History // Theology // Bible Study

The King’s Command: The Great commission and christ’s victory

Joshua P. Howard

And Jesus came and said to them, “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.”

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

These are the last words of Jesus to his followers in the Gospel of Matthew. But who was he talking to? Was Jesus instructing those standing there before him at the time? Or was he commissioning all Christians for all time? Was Jesus just giving one additional command or does the commission have a context in which it is a climax in a story that began in the Garden of Eden and continues to the end of this age? Most importantly, what does the Great Commission actually command? It is frequently associated with foreign missions, but is that the right primary emphasis? In The King’s Command, Josh Howard seeks to answer these questions and more. Examining both the context and the content of the Great Commission, Howard exhorts all Christians at all times to make disciples of Christ, who is with us always.

JOSHUA P. HOWARD (PhD, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Teaching Elder at Grace Community Church in Battle Creek, MI. Josh is also the author of The Exorcism of Satan, co-hosts a few theology podcasts, and writes periodically. Josh is married to his high school sweetheart Marci, with whom he has four children.

advance praise for The King’s command

“The Great Commission text in Matthew 28 is rightly famous, but its message can easily be abstracted from the rest of Scripture. Josh Howard helpfully reads the Great Commission in the light of the entire biblical storyline from Genesis to Revelation. When we place the Great Commission in this larger context, we see even more clearly how it applies to our lives today and how it fits with God’s design to bring glory to himself in all things.”

Thomas R. Schreiner, Ph.D.
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments

“Josh Howard’s volume, The King’s Command, rightly situates the Great Commission within the unfolding narrative of the Bible. Christ’s command to bring the good news of his saving work is a cosmic, redemptive decree, fueling the church to bring God’s glory to the ends of the earth. I’m thankful for this book, and I’m confident that God will use it to expand his kingdom.”

Benjamin L. Gladd, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament
Reformed Theological Seminary
Author, The Story Retold and From Adam and Israel to the Church

“Josh Howard helpfully places the Great Commission in the larger cosmic context of the Scripture and maybe most importantly under the cosmic reign of Christ. This command isn’t an isolated or incidental mandate. It’s the very marching orders of every follower of Jesus.”

Patrick Schreiner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author, Political Gospel: Public Witness in a Politically Crazy World

“Christians can forget they play a valuable role in God’s story of creation. This story is an adventure filled with paradoxes: prosperity and adversity, joys and sorrows, victories and defeats. In The King’s Command, Josh Howard argues that through it all, the Church is not to sit passively on the sidelines or even pray for escape. Rather, Christians are called to actively engage the story and make disciples of Jesus in obedience to the Great Commission. While I take exceptions to certain conclusions (what good book doesn’t cause some disagreement!), I commend Dr. Howard’s faithfulness to Scripture, passion for the Church, and sobering call for Christians everywhere to take joy in their role in the grand story.”

Cory M. Marsh, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament, Southern California Seminary 
Author, A Primer on Biblical Literacy

“Josh Howard has given us an excellent Biblical-Theological view of the Great Commission, tracing God’s command throughout the historical landscape of Scripture, looking to its future escalated fulfillment, and calling us to a grateful grace-fueled obedience of it in the present.”

Jason Alligood, Ph.D.
Teaching Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church of Peoria, IL
Adjunct Professor, Puebla Bible Seminary & Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“What Josh Howard has done in The King’s Command is what every biblical interpretation student is asked to do; look at a passage in context. He does not simply look at the Great Commission in the light of the chapter or book, but in the scope of God’s heart for the nations from beginning to end. The King’s Command is a refreshing return to the Great Commission in redemptive and eschatological contexts and will help to answer questions of where one fits into that plan.”

Chip Lamca, DMin
Instructor of Christian Worldview and Missions
Grand Canyon University

“Josh Howard has brought us a fresh approach to understanding the Great Commission in its true biblical context. The combination of biblical explanation and practical application make this book a great resource for all who seek clarity concerning the Great Commission and its impact on discipleship.”

Michael Spradlin, Ph.D.
President, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
Author, The Sons of the 43rd

All Our Minds: Why Women should study theology

Edited by Rhonda Smith

Studying theology is vital for every Christian. This book seeks to show women learning theology and living that out in their everyday lives. The more women study theology, the more capable they are to live it out in their jobs, home, church, and relationships. We want to ask what does this look like? How do we take this head knowledge and apply it to our daily lives? Why is that important to God and how does it affect every area of our lives as women?

Buy the paperback or ebook on Amazon.

One Lord One Faith

Matthew R. Akers

In One Lord, One Faith: Lessons on Racial Reconciliation from the New Testament Church, Matthew Akers explores the deep racial divides that threatened the early church. Believers, who learned how to celebrate their unity by applying Christ’s teachings to their lives, ultimately tore down the ethnocultural barriers that separated them. Their oneness astounded a world that had never seen this level of reconciliation. As a result of their commitment to love God and to love others, the Holy Spirit blessed their faithfulness, which convinced many that Jesus is Lord. The purpose of this book is to help twenty-first century American churches implement in their congregations the first century church’s approach to racial reconciliation.

$14.99 (plus applicable taxes and $3.99 shipping)

Reassessing Selah

Ashley E. Lyon

Selah, an obscure term in the Psalter and Habakkuk, has commonly been the subject of discussion regarding its meaning and use. Many 19th century scholars have spent countless hours, and devoted many pages, to remove Selah from obscurity. Only now have we revealed a previously undiscovered clue in Selah’s use during the Second Temple period due to 20th century archaeological finds. In Reassessing Selah, Ashley E. Lyon approaches each text with a “whole picture” perspective to examine each psalm and Selah occurrence in its immediate context. Many scholars believed that Selah was simply an instruction for the musical director, but new evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls suggests that it was a live term in the Second Temple period.

$29.99 (plus applicable taxes and $2.99 shipping)

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Bethlehem’s Redeemer: Seeing Jesus in Ruth

Daniel J. Palmer

Palmer examines the Messianic message of Ruth as it anticipates the promised Son who will come from Bethlehem. Also available is a Learner’s Workbook and Journal that is a great guide for group studies or an individual that wants a guided study through the book.

Buy the book here on Amazon.

Buy the Learner’s Workbook and Journal here on Amazon

Advance Praise for Bethlehem’s Redeemer

“Daniel Palmer preached from the Old Testament in Southeastern Seminary chapel over a decade ago, and I thank God often that I was in attendance that day. Daniel’s handling of the text changed my life, because it pushed me to see Jesus on every page of Scripture. In this new book, Palmer walks readers through how to read the whole Bible as a book about Jesus and then shows us what reading with “Christ-centered lenses” looks like from the book of Ruth. Bethlehem’s Redeemer will not only push you to read Scripture in a way that’s centered on Jesus, it will also push you toward Jesus through its pastoral and accessible tone. I highly recommend this gem of a book!”

Dr. Matthew Y. Emerson
Professor of Religion
Director, MACS and MAIS Programs
Dean, Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry
Oklahoma Baptist University

“Jesus is the hero of the whole Bible. There is no book that does not point in some way to His person and work. BETHLEHEM’S REDEEMER reveals His presence in each of the four chapters of the marvelous little book of Ruth. He is the true kinsman redeemer we all need.”

Daniel L. Akin
Professor of Preaching & Theology
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Rich enough to help pastors prepare to preach through the book of Ruth and accessible enough to help new believers better understand it, this book is a great devotional and study-help  for anyone who wants to engage with these rich, beautiful stories of the Hebrew Scriptures more fully. Daniel makes even the cultural and theological nuances of Ruth easy to understand and helps the reader clearly see how to apply its principles.”

J.D. Greear, Ph.D.
Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, NC
62nd President, Southern Baptist Convention
Author, What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?

“Jesus said of the Old Testament, “These are the very Scriptures that testify of me” (John 5:39). Daniel Palmer demonstrates how the Book of Ruth testifies of Jesus. He explains clearly how this little, beautiful Old Testament book reveals Jesus as our Kinsman Redeemer. Bethlehem’s Redeemer is an excellent resource for any pastor, Sunday school teacher or small group leader who is preaching or teaching the Book of Ruth.”

Kenneth Keathley
Senior Professor of Theology
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Daniel Palmer blesses the reader with the mind of a serious student of God’s Word, the shepherd’s heart of a pastor, and a desire to point people to Jesus. Based off the Old Testament book of Ruth, the love of God and His great redemptive plan jumps off the pages as we are gripped by this epic real life story of mercy everlasting and hope eternal. Our Redeemer Lives!”

Brian Autry
Executive Director
SBC of Virginia

Why Psalm 23 Is Not About You: Reading Psalm 23 In Its Context
by Robert L. Cole

In this updated edition of Why Psalm 23 Is Not About You: Reading Psalm 23 in Its Context, Dr. Robert L. Cole reveals linguistic and thematic patterns in the Psalter that demonstrates a continuity of meaning from Psalm 1 through Psalm 24. Particular attention is given to the meaning of Psalm 23 and it’s surrounding Psalms. Fans of canonical studies and lovers of the Psalter will enjoy this quick, but thought provoking read.

Now available on Amazon!

Walk Like A Man by Field Thigpen.
We are excited to announce the release of Field Thigpen’s first book. It is a six-week devotional for men designed to help men be the spiritually attuned husbands, fathers, and sons that God has called them to be.

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