Mark on Discipleship #2 - Following Christ the King
The vision for Grace Baptist Church is for us to be a disciple-making church that transforms lives with the gospel and love of Jesus Christ. In my previous blog post, we looked at some initial reflections on what disciple-making is. In essence, when we make disciples, we call Christians to respond to God’s grace by following King Jesus – you are to act in response to grace with a life of following Jesus Christ. Today, we continue our biblical reflections on discipleship and disciple-making by examining Mark 1:1-15 closely.
The time has come - God’s Kingdom has arrived because the long awaited King is here (Mark 1:14-15). The message of Mark 1:1-15 is “that God brings his long-standing, redemptive work throughout the ages to a culmination by sending his eternal Son (Mark 1:11; Heb 1:1). The grace that he has been working out through the ages comes to a decisive climax with Christ [the King]. In this way God achieves what human beings cannot achieve by themselves: forgiveness of rebellious sin against God and restoration to a reconciled relationship with God” (The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible, p.1319). The arrival of God’s Kingdom demands a change – a change of thinking, a change of heart and a change of behaviour. This new and unparalleled grace offered to humanity in the gospel calls for our response.
And what should our response be? Firstly, as disciples we can know clearly who Jesus is. How can you follow someone if you are not sure of who he is, what he does and what he teaches? Mark does not allow us to have our own “personal interpretation” of who Jesus is. He states clearly in Mark 1:1 that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and this gospel, this good news is about him. As you follow the rest of the biography in Mark – Mark continues to clarify who Jesus is and what he has come to do. As disciples who follow Jesus, we need to know with increasing clarity who is this Jesus we follow. For in our natural fallen nature, we tend to create Jesus after our own images. We shape Jesus according to our fallen desires. But God has provided a means of grace to correct us and for us to grow in our understanding of who Jesus Christ is. And that is his revelation given in the Bible. All of Scripture – both the Old Testament and New Testament points to Jesus Christ.
Secondly, repentance and believe should consistently mark the life of a disciple. Jesus calls us as disciples to repent: to turn away from our sins and to believe: to turn to the gospel (Mark 1:15). Both repent and believe in the original language are present imperatives, we are to be living in a continual condition of repentance and belief as opposed to just momentary acts (Edwards, p. 47). This means that repentance and believe is not a one-time declaration – it is a daily following of Jesus Christ in all areas of our lives. Disciples though we are already saved by repentance and faith in Jesus; we are still to be continual “repenters” as we daily fight against sin and grow towards Christlikeness. Repentance and belief are to be the continual lifestyle that marks all areas of the disciple’s life.
- Pastor Ollie
1. The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008.
2. The Gospel Transformation Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2013.
3. The NLT Study Bible. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008.
4. Edwards, James R. “The Gospel Accordingly to Mark” in The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2002.
5. Garland, David E. “Mark” in The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.
6. Schreiner Thomas R. The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.
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