The 60: Good News Unexpected (Mark 1:1-8) | Life Unexpected
Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week.
There was a day when there was only good news. (Good, VERY Good)
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day……. – Genesis 3:8a
The good news every day was that man and woman enjoyed a perfect relationship with God in the midst of a perfect setting
Even if you’re really new to the Bible, you know the news didn’t stay good for long, but turned bad pretty quickly, and pretty deeply
Instead of enjoying a perfect relationship with God and fulfilling our ultimate purpose, bringing Him glory, we chose to sin against Him, to rebel against Him, to disobey Him, to in a sense substitute ourselves as god, living our life by our own standards, and bringing ourselves glory instead of Him.
Because we’ve done that, we’ve willingly separated ourselves from God, not wanting to be rightly related to God, but to be god ourselves. In doing that, we’ve put ourselves under the judgment of God instead of the grace and mercy of God.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. – Genesis 3:8
From that day forward, there was mostly bad news for people in general, and the people of God in particular
To deal with the constant bad news, people have done two things throughout history: (1) Become Rebellious (2) Become Religious This is the circumstance into which Mark speaks when He writes:
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. – Mark 1:1
There is no mystery here: Mark announces that the Good News is the Person of Jesus. It’s clear, it’s all about Jesus. (1) Jesus Is The Good News
In the Greco-Roman world the word always appears in the plural, to suggest the good news in the midst of all the other good news.
In the NT, the word always appears in the singular, showing that this is THE Good News, so far above and beyond other news.
Mark uses the name and two titles of Jesus to remind us of all the good news means:
“Yahweh is salvation”: Jesus has saved us from our sin and the consequences of our sin. (Matt.1:21)
- Because of Jesus our sin is forgiven
- Because of Jesus we won’t have to fear death but have eternal life
- Because of Jesus we’re not going to hell, but get heaven
“The Anointed One”: Jesus has given us an entirely different way of living, completely different than when we were living in sin. He is the Anointed One, the only one who has the authority to usher into this kind of life and living. He alone has the authority of God to usher in the Kingdom of God.
- Because of Jesus we get to live life in God’s Kingdom
- Because of Jesus we get to be part of the Church, and all the benefits of being part of the Church
- Because of Jesus, one day we’ll be taken out of this world that’s filled with bad news
This is where we often stop with our excitement about the Good News.
- We stop at the Perks of the Gospel rather than the Person of the Gospel.
- We stop at what the Gospel gives to us, NOT Who the Gospel is to us.
- We stop at what we have in light of the Gospel, NOT Who we have as the Gospel.
This is why so many people who would call themselves Christians miss the ‘goodness’ of the Good News
This is why “Son of God” is the most important emphasis for Mark in his gospel
Son of God
Jesus is uniquely the Son of God, the same ‘stuff’ as God. When we get Jesus, we get God. Jesus has given us back our relationship with God.
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." – John 14:7
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. – John 5:18
In Jesus, God is bringing things back to the way they used to be between us and Him. We get to enjoy a relationship with God again like we did in the garden in the cool of the day.
- The Good News is Mark 3:13
- The Good News is John 17:3
- The Good News is Philippians 3:7-8
- The Good News is Revelation 21:3
This has been God’s intention all along……..for a very long time
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’". – Mark 1:2-3
Jesus was not an afterthought of God, but a patiently perfect plan of God from the beginning (Mal.3:1; Is.40:3). God has put a lot of thought into how He would bring you back into a relationship with Himself. He prepared the way for the coming of Jesus, and He prepared the way for the coming of Jesus into your life.
(2) Repentance Is The Good Way To The Good News
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. – Mark 1:4-5
Repentance was the message of John the Baptizer reduced to a word.
The Jews of John’s day had to repent of Rebellion and Religion
- Repent from rejecting a relationship with God outrightly
- Repent from rejecting a relationship with God by settling for their religious practices.
Repentance = to return; to turn back (in the spirit of the OT Prophets); to turn back to our original relationship with the Lord. Back to Genesis 1. Repentance means (1) Contrition (2) Confession and (3) Commitment to Change
Repentance is: (1) For Everyone (every kind of person from every place) (2) For Every Part of Our Lives
There is no one who is free from the need for repentance, and there is no area of our lives that is free from the need of repentance
(3) The Holy Spirit Is The Good Evidence of The Good News
And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and unite. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:7-8
When we do repent before Jesus, we’re given the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from Jesus. It’s not only that Jesus has been with us, but that His Spirit now dwells within us.
This happens at (1) Conversion and as a (2) Continual Filling
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. – John 14:15-17
The evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life is newness of life: new desires, new affections……
Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.
- Have you ever sensed yourself to be more concerned with the perks that Jesus offer than the Person of Jesus Himself? Have you sensed yourself giving more attention to what the Gospel has given you instead of Who the Gospel has given you? If so, what do you sense is at the heart of this?
- Do you sense today that you need to repent from Rebellion or Religion? In ways in particular? How have you become rebellious to God or religious toward Him? Do you sense you have a contrite heart, a desire to confess and renew your commitment to Him?
- Do you sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life in tangible ways? Do you have different desires and affections than you did before you became a Christian? What are some of the greatest evidences of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life through these new affections?
The Deep End
The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.
- First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
- Next, spend some time reading over John 17:3. If you can over a few minutes, commit this short verse to memory.
- Next, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any way you have valued the benefits Jesus has given you more than Jesus Himself. Ask the Spirit to show you any way your affections have been on the 'perks' of the Gospel rather than Jesus as the Gospel. Spend some time journaling some thoughts here in your journal or Moleskin.
- End your time by praying a prayer of repentance, focusing on one of the answers to the question above. Ask the Holy Spirit to grant you a contrite heart. Confess your sin to Jesus. Make a commitment to Him to 'turn' and to live differently in light of what He's revealed to you.
My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.
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