Do you ever hear Christ’s words in the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) and think, “I can’t accomplish that”? If so, you’re right.
Pastor and author J.D. Greear reminds us that obedience to the Great Commission is our responsibility, but the work of salvation is not:
“Now, let’s remember here, lest we saddle ourselves with a burden we can’t carry, that the work of salvation, from start to finish, is God’s work. God didn’t lay the Great Commission on our shoulders as if He expected us to go accomplish it for Him. Just as He is the only one who can save, He’s the only One who empowers and supplies for the mission. Even after Paul laid out the case that people can only be saved if we preach to them, he says, “And how shall they preach, unless they are sent?” Notice he doesn’t say, “And how can they hear unless we go?” But, “How can they hear unless we are sent?” Paul still looks heavenward for the completing of the task. The Holy Spirit has to do the sending before the going does any good. The Holy Spirit anoints us, commissions us, and resources us. He’ll use us and our stuff in the process, but don’t confuse His doing it through us with Him telling us that we have to do it for Him. He gave us a promise, that He would build His church through us, not a charge that we were to build it for Him.”
— J.D. Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary, 150-151
Greear’s words are a good reminder as we think about the central focus of Multiply, namely, encouraging the church to fulfill its primary mission of making disciples. It is certainly imperative that churches and individual followers of Christ obey the Great Commission, for this is how God has ordained to carry out His plan; yet, as Greear points out, we must remember our place in this mission.
In the task of disciple-making, God does the saving, the empowering, and the providing of the necessary resources. We, on the other hand, are to trust Him, obey Him, and proclaim the truth of the gospel. If making disciples seems impossible, you’re right; it is, humanly speaking. It’s a supernatural work of God. And by His grace we get to be a part of making His salvation known.
Come be a part of the Multiply Gathering, and invite others to join you. Let’s encourage one another to follow Christ in this glorious mission.