Isn’t it amazing how quickly we forget what the sermon was about? Isn’t it amazing how quickly the cares of the world drain our Sabbath joy?
Hoping to encourage you all, I am going to send out a newsletter on Wednesdays that will consist of “filling up the edges;” follow up to the sermon or excerpts edited out on Sunday morning, resources from around the web and a devotional to aid in your preparations for the next Sunday Service.
It’s important to slow down, quiet your mind and reflect on what we are learning as a church, as a church. There are a lot of distractions in the world but consider the following a point of renewal, which the whole church is participating in together. Pray for the recipients of this email and the worship service to which we are all heading together.
I pray that this is an aid to stay in touch with you all midweek, as well as, a way to “be of the same mind,” (Phil. 2:2).
Filling up the edges
The whole idea for the sermon titled “The Gospel according to Mark according to Peter according to Christ,” came from the idea the scriptures are a product of the Body of Christ. Jesus is the message, He first entrustred that message to men who would write it down. Jesus then preserved it through centuries of history. Finally faithful men died that it might be transmitted into English and the Lord blessed their effort by putting the gilded leather copy in your hands. Give thanks.
The following was edited out of the sermon do to time restraints but summarizes the whole sermon nicely:
John Piper explains “From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was preparing for the transmission of his truth and authority to his church through authorized spokesmen who would teach with his authority, commit their teaching to writing, and leave a body of inspired writings through which Christ would govern his church until his return. Christ did this by calling, commissioning, and then sending the spirit to guide the apostles.”
The Word of God always intended to govern the church of God through words. Not just any words, words he arranged by the power of the Holy Spirit to be read and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is called organic inspiration and we can see through the transmission of the Gospel from Jesus to Peter, Peter to Mark and Mark to us, that this is indeed the case.
Theologian John Frame explains organic Inspiration this way; “God used all the distinct personal qualities of each writer. God used the differences of heredity, environment, upbringing, education, gifts, talents, styles, interests, and idiosyncrasies to reveal his word. The differences were not a barrier that God had to overcome. Rather, they were God’s chosen means of communication with us. God’s word is complex and nuanced, muliperspectival. God used the organic complexity of human persons and the diversities among persons to communicate the complexity of his own personal word. He used Human persons to communicate with us in fully personal ways.”
In Genesis God said he made man in His image, male and female He made Them. A community is the best image of the Triune God. The best written revelation of this God is transmitted the same way; through a community in all its diversity and unity.
Jesus was the first Christian preacher and He declared His kingship in word and Deed. Peter preached that same message as an eyewitness. John Mark Recorded it and compiled it for Roman Christians, all the while, Jesus the Lord, by the Spirit, was preparing a message for the whole world.
Mark’s task was to project Christian faith in a climate of uncertainty where martyrdom had been a reality. He selected and arranged the tradition to present the Christ who continues to speak and act meaningfully in the context of crisis. What was demanded by the Roman Christian’s situation was not a past word, descriptive of what Jesus had said and done, but a word from the present through which the Living Lord could be here and known.
And so reading the gospel of Mark we meet the Lord Jesus here and now.
Around the worldwide web
The link is to the podcasts of Parish Presbyterian Church. #19 is Pastor George Grant’s first sermon on Mark and it is wonderful. I suggest you subscribe, if you like good podcasts or good sermons.
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.