Saturday, June 19, 2010

FAQ: Why Translate the Bible for a People who have Already Heard the Gospel?

1. The Great Commission is not Fulfilled at Conversion, but at Obedience to all Christ’s Commands.
“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." - Matthew 28:19-20

According to the above passage, the Great Commission is fulfilled not at evangelism, but instead when people learn to observe all that Christ has commanded. Specifically, he tells us to:

1) Go into all the nations
2) Make disciples (through the preaching of the Gospel)
3) Baptize them
4) Teach them to obey everything that Christ has commanded

The way in which we know what Christ has commanded us to do is written down for us in the Bible. Without the Bible, how do we know how to obey Jesus? Therefore, in order to fulfill the Great Commission, we are convinced that people need to have a Bible translated for them in their own language and then be taught what it says. This is a life’s work.

2. The Lord has Good Works Prepared for his Children to Walk in
The Lord has not purposed that we simply put our faith in Christ to escape Hell and then that is it. No, instead he created us for good works as explained in Ephesians 2:10:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Now, without a Bible, how are we to walk in good works? Can you imagine being given a new heart that longs to obey the Lord but not know what the Lord requires of you? Giving people a Bible in their language allows them to have concrete ways in which they can obey the Lord.

3. The Means by which Christians are Sanctified is through the Word.
Jesus’ heart’s desire for his future disciples was that they be sanctified (or increasingly godly). He prayed to his Father…

Sanctify them…”

And how are we sanctified?

“…in the truth…”

What is the truth?

According to Jesus “…Your word is truth.” – John 17:17

Jesus did not just pray “Lord may all the earth put their faith in me to escape your wrath.” No, he wants more than that – he wants his followers to increase in godliness even before their death. Therefore, we are convinced that true fulfillment of the wishes of Jesus requires a Bible to be translated.