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πŸ‘‘ Our Great Commission

Much is said of the β€œgreat commission” which our Lord gave to His apostles just before His ascension. We wonder whether our readers have ever examined the various records of this commission carefully.

This β€œgreat commission” does not say one word about β€œthe preaching of the cross” or β€œthe gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). The β€œgospel” which they were sent to preach was very evidently the same β€œgospel” they had been preaching β€” the Gospel of the Kingdom β€” only they could now declare, as Peter did at Pentecost, that the King had risen from the dead and would still some day occupy the throne of David.

The β€œgreat commission” demanded faith and baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:15,16); it included the power to heal the sick and work miracles (Mark 16:17,18), but it did not include the glad message that β€œChrist died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:1-3). At Pentecost, when Peter began to carry out this commission, he rather blamed his hearers for the death of Christ and when, convicted of their sins, they asked: β€œWhat shall we do?” he did not say: β€œBelieve on Christ who died for your sins.” He rather commanded them to β€œrepent and be baptized every one…for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

But after Christ and His Kingdom were again rejected, God interrupted the prophetic program and sent Paul forth to proclaim β€œthe preaching of the cross” and β€œthe gospel of the grace of God”. In II Corinthians 5:14-21 this apostle proclaims β€œthe love of Christ” who β€œdied for all” and instructs us as to our β€œgreat commission”:

β€œAnd all things are of [provided by] God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, AND HATH GIVEN TO US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION;

β€œTo wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself… AND HATH COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION” (II Cor.5:18,19).

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Verse for 2/25/2018

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. — Matthew 22:37-39

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