. Salvation is simply talking about what Jesus provided for humanity in His death and resurrection. In its most basic form, it is talking about right standing with God.

Jesus made righteousness, right standing with God, available to every person. He did it by becoming a sin offering for us. He took our sin, so that we can receive His righteousness as a gift (II Corinthians 5:21).

If we look closely at this great commission scripture, we see that salvation is based more on believing than baptism. If one doesn’t believe, they won’t be saved. Believe what? Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Believe that He died for our sins. Believe that God raised Him from the dead and made Him Lord. As a result, the fruit should be that we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.

Just like Jesus walked in power, He commissioned believers to walk in His power. These signs shall follow them who believe. They will cast out devils; they will speak in new tongues. The disciples went forward and preached the word and signs followed them. In the book of Acts, they cast out devils and spoke in tongues.

Speaking in tongues is actually talking about the promises of the Holy Spirit that were given in Acts 2. When Jesus and the Father God sent the Holy Spirit after Christ’s resurrection, the disciples and new believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2:4, 38). Later in Acts 10 when Peter was preaching to the Gentiles, they believed in Jesus and received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues too. Then in Acts 19, the Ephesian disciples of John believed in Jesus, were baptized and spoke in tongues also. This promise is still available to believers today.

They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them. The disciples went everywhere preaching the message of Jesus. Sometimes, this presented great danger. However, on many occasions, they received divine protection.

Finally, Mark writes, they (believers) shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. When the early church in the book of Acts went forward, they went forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. Just like Jesus and his disciples saw healings and miracles in the gospels. The early church was healings and miracles in the New Testament. In my 46 years of being filled with the Holy Spirit, I have seen many healings and miracles, numbers of them that have been confirmed by medical doctors and professionals. The Holy Spirit is still working in the church, empowering believers to effectively share the message of Jesus.

In the great commission of Jesus, Luke records the message and the power to share it.

Luke 24:46-49: And (Jesus) said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endured with power from on high. 

Essentially Jesus was saying here: the whole reason that I came and died and rose again is so that people can turn from their sins (repent and believe) and walk in the freedom of forgiveness. When our sins are remitted, it means that we are completely forgiven for them as if they were never committed. The good news is that God is not mad at us. He wants us to share this good message with all nations, and Jesus wants us to start right where we are.

Finally, we are to share the message through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts chapter 1, Jesus told His disciples just before His ascension that they were to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from the Holy Spirit to make them effective witnesses of Jesus. John shares the same message in John 20:21-22 recording the words of Jesus after His resurrection: As my Father has sent me, even so send I you. Receive you the Holy Ghost. 

In the book of Acts the disciples fulfilled Jesus’ great commission through preaching salvation and healing everywhere they went through the power of the Holy Spirit. They not only preached the gospel. They demonstrated the gospel by applying Christ’s teachings and walking them out on the earth.

The Great Commission, as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, provides a foundational directive for Christians, emphasizing discipleship, evangelism, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Each Gospel presents a unique perspective on how believers are to fulfill Christ’s mandate until His return, from making disciples of all nations and baptizing them, to preaching the gospel to every creature and demonstrating the gospel’s power through signs and wonders.

At Charis Christian Center in Colorado Springs, we are committed to living out the Great Commission in our community and beyond. We offer teachings and resources, including a free children’s curriculum, to equip believers to grow in their understanding of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and to walk in the authority and power Jesus has given us. Our church is a place where you can experience the love of Christ, grow in your faith, and be empowered to share the message of Jesus with others. We invite you to join us in our mission to make disciples, preach the gospel, and demonstrate the love and power of God in our world. Come visit us at Charis Christian Center and be a part of a community that is passionately pursuing the fulfillment of the Great Commission.


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