Summary: The Christian life is not a set of doctrines to be believed, it is a lifestyle to be lived.
Amazed and Afraid Pastor Allan Kircher Shell Point Baptist Church 10 Jan 10
the evangelist Mark brings into clear prominence a critical period in the history of our Lord to us this morning.
Before this verse Jesus went from Perea to Bethany, and raised Lazarus from the dead; He then, because the Sanhedrin had laid Him under excommunication, and decreed that HE should die, retreated back into the desert of Ephraim.
The last abode of Jesus in the wilderness, His last retreat in this world.
This was the great task that He now contemplated.
The disciples saw in His majestic, resolute, solemn, and fixed deportment, that a most important crisis was impending.
The Lord strengthened them in solitude.
He led His disciples and gave them the third and last and most express preannouncement of His passion.
He repeated to them all the comforting promises of His resurrection, and thus prepared them for all, while waiting for the Galilean persecution that awaits him.
Jesus now begins his heavenly pilgrimage.
ON account of their Master, they were amazed
For themselves, they feared.
All nature trembles when God leads man on the way of the cross.
The Master going before them, what remained but that they should follow as we also follow His divine words.
It seems as if we have forgotten the words of Jesus, or merely pass them off as pious platitudes and nice stories.
We claim to follow the Savior, but we don’t take very seriously the things he said about love, nonviolence, openness to others, forgiveness and compassion.
We are in danger of becoming shallow, hypocritical and missing the depth of the life Christ has called us to live.
Seeing salvation as merely a legal transaction.
Becoming a Christian for many is simply a matter of “getting saved”.
One trip to the altar is all that is required. Just get baptized. Just take communion.
Just join the church and it is all settled.
It is as if someone asks God to forgive their sins, and then they wipe their forehead and say, “Thank God that’s over with!”
It is not that there is not a certain amount of truth in all that,
but the problem is that we see it as a one time act that is over and done with.
Not much thought is given to actually studying the Gospels to see what Jesus really said and discovering the life he meant for us to live.
Not much care is given to really becoming a disciple of Christ and growing in the life to which he has called us.
We often talk of repenting of our sins, as though it is merely saying we are sorry so that God will forgive us.
But repentance means a change of heart and life — a total turnaround.
It brings about a dramatic change of character. We start treating each other differently.
We really do start loving our enemies.
We actually forgive those who have wronged us.
We seek to find nonviolent means to bring resolution to disagreements.
We long for reconciliation rather than harboring grudges and bitterness.
We become a new kind of people.
The goal of the Christian life is not forgiveness, but transformation.
The Christian life is not a set of doctrines to be believed, it is a lifestyle to be lived.
The Christian life is not just about “being saved”, it is about a relationship with God that results in obedience and transforms the way we live.
It transforms the way we see the world and the way we see and treat other people.
Christians need to take their faith seriously and realized the importance of being a witness by living a transformed life in a culture collapsing under the weight of its own sin.
The trend that I see happening over and over, and the trend that we will see in our passage of Scripture,
is that an individual will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,
or a Christian will grow closer and stronger in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
And then they will become very excited about how God is moving and working in their lives,
but they also become accustomed to certain spiritual routines and habits and they get used to God working in predictable ways.
Then when they happen to grow to a certain point in their faith,
God might just ask the individual to do something that they are not used to doing.
Perhaps it is listening too and singing and rejoicing with a type of music we are not particularly used too.
He might ask them to take a step of faith and do something that just doesn’t make much sense,
and out of fear of the unknown the person will sometimes refuse to press onward.