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Our salvation comes by faith in Christ alone, but the validating mark of the believer is a life of increasing obedience to the word of God. It is not enough to merely listen to the teachings of Christ. We must obey His Word as revealed in Scripture confessing our sins when needed. Jesus said that His redeemed, eternal family members are those who listen to and obey His teachings.
What is the unpardonable sin? In Mark 3:22-30, Jesus responds to the teachers of the law who accuse Christ of being possessed and empowered by the prince of demons. His response contains both a sober warning and a sweet promise of assurance. Christ will forgive all sins for those who repent and come to Him in faith. The unpardonable sin is the settled, determined, hostile rejection of the Gospel.
What is justification? God, motivated by grace, declares guilty people to be righteous. God is both just and the justifier, sending His son to be the atonement for our sin.
The Lord’s Prayer gives guidance as to how we can pray for our children in our congregation. Pray to our loving Father that they will value God’s name as holy and have hearts that desire the Savior’s rule around the globe. Ask that they will live in obedience to God’s word and have sufficient energy to serve God with contentment and thankfulness. Pray that the children will seek daily forgiveness and be led away from temptation. Above all just be faithful to pray!
On the cross, Jesus prayed for the pardon of sinners and gave His life to purchase their forgiveness. He promised the repentant thief that he would be with Him that day in Paradise. He demonstrated compassion for Mary, bore the wrath of God for our sins, and accomplished our salvation once and for all. After listening to Christ’s statements from the cross and observing Him die, the centurion exclaimed, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39b (ESV)
The twelve apostles, specially called by Jesus in Mark 3:13-19, became the foundation of the church. They preached the Gospel with the authority given to them by Jesus. Like the apostles, we are to be devoted to spending time with Christ — for us, this happens through prayer and reading of the Scriptures. We are ordinary people who are part of God’s plan to spread the Gospel throughout the Earth.
Jesus is recognized as the Holy Son of God by the Father and also by demonic forces. The miracles of Jesus in Mark 3 show His compassionate heart and fulfill Old Testament prophecy to verify that Christ is God’s Son.
The righteous anger of Jesus is directed at the Pharisees in Mark 3:1-6. Christ is justifiably angry at their hypocrisy and the hardness of their hearts. It is important for us to examine the anger of Christ and to learn how to follow Him in sincerity and truth.
In Hebrews 13:7-8, we are encouraged to remember those who have influenced us and established us in the faith. We are to consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus is the source of the grace that is manifested in the outcomes of their lives. We should lean on Christ, never giving up, devoting ourselves to teaching and sharing the Word of God.
In Revelation 2:4, Christ says to the church at Ephesus, “You have abandoned the love you had at first.” A supreme love for Christ should be the mark of a believer, but even energetic, orthodox Christians can still love Jesus less than He deserves. The solution to being zealous yet unloving: remember from where you have fallen and repent, asking Christ to change you into a person who loves the Lord with a humble, public, extravagant love.
The Gospel is an announcement of good news. Salvation is our rescue from guilt, separation from God, slavery to sin, and eternal death. Salvation is also rescue for life, adoption as children of God, and blessedness. The Gospel message is filled with the inherent power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
Easter is about forgiveness, hope, and worship. Jesus died on the cross to secure our forgiveness, and rose from the grave to prove that our forgiveness is secure. We have the certainty of a living hope through the resurrection. Our response should be to confess our belief in the resurrection and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Praise God for a living hope from a living Savior!
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when…
In Mark 2:24-27, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of breaking the Pharisaical view of the Sabbath. Their pride and self-righteousness caused them to add repressive rules to the Biblical view of the Sabbath. We must resist being modern-day Pharisees who hold others in contempt. We also must approach the Scriptures with humility, depending on the Holy Spirit. Finally, we must worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath and divine Son of Man.
Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom in Mark 2:19, thus proclaiming His divine nature and fulfilling the portrayal of God as our bridegroom in 20 books of the Bible. The disciples of Jesus did not fast while the Bridegroom was with the, but today it is appropriate to fast when seeking wisdom or in times repentance and crisis. It is also appropriate to feast in celebration of God’s redeeming grace. As we await the return of the Bridegroom, “All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” John 3:3 (ESV)
Jesus went again to the Sea of Galilee to teach. While there He passed by Levi, a tax collector, and Jesus commanded him to “follow me.” Levi did. Shortly thereafter, Jesus joined Levi at his house with many of his friends. They were described by the scribes of the Pharisees as tax collectors and sinners. Jesus saw them as individuals needing salvation. We can learn at least four principles for sharing our faith with others from this example of Levi.
When Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man (first in Mark 2:10 and many other times in the Gospels) this title holds deep significance. Son of Man is more than just a proclamation to Christ’s humanity. It is a reference to Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7 of the Son of Man who comes with the clouds of heaven, appears before the Ancient of Days, and is granted authority to judge the nations. Jesus has the authority to forgive our sins immediately, fully, and permanently.
In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus is preaching the Word, the timeless, binding truth which sets us free. The four friends of a paralytic resolve to overcome all obstacles to bring him to Jesus. Christ first forgives the man’s sins, because the greatest need of all of us is to have our slate wiped clean: instantly, totally, and eternally. Christ then miraculously heals the paralytic, demonstrating His authority as the Son of Man, the Christ, to take away our sins.
In Psalm 32 King David expresses the blessedness of forgiveness. David had committed sins of which the consequences of those sins still occurred, but he received forgiveness and a restored relationship with the Father when he cried out to God. Righteousness comes through faith to us as well. It is credited to us as a gift, apart from works.
Miracles of physical healing by Jesus demonstrate the Lord’s compassion, His kingly power as the Messiah, and His ultimate mission to cure our sin-sick souls. Jesus was very willing to extend mercy to a leper suffering from an illness which had left him deformed and isolated. We, also, need a merciful healing from our sin problem. Reach out in faith and obtain mercy and cleansing.