Baptism & Salvation

Let’s see if we can understand this: If we look at the accuracy of the New Testament documents we see that there’s a 0.3% difference between all the 24,000 manuscripts that we’ve found. Once we eliminate all the copyist errors. Well, this is one of those differences. These last few verses of Mark are missing from most of the earlier copies of the NT documents that we have. This Mark passage also talks about drinking poison and handling snakes etc. Well the truth of the matter is that we aren’t sure if these last few verses were actually written by Mark or were actually a commentary added later by a church father. Note that this does not invalidate any of the other passages because we have 99.7% accuracy of all the rest of the documents. And it does not change the issue about the resurrection of Jesus. All it does is question whether one has to be baptized to be saved. Well I’d say that if this verse scares someone then they should be safe and just get baptized. But remember the thief on the Cross was not baptized (though he technically died before Christ rose but I can’t see why that would be significant). Also most of the rest of the Bible is logically consistent that being baptized does not save you but is merely a symbolic witness to the rest of the world and done in obedience to God.

Mark 1

My study and observation of Mark 1.It starts with prophecy of God sending His messenger John to help people to know that messiah has arrived. In Mark 1:10 Jesus is baptized and when that is done by full immersion he came out of the water, and then God testifies that it is His son.  Jesus casts out demons and became famous throughout Galilee, he also cures a person who has a bad fever, and people with diseases. At one point Jesus was, “indigent Mark 1:41 NIV”, then heals the leper. Just for the sake of historical curiosity, NIV says, “indigent” yet others like NLT say “moved with compassion” this doesn’t affect the verse hardly at all and changes no major doctrine. However, I am curious do you guys think that he could have been “indigent” because people from everywhere wanted to be healed? What are your thoughts about why Jesus might become angry (yet He did not sin, Ephesians 4:26)?This was the only unique question I could think of and for the purpose of discussion is interesting, again it affects no core doctrine but might give us some insight into understanding the mind of God.

Mark 15

This is interesting that pilot seemed to know Jesus was Messiah but still let Him be crucified because of the chief priest getting the people to shout out “kill him”.  Rather, than do what is right pilot let Jesus be crucified to appease the people and Jewish authorities. It seems like we sometimes, we let our sins get in the way of having a genuine relationship with our Savior. Jesus was on the cross not just because of their sins but for ours also. We in a sense also crucified Christ because of our sins (Hebrews 6:6). One thing I took from this chapter is that it is more important to follow God than enjoy the pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25).  Which means doing the right thing regardless of how we are treated which is why 1 John 3:10 speaks of loving our brother see Mark 16:15. Jesus in the strictest sense had every right to save Himself from the cross, He suffered for us so we should be willing to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29). However, I am thankful that the Christ life is not all about suffering. In fact I am thankful that Jesus died to free me from the eternal consequences of sin. We are commanded to basically be a disciple of Christ, and I think that means loving not just God but our Christian and Non-Christian brothers and sisters. How can we do this? In my opinion the best way to do this is to run the race of life faithfully (Mark 13:13) with endurance which to me means being obedience to Christ and following His teachings as best as possible because that is part of being a disciple of Christ! The context of the verse is that we should love one another just as Christ has loved us. If we are in Christ the Holy Spirit leads us, and as we allow the spirit to lead us we can overcome much of our weaknesses and God will help us to remain in Him (John 15:4).

Jesus is Lord

In Acts 10 we learn that Jesus is Lord of all and that He went about doing good (Acts 10:38). God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day (Act 10:40). The miracle of the resurrection is amazing, the perfect sinless man died but that wasn’t the end He came back to life. Just as Jesus came back from the dead when we accept Him our old sinful nature is put away and Christ dwells in our hearts. Jesus was given authority to judge all people (Acts 10:42) however, His judgement is not for condemnation it is so that all who believe in Him can have eternal life through Him, “…that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43” May, we all trust in Him and receive Him, amen.

Scripture Brings Strength

Philippians 4:13 teaches that God gives us strength to do anything we need. It, is God who brings strength (Isaiah 40:29) in all areas including the ones we are weak in God is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Bible teaches us that it gives God glory when we trust in Him when we are weak, God never fails. Jesus taught “I will never leave you; never will I forsake you. “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20 ESV”. God even spoke in the Old Testament telling us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV” “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10” The greatest choice we can make in life is to trust God. Jesus came so that we could be forgiven of ours sins, however that is not all God came to give us a better life. The only way to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives is to trust in Him. I’m thankful for God’s abundant grace and mercy, amen.