We are studying Mark's gospel in our Bible classes this fall. We will see many lessons and study various applications. You need to be present. You need to enroll in a Bible class. You need a time of preparing for worship. You need to set your hearts on God early on the Lord's Day. Those who are leading others in worship, those who are serving, need a time of early morning prayer, then study.
The primary concern in Mark's gospel is faith. We have not read carefully, and we have read so often that we do not notice. Repent and believe. Our order is opposite. What can we learn?
Do you ever have trouble believing? Do you ever doubt? Some would affirm that genuine questioning/doubt is the beginning of faith. Some affirm that no faith is possible without first questioning, asking, inquiring. What is faith if you have never gone through the faith development process for yourself? Important questions/observations.
But the ultimate question of Mark's gospel, as of all of the gospels, is this: Do you believe?
And I would be the first to admit that belief is not easy in our world. When things seem to continue to get worse and worse...when Christian values are threatened continually...when efforts continue to remove religion from the public marketplace...when Christian faith is privatized and thus made subjective and relative.
This is a lesson about faith--seeking to introduce a gospel of faith. We must learn the alphabet of faith.
What is faith?
The new century version is helpful: Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it (Heb. 11:1).
Faith is more than believing. Faith is not mere mental assent. Faith is not just believing in the power, faith is hooking up to the power. Faith hooks up.
Faith is not just affirming that God exists. I believe in God. This has become a powerless phrase in our society. I believe in God. Do you?
I. Do you believe that Jesus can ACCEPT you?
II. Do you believe that Jesus wants to BLESS you?
III. Do you believe that Jesus can CHANGE you?
IV. Do you believe Jesus can DELIVER you?
V. Do you believe Jesus can ESTABLISH you firm in faith?
VI. Finally, do you believe that Jesus can FORGIVE you?
Jesus is our own hope. Let us accept his blessing, be changed. Let us believe his deliverance to establish us firm. Above all, let us believe his forgiveness.
Do you know him? Will you come to him?
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