The DNA of Our Mission

The DNA of Our Mission

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

DNA – The Core of the Local Church / Evangelism; Discipleship / Matthew 28:18–20

Today we launch a new sermon series:  DNA – The Core of the Local Church.  DNA is the genetic code that determines the core makeup of a living creatures.  The DNA will determine color of eyes, hair, and skin.  Every major aspect of how a creature is put together is determined by the DNA code.  It is the blueprint to how we are made and how we are designed to function.

In the next several weeks we will be studying the organism known as the Local Church.  The Bible teaches us that the Local Church is the physical manifestation of the Body of Christ here on earth.  She is a living organism.  In the next few weeks we will look at how the church is designed and how it is supposed to function.  We will examine her DNA and discover the core of the Local Church.

In our passage this morning, the church that Christ started was assembled. Jesus would soon be ascending back to the Father. Today’s passage contains the marching orders for the Church that Christ built. He told those apprehensive leaders that His power would be with them. He then gave the blueprint that every local church is to follow. These orders are known as “The Great Commission”.

A pastor once told the story of an experience he’d had with his dad, a skilled contractor and carpenter. One day, when he was a teenager, his father asked him to come to work and build houses with him. The boy replied, “But Dad, I don’t know anything about building houses.” At that, his father said, “That’s okay son. I know how to build houses; I just need you to bring me the wood.”

Often God’s people become discouraged because they have an inaccurate perception of their responsibilities. Many folks are fixated upon the need to grow the numbers of the local assembly. Today we will study the Great Commission and together we will discover what is part of this commandment and what is not.

I. Our Mission is Not:

A mandate to force people into a profession of faith

1. We are not responsible for our hearers’ response to the message

Ezekiel 33:7 KJV 1900

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

Ezekiel 33:8 KJV 1900

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel 33:9 KJV 1900

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

2. The sinner’s prayer does not save – true faith behind that prayer saves

Romans 10:13 KJV 1900

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:14 KJV 1900

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

 A mandate to build the membership of the church

Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

II. The Great Commission is:

 A mandate to go

Matthew 28:19 KJV 1900

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

1. Because you are being sent by Christ’s mighty power

Matthew 28:18 KJV 1900

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

2. Go to the whole world

Mark 16:15 KJV 1900

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Acts 1:8 KJV 1900

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

A mandate to make disciples

1. Lead them to Christ

a. They will receive saving faith after hearing the Word of God

Romans 10:17 KJV 1900

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

b. This must be a life priority

John 4:35 KJV 1900

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 – 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

2. Baptize them

Romans 6:3-4 – 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Acts 2:41 KJV 1900

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 8:36-38 – 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts 16:31-33 – 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

3. Teach them = “to give instruction”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33 – 32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2 Timothy 2:2 KJV 1900

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.


A proper understanding of the Great Commission will affect the emphasis and philosophy of every ministry in the church. Instead of asking the question, “Will this help us gain members?” we are to ask, “Will this help us go, evangelize, baptize, and teach people?”

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