- Mark 2b
- Mark 2a
- Mark 1b
- Mark 1a
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This chapter is a very challenging portion of God’s word. This is because, although foundational issues are discussed, the matter of being saved and lost is also touched upon. God’s unchanging nature and the security that we have in Christ is also covered.
The foundational issues need to be clearly laid but then we need to build our lives upon our new position in Christ. We have left behind the notion that we can achieve anything in ourselves to please God and our confidence and trust are not in the flesh but in God alone.
Repentance from Dead Works
As unbelievers, we were convinced that our best efforts could achieve God’s favour and acceptance. As believers we understand that no works done by our flesh can offer merit before God. It is Christ alone who saves us and his shed blood is our only hope. Our repentance was a change of attitude towards God. True repentance means that I accept Gods verdict about my spiritual condition and do not argue with Him. I am truly sorry for the rebellion and wrong in my heart and I want to live God’s way.
Faith towards God
A key element in my life now is trust in God and, in particular, His provision of a Saviour in Jesus. I do not see God but I believe in Him and His promises and my life now leans totally on Him and not on myself or others.
We are supremely confident that our acceptance before God is because of what Christ has done - not anything that we do. Our obedience in baptism is a wonderful picture of Christ’s death and resurrection and of our own death to our old lives, to live our new lives in Christ!
Laying on of Hands
We are aware that the laying on of hands can be an appropriate way of passing on blessing, particularly when appointing people to undertake tasks in ministry. There is an impartation as one blesses another. This ministry is often exercised in healing but there needs to be caution because, where people are involved in the demonic, it is usually unwise to touch them. The laying on of hands can be so valuable that scripture warns that we need to exercise caution, to avoid setting someone aside for ministry who is not yet ready for such a task.
The Resurrection of the Dead
The Bible teaches that all will be raised from the dead (believers and unbelievers). This is something that Jesus will do when he returns in all his glory. For the Christian, this resurrection will result in a new body, equipping us to live forever in God’s presence, enjoying and serving Him. For the unbeliever, they will be raised - but only to face the wrath and judgement of God!
Believers will be judged and rewards are available. Our goal as a believer, should be to hear Jesus say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ Then we will enter the sphere of heaven and enjoy all that God has prepared for us. The unbeliever faces a judgement that knows no end. To be eternally separate from God, who is love and who is good, is a consequence too awful to contemplate. We can only urge unbelievers to repent and receive mercy from God, which is why Jesus came and suffered for us.
This is a complicated subject but this chapter suggests the possibility that those who have tasted the good things of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, may fall away, vehemently rejecting all notion of Christ, salvation and the goodness of God, and, ultimately, be separated from God forever. Such an outcome, though possible, seems very unlikely for someone who has truly come to Christ. However, Jesus said that not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven. Perhaps there are some who have been very shallow, have given the appearance of a conversion but, deep in their hearts, have never truly repented and, as a result, they end up producing only thorns and thistles.
The writer has warned his readers but is confident that they have not fallen away from faith to warrant the wrath of God. He further encourages them that their faithful service towards God and towards His people will not be forgotten by God. God is faithful but we also must persevere. We must not become lazy or faithless but we must patiently trust in God, who is committed to us. God does not lie. Those who flee to Him for refuge will find Him an anchor for their soul, a steadfast hope taking us through this life and into eternity!
Points to Consider:
- It is good to check the foundations of our faith (verses 1-2) and to ask the question, ‘Are they firmly laid in our lives?’
- Are we careless in our Christian faith or are we diligent? There is no room for apathy!
- Do we enjoy God’s faithfulness?
- Are we receiving the assurance that God gives?
- Are we trusting and discovering God to be a real anchor in our lives?
God bless you!
Bible Study: Hebrews 6