After three years of planning, thousands of miles travelled, at least two hundred mochas, hundreds of hours of praying, thinking, writing, presenting, preaching, and being counseled, we are less than two weeks away from the first Bible study of Christ Community Church in Newton, MA.
Need To Know
Day: Sunday, October 7.
Time: 6:15 p.m. (6:30 start).
Place? Well, that’s fluid. But for now, our (Brian and Jenny’s) apartment — 15 Westchester Rd., Newton, MA, 02458.
Subject: The Gospel of Mark.
Why Mark’s Gospel?
We could not think of two better emphases to begin with than the gospel of Jesus Christ and what it means to follow Him. And these are the two major themes of Mark: Jesus and true discipleship. One of the most colorful scenes in this Gospel brings these two things together: “And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry His cross. And they brought Him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it. And they crucified Him . . .” (Mk 15.21-24a).
Here is Christ crucified atop the Place of a Skull (cf. Gen 3.15), dying in the place of sinners and accomplishing redemption for everyone who believes. And on His way, His strength fails Him. A passerby, Simon by name, is compelled to carry, what is most likely, the base of Christ’s cross. The picture is one of both the glory of Christ and grace of discipleship. Simon literally takes up Christ’s cross, the cross that he deserved, and follows Jesus to the place of His crucifixion. And we hear the words of Christ some time earlier, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mk 8.34-35).
We will begin by studying Mark’s Gospel because Mark’s Gospel is all about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the new life He beckons us to live as His disciples. This is the foundation we desire to lay for Christ Community Church in Newton. We want to be a people who are transformed by Christ as we treasure Christ. Any other foundation is sinking sand.
How You Can Pray
1. Pray for those who will be leading us through this study — especially, that our Father might grant us all grace for personal and universal holiness, the increase of faith, devotedness in prayer, diligence in study and, above all, the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We need help. Pray that it would be distinctively divine.
2. Pray for the core group of CCC as we go about testifying to the lost about Jesus, inviting them into our homes, and seeking to persuade them to come and give Christ a listen.
3. Pray that in His meticulous providence, we might be led daily to engage with those who will believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ask Him that He might grant the Spirit to accompany our words, that many, sooner rather than later and later also, might receive the gospel in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.
4. Pray that our study of Mark’s Gospel will be mightily used of God to advance His kingdom in our hearts both personally and corporately and by way of many being raised from the dead by the teaching of His Spirit-empowered Word.
5. Praise Him! He is building His Church!