HomeBible StudyThe Three Great Objectives of the Christian Faith

The Three Great Objectives of the Christian Faith

What is the Greatest Commandment? Jesus was asked this question and gave an answer from God’s law about loving God from the heart, mind, and strength.

What is the Great Commission? It is Jesus’ final words to His disciples to tell others about Him, and teach them live the Christian life.

What is the Great Conformation?

What? You’ve never heard of the Great Conformation?

Though it is a term not really used in the Christian church, in this study we apply [the Great Conformation] to a biblical concept that includes both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, leading to something even greater. In fact, it is not possible to obey these more commonly known “Greats” without the Great Conformation.

This study will outline the three “Greats” of the Christian faith, with a particular emphasis on that objective which is the nearest and dearest to God’s own heart. This study will also help you to see how interconnected these three great objectives are, and how it is not possible to fulfill one, without also fulfilling the others.

The Great Commission

Read: Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Commission is Christ’s command to tell others about Himself, and train them to live the Christian life.

Making disciples does not mean, “making converts,” as some simply put it. A disciple is a person who becomes like the one discipling, in this case, a person who wants to live a life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Why is a person who is telling others about Jesus “like” Jesus Christ?
How can a person become more like Jesus by discipling others?

Jesus fulfilled the Great Commission His Father gave Him.

(John 7:16, 8:28, 12:49, 14:10, 17:8)

Jesus made it clear that what He taught came from His Father in Heaven. His Father’s commission to was speak the truth about His identity, train His disciples to follow Him, then die for our sins and rise again from the dead.

How is the commission the Father gave Jesus similar to the commission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20?

Upon fulfilling the Great Commission His Father gave Him, Jesus passed that same commission on to us.

(John 15:10, 20:21)

The Father sent Jesus because He loved us. Jesus came to die for our sins because He loved us. He sends us to tell others about Him because He loves us. Do we obey His Great Commission because we love Him?

Love is the key to understanding God’s motivation for all that He has done. That love, expressed through the Great Commission, is part of another “Great” of Christianity: “The Great Commandment.”

Are you involved in fulfilling the Great Commission in your life? Why or why not? What do you need to help you fulfill the commission?

Write or discuss your personal reflections so far.

The Great Commandment

Read: Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37-38

The Great Commandment is that which encompasses all other commands of God – to love Him completely. 

Loving God with all our heart, mind, and strength means that God must be the focus of our most supreme attention, affections, and loyalty.

Time is a measurement of our affection and attention. What do you give your free time to the most? What has your mental attention the most?

Love of God is commanded, but only because God has previously given us many reasons to love Him – including that He loved us first.

(I John 4:10)

While the Great Commandment in recognized as a command, it is primarily a response to what God has already done. When God commanded Israel love Him, He was asking for a response to love He had previously expressed to them in saving them from slavery in Egypt.

If Jesus commands the same love, then what is our love responding to that He has already done for us, that is greater than what He did for Israel?

The fact is that though love is commanded in the Bible, our expression of love is not a prerequisite to knowing God, or going to heaven.

(Romans 5:6-10, I John 4:10)

A parent loves a child before the child knows what love is. So too God has loved us long before we knew Him, and provided a way for us to be saved from our sin, before we loved Him. All we must do is receive His expression of love. If done sincerely, God will begin to work a change in our lives – helping us to fall in love with Him.

List some reasons why you believe God loves you.
List some ways you can express your love to God in a practical way. 

Write or discuss your personal reflections so far.

The Great Conformation

The Great Conformation is expressed in Romans 8:29. It is God’s ultimate objective to make us just like Jesus Christ.

The Great Conformation is the ultimate objective of the Christian life.

While not expressed as a command, the Apostle Paul makes the importance of this objective clear. If we are becoming like Jesus Christ, we will want to do the things that He wants us to do. In other words, His will, will become my will.

How does becoming like Jesus Christ include the Great Commission to tell others about Jesus? Give an example.

The first part of becoming like Jesus is to be transformed in character (heart and mind).

(Luke 6:45, Romans 12:2, I Corinthians 2:16, Ephesians 4:24)

It is from the heart and mind that all of our actions flow. 

How are your thoughts and emotions representative of Jesus Christ? How can you transform your mind and heart?

The second part of becoming like Jesus is to be transformed in behavior and actions.

(John 15:14, I John 5:3)

Jesus said He did what His Father commanded because He loved Him. 

How is the Great Commission a critical part of becoming like Jesus Christ? Is it possible to truly become like Jesus without being involved in fulfilling the Great Commission. Why or why not?

What will you do with what you have learned?

Tom Terry is head of Global Broadcast Strategy for JESUS Film Project and serves as General Manager of The Better FM, an online radio station for Asia. Tom is also the author of several books, including Bible studies and "Like An Eagle," his biography about living in Mongolia for ten years.
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