Saturday, October 11, 2008

Faith story: short

I grew up in the Church, and like so many who do I can’t remember when I was saved. But I remember different points in my walk that I grew in my spiritual life in Christ.

Here is a few monuments in my faith journey:

At a young age I can remember wanting to know Jesus more, and desiring to worship him. When I was 10 (1987) there was a message given at our summer family camp that was titled ‘crossing the blood line.’ I remember the sermon, and also the call to fallow Christ and that night Christ became more real then before. I had a desire to know Christ in a deeper more personal way.

Later on in life I attended Christ for the Nations bible school. I went there for mainly music, since they had a good music program. It was at that school that I received more of a hunger to know him and to started walking towards ministry. I was at a music conference when I felt a call to missions and ministry.

After I was married, my wife and I attended a bible school that taught the Inductive Method on how to study the bible. We used the Inductive Method and made our way through the sixty six books of the Bible. The result was amazing. It was the first time I realized who I was in Christ, and what he’s done for me. Up to that point I felt all I was ever given was baby food, and all of a sudden I found myself in a buffet of grandeur.

I realized what it really meant to be saved by grace, and what my sins really did, and the price Christ paid for me on the cross. I was a sinner, who if given justice would be in hell. God would be an unrighteous judge to just forgive me of my trespass against him. Yet he made a way to forgive me and still be just. Not because I was worthy of his love and mercy but because out of his abounding love he had mercy on me. He sentenced his Son to the cross for my sin, Isaiah tells us, “We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” again Isaiah tells us, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him”. Christ became the propitiation for my sins. Luther called it the great exchange, I received Christ righteousness and he received the penalty for my sins. Christ boar the wrath of God on the cross that should have been mine!

I John 4:10
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Faith alone, through grace alone, because of Christ alone.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Session One

The opening of Mark start off with “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. Gospel means good news, Mark is letting us know right away that what he is writing about is the good news of Jesus Christ.

It’s interesting that right away Mark ties in the Old Testament with the New in quoting Isaiah. Mark ties in the message of the good news with an older message, a message of promise a message of hope. The prophet Isaiah prophesied of a Messiah who would come forth after Gods messenger crying out in the wilderness “Prepare the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.”

John was the fulfillment of the prophesy. His ministry was one of repentance, calling on all to repent and confess their sins. Mark doesn’t come right out and say, “Johns the forerunner, but he tells us Johns doing his ministry in the wilderness and that he has proclaimed a "mightier one," who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit. Isaiah words are a summery of the life of John the Baptist.

Notice that Mark emphasis that the ministry of Johns was inferior to Jesus. Mark tells us that Jesus is mightier then John, John is not even worthy of stooping down to untie Jesus sandals. Mark is writing his view of the gospel around 60-64 AD. Mark writes during a time of persecution of the Church under Nero, the Roman Emperor at that time. Mark may have been pointing out Johns lower status then Jesus do to a possible conflict about Johns Message and Jesus Message. We don’t know for sure but there are hints in Acts of John the Baptist teachings spreading as far as Ephesus without the knowledge of the fulfillment of Johns message, that is the good news found in Christ.

Paul in the book of Acts runs into some disciples of John, yet they didn’t know of Jesus (Acts19:1-3). They new only Johns baptism, a baptism that was meant to prepare their hearts to follow Jesus. Mark may of put this reference to John in his letter not only because Johns life intersects with Jesus, but also because he’s pointing out that Jesus was the focus of Johns proclamation. John is inferior to Christ, to the point that John himself even mentions, “after me comes he who is mightier than I…”

There may have been some disciples of John the Baptist, that Mark had in mind when writing similar to those faced by Paul in Ephesus. Mark may be here letting them know, that what they have is inferior to Christ and that even in the mist of persuction, they need to aline themselfs with Jesus, for it's in him that true forgivness is found.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Gospel according to Mark:

Up and coming posts will deal with the Smallest of the four gospels. We are studying this book in our small group (which I'm not leading), but I still will be studying it as if I was. Which should be interesting considering my over loaded schedule. But to God be the glory and may we be counted faithful in are pursuit of knowing Him and making Him known.

So once again it's time to take up the sword and sharpen it for battle against my flesh and all of it's desires.