The Lord Jesus gave His followers a commission to disciple all the nations of the earth. These are the marching orders. This is why we are here, and not whisked straight off to Heaven.
This is a tall order because the world does not want to be converted. The world loves its sin, and wants to remain in its sin. So how many battalions did the Lord leave with us? How many navies? How many parliaments, or bombs, or regulatory agencies? After He told us that He wanted us to lead all the nations to Him, to baptize those nations, and to teach them to be obedient to all His words, a natural question from us would therefore be, “what resources shall we have?”
Here are the “materials” we must have in order to assemble this new world, a world that will be offered back to the Father. We must have the Spirit. We must have the Word. We will need some water. And we will also need some bread and some wine.
Jesus told the first wave of disciples to return to Jerusalem until the Spirit was poured out. We need the power of the Holy Spirit for this. Jesus also told His apostles that they (and their followers) were to preach the gospel to every creature. We must have the Word, and for that we need words. The gospel is the message of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ, and that gospel is embedded in the surrounding framework of gospel, which would be the holy Scriptures.
After that, upon that foundation, we see that the business of the church is birth and growth. The birth can be seen in the waters of baptism, and the growth can be seen in the food that nourishes us—the bread and wine, which is where we are fed by Christ Himself.
Some might be tempted to say that this will never work. But God calls things that are not as though they are. The doubter might have had some excuse two thousand years ago, when Christ was delivering this charge to his small band of largely unarmed disciples on the Mount of Olives. However, to say now that it will not work, when it has worked with enormous success for the last two thousand years, is to cling to unbelief in the face of spectacular wonders.
One might excuse an Israelite for not believing that the Red Sea was going to part for them, but what shall we make of our new Israelites who are three quarters of the way through the Red Sea, and wall of water on each side, and they still have trouble believing it?
The conquest continues. The Spirit is within you. The Word is before you. The water of baptism is upon you, and the water of baptism never dries. And the bread and the wine are here with you now.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.