14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
In Mark 1:14-15, we see a summary of Jesus’ preaching ministry. This ministry started in Galilee and spread throughout most of Israel. From listening to Jesus, we learn what real Christianity truly is. Real Christianity is good-news-based, history-making, culture-renewing, and people-changing.
1. Was there anything from the sermon, big idea, or Mark 1:14-15 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you?
The heart of Christianity is gospel, not advice. True Christianity begins and ends with good news for sinners.
2. How does Jesus’ announcement of Christianity being centered on Good News (rather than Good Advice) challenge how a lot of people view Christianity in our day? How does it challenge you? How does it give you hope in your life?
The work of Jesus is the climax of human history because He both reveals and solves the problem from which all other problems spring. The problem is sin. Sin has broken our relationship to God, to one another, and even to the whole creation. The answer is Jesus’ achievements. In his life for righteousness, death for sin, and resurrection as Savior, He has overcome.
3. Can you think of ways that Jesus’ words and works have changed (not only Christians, but) the world at large? How did your thinking change when you became a Christian (or finally started growing)? What about your beliefs about yourself and the world? What about how you live your life?
When Jesus announces “the Kingdom of God is at hand”, He’s saying He has come to make right what we have made wrong by our sin. He reconciles us to Himself and empowers us to start putting the world right, through love and works of justice.
4. Can you think of ways the world has been impacted by Christians (those who have been spiritually brought in to the kingdom of God)? Can you think of ways your city has been changed (or is being changed) by Christians? How can we work to bring renewal and justice in both our city and the entire world?
Jesus invites us to come as we are, but not to stay as we are. Come as you are; salvation from sin and death is based on His grace, not our merits. Don’t stay as you are; sin is rebellion against Jesus and leads to death and disintegration. Turn from your sin to faith in (and obedience to) Him as He works in you.
6. How is Jesus’ demand (“repent and believe in the gospel”) different from the way an ordinary King would demand their subjects to respond to their kingship? What does it mean to “come as you are, but don’t stay as you are”? Why is it important to understand Jesus called us to both “repent” and “believe”?
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