Scripture: Luke 24:44-49 (HCSB)
The promise of the Great Commission
- We know that we should all live like missionaries.
- What is our message to the world?
- What promises does God give for His witnesses in this world?
- How can we know the right words to say when we are witnessing to others about Christ?
Then He told them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you- that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, “this is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”
We believe that scripture is the very word of God. How can we, simple human beings, even hope to understand God’s Word?
- Scripture is fulfilled in Christ
- The prophecies concerning the messiah must be fulfilled in Him, and many were. The rest will be.
- The Law draw imperfect people to realize their need for a perfect Messiah (one who would die for them).
- If scripture is fulfilled in Christ, then it can only be properly understood in Christ.
- Here, Jesus is the one who opens the disciples’ mind to understanding.
- In the same way, it is through Him that we can hope to understand scripture.
- Because of this, scripture can only be rightly interpreted in light of Christ and is misunderstood in isolation from Him.
- How often do you hear someone use the Bible out of context?
- How do you find your understanding of scripture increase as you grow in your relationship with Christ?
The Great Commission
- What is the message we give the world?
- That if anyone would repent, he or she will be forgiven and that Christ’s name be glorified in every nation!
- What does it mean to repent?
- This is the heart of our message!
How can you know the right words to say?
- Invest in your relationship with Christ
- Read His love letter to us (the Bible), spend time talking with Him (prayer), intentionally obey His commands, seek forgiveness, spend time in worship, spend time in praise.
- Commit to living like a missionary. Tell someone about Christ!
- God promises to send us “power from on high.”
- We will not always have the words to say, but the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and guides us, will help us.
- When we do not experience the power of the Spirit, it is because we do not live on mission.
- When we invest in our relationship with Christ, we grow closer to God and we become more attentive to the Holy Spirit.
- The great promise for those who live on mission is that they are not alone. They will experience the power of the Holy Spirit!
- This does not mean that living on mission is easy.
- It does mean that every effort we give will be rewarded in some way.
Questions for class discussion
- How would you describe repentance if someone asked you about it?
- How does the fact that you have received forgiveness from God impact the way you tell others about that forgiveness?
- Does it cause you to want to tell others about that forgiveness?
- Is your church passionate about missions?
- Is it more passionate about local or global missions?
- How can you raise awareness in your church about missions opportunities in your community or worldwide?
- Is it important that God actually refers to His followers as “witnesses” instead of simply telling them to witness?