Saturday, July 30, 2016

How Did We Get Here? Announcing Good News

Announcing Good News                                                    7/17/16

Mark 1:14-20, II Timothy 1:6-14



Paul tells the Galatian church that at “when the time had fully come, God sent his son into the world”  (4:4)


How Did We Get Here?        Oral History, Greece, Rome

Today we stay in the Roman Empire, about half way through Rome’s almost millennial empire.


In a corner of the empire was a land that dwelt in the middle of trade routes, with the large city of Jerusalem at its center.  It contained people highly skeptical of Roman power, even rebellious at times.  The seemed to challenge everything, including Rome’s borrowed and renamed version of the pantheon of gods taken from Greece.  Israel endorsed a different idea:  monotheism. 


In their tenuous relationship, Israel had even secured a religio licita, when allowed them to forego emperor worship.  


It is into this world that Jesus Christ comes.  “When the time had fully come”.  He had come to be Messiah and fulfill God’s will for salvation.  His death forgives our sins and his resurrection brings the promise of new life for his believers.  This message entered 1st century Rome.  It was in the Roman Empire that the message of the Gospel happened historically. 


Roger Osbourne, author of Civilization:  A New History of the western World, compares the message of Jesus Christ to the message and substance of the Roman empire:


          Into all this cam a faith that reconnected spiritually, believe and experience, a d presented a profound and meaningful alternative to the chaotic spiritual emptiness of the Roman world.  The contrast could hardly have been greater.  The new faith presented a strong attraction to the spiritual heirs of Socrates, living at a time of moral confusion, and to the people of Rome, who were deprived of meaningful religious experience.  But Christianity also offered a strong and supportive network of like-minded people.  The artisan classes in particular were effectively closed off form the ruling elite by their lack of citizenship, but the Church offered an alternative spiritual empire in which they had full membership.   (117)




7 Comparisons and Contrasts in Paul’s Teaching to Timothy


Vs 7           The Holy Spirit does not make us timid

                   The Holy Spirit gives us power, love and self-discipline


Vs 8           Do not be ashamed about the Lord’s testimony or me

                   Participate by God’s power in suffering for the gospel


Vs 9           We are not called because of our own doing

                   We are called by the Lord’s own purpose and grace


Vs 9-10      Grace given before time

                   Grace is revealed now


Vs 10         Jesus has destroyed death

                   He has brought life and immortality to light by gospel


Vs 12         No cause for shame

                   There is truth and conviction


Vs 12         Paul entrusted to God

                   God entrusted to Paul



Jesus calls the disciples:   Come, follow me.

                                                He calls without delay


Jesus demands all from us.   And this is good news.

When we put God first, and seek him first, then is when we find the rest, and we find ourselves.


Is God one more thing?  One of many things?  Or everything?


The Racko game illustration:

Even if every other number is order, but the first card isn’t…you can’t get any points.


How true for life:  even if everything else looks in place, but we live without God first, it is all terribly off.



Jesus’ first words:

He announces good news.  “The time is now.  The kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news”


Do you?


Will you?


Paul wrote:  I know whom I have believed


Have you?



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