The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
The Great Commission is what it’s called. It’s given five times in the first five books of the New Testament. Go ye therefore…what is the therefore there for? It relates back to the previous verse in which Jesus said: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore… Wherever a person may go, or whatever they may do, in an attempt to fulfill the Great Commission they go in His power.
But where are they to go? Where are we to go? All nations. There is no wrong place to go in His power. John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. When Jesus issued the Great Commission, He specified again that He loves the world, all the world, every person in the world, every soul in every nation. Therefore, He sends His people to all nations. Not all nations want this, but God wants it for all nations.
While in the nations, the Great Commission spells out what should be done teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:. What a thing! So much for those who belittle baptism, they do so at their own peril because to the Lord this is important. He sends His workers into all the world to teach them and baptize them. To make clear that He is speaking of water baptism Jesus points out that they are to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:.
Don’t pass by that too quickly. Notice the Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. So much for those who reject the Trinity. Jesus taught it. It must be true. If this baptism that the Lord speaks of was some sort of spiritual experience absent of being lowered into water how then can an officiant of the baptism baptize them in the names of the divine Trinity. If it is simply a personal time wherein the Holy Spirit moves upon them, who would be there to pronounce that the baptism of the Spirit is in the name of all three? No, logically Jesus is speaking of actual water baptism.
In His introductory statement of the Great Commission Jesus strikes straight at the heart of two doctrines that seem to be the front lines of the battle of faith. Baptism and the Trinity. He sends His followers into all nations to contend for both through preaching and teaching of the Gospel. This work continues on through churches, missions programs, evangelists, missionaries, prayer warriors, and everyday believers sharing the good news of Jesus Christ wherever they might be. To this end…
…The Great Commission continues.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.