Tag Archives: Gospel

THE GOSPEL OF MARK

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In keeping with our primary objective “to lift up Jesus Christ” we will walk through The Gospel of Mark beginning Sunday, September 12, 2021.

The opening sentence of Mark’s account is a bold announcement. It proclaims to be “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1, ESV).

The word “gospel” is literally translated as “good news.” The name “Jesus” was a common Jewish name in the first century.

However, the name “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew title, “Messiah” or “Anointed One.” He is, Mark declares, “the Son of God.” Indeed, a voice from heaven will announce this in Mark 1:11.

Any questions?

With this, the first words of Jesus appear only a few sentences later. He says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15, ESV). Therein lies the challenge to the reader: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, The Son of God? The pages that follow will challenge us to personally answer this question, right up to the final paragraph.

Consider the following introduction to the book of Mark by The Bible Project. Lord willing, below, we will post our sermon series as each week’s lesson unfolds.

The Gospel of Mark by TheBibleProject.com

FBLIVE POSTS: THE GOSPEL OF MARK

WATCH!

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, January 16, 2022

Dean Wolf, Shepherd of Shoreline Church

Mark 13:1-37

Dean Wolf brings today’s lesson about Mark 13. This is perhaps one of the most challenging chapters in Mark’s gospel account.

In this chapter Jesus refers to the total destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple that would occur in 70 A.D. (Mark 13:1-2). Jesus also refers His second coming at the end of the age (Mark 13:26-27, 31-37).

There are parts of the chapter, however, that are difficult to distinguish between one or the other. Over almost 2,000 years of analysis of this chapter there are a number of interpretations that have been offered. So many people have been drawn into the ongoing debate, some actually predicting Jesus’ second coming in spite of His warning that “…no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows” (Mark 13:32).

This obsession holds the potential of casting a shadow over the saving message of Jesus, Himself!

With all of this, then, what is to be our focus when it comes to Jesus’ return?

Watch!

WEALTH

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, January 9, 2022

Mark 12:13-34 (ESV)

The attacks of the religious rulers are growing as, at the same time, the crowds are now gladly listening to Jesus’ teachings, marveling (Mark 12:17, 37).  Paying taxes, the resurrection, the greatest commandments, paying lip-service to the law, and sacrificial giving are the major themes of our focus today. 

To a persecuted church where Christians would lose their property, their financial and physical security and even their very lives, Jesus speaks to truths that go beyond the things that we worry most about.  We all understand when Jesus says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” 

The question is, what things must we render to God that are God’s?

AUTHORITY

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, January 2, 2022

Mark 11:15-12:12

Mark 11:15-12:12 (ESV)

Even the crowds had recognized Jesus as the Messiah when he first entered Jerusalem at the beginning of the week of His passion (Mark 11:1-11). The crowds were “astonished at His teaching” after He had cleansed the temple.

For believers, these things were exactly what the Old Testament Scriptures had foretold, anchored in Jesus’ authority as the Son of God. Nonetheless, the next day, when Jesus arrived at the temple with His disciples, the religious rulers were waiting for Him. They were ready to challenge His authority to do such things. Jesus could have engaged them in conversation, reciting the scriptures once again to validate His righteous right to clean His house; but, these men were too blinded by their own prejudices and fear of the crowds.

And so, Jesus throws their own question back at them, forcing them to examine their own lack of faith and sinister schemes. The shadow of Jesus’ cross shortens to only a matter of a few more days as He condemns their plans with a parable (Mark 12:1-12).

As we each anticipate another Easter celebration, may we all spend this time examining our own hearts, stripping away our own prejudices and fears, to rejoice in the authority of Christ over our own lives.

FIGS

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Living Parable of the Fig Tree

Mark 11:1-25 (ESV)

The incident with the fig tree comes on the heels of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As He enters the city Jesus immediately curses the barren fig tree before He arrives at the temple. There, in the court of the Gentiles, Mark tells us that Jesus drove out the money changers and, specifically, the people who were selling pigeons.

At that point the religious rulers begin to plotting “a way to destroy” Jesus because they were afraid of Him. As Jesus and His disciples are leaving the temple, Peter observed that the fig tree had withered. Mark makes it clear that the tree had, indeed, “withered away to its roots.”

The religious rulers believed that they were the authorities on the Law of Moses which was mostly true. But, somewhere along the way their own self-interest had blinded them to their own corruption.

What warning can we take from their own self-deception today?

TREASURE

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, December 19, 2021

Mark 10:17-52 (NLT)

Our Shepherd, Dean Wolf, addressed the rich young ruler who fell on his knees before Jesus to ask “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” To a persecuted church this was an important question since many would lose everything…including their very lives…for the sake of the gospel. To them, in answer to Peter’s statement, Jesus proclaims: “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).

As Jesus gives more graphic details to His coming Passion and Resurrection the disciples continue to struggle to understand, arguing among each other about power positions in the kingdom. At the close of the chapter Mark tells us of a blind man asks Jesus to be able to see.

Where our treasure lies must be evaluated in the light of the cross and the sacrifices to which Christ calls us.

SERVANT

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, December 12, 2021

Mark 9:30-10:16

After Jesus tells His disciples of His upcoming Passion and Resurrection Mark tells us that they were afraid to ask Him what He meant. When they finally arrive at a house in Capernaum, He pauses to ask his disciples what it is that they are talking about and they do not answer Him. It is Mark, who then tells us that they were discussing among themselves who would be the greatest.

So, Jesus tells them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35) as he calls a little boy before them and wraps His arms around him. “Whoever receives one such child in my name, Jesus says, “receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mark 9:37). Do you want to know God? You begin the journey by receiving little children in Jesus’ name. Lord willing, our Sunday morning lesson will focus upon how this is possible.

REST

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, December 5, 2021

Mark 8:27-9:32 (ESV)

With Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, Mark sharpens his gospel account to focus upon Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  Immediately, Jesus announces His coming passion and resurrection three times (Mark 8:31; 9:9-10, 30-32).  Each time we find His disciples still wondering what Jesus is talking about. 

It is in the middle of these contrasts between Jesus and His disciples that we see Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus and hear the voice of God announcing “This is my beloved Son” and commanding them to “listen to him” (Mark 9:7). 

As Jesus, Peter, James and John approach the other disciples they find them arguing with the religious rulers about a demon that had refused to leave a little boy.  As we look at the statements made by the disciples and the father of the child we realize that they still do not understand what went wrong.  So, Jesus rebukes them for their faithlessness, challenges the father to believe and casts out the demon from his son.  “Why could we not cast it out?” the disciples ask Jesus.  His simple response to them reveals a truth that we all must grasp as followers of Christ.  The power to do great things in God’s kingdom does not rest in us or the words we use.  The power to do great things in God’s kingdom comes through resting in our God through prayer.

CROSS

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, November 28, 2021

“Cross”

At the heart of our lesson today is Peter’s confession: “You are the Christ!” In spite of the truth of this statement, based upon everything that Jesus had said and done, he did not yet fully grasp God’s plan. And so, with Peter’s confession, Jesus begins to teach the disciples about His coming passion. Even after Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection they would still struggle with their pre-conceived ideas about the Warrior Messiah (Acts 1:6-8).

Not until Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), would they more finally comprehend what Jesus had accomplished and what Jesus would demand of His followers.

BREAD

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, November 21, 2021 – Part 1

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, November 21, 2021 – Part 2

Below is video with Parts 1 and 2 combined.

“Bread” – Dean Wolf – Mark 8

This chapter includes the ‘hinge’ of Mark’s gospel where Peter declares “You are the Christ.” His confession concludes the first assertion of Mark in chapter 1, verse 1: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ…” and begins the second half of the verse, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

In today’s reading Jesus “sighed deeply in His spirit” over the Pharisees and scolds the disciples for their lack of understanding. Strategically, before Peter’s confession, Mark tells of the incident where Jesus heals the blindness of a man with two touches. After the first touch the man reports seeing people but that they look “like trees, walking.” After the second touch, he sees clearly.

So it is with His disciples. They see but they do not yet understand; yet, there will come a time when they will see clearly and understand fully.

BROKENNESS

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, November 14, 2021

“Brokenness” – Sunday, November 14, 2021

Mark 7

In this chapter, Jesus confronts the Pharisees by pointing out their hypocrisy. How can a person uphold the law on the one hand and, on the other hand, manufacture loopholes to get around it? The answer is clear: their heart is corrupted.

In contrast, he is approached by a non-Jew who had a demon-possessed daughter. She knows that Jesus’ mission is to the Jews, which He makes clear to her, yet, falling at Jesus’ feet, she persists, pleading with Him to heal her little one. “…even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs,” she implores.

“Dogs” was the name many Jews attached to Gentiles and she assumes the role of one who does not deserve His favor. What a dramatic contrast to the hubris of the Jewish leaders! It should come as no surprise, then, that Jesus would go back into the Decapolis (a Greek/Roman area) where he had encountered Legion (Mark 5:1-20) to heal a deaf and mute man. The people there, who had asked Jesus to leave before, now flock to Him, “zealously.”

MESSIAH!

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, November 7, 2021

Mark 6:7-56

The coming storms are gathering as Jesus sends out the twelve, two-by-two, to preach repentance to the people of Israel. John the Baptist is beheaded and the disciples return to Jesus, hungry and exhausted. Jesus invites them to get in the boat and to go to a desolate place where they can rest for a while.

But, the crowds rush around the northern side of the Sea of Galilee and meet Jesus and His disciples on the other side. This is the occasion of the feeding of the 5,000 that is the singular event (besides the crucifixion) that is reported in all four of our Gospels (Matthew 14:13-33; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-21).

The crowds are convinced that Jesus is the warrior Messiah who will finally throw off the yoke of the Romans and rule the world. Immediately, Jesus sends the disciples back to the boat and sends them to the other side while He dismisses the crowd and goes up the mountain to pray, alone. From that lookout point, he sees the disciples caught in another windstorm so He walks past them, on the water. Crying out in terror, Jesus identifies Himself to them, gets into the boat and the storm stops.

Mark tells us that that they are astounded by Jesus’ power, once again, but that their hearts are hardened because they still do not understand. Nonetheless, when they arrive at the other side of the Sea, Jesus continues to heal the sick.

Jesus, as Messiah, refuses to conform to the image we make for Him according to our desires. We must conform our lives to His!

FAITH

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, October 31, 2021

Mark 4:35-6:6

Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee to the eastern side. This area was known as the Decapolis (“10 Cities) that was dominated by pagan Gentiles. So far, they had not yet been impacted by Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom. As they were crossing the Sea, a sudden windstorm threatened to sink their boat while Jesus slept at the stern. Panicked, the disciples woke Jesus and asked Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” After calming the storm Jesus asked His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

In today’s lesson (Mark 4:35-6:6) we begin by asking how the disciples might have acted if they had the faith that Jesus questioned them about. How might they have behaved if they had acted in faith instead of fear? Lord willing, we will look at several people who encountered Jesus beginning with His disciples to a demon possessed man and the people from the Decapolis; to a ruler at a local synagogue and his family; to a woman hemorrhaging blood; and, finally, to the people of His own hometown who did not believe.

SEEDS

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, October 24, 2021

Mark 3:14-4:34

Our study will focus upon Mark 3:14-4:34 where Mark shifts his focus to the disciples as Jesus sends them out to preach about the kingdom and to grant them the authority to cast out demons. As usual, large crowds are following Jesus and the parable about the seed of the gospel and the different soils describe his audience, including a group of listeners that have gathered around Jesus and his 12 disciples.

The disciples are present when Jesus’ family wonders if Jesus has “lost His mind”, when the scribes accuse Jesus of being demon possessed, when Jesus redefines His family, and when He teaches them about the kingdom using parables. Jesus only takes the time to explain the parables to His disciples.

Key verses in this section ask a simple question: Are you listening? (Mark 4:24-25). For those who are listening and applying Jesus’ teachings to their lives, more insights and understandings are promised. For the casual listeners, however, they risk losing it all. Remember Jesus’ words at the beginning of His ministry: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

WINESKINS

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, October 17, 2021

Mark 2:1-3:12

After Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow Him, Mark tells us about the authority of Christ to speak for God, to command the demons, to heal the sick and to forgive sin.  At the beginning of this section in Mark 2:13-3:12, Jesus Calls Matthew and he follows Jesus, too. 

In chapter 2 Mark introduces us to the Pharisees who question his authority to forgive sin, to eat with sinners, and to exempt Himself from their religious practices.  These practices included eating with sinners, fasting, gleaning grain on the Sabbath, and healing on the Sabbath. Jesus grieves over the hardness of heart of the religious rulers and they, in turn, begin forming alliances to destroy Jesus. 

The point of Jesus’ wineskins illustration is that the kingdom of God will not be limited by the religious rulers’ rituals and practices. In contrast to the religious rulers, the kingdom of God is about meeting the needs of people who bear the very image of God.  It is these people who flock to Jesus from everywhere, from south of Jerusalem to the north of Galilee.  He has become so popular that He has the disciples prepare a boat in the water to relieve Him from the crush of the crowds (Mark 3:9-10).

AUTHORITY – Part 2

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, October 10, 2021

“Authority” – Part 2 – Dean Wolf

Today’s Scripture concludes our study on Jesus’ authority.  This section begins with the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John in Mark 1:16-20 and concludes with the calling of Matthew in Mark 2:13-14.  In last week’s study Mark tells us that Jesus has the Authority of Privilege because He, Himself, accurately speaks the words of God.  Jesus did not seek the approval of the religious rulers (the ‘authorities’ of the day) before He spoke.  Mark also shows us Jesus’ Authority of Power over the spiritual realm (casting out and silencing the demons) and the physical realm (healing the sick and diseased). 

In today’s lesson the religious rulers correctly state that only God can forgive sin (Mark 2:7).  And so, Jesus tells them, ”But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home” (Mark 2:10-11).  Mark tells us that Jesus said this based upon the faith of the ones who brought the paralytic to Him to be healed (verse 5). 

It is worth noting that the paralytic would have been powerless to see Jesus without his friends and that he allowed them to bring him before Jesus’ Authority to both be healed and to find forgiveness.  We conclude that Jesus extends His authority to the hearts of those who will believe in Him and His Authority to speak for God with Power.

AUTHORITY – Part 1

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, October 3, 2021

Jesus announces His message and selects his disciples (Mark 1:14-20). Then, in the following verses (Mark 1:21-45), Jesus begins teaching, healing and casting out demons “with authority” the crowd says.

His authority comes from God revealing His privilege. He spoke God’s word and did not need to check with the authorities of the day.

His authority comes from God revealing His power over the spiritual and physical worlds. He cast out demons from the possessed and healed the sick.

Although the crowds would gather He did not linger to enjoy their accolades. Rather, He continued His mission to teach about His Father’s kingdom to all.

FOLLOW

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, September 26, 2021

The first chapter of Mark’s gospel account of Jesus is so important to understanding the rest of the book. His bold, opening statement is “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Indeed, all of the Biblical story has been pointing to this time, this man, Jesus, Messiah, the Son of God.

With this, we find Jesus immediately going by the Sea of Galilee to call his first disciples telling them to “Follow Me” which they did, of course, “immediately.” In the first chapter of Mark, we the readers are immediately challenged: Do you believe?

JESUS’ STORY AND MY STORY

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, September 19, 2021

Working out of John 4:1-14, our shepherd, Dean Wolf, discusses the importance of making Jesus and His story the central focus of our own stories.

MARK: Introduction

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, September 12, 2021

The opening sentence of Mark’s account is a bold announcement. It proclaims to be “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1, ESV).

The word “gospel” is literally translated as “good news.” The name “Jesus” was a common Jewish name in the first century.

However, the name “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew title, “Messiah” or “Anointed One.” He is, Mark declares, “the Son of God.” Indeed, a voice from heaven will announce this in Mark 1:11.

With this, the first words of Jesus appear only a few sentences later. He says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15, ESV). Therein lies the challenge to the reader: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, The Son of God?

The pages that follow will challenge us to personally answer this question, right up to the final paragraph of the book.

GOSPEL & DISCIPLESHIP

Last Sunday (August 29, 2021) we closed our study of the book of Philippians.  Next Sunday our hope is to begin a study of the life of Jesus in the gospel of Mark. 

This Sunday, September 5, 2021, we will bring together two specific requests that we received under the title of Discipleship. 

On the one hand one of our members requested that we have a lesson about obeying the Gospel.  Paul defines the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus tells us that following Him requires counting the cost in Luke 14:25-35. Paul tells us what happens when we obey the Gospel in Romans 6:3-14.

Jesus Came, He Died and was Buried, He Rose From the Dead and He’s Coming Back!

The second request was to focus upon what it means to become living sacrifices as Paul details in Romans 12.  Here he calls us to become ‘living sacrifices’ who live lives that are being transformed.

Bringing these two suggestions together means talking about what obeying the gospel truly means as we both count the cost to follow Jesus and lives for the Lord with every day.


Join us on our Facebook page on Sunday, September 5, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. as we explore the Gospel and Discipleship.

Invest

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Luke 19:11-27

As we prepare to conclude our study of Luke 9-19 we are once again confronted with the issue of riches and wealth. Reflecting on the journey to Jerusalem we remember that there was a rich landowner who foolishly planned to build bigger barns without considering the One who determined whether or not he would live to enjoy it (Luke 12:13-21). Then there was the rich young ruler who could not part with his wealth to follow Jesus (Luke 18:18-30). This parable says something to us about our wealth and its use from God’s perspective.

MULTIPLY

First, Jesus underlines how important it is that we use God’s financial blessings for the work of the kingdom.  Ten servants are given a coin each with the instruction to multiply it’s value.  We are told of three who were noteworthy in regard to their obedience and we assume the other seven recipients fell somewhere in between the extremes that the ruler discovered upon his return.

KINGDOMS AND KINGS

Second, Jesus refers to a king who goes away to be crowned king and then return to destroy those who refused to submit to his rule. Some have suggested that there had been a similar situation with Herod Archelaus that would be recalled in Judea’s recent history. From Christ’s perspective, however, what begins in Jerusalem with His suffering, death and resurrection will come to its climax when He returns.

FEAR OF FAILURE

Finally, there is the one servant who is afraid and who does nothing with the coin his master had given to him.  God’s wealth is not given to be unproductively hoarded and hidden out of fear for losing it.  In the parable he loses his mina to the one who was extraordinarily productive.

FRUIT BEARING

Kingdom people are risk takers whose investments range from those who make 1000% to 500% to others who will simply collect interest at the bank and profit at all points in between. The key is that the Gospel always bears fruit wherever it goes.

Every follower of Christ has a stake in growing the kingdom!

Invest! – Minas and the Gospel

I.D. – Our Salvation

April 14, 2019

Galatians 3:26-28

When someone asks for our I.D., they want to know who we are and where we live. Not just any I.D. card will do. When the police officer asks for our I.D. we don’t give him our library card! We give him our driver’s license that is issued by the government of the state in which we live.

Our spiritual I.D. centers around the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Whom we celebrate our salvation. It is the spiritual DNA of the body of Christ and it defines who we are, why we are here, and what we do.

This first of our 5-lesson series will focus upon how a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Christ’s church. What is the core belief that draws all of us together at the Shoreline Church? 

At the conclusion of the lesson, our shepherd, Dean Wolf, will offer some comments and reflections about the lesson and what it means for our Shoreline Church family. His key text is Romans 8:9-17.

I.D. – Our Salvation

Saul

Acts 11:19-30

It had been 13 years since Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and 10 years since his failed attempt to return to Jerusalem. His hope had likely been to make amends with those he had hurt and convince his friends that Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah (Acts 22:17-21). That was when the disciples ‘took’ Saul and ‘sent’ him back to his hometown of Tarsus (Acts 9:30).

Now, 13 years later, Barnabas needs help with the exploding Gentile church in Antioch and we find him knocking on Saul’s door in Tarsus, asking him if he can come help (Acts 11:25-26). They would spend a year together. So, after 14 years since meeting Jesus Barnabas and Saul make their way back to Jerusalem bearing gifts from Antioch to help steel them for the predicted famine that would come.

This trip to Jerusalem has Saul being mentored in Barnabas’s shadow as Luke notes that the two of them, uneventfully, return to Antioch (Acts 12:25). At some point in their first missionary journey, however, Luke makes a couple of changes that are significant. First, he acknowledges Saul’s Greek name, Paul (Acts 13:9), and he now lists these two evangelists as “Paul and Barnabas” (Acts 13:14).

CHANGES

It is easy to think that Saul’s maturing in Christ happened shortly after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. But, a lot needed to happen for Saul to be ready to take the gospel to the world. Those 15 years represent a lot of hard work to help Saul become the evangelist, Paul. Time well spent when we consider his impact upon churches all over the world ever since then,

Saul

Gospel

The Gospel: Acts 2:12-41

After Jesus’ ascension into the sky, the angels told the apostles that He would return the same way (Acts 1:11). The first Gospel Sermon introduces ‘these last days’ with the core message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

It’s Pentecost Day and the apostle Peter is presenting the Gospel for the very first time.  The prophet Joel had prophesied about this day with a glimpse of the future (Joel 2:28-32).  Now, in ‘these last days’ Peter introduces the gospel message that will stand until Jesus returns.  This is the ‘Good News’ and it is echoed repeatedly in the remainder of the New Testament.

REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED

As Peter said, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God” (Acts 2:38, NLT).

Above is the Youtube posting of the music video entitled “The Gospel” by Ryan Stevenson.  The video can be purchased and downloaded at Worship House Media.