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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Oct. 4, 2007

  • 2007 Oct 04
  • COMMENTS
 

Mark and the God of New Beginnings

 

I can't think of anything more wonderful for us than to be—  

  • starting this brand new year together, and
  • celebrating the New Covenant promises of a new heart and a new spirit within us through this communion, and
  • worshiping our God of New Beginnings. 

You may have had a horrible past year or an incredible 2006—but whichever it was, God declares that we start today brand new in Christ. This reality is emphasized as the calendar starts over; communion also is a constant reminder of this promise—but as we will see this morning, the Gospel by Mark is from start to finish the Gospel of New Beginnings! 

We are returning in our study of God's Word to the second book in the New Testament, the Gospel by Mark. Before us lays… 

FOUR GOSPELS—ONE THEME 

There are four Gospels in our Bibles. Each is a Gospel by Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John. But each has the same theme; each is a snapshot of a Perfect Jesus.

  •  Matthew captures the Perfect King of Israel—His ancestry, His Birth, His Life, and His Death. Jesus wants to be our King!
  • Mark Captures the Perfect Servant; as opposed to all the imperfect ones that have lived. Jesus came to serve and give His Life for us!
  • Luke captures the only Perfect Man that ever lived in a world of imperfection, falseness, death, disease, and despair. Jesus came to seek and save the lost!
  • John captures the Perfect Deity; in a world of false gods, fallen gods, and feeble gods--enters the real God of Creation. Jesus came to give us abundant life! 

But back to the Gospel by Mark—Jesus is the Perfect Servant. The only perfect servant God has ever had was His Son; all the rest of the countless men and women, boys and girls He has used have been imperfect! 

Every time you open your Bible and find a book named Mark you are looking at a testimony to the God of Heaven who has mercy on those of us who fail, and know it, and flee to Him—and He lets us have a new beginning! 

"What can God do with me if I have failed Him?” As a pastor I hear that or something like it, so often. Is there an answer to believers who are less than perfect? Yes! Failure for a believer is only a temporary condition; for the lost it is permanent.  

Have you ever failed, quit, or walked out on an assignment from God?

  • We serve the God of the second chance, a Lord so gracious that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (ii Corinthians 12:9).
  • He is the God of new beginnings (Lamentations 3:23).
  • And the life we have in Christ is just a series of new beginnings (II Corinthians 5:17)! 

That is comforting for me. The longer each of us live the more aware we are of our imperfections, failures, shortcomings, and sins—aren"t we?  

So this morning as we look at this New Year before us, we have our first choice to make as believers: wait until we are able to perfectly minister (never) or get started now and serve as we grow and are shaped by the Lord. 

That is exactly the testimony of the book we turn to this morning. The Gospel by Mark is the second book of the New Testament and the 41st book of the Bible. It is the clearest picture I know in all of God's Word of the good news that God offers to all of us a fresh new start in Him every day. We have… 

TWO MEN—ONE BOOK 

There are two lives inseparably bound into this second Gospel. As we open to the Book of Mark, we open to the words of Mark capturing the experiences of Peter. So there are actually two different lives reflected by this book. This morning we will examine the human writer of this Gospel a man named Mark. Next week, the man behind this Gospel, a man named Peter. 

One of the greatest honors imaginable is getting to be a part of the Book of Books. God wrote a Book that He says is “forever settled in Heaven”. So the special servants He chose to use to communicate that book are quite a select and special group.

God has several groups that He highlights in His revelation to us. There are the pre and post-Flood Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Twelve Apostles, and the 40 or so Scripture Writers.  

This morning as we open our Bibles there is a name linked to the book we are studying. We are in the Gospel by whom?  RIGHT, Mark!  

For as long as believers live on Earth, that is what we will call these 16 chapters. Whenever we read this account that captures Christ through the eyes of Peter, and under the flawless breath of God's Spirit—we’ll always remember it’s from the pen of Mark.  

So as the words of the Gospel by Mark lay before us, we are faced this morning with a sobering reminder of our Gracious God. Look who God used! We can learn so much from… 

MARK’S BIO 

To understand the man God used to write down this second Gospel, we need to turn to the Spirit inspired biography of Mark contained in the Book of Acts. It is there that we see the wonderful plan that God had for this young man. 

In Acts the message we get is that Mark was a drop out, a quitter and a failure. Why do I say such a thing about Mark? To best understand the man that the Lord chose to write the Gospel by Mark one of 66 books in this eternally settled in Heaven, Book of the Book of Books, we need to turn to Acts 12:24-13:5.  

Let’s stand to read God's Word and then pray. 

Acts 12:24-13:5 But the word of God grew and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark. 13:1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. 

This message will continue tomorrow October 5th as we look at “Historic Moments”.

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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