INTRO: The gospel of Mark represents a wonderful guide to the study of the life of Christ. Compared to the other gospels, it is brief. The writer of this gospel is John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10) and the son of a disciple whose name was Mary (Acts 12:12). Mark apparently had the advantage of being a member of a very devoted Christian family with close connections to the apostle Peter (1 Pet 5:13). The gospel of Mark is often considered to be a "Roman gospel", and the fact that Mark is a Roman name is suggested as one of the reasons for this conclusion. With tonight's lesson I intend to begin a series of studies from this gospel record ... my hope is to bring us closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.
I. THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL
A. Certainly, Mark does not suggest the "absolute" beginning
1. the gospel began before time and creation - 1 Pet 1:20
2. Gal 3:8 - the gospel preached in "prospect"
B. The "beginning" brings us to the time of gospel's proclamation
1. Mark does not speak of Jesus' human genealogy as do Matt. & Lk.
2. he simply begins as the proclamation begins - with John the Baptist and his preaching of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 3:2)
C. Some "key thoughts" in 1:1
1. "gospel" - simply means "glad tidings, good news" (Lk 2:10)
2. "Jesus" - means "savior" (Mt 1:21)
3. "Christ" - means "anointed" ... syn. is Messiah (Jno 1:41)
4. "the Son of God" - declares His eternal nature - His deity
a. compare with Mt 1:1 - "son of David, the son of Abraham"
b. both Matthew and Luke introduce us to Him through lineage
c. Mark, perhaps writing to Romans, immediately identifies "Son of God"
II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPHETS
A. The New Testament is sprinkled with frequent references to the prophets
1. this underscores that Christ and the church are part of God's plan
2. yes, the Mosaic covenant had its place ... but not a permanent place
3. the prophets looked toward a kingdom which would encompass all - and a Messiah who would be both King and Savior
4. so, Isa 2:2,3 - Isa 9:6-7
5. 1 Pet 9-12 - they prophesied ... but may not have known the significance
B. Fulfilled prophecy is foundational to confirming Jesus' claim to be Messiah
1.Isa 9:7 - of the lineage of David (a point confirmed in genealogies)
2. Isa 7:14 - of His being born of a virgin
3. Mi 5:2 - of His being born in Bethlehem
4. Hos 11:1 - of His sojourn in Egypt
5. Isa 53:4 - of His healing the sick
6. Isa 6:9,10 - of His teaching in parables
7. Ps 41:9 - of His being betrayed by a friend
8. Isa 53:5-7 - of His atoning death as a sacrificial lamb
9. Isa 53:9 - of His being slain with malefactors
10. Isa 22:18 - of their casting lots for His garments
11. these are only some of the prophecies of the Old Testament which have their fulfillment in Jesus ... and are cited in the New Testament
C. The specific prophecy to which Mk 1:2,3 refers?
1. Isa 40:3-5 - "...Prepare ye the way of the Lord..."
2. Mal 4:5 - "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet..."
3. Mark is apparently referring to both of these prophecies
4. and the reference is to John the Baptist
D. Acts 10:38-43 - "To him give all the prophets witness..."
1. the earliest teachers, preachers repeatedly appealed to the prophets
2. their appeal was not to "half sole" the Mosaic covenant
3. rather, it was to confirm that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Christ, the Son of God
CLOSE: Perhaps all of this seems impractical and foreign to you and me. But if we are to ably convince others of the true identity of Jesus, we must not fail to appeal to the prophets for support of/to our teaching concerning Him.
Cecil A. Hutson
22 January 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)