Commanded to Witness


Christ provides us with a number of universal commands (worship\serve God, pray at all times, teach\disciple others, good works, etc.), these are commands that are common to all disciples of Christ and are not in any way restricted to some Christians. Our Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and Christ’s last recorded words before ascension, "you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8b) are excellent examples of this command.

In Matthew 28 Christ was speaking directly to the eleven Disciples and in Acts 1 to the Apostles whom He had chosen. So how do these commands from Christ to His immediate Disciples and Apostles get transferred down through the ages to you? Are you really commanded to witness to others about the Gospel of Christ? Are you really commanded to go make disciples of all the nations, baptize them, and teach them all of Christ’s commands? Or is it more comfortable to believe that these commands are only relevant to ordained ministers, or those that have specific Gifts of the Spirit in the areas of preaching, teaching, evangelism, etc.

Perhaps if we apply some logic to the Great Commission we can reason this out clearly. Let us agree that a Christian is a disciple of Christ (Acts 11:26). Christ commanded His Disciples in Matthew 28 to go make more disciples (of all the nations). He commanded them to baptize these newly made disciples in the name of God, and finally to teach the newly made disciples to observe all the commands that He had given to the first Disciples. Well, Disciples made disciples down through the ages and the Great Commission is clearly one of the many commands that Christ gave the first Disciples, thus it is one of the commands that Disciples teach new disciples to observe. All true Christians must be true disciples; therefore we acknowledge this as a true command to each individual Christian and observe it!

You are commanded to be a witness for Christ, to make disciples, to share the Good News, and to labor in the harvest (Matthew 9:35-38). It is important to realize this calling as foundational to your relationship with Christ. This calling comes with your salvation; it is not part of an optional Super Sized Christian package!

It seems that far too many individuals have found a comfort zone wherein they have allowed themselves to be convinced that this is not indeed their calling. That only pastors are called thus, or that only those with the gift of evangelism are called thus, or that only those that have gone to a bible college are called thus, or that → what rubbish! We are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. (II Corinthians 5:20).

Based on this foundation, that every Christian is commanded to be a witness for Christ and to make disciples, I will explore more precisely what it means to be a witness and to make disciples. In future articles I will discuss what witnessing looks like in different Christians lives. What are common ways to witness for all Christians I Peter 3:15,Luke 12:8-8, Philippians 1:27-30) and how Christians may use their gifts to spread the Gospel. Take some time to look up the scripture references, read through them, find their context, and ask the Spirit to guide you in understanding this calling we share.


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