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The Gospel Commission announced by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, just prior to His ascension back to heaven, provides the marching orders for the Christian church. The four action words in verses 19-20 are all significant.

GO — we must take the initiative and reach out to others with the gospel.
MAKE DISCIPLES — train others to be followers of Jesus.
BAPTIZE — lead others to make a whole hearted commitment to the Savior.
TEACH — help others to understand and apply the Scriptures to their lives.

In the Gospel Commission the emphasis is on the idea of making disciples. What is a disciple? A Biblical definition would include the following.

John 8:31-32 — A disciple abides in God’s Word.
John 13:34-35 — Disciples have love for one another.
John 15:5-8 — Disciples bear fruit for God’s kingdom.
Luke 14:26-27 — Disciples are willing to suffer and die for Jesus.
Luke 14:33 — Disciples are willing to forsake everything in this world for Christ.
Luke 6:40 — Disciples desire to become like Jesus.

Key Passages and Questions:

  1. Damascus Road Experience of Saul of Tarsus Which Changed His Life — Acts 9:1-22
    1. What characteristics of Saul prepared him for this encounter with Jesus?
    2. How important was this encounter to his future ministry?
    3. What principles for witnessing can be found in Saul’s conversion story?
  2. Philip’s Experience with the Ethiopian Eunuch — Acts 8:26-29
    1. What reasons for witnessing can be found in this experience?
    2. How do we become prepared to answer people’s questions?
    3. Is it easier or more difficult to do cross-cultural witnessing?
  3. Daniel and His Friends at the King’s Court in Babylon — Dan 1:1-21
    1. In what ways was Daniel a witness for God according to Daniel 1?
    2. What is the relationship between “preaching the message” and “living the message?”
    3. Is the Church just a medium to communicate the message or is the Church “the message?”
  4. The Apostles Face Opposition and Persecution for Witnessing — Acts 5:25-42
    1. How can we harmonize the instruction of Jesus to His disciples in Matt 10:14 (shake off the dust) with the activity of the in Acts 5:42 (they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus)?
    2. How much risk should a Christian be willing to take in order to witness for Christ?

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