• All Nations” and Church Planting Article by Ed Stetzer

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014

    The Great Commission. Neither the words “great” nor “commission” are in the text, but the descriptor fits. This “authoritative order, charge, or direction” is “unusually large, extreme, and notable” (borrowing phrases from textbook definitions of both words). But why? The sheer scope of the assignment is embodied in the two little words: all nations. This phrase is translated from the Greek panta ta ethnÄ“. It is often the subject of significant discussion. When many people hear ethnÄ“, or “nations,” they think of countries. But when Jesus spoke those words, there were no countries as we understand them today. The nation-state … View Resource

  • Baptizing Them Article by J.V. Fesko

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    I think that when people look at baptism, they have a thin understanding as to why Jesus commanded that we baptize His disciples. Most people likely associate the water with cleansing, which is an accurate connection given the prophet Ezekiel’s message that God would sprinkle water upon His people (Ezek. 36:25). Cleansing from sin, however, is but one element in the meaning and significance of baptism. Rather than being focused upon the individual, God uses water in connection with the broader context of redemptive history. All throughout Scripture, water and Spirit appear in contexts that unfold new creation … View Resource

  • The Great Ordinary Commission Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I teach on the Great Commission, I often begin by asking my students, “What is Jesus’ primary emphasis in the Great Commission?” Typically, most students reply, “evangelism.” I then ask them to read the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18–20, after which I ask my question a second time. The students quickly see that although the Great Commission includes a call to evangelism, it doesn’t actually contain the word evangelism. What the students observe through more careful study of the Great Commission is that Jesus’ primary emphasis is on making disciples. Making disciples certainly includes evangelism but is … View Resource

  • How Then Shall We “Go”? Article by Karl Dahlfred

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    It seems like such a simple command. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). But who exactly is supposed to go? Some have claimed that Jesus’ command to go and make disciples was only for the original Apostles and that the Great Commission was subsequently fulfilled by those Apostles. But such an enormous task would have been impossible for just eleven men to complete. And Jesus’ promise to be with them “to the end of the age” implies that the validity of this commission would extend beyond the Apostles’ lifetimes. If that’s so, the church … View Resource

  • Make Disciples Article by Dave Eby

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I started seminary in 1967, Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:18–20 to “make disciples” baffled me. There was something cryptic and mysterious about it, seemingly understood by only an initiated few. At the same time, Jesus’ words demanded comprehension and performance, and this started a pilgrimage of seeking to understand and practice “making disciples.” After thirty-four years of pastoring in the United States and now after seven years as a seminary teacher in Uganda, I am still learning. Let’s look together at three simple questions: (1) What is a disciple? (2) How are disciples made? (3) What kinds … View Resource

  • Teaching Them to Observe Article by Victor Cruz

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    Being an evangelist is more than just telling people about Jesus; it requires that we become teachers of the gospel. The gospel is proclaimed by the preaching of the good news. This is the beginning. But we also need to explain to new believers the implications and consequences of believing in the gospel. This is necessary to make real disciples. The Authority to Teach R.T. France notes that when Jesus said to His disciples that they would have to teach, He was transferring to them the authority to be teachers. In 28:20, Matthew uses for the first time … View Resource

  • Does the Church Know Her Commission? Article by Denny Burk

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011 | Matthew 16

    Have you ever wished you could have a do-over? Have you ever looked back on a situation in which you know that you really botched the job and you just wish you could have another crack at it? That is the way I often feel when I reflect back on some of my less-than-fruitful efforts at evangelism when I was in college. Back then, I was (to say the least) a little wet behind the ears in terms of my theological convictions. I had a basic understanding of Christ’s substitutionary atonement but little appreciation for how His lordship should inform … View Resource

  • Missions Article by David Robertson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Our Dear Diabolos, It is clear that you have not quite got the hang of this temptation thing. Take the matter of what the enemy calls “mission.“ We understand what this is — to bring the dreadful news of His Son with all the spiritual weapons that we find so appalling. However, you are making a major error when you try to take all thoughts of mission out of the mind of your client. That is too obvious a tactic and one that often just does not work. Perhaps you will allow we more senior experts to give you some … View Resource

  • The Prevailing Church (Pt. 1) Article by Simon Kistemaker

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008 | Matthew 28

    The word church is fundamentally a Christian word and belongs exclusively to Christianity. Although other religions have terms such as synagogue and mosque, only Christians legitimately call their house of worship “church.” There are churches that are named after places and people, but they can never claim origin or ownership, because Christ owns the church. Actually, Jesus told Simon Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18; see also 18:17). The Greek word for church is ekklesia, which means being called out of this world of humanity to form a … View Resource

  • Holding the Rope Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008

    A shared vision for world missions is crucial in the life of the church. Why should world missions be fundamental in the ministry of the church? What do we mean by it? How do we go about it? What is your place in it? Consider these five points for building a vision of world missions in our congregations. First, we must understand that the Word of God is the foundation of world missions. Let us be a church that builds our missionary vision on the Word of God, which has to do with the truths about God and His way … View Resource

  • The Worldwide Gospel Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008 | Matthew 24

    In His monumental discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and His second coming at the end of the age (Matt. 24–25), Jesus covers a vast amount of territory. While all of the discourse is important, there are certain statements that stand out in the same way that higher peaks rise above an entire mountain range. One such peak is Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” These words from Jesus stand in a long line … View Resource

  • What Is Truth? Article by Morton Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    In the present age of general laxity and departure from the orthodox Christian faith, one of the great needs is the return to doctrinal integrity. In particular, men who stand behind the sacred pulpit, should be men who teach the truth and nothing but the truth of God’s Word. One of the most pressing needs of the world of darkness, which is so full of falsehood, is the clear declaration of the truth of God’s Word. Satan’s temptation of Eve was in the area of doctrinal integrity. He dared to accuse God of lack of integrity. With the fall of … View Resource