Read This Week’s Passage: Colossians 1:9–20 (15–20)

Full Circle

In this series of studies, we have looked at the various components of discipleship: the primary instruments of discipleship (people); the end goal of discipleship (Christlikeness); the spiritual power of discipleship (prayer, witnessing, and Bible study); the systematic process of discipleship (preparing, planting, cultivating, harvesting, and preserving); the central role of the church in discipleship; and the vital role of individual self-denial in discipleship.

After all that, we come back full circle to the Great Commission. Though we examined the verses in the first week, this week we take another look at Matthew 28:18–20. This time, we note that the word and the concept of all is repeated. It turns out that each of these phrases are ingredients for a healthy church:

1. Go. The participle in the Greek is plural where Christ’s command can be understood as addressed to all of His disciples throughout all time. A healthy church needs those whom Jesus calls to go out.

2. All Nations. Rather than delivering it to only a select people, Christ opens the gospel to all nations, tribes, tongues, and peoples. Whether it is looking toward a geographical place, a people, or a culture, a healthy church needs the goals to which Jesus is calling His disciples.

3. All Things. Jesus taught many things. His disciples are commanded to teach not most of them but all of these things. A healthy church needs a strategy and a plan to teach people to observe all the things that Jesus taught.

4. All Authority. Not limited to just the earth but also in heaven, Christ has been given full ability and jurisdiction to accomplish His will. A healthy church needs the means to carry out what Christ has commanded.

5. Always. The presence of Christ’s Spirit will dwell with us until the end of time, according to the promise. A healthy church needs and understands the timeline in which they are working and serving.

For a healthy church, all of Christ’s disciples must go with all of God’s power always to all the people of the world, teaching them all the things Christ taught. This lesson is about everyone getting involved to reach everyone, empowered by His Spirit, in the context of discipleship.