the weblog of Alan Knox

Great Commission: God and/or us?

Posted by on Apr 14, 2010 in discipleship | 2 comments

As I’ve mentioned several times now, we discussed the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20 last Sunday. Here’s another important question concerning the Great Commission? Is the Great Commission (i.e., making disciples) the work of God or is it our responsibility?

The answer is, “Yes!” Only God can change someone’s heart; only God can give someone the grace and strength to grow. There are no two ways about it… “making disciples” is the work of God.

However, since Jesus clearly commands his followers to “make disciples” we must also understand that something of the Great Commission is our responsibility as well. God has chosen to work through is people.

So, what do you think? Can we separate the work of God from our responsibility? Or, is this a both/and?


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  1. 4-14-2010

    There’s no doubt. It is both/and. God does all the work and we do all the work,

  2. 4-15-2010

    I’ve always liked James description of the work of a farmer. James says, “Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” (James 5:7)

    If you know anything about farming, we would not describe the effort put forth by farmers as “sitting around” waiting patiently for the crops to grow themselves. Farmers work long hours, early in the cold and in the heat of the day. But in regards to life springing up, to fruits being born, they know their role is secondary. If they don’t plant and work and care for the plants, there will not be much fruit. But they also know who gives the seed life, who brings the refreshing rains necessary for that life to grow.

    Farmers have pride in their crops and in their work (a sense of worth and a sense of place), but they could not imagine anyone thinking they brought forth life and fruit of their own power.

    We should do what we can to prepare the ground, to lay down seeds at the right time, and to care for the tender plant, and to guard against insects and disease that threaten the fruit. but never will it be said that “flesh and blood” has revealed life in another.