The great commission and the eternal purpose of God

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the great commissionThe great commission central in God’s purpose

The great commission and its fulfillment is the greatest advance of God’s eternal purpose and is expressed in the begetting of sons like Jesus.  The Father’s will is that Jesus be the firstborn among many brethren.  God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.  This of course expresses His will, for man to have His image and likeness, to subdue and rule over the earth and be fruitful and multiply. This is the heart of the Great Commission.  The problem was that man fell.  At the fall man lost his spiritual likeness in which he was originally created. He became carnal and independent while as before He was innocent and fully dependent on God.  Since man no longer possessed the full likeness and image of God, he could no longer be used by God to fulfill His will by ruling over the earth and exercising dominion over it, and there would be no reason for him to be fruitful and multiply in this condition and thus no need for this Great commission.  God’s desire was to fill the earth with men in His image and likeness, and not in a carnal state, so God had to do something.

In Genesis 4:17-22 we are given a summary of the sons of Cain and some of their accomplishments and feats.  In Genesis chapter 5 we are given a summary of the generations of Adam and his descendants.  Again it is important to recognize that no detail in the Holy Scriptures is merely incidental, the Holy Spirit is revealing important details that give insight into what God’s central desires are.

God made a point to separate the descendants of Adam through Cain and the descendants of Adam through Seth who was born after Cain killed Abel.  The two lineages are expressed in distinct manners. Cain’s descendants were distinguished by their accomplishments while Seth’s lineage was only expressed in terms of who begat whom, how old they were when they begat their first son, how many years they lived between each son and how many years they lived after they begat their last son.  This reveals a paradigm shift between those who seek to please the Lord and those who seek to please themselves. The descendants of Cain were the movers and shakers, they built things and made objects, they were project oriented while Seth’s descendants just lived and begot sons.

The Great commission – not doing things but bearing sons

These two paradigms can also be expressed in terms of those who do things for God and those who bear sons for God or more succinctly: doing and begetting.  Adam’s lineage through Seth is traced to Noah and his sons.  God initiated a new beginning through Noah and his obedience to preach repentance and build the ark, not as a monument of greatness or recognition but as a mere vehicle for the preservation of his bloodline.  Through the flood God eliminated all the accumulated generations of man who no longer called upon His name but rather whose wickedness attained its full measure, and whose every imagination and thought was only evil continually.  Only Noah and his family were preserved.  Once again God gave the same command (Great Commission) to Noah that He had given to Adam and Eve.  Genesis 9:1 says:

“So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

However the descendants of Noah did not fill the earth, they remained together and began to corrupt themselves straying further away from the Lord’s purposes.  Man decided to team up and build a monumental city and religious center.  God stepped in and confused their language and they felt forced to split up and migrate in different directions.  Then the genealogical record follows Noah through Shem on down to Abram.  With Abram God initiates His third beginning by appearing to him and announcing that He would make him a great nation, and would bless him, and make his name great.

This time the lineage remained unbroken and through the line of Solomon, Jesus was born of Joseph, and through the line of Nathan, of Mary.  Throughout the generations God was able to bring His own Son to earth to become the “second man” and “last Adam”, formerly called the only begotten Son of God but now the first begotten Son of God.  After the crucifixion and just before His ascension Christ gave what is popularly called the “Great Commission” first recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  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.”

The Great Commission – it’s central goal

The central goal of the great commission is making disciples, going, preaching and teaching and baptizing, all these are the methods applied to make the disciples.  The main principle that is behind all of these activities however, is the spiritual begetting of children for God, this is what Jesus meant when He commanded his disciples to bear fruit.  This is the Great commission that God has now given to the Church which is the body of Christ who is the head.  It is called a commission because the mission is impossible without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit of God yet we must fulfill it.

God has invested Himself in this project, this purpose, this central desire of His heart since the beginning.  It is accomplished by God through man in the Great commission.  The power is of God, the direction is of God, the strategy is of God, all the resources are of God and we as His resources are of God.  Man is God’s key resource, the only resource that possesses its own will.  It is a co-mission because God brings man into His eternal purposes and desires and uses men who freely yield their own hearts, wills and lives unto His purposes.  This is the meaning of being a fruitful disciple.  It is with disciples (men and women created in God’s image with a heart changed and yielded to God) that the Lord will fill the earth and unite all things under the headship of His Son.

All of God’s children who have understood this eternal purpose and center of God’s heart and have made the decision to live in accordance with, and for the benefit of this plan, and submit their time, resources and even their own bodies, as living sacrifices for the fulfillment of the Great commission, are the overcomers who will eventually reign with Christ at His coming and be used to show the entire universe what the world can be when Christ is reigning in every aspect of life on the earth.

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