Whenever individuals and churches have lost sight of these realities, the effects have been devastating on personal life, congregational life and the reputation of the church before the watching world. And that is where we are today. The greatest problem in the church at this time is that so many Christians have such a shallow grasp and experience of these transforming truths. But when these blessed truths have been recovered, it has led to personal revival, church renewal, and evangelistic fruitfulness. Such a recovery is what we desperately need today.
In this article, we have simply tried to restate the obvious: in laying down his life for us, and calling us to true conversion and wholehearted commitment, Jesus Christ is urging us to turn from a self-centered life that is the fruit of the Fall and to turn to himself and the God-centered life of the world to come. It is a call to a life of grace in all its fullness, freedom, and joy, a call to the only kind of life that will matter in the end. And the response he desires comes not from guilt, fear, idealism, or heroism, but from humble, grateful obedience, freely given out of love for him who loved us and gave himself up for us, and who said, “If you love me, you will obey me” (John 14:15).
1. See the commentaries: William Hendricksen, The Gospel of Mark, 56–58; William Lane, The Gospel of Mark, 63–66; James Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, 45–48; R.C.H. Lenski, St. Mark’s Gospel, 65–67; C.E.B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to St. Mark, 68, 44–45.
2. J.I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1995), 162.
3. F.F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983), 152.
4. C.E.B Cranfield, The Gospel According to Mark, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1959), 281.
5. R.C.H. Lenski, St. Mark’s Gospel, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1946), 348.
6. William Hendricksen, The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), 329.
7. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus, 151.
Tom Tarrants is Director of Ministry at the C.S. Lewis Institute.He has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since 1978 and served as President of the C.S. Lewis Institute from 1998 to April 2010. Prior to coming to the Institute, he served as Co-Pastor of Christ Our Shepherd Church in Washington, D.C. Tom earned his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary and is an ordained Minister in the Evangelical Church Alliance.
|Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7|
To view this full article on a single page, click here.
To receive electronic or hard copies of Knowing & Doing, click here.
To browse the Knowing & Doing archives of articles, click here.