by: Gary L. Hutchens
When Jesus was ready to ascend back to Heaven, following His death, burial and resurrection, He gave the apostles marching orders. He told them, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Matt. 28:19-20). The KJV begins this text “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” This has been called “The Great Commission” from Jesus to teach the gospel of salvation to all people everywhere throughout the world.
Obviously, people must be taught about Jesus in order to become His disciples. They need to know that through baptism they are cleansed of their sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), saved (Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:21) and come into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
Jesus further instructed that those who responded by being baptized should continue to be taught all of the rest of what Jesus had taught the apostles during His time with them. Teaching people how to come to salvation is just the beginning. Then they must be taught how to live a faithful, dedicated and active Christian life. Christianity is an ongoing life.
The apostle John emphasized the importance of faithfully and consistently living by the teachings of Jesus. He wrote, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” (2 Jn. 1:9). The word “doctrine” means “teaching.” To “abide in” is to “live in” or “live by.” We must live by the teachings of Jesus on a daily basis, or else we are not walking with God.
What an awful prospect to “not have God!” Yet that is the reality for countless millions who are not living by the teachings of Jesus. How can a person know whether he is living by the teachings of Jesus? He has to know what those teachings are in order to know if he is living by them. To know what those teachings are he has to go to the source wherein they are communicated to us today- the Bible, God’s word. The apostle Paul said, “Be diligent (KJV “study”) to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Are you being taught the Bible at the church where you regularly worship? Are you studying the scriptures in your private time? Are you confident that what your church believes and teaches is actually what God’s word teaches? Do you know what your church believes? Has your church changed its teachings over the years? If so, has the Bible changed? Where are all of those teachings coming from?
Here at Sunny Slope Church Of Christ we strive to simply be the church that we all read about in the Bible. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing else. We would love to have the opportunity to study God’s word with you. All you have to do is ask us, either in person or you can make a note on the attendance card on the back of the of the seat in front of you. God loves you, and we love you…
Gary L. Hutchens