Monday, June 13, 2011

Great Commission Both/And

As Spurgeon and others have noted, the doctrines of human respsonsibility and divine sovereignty have no need to be "reconciled" simply because (at least in God's mind) they are already "friends." A good example of this is the two ways in which the the New Testament speaks of the Great Commission and its fulfillment.

At the end of Matthews's Gospel Jesus gives the Great Commission as an imperative when he commands his followers, "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" (Matthew 28:19)

But in Luke's account of the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus speaks of the Great Commission as something that will certainly be fulfilled when he informs his disciples, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

So which is it? Is the command to disciple the nations a directive for us to fulfill, or a certainty which God will sovereignly accomplish? Yes, and amen. And neither to the exclusion of the other.

No comments: