FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Come, Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted
Come ye souls by, sin afflicted,
Bowed with fruitless, sorrow down;
By the broken, law convicted,
Through the cross, behold the crown;
Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus;
Mercy flows through Him alone.
Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap!
The Sunday Recap is a brief fly-by of what we did during Sunday worship. Did anything land with you from worship on Sunday? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?
Food For Thought!
The biblical gospel of atonement is of God satisfying himself by substituting himself for us. The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone. - John Stott
Confession of Sin:
Prayer of Confession
Our Father in heaven, you know our hearts: how weak, hard and selfish we are. You have shown us great mercy because we have sinned greatly. You patiently endure our many offenses against you. In your Son and only in Him we are saved from the wrath we deserve, for each day we give in to foolish desires and forget the holiness of Your name. We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed. We have neglected to do what is right; to love what you love. We cry out for mercy and rest in the hope of the cross of Jesus Christ, in whose strong name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646)
Q. 30. How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.
Q. 31. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he does persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all betaught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
Sermon Text: Mark 10:32-52
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
1. The need for humility (v. 35-41)
2. The source of humility (v. 32-34, 45)
3. The practice of humility (v. 46-52)
The middle section of Mark's gospel is anchored by two related and inseparable themes: death and discipleship. Three times Jesus tells of his coming death (8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34) after which he explains what it means for all those who follow him (8:34-38; 9:35-37; 10:43-45).
However, despite the fact Jesus repeats himself three times and did so "plainly" (8:32), the disciples still don't understand. First, Peter rebukes Jesus (8:32). Second, the disciples argue about who is the greatest (9:33-34). Third, James and John ask for positions of status, privilege and glory (10:35-37). It would be very easy to look at the disciples and think, "How can they keep missing it?" But we should be asking, "What are we missing right now?" In other words, just like the disciples we need humility. We need to discover the source of humility. We need to see what it looks like to practice humility.
So, where do James and John (along with the rest of the disciples, v. 41) go wrong? It's not just in the absurdity of their request. It goes deeper. It's the belief that God will make things right and fulfill his promises the same way the world does: by getting power not by giving it up (v. 42-45). The disciples continue to separate the glory of Jesus from the cross of Jesus. But for Jesus they are one and the same thing. In fact, the greatest moment of Jesus' glory is on the cross. For it is on the cross that God's love is most clearly revealed through Jesus' drinking the cup of God's just punishment for sin and not just some of it, all of it. He was baptized with it, immersed in it, overwhelmed by it. It's not despite God's love that Jesus must die but because of God's love. Jesus has come to be a substitutionary sacrifice. He came to give his life as a ransom for many (v. 45). In other words, God gets personally involved and pays the price required to free sinners from the guilt and power of sin!
This changes everything! It means there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). It also means to follow Jesus is to engage with the world in a totally different way. It means we too will drink the cup and be baptized with Jesus' baptism by living lives of sacrificial service. Just think for a moment about the influence of the cross of Jesus on the history of the world. It's the opposite of the way most people go about gaining power and influence. "For you," God says, "the route to gaining influence is not taking power. Influence gained through power and control doesn't really change society; it doesn't change hearts. I'm calling you to a totally different approach. Be so sacrificially loving that the people around you, who don't believe what you believe, will soon be unable to imagine the place without you." (Tim Keller)
But there is a problem. What's to keep you from living an unselfish life for selfish reasons? Many who write about how to be happy today say the best way to get a sense of purpose and meaning in your life, to feel fulfilled and valuable, is to live a life service and generosity. But is that not just a veiled form of selfishness? I live an unselfish life because it makes me happier. How do we get out of this problem? The answer is again the gospel, the self-substitution of Jesus! The cross of Christ teaches us two things. First it shows how serious sin really is that God himself in the person of Jesus Christ would pay the price for our sin. Second it shows how valuable we are to God. "He who did not spare his own Son butgave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32) It is the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus alone that can change us from needing to live an unselfish life to wanting to live an unselfish life because of what he has done for us.
So what would it look like to practice this kind of humility, this kind of self-sacrificial love? It begins with realizing you are just as desperate as blind Bartimaeus. "Bartimaeus encountered Jesus' power, not on the basis of his strength, but in the context of his weakness.... Bartimaeus brought nothing but his need. But in doing so he fulfilled a fundamental law in God's kingdom: there is no other way to come to Jesus but on the basis of our need and his adequacy to meet it fully." (Sinclair Ferguson) Instead of looking for greatness begin where Bartimaeus does, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The story of Bartimaeus begins with him sitting on the roadside, a blind beggar (v. 46). The story ends with Bartimaeus seeing Jesus and following him on the way (v. 52). So Jesus asks each of us, "What do you want me to do for you?"
- What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
- What questions does this passage raise for you?
- Was there anything that bothered you?
- What would you say is the reason why the disciples keep "missing it?"
- How is Jesus' way of gaining influence so radically different than the way the world does?
- How does the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus change us from needingto live an unselfish life to wanting to live an unselfish life?
Songs for this week:
Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
Crown Him With Many Crowns
How Deep The Father's Love For Us
It Is Finished, part II
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Sermon passage for this week: 1 Corinthians 15:1-20
Until next time,
Come, Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted
Take His easy, yoke and wear it;
Love will make your, obedience sweet;
Christ will give you, strength to bear it,
While His grace, shall guide your feet
Safe to glory, Safe to glory, Safe to glory,
Where His ransomed captives meet.