The vision of Christ
Colossians 1:13-29 ESV
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Who is the head of the church?
Jesus is the head
- head: A metaphor meaning that the leadership and empowering Spirit of Christ causes His body to grow and mature (Ephesians 1:22-23)
What is the church?
Two or three people that gather (assemble together) in the name of Jesus (Matthew 18:20)
- church The Greek word for “church,” ekklēsia, refers to the people of God (the body of Christ) who assemble, not to a building. In Paul’s time, the people of God gathered in homes (Acts 12:12; Col 4:15; Phlm 2).
- The Greek word for “church” is ekklēsia, which means “assembly.”
What is the vision of the Church? (Jesus’ vision)
Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Let us break down this vision into bite size pieces;
- Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’
- Make disciples or all nations
- Baptizing them
- Teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us
- He is with us always, to the end of the age
- Jesus has been given ALL authority in heaven and on earth. His name is above every name. He has power over life and death, and power over all of the enemy. Jesus HAS ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth. This is very important that we understand by what authority He has. For once we understand who He is and what authority He has we can then properly make disciples, baptize them and teach them to observe ALL that He has commanded us.
- Go, go therefore, this is a reoccurring message from God. Throughout the Scriptures He is telling His people to go. In Mark He tells us to go and proclaim the Gospel to every living creature. Here He tells us to Go and make disciples of all nations. After we understand the authority Jesus has and has given us, He then sends us out to Go, proclaiming His Gospel and to make disciples.
- Make disciples of all nations; another word for disciple is student. If we Go and proclaim, preach, share, shout from the rooftops, the Gospel message, people will come and be set free from bondage's, they will be born again, they will be drawn from darkness into the light. Not by our means, or our words, but by His word, and His power. By leading them to Christ, He then removes their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh. Then we disciple them the same way Jesus did the disciples during His time. We have them walk with us, seeing the word of God work in our lives. When they mature some in the Lord we then send them out as Jesus did the 12, then the seventy. Then when they have matured more we then send them out as laborers to repeat what they just learned into others they lead to Christ.
- Baptizing them; this is a vital step, if it wasn't Jesus would not have put it in His vision statement to His people. Each person that comes to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and their heart of stone is replaced with a heart of flesh; they will be ready to be baptized. We need to share with them the reason behind being baptized and then we walk with them through being baptized.
- Teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us; Discipleship isn’t a 5 week course, nor is it a something to take lightly. As a parent never stops investing life lessons into their children we that are making disciples should never stop investing spiritual lessons into those we are discipling. Teaching them to observe all that Jesus has command us.
- He is with us always, to the end of the age; another absolute is that Jesus is with us always! ALWAYS He is with us to the end of the age. Whenever we need guidance, advice, direction, He is there, always! All through our lives as we submit to His Lordship in our life He is discipling us, and teaching us all He commands. We are to duplicate Christ in us to those around us, encouraging them with these wonderful words that He is with us always!
How do I apply this to my own life?
That is a very good question, and the how to is very simple, actually you can sum it up in one word. Obedience. When we repent and turn from our wickedness and submit our lives to Him, something happens on the inside of us. We become born again, born of the Spirit. It is then that we should have someone in our life that can disciple us.
Salvation (first step)
First thing let’s get through the red tape, have you submitted your life to the Lordship of Jesus? Yes then continue, if no. Stop right here, contact me and let’s talk about the Gospel. No of this matters if Jesus is not the Lord of your life and you are abiding in Him!
Discipleship (second step)
If you said Jesus is your Lord then the next steps is to find out if you are in assembly (local church) with other believers? You cannot be discipled if you are not spending time around others that can disciple you. If you are not in assembly with other believers stop here and contact me and let’s discuss discipleship options.
Baptizing and teaching are steps you walk out once the one discipling you feels you have grown spiritually to be sent out as a laborer. Knowing Jesus is always with you is a understanding you gain through hearing and walking out the His Gospel.