Summary: People who lose their life for Christ and the gospel will save their lives. How will people save their lives when they lose their lives for Christ and the gospel? People will save their lives as they understand three implications given in Mark 8:35.
Losing to Win!
By Pastor J Spurling
The Neighborhood Church of Gainesville
Have you ever had to lose something in order to gain something else?
Currently, I’m in the process of losing weight in order that I can gain entrance back into the pants that fit me quite nicely just last year. It is important for me to lose the 25 pounds I gained this past year in order to fit into my clothes.
This morning we will be considering something else that we all must lose in order to gain something Valuable.
Let’s read Mark 8:34–38 (Read)
Proposition: “People who lose their life for Christ and the gospel will save their lives.”
Transition: “How will people save their lives when they lose their lives for Christ and the gospel?”
Response: People will save their lives as they understand three implications given in our text.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
1. Christ’s purpose is the Gospel.
Why do I say that? Why do I say that Christ’s purpose is the Gospel?
What I’ve told you so far is, “People who lose their life for Christ and the Gospel will save their lives.” Does it directly say here that Christ’s purpose is the Gospel?
No, it doesn’t, but I think that is what is being implied. Look at the passage again in your Bible. The second part of Mark 8:35 says, “whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” When Christ says “My sake,” He is saying that whoever loses his life for me and what I am all about will save their life.
I want us to understand here that Christ’s purpose is the Gospel and we are not being told to lose our lives on account of two separate ideas, that is for both Christ and the Gospel.
The Gospel and Christ are meant as one concept here in that the Gospel defines what it is that Christ is all about. And whatever it is that he is all about, that is what we should be all about? That is what we should lose our lives for.
Do you agree? Let me give you reason to agree.
Let me propose to you what Christ is all about. Let me show you why I think His purpose is the Gospel. And that we are being told to lose our lives for that very purpose.
The Greek word being used in this verse for the English word gospel is euangelion. It is also translated into the English by saying “Good News.”
I like the way that English reformer William Tyndale defined the word. He said that euangelion (the Gospel) signified a “good, merry, glad and joyful tiding, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance and leap for joy.”
Anything that should cause such a response most certainly is Good News.
Do you recall in Luke 2:10–11 what the angel said at Christ’s birth? Or perhaps you are more familiar with what Linus said in Charlie Brown’s Christmas special when he repeated what the angel said. He said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Are you beginning to understand the Good Tidings, the Good News, the Gospel? This is what Christ is all about. It is His purpose to be our Savior.
Let’s take this a little further. Let’s jump over a couple of pages to Luke 4:18–19. And let’s hear what Christ has to say about His purpose.
Christ was about to begin His earthly ministry when He said the following. He takes the Scripture, turns to the book of Isaiah and reads, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Because He appointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives. And recovery of sight to the blind. To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
BAM! Christ is telling us what He is all about.
I’m here to be your Savior. I’m here to give this news to the poor. To release those in slavery. To give vision to the blind. To set the oppressed free. To proclaim to the world that the year of the Lord… the Messiah is finally arrived.
And that is very Good News.
It is the Gospel.
Christ is all about the Gospel.
His purpose is the Gospel.
People who lose their life for Christ and the Gospel… Do you see it now?
I really appreciate John-Mark. I appreciate the other Gospels as well. But John-Mark’s retelling of this verse in Mark 8:35 gives a little more explanation than does Matthew, or Luke’s Gospels. Matthew tells of the same account we find in Mark 8—you can turn to Matthew 8:25 and see. However, instead of implying what the purpose of Christ is, Matthew stops short by saying “whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Luke does the same thing in Luke 9:25. Matthew and Luke in effect are saying, “whoever loses his life for My purpose will find it.” Well, what is that purpose. This is why I like Mark’s telling of this important truth. Christ’s purpose is the Gospel.