Mark 1 : 5-8

5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him (John the Baptist)). Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize you withe water, but he will baptize you withf the Holy Spirit.”

In spite of his lack of fashion sense, we read in v. 5, that John had a booming ministry, and “everyone” was coming to John to be baptized . What was his response to his celebrity status?  We read in v. 7 he points to Jesus, and preaches He is the powerful one, He is the worthy one, He baptizes and saves by the Holy Spirit.

Many “celebrity” Pastors of this day say He, but mean Me.  They are on TV,  writing the books, preaching to millions, and have much better fashion sense than John, but they dont have the humility of John and are not, as John was, willing to be executed for their message. Let us be like John the Baptist and say, “He must become greater I must become less. (John 3:30) and “love not our lives unto death” (Rev. 12:11)

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Mark 1: 4b

“preaching the baptism of repentance”

If you do any study on Baptism in water you will see there are many opinions, doctrines and denominational separations concerning Baptism, what it means, when it should be done, etc.  Smarter guys than me, who know the original languages, can go at this for centuries, which they have. Amazingly man can take such a simple, beautiful act and turn it into a reason to hate, even to kill, which they have.

This solemn act which originated with John the Baptist, continued with Jesus, and into the early church, is one of the Sacraments that the Lord left us, the other being the Lords Supper and some say “the washing of feet”, which is for another day. Considering the Sacrament of Baptism in water was practiced by our Lord Jesus, who was baptized by John the Baptist, I think all Christians can agree we should be baptized in water. How, why, when, where, by who, in whos name are up for debate, except whatever “YOU” choose to do make sure it is with solemnity and reverence for the one who sanctifies you,  who is Jesus Christ.

Whatever “YOU” choose concerning Baptism understand the same way Paul exhorts us to examine our hearts when we participate in the Lords Supper, we should also examine our hearts before Baptism and not tread lightly where angels can not tread. Amazingly you can not be ambiguous enough when teaching on this subject without stepping on some theological toes, as I said before at least all Christians agree we should be baptized in water, so what are you waiting?

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Mark 1:4b

“John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

Repentance, a basic doctrine of the Christian faith, but what does it mean? The Greek word for repentance “metanoeó” means to change ones mind or purpose, and the interpretation of scholars means to change ones mind about our direction or path, to turn away from sin. A better interpretation of the meaning of repentance is found in the Hebrew word “teshuvah” which means return to, or be restored to a former condition.  In Romans we see Paul describing this results of Christ restoring what Adam lost in Romans 5:17-19

“17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Christ has restored what was lost, that is fellowship and friendship with God, we can now walk with God, as Adam did before the fall, without shame, condemnation and death. The final restoration will be completed in Revelations 21 : 1-5

“21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

The results of being “teshuvah”, restored, made new, born again, made Sons of God, as the original Adam, by Christ, for Christ and through Christ is ” “metanoeó” a turning away from, changing of mind about sin, we are restored, made one with God in Christ, no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness, so we can serve righteousness not sin.  The results of our restoration in Christ is walking as Christ, pleasing God. May we live our lives pleasing to God in Christ Jesus.

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Mark 1:4a

1:4a “John (the Baptist) appeared in the wilderness…

As we have seen in the previous verses John the Baptist did not just “appear” in the wilderness, he was called by God, and the prophet Isaiah prophesied of his “appearance” hundreds of years prior to his ministry, Jesus said of John, “that no one born among women was greater than John the Baptist, but those least in the Kingdom of Heaven are greater than him.” (Matt. 11:11) What??? The least of “Christians” are greater than one of the greatest “natural” men who have ever lived!!!

You mean me? Yeh, you, and all those washed in the blood and born of the Spirit, who are called sons and daughters of the Most High are greater than every “natural” man who ever lived!!! If that doesnt put a little swagger in your spiritual walk nothing will.

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Mark 1:3

3. The voice of one crying out in the wilderness.”Prepare the way of the Lord, make His path straight”

Praise Jesus, In Proverbs 3:6 it is written, “In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your path straight”, the purpose of the Christian life is submitting to the Lord to prepare the way of the Lord. We are called to get ready, be a disciple, and make ready, make disciples (Mat.28:9), to prepare the way of the Lord. Are you the one? It only took one man, John the Baptist, the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, to prepare the first coming of the Lord, could it be only one that prepares the way of the Lord for the second coming?  Hebrews Chapter 11 tell of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses all men of faith willing to go it alone to prepare the way of the Lord. Straight is the gate and few find it, (Mat. 7:14) are you one of the few.

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Mark 1:2

2. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “Behold I send my messenger before you to prepare the way ahead of you.”

“As it is written”     When Jesus was tempted by the Devil in Matt. 4:1-11     he responded, “As it is written”, three times he responded with, “As it is written” until the devil left Him. Jesus, the Son of God, used the Word of God to fight His battles with the enemy, so should we. We read that the Word of God is sharp as a double edge sword (Heb.4:12) and judges and discerns our heart. The word of God is alive, and eternal (Mat.24:35) Jesus, the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14) the eternal Son of God used the Word of God to do spiritual battle and, “as it is written” so should we.

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Mark 1:1

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

We see in the very first verse of Mark, God lays down the gauntlet. “The beginning”, similar to the Creation account in Genesis, “In the beginning”. God was there “in the beginning”, all things come from God and proceed from God. God is before all things because He created all things. “The Gospel” also translated  “good news” of Jesus Christ. What is the good news, Jesus. Jesus is the good news, He is the way, the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6) He is the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25) all things are through Him, by Him, and for Him (Rmns. 11:36). Him, Him ,Him,  who is Him?   Jesus Christ. We see God challenges  and invalidates all other ways, truths and lives. “The Son of God” Jesus is the Son of God, God in the flesh, God incarnate. (Jn. 1:14). God becoming flesh to redeem mankind and undo what we have done to ourselves. To set us free from sin and death (Rmns. 8:2) to change us from children of darkness to children of light (Col. 1:13), to save us from the coming judgement upon the world (1Thes. 1:10) allowing us to dwell in everlasting righteousness and peace in the new heaven and new earth (Rev.21)


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