Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/29/09- Mark 1:14,15 Repent and Believe

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"

Calvin abridged: Christ began exercising his office when he arrived in Galilee. The summary of his doctrine consisted in two parts: repentance and that the kingdom of God is at hand. Since repentance depends on the Gospel, why does Mark separate it from the doctrine of the Gospel? First God sometimes invited us to repentance when nothing other than changing our life for the better is meant. Afterwards he shows that conversion and newness of life (Rom. 6:4) are the gift of God. We are informed that not only are we called by duty, but the grace and power which enables us to obey are also offered. The Lord commands us to turn to Him, but we cannot do this by trying hard. But God promises the Spirit of regeneration, so we must receive this grace by faith. There is a special relationship between faith and forgiveness of sins often mentioned in Scripture. God offers us a free salvation in order that we may turn to him and live to righteousness. When he promises us mercy, he calls us to deny our flesh. Paul calls the gospel the kingdom of God. By the preaching of the Gospel the kingdom of God is set up. There is no other way that God reigns among us. How wretched is our condition without the Gospel

Thoughts: This is a great advent verse, on this first Sunday of advent. God’s kingdom (presence, fullness) is coming- so repent and believe the good news. If you knew you were going to see God in all his glory, on the judgment seat very soon, how would you respond? Would you wish to change your life any? Somehow we have lost the urgency of the Gospel for our generation. Our beliefs are watered down, our repentance is flmsy. Too many Christians are apathetic, and the Gospel is something extra. We believe we can add God to our lives without subtracting sin. There are some Christians on the edges who think all that is happening in our country is a sign of God’s judgment or possibly even his coming again. However, most Christians plug their ears to that kind of talk. But we should never plug our ears to the message of Jesus- repent and believe.

Prayer: Lord, give me the desire to repent, and then pour out upon me the power of your Holy Spirit that I might have the strength to turn from my sins and turn toward you.

1 comment:

  1. Calvinist site; please visit us; comment.

    John Lofton, Editor,
    Recovering Republican