The New Commandment Comes Before the Great Commission

I’ve been a part of a fellowship of churches for many years where the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) has been historically a great motivating factor. Yet I’ve been dismayed often enough by those who are gung ho for evangelism yet showing little of the love and compassion of Christ for others. Simply in the progression of the teaching of Christ, the New Commandment (John 13:34-35) was delivered before the Great Commission. In fact, the Great Commission depends upon the people intending to obey it having to know and obey everything that Jesus had already taught up to that point. In other words, a claim to be following the Great Commission is no excuse to neglect anything else that the New Testament (the teaching of Jesus himself and through the apostles) teaches. Rather, it presupposes that the person going forth to obey it be himself or herself to be rooted and grounded in Christ and showing Christlikeness in life.

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