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First and last letters are important! First and last words are important. In Mark 1:14-20 we read Mark’s first recorded words of Jesus’ ministry. With these first words Jesus encapsulated everything we need to come to God and to walk with God:
Gospel: Kingdom --> Repent --> Believe --> Follow
Kingdom of God
Kingship of God in the hearts and lives of men who have surrendered and yielded to Him
(1Pet 3:15)! The key question throughout the gospel is this: Is Christ YOUR king? What characterizes a man whose King is Jesus Christ? (Rom 14:17;
sermon on the mount- Matt 5:3; 6:10; 33)
The Call of the Gospel:
The Gospel – life altering Good News – is more than just facts. The Gospel includes a CALL to RESPOND. A person receives a message when he ACTS on it.
Repent, Believe, Follow… and I will make you become fishers of men. How does a person hear the call of Jesus today? How did you experience this personal call of Christ?
Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us
of our sins and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ,
and renewing our wills, He persuades and enables us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.
Westminster Shorter Catechism no. 31
The Response to the Gospel
Importantly, we will come to see that this is a ONE-TIME response AND an ONGOING response (Rom 1:17).
REPENT - (metanoeo – change your mind/heart)
Reverse course, a willing turning away from my sinful ways and towards His Kingdom ways. God’s forgiveness is freely offered but only available to those who are repentant. What does repentance look like? (2Cor 7:10; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 20:21; Ps. 32; 51,139:23-24; Neh 9:32-38; Dan 9:3-19; 2Chron 33:12-13)
When you hear the word “repentance” what comes to your mind? Why? What results of repentance have you experienced?
BELIEVE - (pisteuo - convinced to the point of action)
Our faith is built on facts. (God’s character, Man’s condition, Jesus’s person and work)
What do you learn about believing from these passages? (John 1:12; 3:16; John 6:29; Acts 16:31; Rom. 3:22; Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:14-26)
the Kingdom of God has come through Jesus of Nazareth. He is Christ, the King, God’s one and only Son. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and was resurrected on the third day according to the Scriptures. In His great love and by His amazing grace, God our Father saves everyone who repents of their sin, believes the gospel, and follows Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. When King Jesus returns on the last day, the great Day of Judgment, everyone who followed Him will enter the eternal Kingdom of God.
(Mk 1:14-17; 8:27-31; 1Cor 15:1-5; John 3:16; Eph 2:8-10; Matt 25:31-46)
The Discipleship Gospel by Bill Hull and Ben Sobels, p. 109
What was your understanding of the Gospel when you first believed? How has your understanding grown? Has your response grown as well?
Repenting and believing lead to a willing following. A man who “follows” is a man whose whole life is decisively REDIRECTED in obedience. Life change is expected (2Cor 5:15; Col 2:6)!
What are the marks of following?
(Mk. 1:17; 8:34-38; Matt. 28:18-20)
“If you say, ‘I’ll obey you, Jesus, IF my career thrives, IF my health is good,
IF my family is together…,’ then the thing that’s on the
other side of that IF is your real master.”
Tim Keller 21
What is keeping you from following Him right now? What is my “IF”?
What do I need to do with my “IF?”
Putting it all together:
A disciple of Jesus is one who has heard this call of Jesus, and has responded by repenting, believing the Gospel, and following Jesus And continues to repent, believe, and follow and help others do the same. (1:15,17) Are you a disciple? How is it evident? Why is it important to stay tethered to other disciples (Heb 3:12-14)?