MISSIONS - THE VISION
In Christ’s service, AFUMC is learning to be faithful to both the Great Commandment (“love God and love your neighbor”) and also the Great Commission (“go and make disciples”).
WHAT IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENT?
The Ten Commandments described in Exodus:20 that God delivered directly to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai collectively define God’s Law and reflect God’s standard of holiness for everyone. Because no one can perfectly follow God’s law, everyone is a sinner and is subject to condemnation. However, God did not intend condemnation for all his children. To provide a method for redemption from sins, God gave Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to cleanse for all time those of us who believe that Christ died for our sins.
Centuries later, as told in Matthew 22, Jesus was questioned by a Pharisee lawyer regarding which was the Greatest Commandment in the Law. Jesus provided an answer that did not change or abolish any of the Ten Commandments, but identified two that contained them all.
God’s Law, initially stated as the Ten Commandments, is restated in total by Jesus in one commandment that states the law for man’s relationship with God and a second that states the law for man’s relationship with one another. These become the Great Commandment, the basis of our sins for which Christ’s death on the cross provided us redemption.
From God – Exodus 20
Reworded by Jesus – Matthew 22:36-40 NIV
““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””
Here at AFUMC, we are actively trying to put this commandment into action. We seek to love the Lord our God with everything we have, for He is the worthy one. We also seek to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. As a minimum, this means that we care about the various challenges that others face, and we do what we can to help.
WHAT IS THE GREAT COMMISSION?
The Great Commission is Jesus’ declaration to his followers that He has a mission for them to carry out and that this mission remains his focus until its completion. Jesus lays out the mission in Matthew 28:18-20. Other biblical passages indicate the mission will last until Jesus comes again.
With God’s authority, Christ has communicated His expectations to His disciples very clearly and consistently. Christ expects His disciples to deliver His message worldwide to all nations, using their God given gifts and resources together as the body of Christ to make disciples among all the peoples of the world.
The consistency and eternity of the Great Commission to us as Christians is captured in the following Bible verses.
From God – Genesis 28:14 NIV
“Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”
Through Jesus – Matthew 28:18-20
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
To us by the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Always, Now, and Forever – Revelation 1:8 NIV
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
Therefore, all Christ’s followers have an undeniable assignment from Him to fulfill the Great Commission, using our gifts and resources to communicate the gospel and to grow the number of Christ’s disciples worldwide.