Notes : Short Exegetical Paper : Mark 1:1-13

Observation 1: The word “as” in verse 2 implies that the preaching of John the Baptist is in a chronological relationship to the “beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” mentioned in verse 1.

Interpretive Question 1: Could not the gospel of Jesus Christ have started at his birth, or even in the Messianic promises made in the Old Testament?

Observation 2: The introduction of John the Baptist in verse 4 is complementary of the prophecy listed in verses 2-3. The author is implying that John the Baptist is that messenger, the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

Interpretive Question 1: How specifically did John prepare the way of the LORD? Continue reading “Notes : Short Exegetical Paper : Mark 1:1-13” »

Reflective Writing : Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

I tend to spend a lot of time in doctrine and the epistles. Reading the words of Jesus in my devotion time ­— his sermons in particular — have both reminded me of and challenged me on the powerful simplicity in the instructions Christ himself gives us. I’ve spent a lot of time in Matthew 5:1-12 (the beatitudes) over the last three weeks and will continue to do so in the future. These teachings need to get deeper into my soul. The one scripture that has been my focus more than any other is Matthew 5:3, “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (NJKV). I’ve sought God on what it means to be “poor in spirit”. I feel it means lacking or deficient in my own spirit. But what does that actually mean for me? Continue reading “Reflective Writing : Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” »

Acts 16 Commentary Pt. 2 : Suffering for His Name’s Sake

Acts 16 Commentary Pt. 2[Act 16:6-10 KJV] 6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Continue reading “Acts 16 Commentary Pt. 2 : Suffering for His Name’s Sake” »

Acts 16 Commentary Pt. 1 : At Liberty To Minister

Acts 16 At Liberty to MinisterSelfless love empowers true ministry. The love of God’s people will compel his ministers to endure not only physical shackles, but also the self-imposed shackles of worldly ordinances for the sake of others. By the grace of God we have been set at liberty to willingly endure trials, persecutions, and the legalities of this life for his glorious namesake.

 

Pt. 1 Acts 16:1-5

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The Essential Gospel

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

There is a lot of good news in the Bible, and there are many uplifting and influential stories to tell of Jesus Christ. Jesus had sound moral lessons, was a great help to those in need, was a prophet, a teacher… But if somebody were to ask, “What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?”, what would be the appropriate answer? Or better yet, what essential elements must be included in one’s answer for it to be considered “good news”? The answer to the question, “What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?” is something that should be on the mouth and in the heart of every born-again believer. It is central to salvation. Without the essential elements of the gospel of Jesus Christ all is hopeless, or in the words of Paul, “We are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

The Essential Gospel

Without further to-do, one of the most concise descriptions of the gospel of Jesus Christ is 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

[1Co 15:3-4 NKJV] 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Three elements from this passage (which are expounded on elsewhere in scripture) that are absolutely essential to salvation are

  1. Jesus Christ died for our sins
  2. Jesus Christ rose again and is alive forever more
  3. It was was the Christ (Messiah), the anointed Son of God, who died for our sins according to Old Testament scripture

Continue reading “The Essential Gospel” »