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As true churches of Jesus Christ, the URCNA are obligated to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28.18-20). The book of Acts reveals how this is fulfilled through the planting of churches and the ordinary means of grace. After receiving the power of the Spirit (Acts 2.1-4), the apostles preached the gospel (2.14-36), baptized believers with their children (2.37-41), and began meeting regularly with those who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (2.42). Thus, the first new covenant church was established. This same pattern of planting churches unfolds throughout the entire book of Acts as the apostles went throughout the world preaching Christ, baptizing believers and their households, and planting churches with appointed elders to oversee the new disciples (Acts 14.21-23).
The necessity of the local church for the making of disciples can hardly be overemphasized. This is our Lord’s chosen means for gathering...
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