UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU! Gal. 4:19
The Words of the Great Commission has become a popular refrain on the lips of the
church, especially the Missions Agencies and every Christian who wants to sound
relevant and knowledgeable. It is so wonderful that at least, people are talking about
it and some others doing something honestly to be obedient to the command. However,
I see two principal components to the Great Commission.
First one is “GO”.
This is a command that demands action as the response. It implies that this command is
expected to be carried while on the move, or change of location, approaching the
intended recipient. It does not encourage stagnation for obedience, and as soldiers, we are expected to be
on the move and alert. The imperative is to GO, to move and be on the move. GO where? The Bible says ‘to
the nations’, “ethne”, ethnic groups or nationalities and special distinguishable groups existing all over the
geographical landscape. There can be no substitute to this very important aspect of going. We must be on
the move to be seen to be obeying this command.
This Command was reiterated more specifically and clearer in Acts 1:18. The Apostles clearly understood the
mandate and set about it, prompted by the Holy Spirit, to do and obey the command. Though initially, they
were obeying unwillingly and seeing results, but God thrust out Peter and then Paul, who willingly undertook
this “Going” mandate and the Gospel was consequently spread as directed by Christ. They began by
preaching the gospel, gathering those that believed into one place and teaching them. All through the book of Acts, we find the apostles following this trend and thereby establishing many churches in different places
and among different peoples. When they gathered, they began the second Principal component of the
command: Making Disciples.
Second One is MAKING DISCIPLES. How did they do this?
The Bible says in (Act 2:42) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers. One would ask, what was the doctrine of the Apostles? You will quickly
find a ready answer in Matthew 28:20, where Jesus instructed “Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen”.
The doctrine of the Apostles was simply, what Jesus had taught the apostles and commanded them to teach.
The word ‘steadfastly’ to me seems to imply “firmly” and “an unwavering manner”. They did this by
continuous study without wavering, taking it seriously and with all sense of commitment and duty. No wonder
that few years later, they were accused of ‘turning the world upside down’. Their life principles and attitudes
changed due to the fact that the Christ had become formed in them. Is that not the purpose of Discipleship?
Down the line in Antioch, the believers were first called ‘Christians’, meaning ‘little Christs’.
Why is the world not changed? Why is our nation not changed? Why are Christians not changed? Why do
we have many churches filled to capacity each Sunday and weekdays, yet iniquity among the same people is
on a steady rise instead of decline? Why do we have most of our Pastors after ephemeral temporal things,
possessions and positions, jettisoning the things of heaven and the promises thereof?
The simple reason is that they have not become disciples. How can they become disciples when they have not
been discipled? How can they be discipled when there are not enough people focusing on this core concept
and command? This should be the goal of every Christian and church and Church leadership. A Church does
not qualify to become matured until Christ is formed in them. Not knowing Christ, but like Paul said in Romans
8:2, ”For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he
might be the firstborn among many brethren”, and in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also
in Christ Jesus:” and in Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of
this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Having Christ formed in me is
taking on the principles and practices of Christ. Being moved by what moves Him; championing the cause He
THIS IS OUR MANDATE. Until that is done, WE ARE NOT DONE!