Chapter 5: The Terms of Sovereignty

Kenneth L Gentry

Narrated By: Joseph Spurgeon
Book: The Greatness of the Great Commission
Topics: , ,


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Chapter Text

“Make disciples of all the nations…, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19a, 20a).

The third feature of the covenant to which we now turn is ethics. In the ethics section of a covenant is set forth the pattern of life, the standards for conduct, expected under the Sovereign Covenant Maker. It is vitally important to realize that the “principle is that law is at the heart of God’s covenant. The primary idea is that God wants His people to see an ethical relationship between cause and effect: be faithful and prosper.”[1] This is true of the Great Commission in that it is a covenantal transaction. Christ acts as the Great Prophet[2] by authoritatively declaring the will of God.

Discipleship in Life

In the Great Commission proper we find in the original Greek three participles: “going,” “baptizing,” and “teaching.” The main verbal command, which draws these three participles into its orbit, is the directive to “disciple”: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” What does it mean to “make disciples”? And how does this involve ethics? In light of some confusion on the whole matter, these are important and relevant questions.

Some evangelicals inadvertently water down the exhortation here. For instance, Charles Lee Feinberg writes that “Nothing could be plainer in the New Testament than that in this age of grace God uses the church, members of the body of Christ, to be witnesses throughout the earth (Mt 28:18-20; Ac 1:8).”[3]

In a book written by Wayne House and Thomas Ice, there appears an interesting statement in this regard. In the paragraph immediately following a reference to the Matthew 28 Great Commission, we find the following: “First is the word ‘disciples’ (Matthew 28:19).” Then a few sentences later they write: ” The Greek word mathetes [disciple] simply means ‘learner’ or ‘pupil,’ and is one of the general terms used to describe a believer in Christ…. A disciple is anyone who is a believer, who is learning God’s Word and is growing.”[4]

What are we to make of such statements? Are they accurate summations of the Great Commission command to disciple? As a matter of fact, the statements cited are flawed and deficient on the very surface. And as such are illustrative of a widespread misapprehension of this most noble task committed to the Church.

Feinberg erroneously cites Matthew 28:18-20 as an example of which “nothing could be plainer” that Christians are “to be witnesses throughout the earth.” As we shall see, “nothing could be plainer” than that Feinberg misinterprets Christ’s command to Christians to “make disciples” by stating they should merely be “witnesses.”

House and Ice fare little better. Although their own context is clear that they are dealing with Matthew 28:19, they speak as if the command used the noun “disciple” rather than the verb “make disciples.” They end with a non-descript understanding of a “disciple”: He is anyone who is a “believer” who is “growing.” Growing in what? The understanding of regeneration? As a matter of fact, this deficient understanding is actually set forth as the implication by some. Megachurch fundamentalist pastor Jack Hyles[5] has written of the Great Commission: “Notice the four basic verbs: (1) Go. (2) Preach. (3) Baptize. (4) Teach them again. You teach them something after you get them saved and baptized. What do you teach them? To… ‘observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ …Now what did He command us to do? Go, preach, baptize, then teach what He commanded us to do. So, we teach them to go, preach, and baptize, that they may teach their converts to go and preach and baptize.”[6]

Or is the discipling work of the Great Commission much more than just helping people “grow”? Would not the understanding of the implications of the new life of salvation entail training in the application of God’s Word to all of life, in that Christ’s claimed authority is “in heaven and on earth” and is directed to “all the nations”?

The mission of the Church is much more than to be a witness, although certainly the Church is to be at least that (Acts 1:8). As Boettner notes: “The disciples were commanded not merely to preach, but to make disciples of all the nations.”[7] Had the Great Commission set forth the mission solely to “preach,” the Lord would have used the Greek verb kerusso (as in Mark 16:15). Had He meant only that His people should be a “witness,” He would have used the noun maturia (as in Acts 1:8). But He does neither in Matthew 28:19. And the fact that He does not is terribly significant.

  1. A. Carson rightly notes that “matheteuo (‘I disciple’) entails both preaching and response.”[8] The proclamation of truth is necessarily there, of course. But the idea of discipling involves the proclamation of truth with a view to its effecting the appropriate response in the disciple. In fact, “To disciple a person to Christ is to bring him into the relation of pupil to teacher [sovereignty], ‘taking his yoke’ of authoritative instruction (11:29) [hierarchy], accepting what he says as true because he says it and submitting to his requirements as right [ethics] because he makes them.”[9]

Discipling involves turning people from sinful rebellion against God to a faithful commitment to Christ[10] and training them in the exercise of that faith commitment in all of life,[11] not just a non-descript “growing.”

William Hendriksen insightfully observes: “The term ‘make disciples’ places somewhat more stress on the fact that the mind, as well as the heart and will, must be won for God.”[12] In other words, it is designed to win the obedience in all of life of the disciple. It is to promote ethical covenant living. But how shall the Church win the heart to God? How may the will of man be turned to follow after His will? And since the ministry of the Church is to promote the worship of God in all of life, where shall God’s will for all life be found? In mystic contemplation? Charismatic prophecy? Human logic? Warm feelings? Pragmatic considerations?

For the orthodox Christian, the answer should be obvious: We determine the will of God through Spirit-blessed study of the written Word of God, the Bible.[13] As the Lord says: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, … teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:18-19).

Instruction in the Word

The Christian faith is a “religion of the book.” The whole Bible is, in effect, a covenant document. The orthodox Christian holds that the Bible is “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). He is confident that “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:21). Thus, he rests assured in the “thus saith the Lord” of Scripture, because the prophets and apostles “speak not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:13a).

The Christian accepts the apostolic word “not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13). Therefore, he stands with Christ and Moses in the affirmation that “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; cp. Deut. 8:3), for God’s words are “words of life.”[14] Consequently, the orthodox Christian holds to the absolute authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture. He believes the Great Commission invokes “all authority in heaven and earth,” which entails “unlimited authority in every area” of life.[15]

God’s Word is of foundational importance to the God-fearing Christian. His spoken Word not only brought into being all of reality,[16] but powerfully upholds the universe[17] and accomplishes His will in history.[18] The significance of God’s Word is such that His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, is called “the Word,”[19] in that He reveals the invisible God to man.[20] His written Word possesses the same authority for life as His spoken Word exercised creative power in the universe.

Here in the Great Commission the Word of God is promoted, when Christ instructs His followers: “teach them to observe all that I commanded you.” But what all does this cover? Certainly it covers at least all things that He expressly taught – and thus involves much more than just “going, preaching, baptizing,” as Jack Hyles, John R. Rice, and others teach. This should be apparent even on the surface, for He urges them to teach “all things (Gk: panta) whatever I commanded you.” Since He is God,[21] His voice is the voice of authority.[22] Hence, all of His words that are recorded for us in Scripture come with commanding authority.[23]

It has been commented that “the fact that Jesus had given commands (enteilamen) indctes [sic] His authority to issue binding and lasting regulations….”[24] These regulations “bind” and “regulate” the Christian’s conduct in all of God’s world. In fact, the command is that we “teach them to observe all that I commanded you.” Thus, here “Jesus binds us to all that he has bidden us and not merely to some one or two features,”[25] as is too often the position of many Christians. Too many Christians delimit the command just to the specifically evangelistic enterprise or some other individualistic or personal aspect of Christian duty.

The Source of Instruction

This obligation to teach “all things commanded” extends even beyond His express words. First, despite some who would limit the scope of this command,[26] it should be observed that this command would include all teaching in Scripture that was previous to His earthly ministry.[27] Christ was careful in His ministry to uphold the integrity and relevance of God’s Word in the Old Testament. Note that: (1) He came that He might live in terms of God’s Law,[28] which man had broken.[29] (2) He taught the fundamental unity of both testaments (John 10:35), with the Old Testament forming the foundation of His teaching.[30] (3) He kept the Law in His daily life.[31] (4) He commanded His followers to keep the Law.[32] (5) Thus, He even upheld its civil validity (e.g., Matt. 15:3-6[33]). (6) He defined godly love in terms of the Law,[34] as did the apostles.[35]

It is important to keep in mind that the apostles themselves followed the Master in depending upon the ethical integrity and relevance of God’s Law as confirmation for their instruction.[36] We should also note that true evangelism, by the very nature of the case, necessitates the preaching of the Law. The truly evangelistic encounter must deal with the sin question, and sin is defined in terms of God’s Law.[37] In fact, on Judgment Day men will be judged in terms of the Law’s just demands.[38]

Second, His command included the yet future teaching of the apostles. Before He left this world He left the promise that He would direct the revelation that would come by means of the Holy Spirit.[39] Christ is the One who grants the Spirit.[40] His

apostles were given His Spirit to lead them in the production of Scripture.[41]

In light of this, it would appear that in urging the teaching of “all things He commandedtt the Great Commission urges us to promote “the whole counsel of Godtt (Acts 20:27). And the whole counsel of God is found in the teaching of Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament record), in the teaching of Christ (the Gospel record), and in the teaching of His apostles (the remaining New Testament record).[42]

The Scope of Instruction

The absolutely authoritative Word of God/Christ is the believer’s blueprint for living all of life in God’s world. Consequently, true discipleship and worship, as commanded in Christ’s Great Commission, will involve promoting a holistic Christian world-and-life view.[43] Christ’s Commission, then, involves a radical commitment to and promotion of all Scripture as “profitable… that the man of God might be thoroughly furnished for every good work.”[44]

Paul, as Christianity’s greatest missionary, provides for us an important example in the application of this aspect of the Great Commission, when he writes: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5, emphasis added). Rather than conforming to the world, Paul urges a radical transforming of the mind by the ascertaining of the will of God (Rom. 12:1,2). He promoted an “exposing of the works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11), wherever they were found, in every aspect of life, because God-less thinking and acting is blindness and vanity.[45] He challenged the very intellectual underpinnings of non-Christian culture, urging their being “destroyed” (not by the sword, but by the spiritual instruments available in God’s Word) and being replaced with “captive obedience” to Christ. He firmly believed that in Christ alone was “the truth”[46] and true knowledge and wisdom.[47]

Christ taught that His converts were to follow Him (John 10:27) on a new path (Matt. 7:13-14). He claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Thus, early Christians were initially called a people of “the way,”[48] because they followed a new way of life. They were also known as “disciples” because they were trained in the truth and application of “the way.”[49] They did not simply receive “testimony” or hear “preaching.” They responded positively to that testimony and preaching; they were “discipled” in a new faith, a new approach to all of life.[50]

Resistance to the Commission

Surprisingly, there have been several evangelicals who have recently expressed dismay over the growth in the numbers of Christians who promote God’s will among all the affairs of men, not just the inner spiritual life of individuals and families.[51] These writers are disturbed that some Christians seek to promote the Christian faith in the world with a view to its actually prevailing among and exercising dominion over all the affairs of men. The impression left by these writers is clearly that such thinking advocates political revolution, social upheaval, and the fostering of a Church-State. Such is clearly wrong.

The rallying cry of concerned Christians is not in the least the call for dominion through political manipulation and military conquest. The promotion of the crown rights of King Jesus,[52] as it may be expressed, is through the means of the Great Commission’s evangelistic call to disciple the nations. Clearly the means of Christ’s dominion in the world is to exercise, through His people, a spiritual influence, not an influence through carnal warfare or political upheaval.[53]

In fact, we are reminded once again that “The term ‘make disciples’ places somewhat more stress on the fact that the mind, as well as the heart and will, must be won for God.”[54] The reason being that Christ’s kingdom is “not of this world,” that is, it does not receive its power or exercise its influence like earthly kingdoms (John 18:36). This is because it operates from “within,” rather than from without.[55] Christ’s authority, we must remember, is “in heaven and on earth”; it comes from above and works within.

The command to teach is a command to “teach them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:20a). We are to urge the promotion of Christian theory and practice. The theoretical foundation in the Great Commission (“all authority”), gives rise to the practical duties (“go,” “disciple,” “baptize,” “teach to observe”). In fact, it is important to note the general order of instruction in the New Testament epistles. There is the common tendency to lay down doctrinal foundations (theory) first, and then to erect upon those sure foundations ethical directives (practice).[56] That is, there is the call to “practice what you preach.”[57]

Again we are reminded that conversion to the Christian faith involves the taking up of a new life style.[58] As we noted earlier, Christ claims to be “the way” of life (John 14:6). He obligates us to “follow” Him.[59] He promises us blessings for building our lives on Him and His teaching, and warns us that a refusal to build our entire lives on Him and His doctrine will eventuate in collapse and ruin.[60] Thus, the implementation of His truth claims in every endeavor and walk of life is here rightly commanded of us.

Those who neglect the social and cultural ramifications of Christ’s Word relegate Scripture to practical irrelevance regarding the larger issues of life. Like the Old Testament, the New Testament promotes a Christian view of social duty and involvement. Or course, it is concerned with marriage and divorce (Matt. 5:27-32; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:1-10), family relations (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-20), and child rearing (Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:21), as all agree. But it also instructs us regarding the rich man’s duty to the poor (Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 16:19-25; 2 Cor. 8: 13ff), employer-employee relationships (Eph. 6:5-9; Luke 10:17), honest wages (1 Tim. 5:18; Luke 10:7), free-market bargaining (Matt. 20:1-15), private property rights (Acts 5:4), godly citizenship and the proper function of the state (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17), the family as the primary agency of welfare (1 Tim. 5:8), proper use of finances (Matt. 15: 14ff), the dangers of debt (Rom. 13:8), the morality of investment (Matt. 25:14-30), the obligation to leaving an inheritance (2 Cor. 12:14), penal restraints upon criminals (Rom. 13:4; 1 Tim. 1:8-10), lawsuits (1 Cor. 6:1-8), and more. In doing so, it reflects and supplements the socio-cultural concern of the Old Testament, urging the people of God to live all of life under Christ’s authority, not just the inner-personal or family or church areas of life. Hence, the command to “observe all things I commanded you.”

Yet there are those in evangelical circles who would attempt to dissuade in-depth social involvement for the believer. One missions textbook does so:

Christ is the wisest of all philosophers. He is the wisdom of God, yet founded no philosophical school. Christ is the greatest of all scholars and educators, yet He instituted no educational system. Christ is the greatest benefactor and philanthropist, yet He founded no social welfare societies, institutions of philanthropic foundations. Christ was ‘Christian presence” with deepest concerns for freedom, social uplift, equality, moral reformation and economic justice. Yet Christ founded no organization or institutions to initiate, propagate or implement the ideals which He incarnated… Christ did not become involved in processions against Roman overlords, slavery, social and economic injustices, or marches for civil rights, higher wages, or better education.[61]

That book continues elsewhere:

We are sent not to preach sociology but salvation; not economics but evangelism; not reform but redemption; not culture but conversion; not a new social order but a new birth; not revolution but regeneration; not renovation but revival; not resuscitation but resurrection; not a new organization but a new creation; not democracy but the gospel; not civilization but Christ; we are ambassadors, not diplomats.[62]

But should we not preach “biblical sociology” so that the recipients of salvation might know how they ought to behave as social creatures? Should we not preach “biblical economics” to those who are evangelized, so that men might know how to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted into their care, resources they use every day of their lives? Should we not promote a “biblical culture” to those who are converted so that they might labor toward a transforming of a godless culture into a God-honoring one? On and on we could go in response.

There are even Christian colleges advertising along these lines. The following advertisement was see in Faith For the Family, advertising a Christian university: “Christianize the world? FORGET IT!…. Try to bring Christian values, morals, precepts, and standards upon a lost world and you’re wasting your time…. Evangelize – preach the Gospel; snatch men as brands from the burning…. All your preaching won’t change the world, but the Gospel ‘is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.'”[63] (We might ask: What academic course work could be assigned that would be consistent with such a view of Christian thought? What textbooks does such a university assign? The answer is obvious: textbooks written either by humanists or by Christians who do not share this university’s presuppositions. By the way, just for the record, until the “name inflation” of the 1970s, a university was an academic institution that granted the Ph. D degree.)

Another evangelical writer agrees, when he comments on the Great Commission: “What we are to obey is modeled for us in the examples of the life of Christ and the Apostles. They did not call for political revolution, organize a political party, or plot the systematic takeover of society. Instead they spent their energy saving souls and transforming the lives of those converts into citizens of God’s spiritual kingdom.”[64] Unfortunately, the way the statement is framed (“revolution,” “political party,” “takeover”) puts the worst possible light on the spiritual call to socio-cultural involvement. Our weapons are not carnal for political revolution, but spiritual (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Our effectiveness is not through political parties, but through the Church (Eph. 1:19-21), prayer (1 Tim. 2:2-5; 1 Pet. 3:12), and godly labor (Luke 19:13; 1 Pet. 2:15-16). Our goal is not to “takeover” as in a coup, but to win through powerful word (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17). As one writer has put it: “the labor is ours; the subduing is His.”[65]


The Great Commission, then, urges us to live all of life for the glory of Christ, to observe all things whatsoever Christ commands us in His Word. We are to do all things to God’s glory,[66] because all men and things have been created for His glory and are expected to bring Him glory.[67] We are to love God with “all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, and all our strength,”[68] for He has redeemed us in order to purify us from “all lawlessness” (Tit. 2:14, Gk.) so that we might be “zealous of good works” in all of life.[69] The winning of the mind and will of the lost will involve teaching all things Christ teaches us in His Word, in both Old and New Testaments.

[1] Ray R. Sutton, That You May Prosper: Dominion By Covenant (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987), p. 17.

[2] Deut. 18:18; John 6:14; cp. Matt. 13:57; 21:11; Luke 24:19; John 1:25, 45; Acts 3:20-25.

[3] Charles Lee Feinberg, “The Jew After the Rapture” in Feinberg, ed., Prophecy and the Seventies (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), p. 182.

[4] H. Wayne House and Thomas D. Ice, Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse? (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1988), p. 153.

[5] Hyles pastors the largest church in America, according to Lyle E. Schaller, “Megachurch!,” Christianity Today, March 5, 1990, p. 22. Although there is some question as to the accuracy of the attendance figures cited by Hyles. See: Letter to the editor, from Vernon J. Norman, Christianity Today, May 14, 1990, p. 10.

[6] Jack Hyles, Let’s Go Soul Winning (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord, 1962), p. 22. John R. Rice agrees in his Why Our Churches Do Not Win Souls (Murfreesboro: Sword of the Lord, 1966), p. 22.

[7] Loraine Boettner, The Millennium (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1957), p.15.

[8] D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1984), 8:597.

[9] John A Broadus. Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew in Alvah Hovey. ed., An

American Commentary (Valley Forge: Judson Press. 1886 [rep.]. p. 593. Bracketed words are mine. KLG.

[10] Acts 20:21; 26:18.

[11] Acts 20:27; Col. 3:17; 2 Cor. 10:31; Heb. 5:11-14.

[12] William Hendriksen. Matthew (New Testament Commentary) (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973). p. 999.

[13] Matt. 4:4; John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 2:2; Heb. 4:12. See:

John Murray. “The Guidance of the Holy Spirit” in Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 1: The Claims of Truth (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth. 1976). pp. 186-189. Garry Friesen. Decision Making & the Wall of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View (Portland. OR: Multnomah. 1980).

[14] John 6:68; Acts 5:20; Phil. 2:16.

[15] Cleon Rogers. “The Great Commission.” Bibliotheca. Sacra. 130-519 (July-Sept. 1973), 265.

[16] Gen. 1; Psa. 33:6; 2 Cor. 4:6; Heb. 11:1.

[17] Isa. 40:26-28; Heb. 1:3; Neh. 9:6; Acts 17:28; 2 Pet. 3:5.7.

[18] Isa. 55:11; Eph. 1:11; Rev. 19:15,21.

[19] John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 19:13.

[20] Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 1:18; 6:46; 14:9; 17:6; 1 Jn. 5:20.

[21] John 1:1; 14:9; 20:28.

[22] Matt. 7:29; Mark 1:22, 27; Luke 4:36, 32.

[23] It should be noted that not all of Christ’s words are recorded in Scripture, John

21 :25. For a discussion of the question of their potential discovery and inclusion in the canon, see: Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy: A Reformed Response to Wayne Grudem (2nd. ed.: Memphis. TN: Footstool Publications. 1989). ch. 10. “The Problem of the ‘Open Canon.”‘

[24] Rogers, “Great Commission,” p. 265.

[25] Lenski, Matthew, p. 1179.

[26] D. A Carson, “Matthew,” in Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositors Bible Commentary

(Grand Rapids: Regency Reference library, 1984).8:598: “The focus is on Jesus’ commands, not Old Testament law.”

[27] Greg L. Bahnsen, By This Standard: The Authority of God’s Law Today (Tyler, TX:

Institute for Christian Economics, 1985).

[28] Psa. 40:7ff; Heb. 10:5.

[29] Rom. 3:19; Gal. 3:13; 4:4-5; 1 John 3:4.

[30] E.g., Matt. 10:4; John 8:17.

[31] Matt. 3:15; 4:4ff; John 8:46.

[32] Matt. 5:17-20; 19:16-26; Luke 16:17; John 14:15,21; 15:10.

[33] The case of the “woman caught in adultery” (John 8:1-11), rather than being an

evidence of His urging the setting aside of the requirements of the Law, shows His concern for its meticulous keeping (as might be expected from Matt. 5:17-19). The Law commanded capital punishment for adultery (Lev. 20:10). Christ did not set aside that law here. Notice that He does not say, “Do not stone her.” Rather, He required the maintenance of the legal protections necessary in capital punishment trials, when He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7). God’s Law requires that the witnesses in capital cases be innocent of that particular crime or sin (Deut. 19:15) and that the witnesses be the first to begin the punishment (Deut. 17:7). All of the “witnesses” against the woman turned away upon hearing this (John 8:9), even though they allegedly caught her “in the very act” (but where is the man?).

[34] Matt. 7:12; 22:36-40.

[35] Rom. 13:9-10; Gal. 5:14; Jms. 2:8.

[36] 1 Tim. 5:17 (cp. Deut. 25:4); 2 Cor. 6:14 (cp. Deut. 22:10); Acts 23:1-5 (cp. Ex.

22:28; Lev. 19:15). See also Gal. 5:14; 1 Cor. 7:19; 14:34; 1 John 2:3; 5:3.

[37] Rom. 3:20; 7:7, 13; Jms. 2:9-11; 1 John 3:4.

[38] Matt. 7:23; 13:41; Luke 13:27; Rom. 2:12-15; 3:19.

[39] John 14:15-18, 26; 15:26-27; 16:5-15.

[40] Luke 24:49; Acts 2:32-33; Eph. 4:8.

[41] Cf. 1 Cor. 2:13; 1 Thess. 1:5.

[42] It is not found in any alleged charismatic prophetic utterances today. The Church upon an established foundation of final truth brought by the authoritative apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20-21). Christ led His disciples into “all truth” (John 16:13). The completed Scripture, then, is all that is needed to “thoroughly equip” the believer for “every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The faith has been “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). See: Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy: A Reformed Response to Wayne Grudem (2ed.: Memphis, TN: Footstool, 1989).

[43] For an illustrative sampling of the application of Scripture to various academic

disciplines, see: Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. “The Greatness of the Great Commission” in Journal of Christian Reconstruction, VII:2 (Winter, 1981), 42-45; Gary North, ed., Foundations of Christian Scholarship: Essays in the Van Til Perspective (Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 1976); and the groundbreaking, 10-volume Biblical Blueprint Series, edited by Gary North (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1986-87). For essays on various aspects of the Christian worldview, see also my book, Light for the World: Studies in Reformed Theology (Alberta, Canada: Still Waters Revival Press, forthcoming).

[44] 2 Tim. 3:16-17; cp. 2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 13:21.

[45] Rom. 1:21; Eph. 4:17; Col. 2:18.

[46] John 14:6; cp. John 17:17.

[47] Col. 2:3, 9; cp. Provo 1:7; 9:10.

[48] Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22.

[49] Acts 1:15; 6:1, 2, 7; 9:1, 10, 19, 25, 26, 36, 38; 11:26, 29; 13:52; 14:20, 22, 28; 15:10; 16:1; 18:23, 27; 19:1,9; 30; 20:1; 20:7, 30; 21:4, 16.

[50] Even the Jews were learning a “new” way, because they had long forsaken the written Law of God in deference to the “sayings of the elders,” e.g., Matt. 15:1ff. See Gary North, The Judeo-Christian Tradition (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), chaps. 6, 7, for an analysis of the anti-biblical nature of the Jewish Talmud.

[51] David Wilkerson, Set The Trumpet to Thy Mouth (Lindale, TX: World Challenge, 1985); Jimmy Swaggert, “The Coming Kingdom,” The Evangelist (September, 1986), pp. 4-12; House and Ice, Dominion Theology; Hal Lindsey, The Road to Holocaust (New York: Bantam, 1989).

[52] Acts 17:7; Rev. 1:5-6.

[53] “The basis for building a Christian society is evangelism and missions that lead to a widespread Christian revival, so that the great mass of earth’s inhabitants will place themselves under Christ’s protection, and then voluntarily use His covenantal laws for self-government. Christian reconstruction begins with personal conversion to Christ and self-government under God’s law; then it spreads to others through revival; and only later does it bring comprehensive changes in civil law, when the vast majority of voters voluntarily agree to live under biblical blueprints.” Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), pp. 585-586.

[54] William Hendriksen, Matthew (New Testament Commentary) (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973), p. 999.

[55] Matt: 13:34; Luke 17:21; 1 Cor. 4:20; 2 Cor. 10:4-5.

[56] Although this is no hard-and-fast rule with water-tight compartments, the general tendency is especially evident in Paul’s writings. Paul urges a specific conduct based on particular doctrinal considerations, often by the use of a “therefore” (Rom. 1-11, cp. 12:1ff; Eph. 1-3, cp. 5:1ff; Phil. 1-3, cp. 4:1ff; Col. 1-2, cp. 3:1ff)

[57] See: Matt: 7:24; 21:28-32; 23:3; Jms. 2:22.

[58] Luke 3:8; Rom. 6:18; 1 Cor. 6:10-11; Eph. 2:2-3; 4:17, 22, 28; 5:8; Col. 3:5-8; 1 Thess. 1:9.

[59] Matt. 10:38; 16:24; John 8:12; 10:27; 12:26.

[60] Matt. 7:24-27; Luke 11:28; John 13:17; 14:15, 23, 24; John 15:14.

[61] George W. Peters, A Biblical Theology of Missions (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), p. 211.

[62] Ibid., p. 209.

[63] Cited in Herbert W. Bowsher, “Will Christ Return ‘At Any Moment’?” in The Journal of Christian Reconstruction 7:2 (Winter, 1981) 48.

[64] Lindsey, Road to Holocaust, p. 279.

[65] Herschell H. Hobbs. An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids: Baker, p. 422

[66] Rom. 14:7-9; 1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:11.

[67] Eccl. 12:13;.Acts 17:26-31; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11.

[68] Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30. 33; Luke 10:27.

[69] Tit. 2:14; Eph. 2:10.