20/20 Sunday School Lesson – Committed to God’s Mission – wk. 3

Categories: Michael Lawson,News

Committed to God’s Mission

march 19, 2017

20/20 vision – lesson 3

key verse

And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:18-20

the goal of this lesson

Producing servants by sending people to fulfill the Great Commission


You ever eaten a can of green beans or a meal without salt? What does salt do?

Jesus said we should be salt and light.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost it’s taste, how shall it’s saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16

In this week’s lesson, we’ll be talking about what that means.


God’s Kingdom is growing and spreading. We have been commissioned to join Him in His work.

I.  God is growing His kingdom.

Let’s focus on a key foundational issue as we begin to consider what it means to be a believer who is committed to God’s mission. Namely that God HAS, IS, and WILL grow His Kingdom. His mission is the redemption of His people and the restoration of all of His creation.

Read the following verses from Matthew:

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” – Matthew 13:31-33


  • It’s Growing Larger. The growth of God’s Kingdom may seem small or insignificant at times, but the final results of it’s growth is exponential.
  • It’s Spreading Wider. Jesus’ comparison of God’s Kingdom to leaven emphasizes that not only is God’s Kingdom growing, but it’s also spreading. Think about it. Christianity, at the time of Jesus’ death, begins in an insignificant part of the world, with what most people estimate to be around 150 people. It’s now spread around the world.

Now, check out Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:18.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Jesus has assured us that He WILL build His church and despite Satan’s best attempts, he cannot stop the growing and spreading of God’s Kingdom. What a powerful promise we see here.

Here are a couple of other verses that clearly show God’s unpreventable growing and spreading of God’s Kingdom.

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. – John 6:37

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. – John 10:14-16

II.  God graciously uses us to accomplish kingdom growth.

That’s it.  God’s method of growing His Kingdom is to use those whom He has redeemed to accomplish it’s growth. Keep in mind, there is no “plan B”.

There are two important aspects to remember as we think on this truth that affect the church’s effectiveness in joining God in the work of redemption.

  • The American church, by and large, has commitment issues which hinder our participation in joining God’s work in Kingdom growth.
  • Our participation in seeking to grow God’s Kingdom is not optional.

Let’s pick a few scripture verses that demonstrate God’s expectation and our responsibility to be involved with growing God’s Kingdom.

(The new phrase used to describe an intentional life used in working to grow God’s Kingdom is “Missional”. It simply means that we are aware of and seek to do missions, wherever that may be. The term also means that we are seeking to minister to others. So what are we talking about here? Simply, missions and ministry with the goal being the sharing of how Jesus’ gospel really is good news!)

To be honest, there are many, many, verses that speak to our point.  I’ve only chosen a few.

Paul says this in the book of Romans. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:14-15

Paul’s argument is clear. How can a person ask Christ to forgive them of their sin if they’ve never heard of Him or the grace of God found in His death, burial, and resurrection? We often make the unbiblical assumption that somehow, God magically saves people apart from their hearing the gospel and their personal request for forgiveness and personal faith in Jesus. This is an infringement of Roman Catholic theology concerning purgatory. To be honest, it is universalism, repackaged into something that sounds a little more Baptist.  However, if we hold to this, we are essentially saying God has two ways to save people.  One is through grace and forgiveness (Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:16), the other is on the goodness of people’s intentions or their lives.  This is a works based theology, like every other religion in the world. It simply isn’t true. There is one way to obtain forgiveness of sin and be declared just in God’s sight. (John 14:6; Rom. 3:21-ff).

Listen to one of the disciple Peter’s sermons, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  – Acts 4:12

Now, we know that God is the one who saves, but he graciously uses us in the process.  We speak the gospel and God uses us along with the Holy Spirit to accomplish the redemption of unsaved people.

Just after Paul wrote that salvation is a gracious gift of God that occurs only by faith, he added, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

Don’t miss the significance of what Paul is saying.  He’s saying that if you are saved then:

  • There is purpose in your salvation outside of yourself. You are saved “for good works”.
  • God has work for you to do. It’s “prepared beforehand”. That means you have a crucial role in God’s Kingdom. Your contributions to God’s mission are significant.
  • Your contributions are also expected. Paul says, “that we should walk in them.”

It’s important for us to realize that salvation doesn’t begin and end with us. It begins with God and ends with God. He initiates and completes our salvation and all glory goes back to Him.  Remember 1 Cor. 10:31?

Life isn’t all about us. There are greater things to consider in our lives than our own self-fulfillment or personal happiness. There’s something bigger than accomplishing our own personal ambitions or agenda.

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” – John 15:16

Peter emphasized that being committed to God’s mission should be a natural result of the change that God has brought about in our lives. Notice:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Here again, we see that there’s purpose in our salvation.  We have the privilege of talking about how awesome Jesus is! And…it’s not a complicated issue. It’s a personal one. It’s a response from what God has done for us. He has made us His people through His mercy. Jesus has saved us and we can now talk about how excellent He is.

Finally, let’s consider our key verse for this week.

And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:18-20

There’s much to be said about these verses, and Bradley will discuss these in the worship service. But there are a few things we should note within these verses (without stealing his thunder), there is one command from Jesus in this section of scripture.

That command is to “make disciples”.

How does that happen? We see that in the phrase “Go therefore”. The phrase literally means…”As you go”.  In other words, whatever we’re doing, we have the opportunity and responsibility to live out our God-given purpose to join God in His mission of redeeming people from sin so that they too can see how wonderful Jesus is! We don’t have to move to the foreign mission field to make disciples.  We simply need to live with an awareness that we are on mission with God.

That’s what being salt and light is all about.  It’s about having an eternal impact in the lives of the people we know and see.

May we be committed to God’s mission.

Author: Michael Lawson

Pastor of Disciplemaking and Pastoral Care Mount Gilead Baptist Church