Jenny Kimble

Foundational Truths - The Commission

In the ninth in our series studying Elim’s core beliefs, Jenny Kimble explores the commission.

Many of us will be familiar with the words of Matthew 28: 18-20 spoken by Jesus in what is commonly known as the Great Commission:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Sharing the gospel, the good news of Jesus, whereby God reconciles all things to himself, is of central importance to the Elim movement.

The original Greek term used by Matthew for ‘nations’ is ethnē, which refers more to ‘people groups’ than nationalities.

There are almost 200 nations in the world; in India alone the Joshua Project indicates that there are more than 2,300 people groups, 90% of whom are classified as ‘unreached’ with the gospel.

The gospel is good news for all the people of the world, and Elim’s priority of ‘reaching nations’ holds true for the different people groups in our own neighbourhoods as well as those across the globe.

You may have come across variations of the following quote, popularly attributed to Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words.”

While the sentiment behind this when it is used to encourage acts of mercy and humanitarian kindness “to embrace the needs of the whole man” is helpful, the gospel is inherently about proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ which does indeed require words.

Romans 10: 13-17 explains this very clearly, and as believers we have a responsibility to ensure we are prepared to give everyone a reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3: 15). We may not all be called to be evangelists but we are all called to evangelise.

The origins of Elim are as an evangelistic movement.

Many of the early Elim churches were established as a result of evangelistic tent meetings held by George Jeffreys and other Elim pioneers.

Frequently the preaching of the gospel was accompanied by miraculous healings, many of which were documented in the publications of the time.

God is still at work healing and delivering people today, and while we may not always understand why some people are healed or delivered and others not, it is still important to pray for people while staying attuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Are we expectant for God to move in power, but still willing to trust him even if we don’t see the results we would like?

It is also important as Pentecostals that we recognise the importance of basic physical human necessities such as clean water, immunisations and educational opportunities.

We need to do what we can to ensure all people have access to these, not purely as a gateway to ‘sharing the message’, but because it is the right thing to do for our fellow human beings who have also been created in the image of God.

The commission we believe in as Elim Pentecostals is to be ready to take opportunities to explain the good news of Jesus and to demonstrate the truth of that message by the power of the Spirit and in acts of service to a world that needs to hear and experience it.

The commission: what Elim believes

We believe that the gospel embraces the needs of the whole man and that the church is therefore commissioned to preach the gospel to the world and to fulfil a ministry of healing and deliverance to the spiritual and physical needs of mankind.

Why the commission matters

• The whole world needs to hear the gospel
• The gospel is proclaimed in words and demonstrated through deeds
• Healing and deliverance still hap-pens today by the working of the Spirit’s power

Jenny Kimble is Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Ministry Foundation Certificate course leader at Regents Theological College.

This article first appeared in the May 2022 edition of Direction Magazine. You can order copies here.

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