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Friday: Further Thought – The Beginning of the Gospel — 7 Comments

  1. Mark tells us briefly of the work of John the Baptist in the wilderness preparing for the way for Jesus but there is a useful note in the Gospel of John that should be read to round out the story.

    One day someone began an argument with John’s disciples, telling them that Jesus’ baptism was best. So they came to John and said, “Master, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River—the one you said was the Messiah—he is baptizing too, and everybody is going over there instead of coming here to us.”

    John replied, “God in heaven appoints each man’s work. My work is to prepare the way for that man so that everyone will go to him. You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him—that is all. The crowds will naturally go to the main attraction—the bride will go where the bridegroom is! A bridegroom’s friends rejoice with him. I am the Bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

    The message of the Gospel is about the importance of self-sacrificing love. John clearly understood his role as a messenger. If we see ourselves in the role of a messenger for Jesus now, we need to understand what that means in the way we communicate with others. We need to keep Jesus at the centre of the Gospel.

  2. Consider the meaning of baptism. Read Romans 6:1-4 and John 3:1-8, and compare them with the baptism of Jesus in Mark 1:9–13. What parallels and contrasts do you see? How does this help you understand more clearly the meaning of baptism?

    Baptism is a public testimony of our decision to commit our life to Christ. As Christ baptism, our testimony by water emersion may enfluence someone to commit their life to Christ and themselves becoming a testimony to someone else.

  3. The great(est) controversy is inside. It does exist outside of me, too, but to overcome my desires and intimate tendencies takes courage, trust, prayer, and most of all, a relationship with the One Who overcame the whole world. The gospel message must run across the planet; do I feel invited to proclaim it? For it is necessary to have the fire of this gospel in my own heart! Then, I can get the boost I need to live as Christ did while preaching the gospel will be a natural result!

    • Overcoming "Our Desires," takes more than "Courage," it takes "wrestling With The Angel," like Jacob had to do so that he could then have the "True Character of Jesus," to truly "Bow down seven times to his brother Essau," when they both reconciled.

  4. "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
    It seems to me that this is proclaiming history of salvation in operation just now. The origin of this kind of history reaches way back into eternity. (Ephesians 1:3-4) The operator of this salvation-history is proclaimed as "Jesus Christ", Jesus the Messiah as the "Son of God", which again points back into eternity. Also his designation as "Son of man" (Mark 9:12) is pointing back into eternity. (Daniel 7:13-14)

    By incarnation His divinity is touching humanity. He has the double function as spokesman of God, the Father, and as spokesman of man. In this function He is serving as intermediator between God and man.(1 Timothy 2:5) The Holy Spirit appears as Co-Worker of Christ and Co-Actor in history of salvation: together with Christ and God the Father. (Mark 1:10.12; Acts 10:38) John tells us that the Holy Spirit is sent from the Father and the Son.(John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7)

    The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the baptismal-event of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11), are Co-Actors in history of salvation --- in trinitarian unity.

    It is our part, by saving faith to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God as my redeemer, as Jesus Himself is urging us to believe in the gospel, hat means, to believe in Him. (Mar 1:15)
    The demons also believe that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God. (Mark 5:7) But this is not saving faith.

    These thoughts came to my mind while studying the lesson, which I want to share with all of you.

    Winfried Stolpmann

  5. By Jesus’ coming as Israel's Messiah, would it not be plausible to consider that the everlasting Gospel given to mankind by Him, illuminated and advocated by the Holy Spirit as its guide and teacher, ushered in the Kingdom of God for mankind to live in and so fulfilling the purpose of the prophets and the Law?

    John the Baptists's call to annouce His coming, to repent and believe Him, as well as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after the departure of our Lord Jesus Christ, what else would the Christian expect to happen before believing the Gospel – the Word of God - and live by its spiritual principles and Truths?

    Do the 3 angels noted in Rev.14:1-20 add an additional event to, what I consider to be, the completed timeline concluding with the coming of the Holy Spirit? As I see it, it speaks to what began when Jesus came to His Jewish brethren first; preaching and teaching them that the old Law has been elevated by the New Covenant by accepting salvation based on faith in God’s Word.

    Jesus preached and taught the everlasting Gospel message that God loves us, that we ought to love and trust Him with all our heart and being, changing our ways as we now live in the Kingdom of God, and treating our fellow man with kindness and respect – this fulfills the demands of the old Law and brings salvation to all who believe – Matt.22:34-40.

  6. Baptism signifies one dying with the Lord Jesus and being buried with Him by baptism into His death. Then, as truly as Jesus was raised to life by the glory of the Father, even so the believer should be raised into a new life--to a newness of life. In John 3, Jesus states that a man cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and of the Spirit. Similarly, at Jesus' baptism as recorded in Mark 1:9-13, He came up out of the water and the Spirit of God like a dove descended upon Him. Not only that, In Romans 6:1-4, Paul talks about a newness of life after baptism; in Mark, Jesus is driven into the wilderness by the Spirit. Jesus shows that the newness of life has to do with obeying the guidance of the Spirit of God; now it is no longer I that is in control of my life, but it is Christ that lives in me. Thus, I live how He wants me to live, and I go wherever He tells me to go.


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