The Command of Christ in the Great Commission

Dr. David Platt taught today on the importance of making disciples in the local church and in all the nations.  What follows is a handout that he had for all who attended.  Anything underlined was a blank that had to be filled in by the hearers.  I received his permission to reproduce that handout with the answers for this blog.  As soon as the audio is posted, I will link to it here. 



Vision               Mission            Goal


Worship Gatherings      Small Groups    Short-Term Missions

———–>        <——–>      <————


World-Impacting Disciple-Makers


  • Following Chirst and becoming like Him is the vision of every Christian and every church.
    • This is pre-written and not up for us to negotiate and determine
  • “Follow Me…”
    • Radical abandonment for the glory of Christ.
      • We leave behind all things…
        • Our comfort and our careers, our possessions and our positions, our families and our friends, our safety and ourselves
      • We live for one thing…
        • To honor the King.
    • Radical dependence on the grace of Christ
      • He takes the initiative to choose us.
      • He provides the power to use us
      • He gets the glory through us.
    • Radical adherence to the person of Christ.
      • The essence of Jesus’ method:
        • No formal school, no seminaries, no membership classes, no highly organized procedures or formulas.
        • Jesus was his own school and curriculum.
      • The implications of Jesus’ method:
        • We are free from legalistic ritualism.
        • We are free to focus on building people, not programs.
    • Radical trust in the authority of Christ
      • He is worthy of our worship
      • He is worthy of their worship
    • Radical obedience to the mission of Christ


  • The command is clear.
    • Make disciples.
  • The command has been compromised.
    • We are tempted to do everything else except the one thing Jesus told us to do in the Great Commission.
      • Jesus never told us to…
        • Build colleges, universities, or seminaries.
        • Erect hospitals, shelters, and homes for the aged.
        • Construct the church buildings.
        • Organize Sunday School.
      • Jesus did tell us to….
        • Make disciples in every part of the world.
    • An all-important question:  Are our plans self-directed or Christ-directed?
      • We have a tendency to create our own plans out of self-diected Christianity, and we even follow through with those plans with a  motive to glorify God, but we must realize…
      • God does not bless based solely on our motives
      • God ALWAYS blesses his plans.
  • The command in Christ….
    • John 17:4 – “I have finished the work…”
      • In John 17, Jesus never mentions the miracles he performed or the multitudes to whom he preached, but over 40 times he mentions the       whom God had given him out of the world!
      • Jesus’ strategy was to revolutionize the hearts of a few, and they would impact the world.
    • The men or the masses?
      • Jesus spent more time with his disciples than with everybody else in the world put together.
      • Jesus devoted himself to a few men, rather than the masses, so that the masses might be saved.
    • Disciples cannot be mass-produced.
  • The command in the church…
    • Four components of disciple-making:
      • Share the Word, Show the Word, Teach the Word, Serve the World
    • Share the Word
      • We equip people to be Gospel-living and gospel-sharing.
      • We encourage them to be confident in God’s sovereignty, not man’s savvy
      • We teach them to share life, not laws
    • Show the Word.
      • The world longs to see a demonstration of Christ that accompanies our explanation of Christ
      • We are devoted to the process of disciple-making for other’s sanctification. (Jn. 17:19)
      • We are dependent on the process of disciple-making for our own sanctification.  (1 Thess. 2:19-20)
      • When we’re making disciples, we’re living for the glory of God in others.
    • Teach the Word
      • Are we training receivers or reproducers?
      • We must train every follower of Christ to…
        • Know the essentials of following Christ.
        • Model, teach, and reproduce the essentials of following Christ.
    • Serve the World
      • Are we discipling or disinfecting Christians?
      • Disinfecting isolates a Christian in a spiritual safety deposit box called the church building and teaches him or her to be good.  This results in…
        • Decent church members with little world impact.
        • Disobedience to God’s command to reach the entire world.
        • A wasted life.
      • Discipling propels a Christian into the world to risk his or her life for the sake of others.  This results in…
        • Disciples of Christ with total world impact.
        • Obedience to God’s command to reach the entire world.
        • An abundant life.
    • The question we must constantly ask in the local church:  How can we most effectively make disciples of all nations?


  • Everything we do in the local church, we must do ultimately for the sake of God’s glory in ALL nations.
  • A dangerous approach to the world…
    • “But I’m not called to foreign missions.”
      • Reflects an unbiblical understanding of our salvation.
    • “Wouldn’t it be better for me to give (money) than to go?”
      • Reflects an unbiblical understanding of the Gospel.
    • “But what about the needs here?”
      • Reflects an unbiblical understanding of compassion.
    • The danger of separating local and global…
      • Local – 99.97%; Global – .03%
      • .03% in 95% of the world.
      • 1 missionary for every 1.25 million people.
  • A dynamic alternative for the world…
    • World-impacting disciples.
      • Through short-term missions, we encourage one another to give 2% of our time (1 week) each year in contexts around the world in a way that transforms the other 98% of our time here in the process.
      • We are joining hands with national disciple-makers and churches in other contexts and going into the world with them.
    • Ever-multiplying churches.
      • We are advancing the Gospel with faith families around the world and together we are impacting the world…


    • Men and women who are multiplying the Gospel by making disciples of all nations with their lives.
    • We are a faith family full of world-impacting disciples who really believe that our lives were created to impact the world
    • And we really believe that a church of world-impacting disciples can shake the nations for His glory.

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One Response to The Command of Christ in the Great Commission

  1. Andrew says:

    He preached this message (or at least one very similar) in February 2006 at the Georgia Baptist Student Union State Conference. It was in response to this message that I dedicated my life to Christian service, starting with seminary. Powerful….

    Andrews last blog post..A quick post…

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