Facts We Must Know

9 April 2017 AM – Mark 1:1-13 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: This morning we are going to begin a study of the book of Mark. This book was written by John Mark, the young Christian who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary trip but quit as things began to get difficult (about A.D. 46). Mark probably wrote this book about 20 years later, shortly after Rome burned (A.D. 64). Persecution was increasing. Mark had matured spiritually and the Lord used him to record the life of Christ for future generations. It is encouraging that God used a repentant quitter to write this book.

Transition: As Mark begins his book, he wants each reader to know certain facts that are essential to a clear understanding of the book. As readers, we too must know these facts.

First we must know that …

1.        Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

In the very opening line of Mark’s Gospel, he identifies the theme of his book — the gospel or good news about Jesus.

a.         Jesus is the Christ (v.1)
1)         Christ means the anointed one or the Messiah.
2)         Jesus was the promised Saviour.
b.         Jesus is the Son of God
1)         Jesus is no ordinary person, He is the Son of God
2)         Being the Son of God He was also God the Son. (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Christ’s deity is essential to the Gospel. (Jn 20:31) “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
3)         If Jesus was not the eternal God, He could not save us.
We must know that (1) Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and second that …

2.        Repentance precedes salvation.

a.         Mark quickly introduces Christ’s forerunner—John.
1)         John’s ministry was to prepare people for Christ.
a)         He was to prepare ye the way of the Lord (v.3)
b)         He was to make his paths straight (v.3). In other words make it clear and easy to recognize Christ.
2)         John’s message was to lift up Christ (v.7).
b.         As forerunner, John called men to repentance.
1)         Repentance means a change of mind.
a)         True repentance is the desire to make a clean break from sin and begin doing right.

For example, when a little boy pinches his sister and quickly says “Sorry,” then pinches her again, his sorrow did not display true repentance.

b)         There is NO salvation without repentance. Until you are willing to change your mind about your sin, you CANNOT be saved. Jesus said in Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Peter knew this when he preached in Acts 3:19), “Repent [change your mind] ye therefore, and be converted, [turn to God] that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
2)         John’s call for repentance was powerful.
a)         He preached with the power of Elijah. While his appearance was rough (v.6), his words were powerful. He clearly called people to confess their sins. There can be no true repentance without confession of sin.
b)         People from all across the country of Judea came to hear him preach (v.5).
We must know that (1) Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, (2) repentance precedes salvation, and third that …

3.        Baptism after salvation is God’s will.

a.         John’s converts were baptized and God wants you to do the same after you repent and are converted.
1)         Baptism is always by immersion (under water) (v.10).
2)         Baptism testifies outwardly of inward repentance.

What did Mark mean by, “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins?” The word translated “for” is can mean “because of.” For example, 1. Little Johnny got in trouble for being naughty. 2. The man was arrested for speeding. 3. Sue was rewarded for her good work. In each example it means “because of” not “in order that.”

3)         Baptism does NOT take away sin.
a)         Biblical baptism is NOT required for salvation. (Mark 16:16) “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Note that “unbelief” damns not lack of baptism. Paul said, (1 Corinthians 1:17) “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”
b)         Biblical baptism is a testimony AFTER salvation.
b.         Why was Jesus baptized? (v.10-11; Mt 3:15)
1)         Jesus was not baptized to testify of repentance for he was sinless. Jesus was baptized to identify with repentant Jews. That fulfilled God’s righteous plan.
2)         Jesus was baptized to show that baptism is God’s will.
3)         If you have been saved but not yet baptised by immersion after you were saved, you need to be baptised.
We must know that (1) Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, (2) repentance precedes salvation, (3) baptism is God’s will for believers, and finally that …

4.        Believers are not exempt from trials.

One who believes that Jesus is God, repents of his sin, and testifies of his salvation through baptism may get the idea that new life in Christ will be easy. Not so!

a.         Jesus faced temptations and so do Christians (v.12-13).
1)         The devil is the Christian’s enemy (1 Peter 5:8). “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
2)         However, victory is possible as we live by the Bible.
a)         The Psalmist knew this secret. (Psalms 119:11) “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
b)         When Jesus was tempted he quoted the Bible. We must learn to do the same (Matthew 4:4, 6, 7)
b.         The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness that He might understand man’s temptations (v.12)
1)         Facing temptation was God’s will (v.12). (Hebrews 4:15) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
2)         Now Christ can help us in temptation. (Heb. 2:18). “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
3)         Being tempted is not sinful but yielding to temptation is.

Conclusion: The book of Mark presents the Good News of Jesus. Like Mark’s Roman readers, you too must know the essential facts that we looked at this morning. 1) Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; 2) Repentance precedes salvation; 3) Baptism after salvation is God’s will; 4) Believers are not exempt from trials. Without a clear understanding of these facts, the rest of the book will not be clearly understood.

More important than understanding these facts, we must apply them personally to our lives. Have you believed that Jesus is the Christ? Have you then repented of your sin and trusted Him to save you from hell? I mean, have you come face to face with your guilt before God? Have you changed your mind and admitted you cannot save yourself? Have you believed that Christ died for your sin? Have you asked him to save you? He wants to save you – that is the Good News!

Christian friend, have you been baptized after salvation as a testimony to others? If not, that is God’s will for your life.

Are you frustrated by the pressures of temptation? Jesus understands. He’s been there. Run to Him for help and quote His Word.

Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388