HIS MISSION, OUR CO-MISSION
Terry R. Baughman
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The outpouring of the Spirit was intentional and purposeful. It was so important that the first order of business after Jesus ascended into heaven was for believers to return to Jerusalem and await the promise of the Father, “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The same requirement was emphasized in Acts, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4).
Power accompanied the outpouring, and the gift empowered recipients with ability. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” The end result of the promise was not the experience but the empowerment. The purpose for the gift was for disciples to become evangelists for the message of the Gospel and missionaries to every nation. “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
When the promise was fulfilled and the Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost the fulfillment of the commission became the imperative, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Jesus must have ingrained that aspect of the Kingdom message among His followers. The Gospel writers caught it and recorded it for the posterity of the Church Age. Matthew’s account has been dubbed The Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them …, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The imperative of evangelism includes the instruction to teach. Discipleship includes doctrine, and doctrine must be taught. The message of the mission is essential. The Name of Jesus, the rite of baptism, and the works of the Holy Spirit in lives of believers is all important in the message. Luke wrote that “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
The result of evangelism and teaching the life-changing message of Jesus Christ is a demonstration of powerful signs. “These signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). The disciples obeyed the commission and pursued the mission, but they were not alone. God was with them. Mark concluded his Gospel with this summary, “They went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20).
Believe it, receive it, and share it with the world. That is our message and our mission.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14)