We continue our sermon series exploring the foundations of the Christian faith. Preaching from Alan Cole and our service will be led by Nathan Gordon.
Jesus said “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)
1. What is sin?
Sin is a state of rebellion against God and is the result of our human nature. All of us, therefore are sinners and this manifests itself in the evil deeds that people do, Romans 3:23; Mark 7:20-23.
2. How do we deal with sin?
There are two stages to this – the first is repentance.
We have to acknowledge that we are sinners, say we are sorry for them (repent) and resolve to change our way of life. These are often the greatest barriers to becoming a Christian – people do not acknowledge their sins and often do not wish to give them up.
The second part is what God has done – sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment for our sins.
3. How do people approach Jesus?
In Mark’s gospel, we have the reaction of four groups of people to Jesus and most will fall into one of these categories.
(i) The sceptics. The people from Jesus’ home town just did not believe Him. (Mark 6:1-5)
(ii) The seekers. Crowds came to Jesus to listen to what He had to say (Mark 6:54-55)
(iii) The believers. Jesus’ disciples followed Him because they wanted to learn from Him (Mark 6:51-52)
(iv) The opponents. The religious leaders hated and actively opposed Jesus’ teaching (Mark 8:11).
4. What are the consequences of sin?
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23), A Holy and Just God has to punish sins. All of our sins and known to God and one day we will have to account for them. One day the books will be opened and sinners condemned to the lake of fire – or hell. (Revelation 20: 11-15).
5. What has been done about sin?
Jesus, the sinless Son of God has borne the punishment for our sins (1 Peter 2:24). If we trust Jesus, repent and ask Him to take away our sins then He will do so. (1 John 1:9; John 3:16). That is the gift of God to us. If we accept it, then we escape the punishment and to heaven to be with Jesus.
For Further Thought
Read Mark 9v43-47. Why do you think Jesus used such extreme language when talking about the need to avoid hell?
Jesus believed in Hell. Should we? Why or why not?
Imagine all your thoughts, words and actions were displayed for everyone to see. How would you feel?
QUESTIONS FOR HOUSEGROUPS AND PERSONAL STUDY
Read Mark 6v1-8v29
In the early chapters of Mark he builds up a picture of Jesus’s power and authority . He’s shown us miracles, healing, casting out demons, raising the dead and calming a storm. How does this reading 6:1-8:29 add to that picture?
Jesus saw the large crowd as ‘sheep without a shepherd’. What did he do about it? If he looked at the faces of people in a busy town today, do you think he would feel the same? Why/Why not?
There were many different reactions to Jesus miracles
· In his home synagogue (6v1-6)
· Among people generally (Mark 6v14-15, 53-56, -7v37)
· From the disciples 6v51-52
· From the religious leaders 8v11
Why do you think people responded differently in these case?
Do you identify with any of these groups?
What is your view of Christ as we approach halfway through Mark? Is it changing?
Sermon Title: Why did Jesus come?
Bible Reading: Mark 2
Preacher: Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Nathan Gordon