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Showing posts from October, 2018

That’s Why They Were So Sad, You See | Mark 12:18–27

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We read today about yet another group approaching to accost Jesus: the Sadducees.They’re sent from the chief priests for a third wave of questioning, hoping to trap Him in a statement (cf. 11:27; 12:13).This wealthy group of men included the chief priests and much of Jerusalem’s ruling council.
Even wielding great influence in Jewish religious life, the beliefs of the Sadducees would be akin to theological liberalism today.They only held the books of Moses as authoritative, and not even that.They also didn’t believe in the resurrection (v. 18) nor in the existence of angels, a future judgment, or the immortality of the soul (cf. Acts 23:6–8).
As such, this hypothetical scenario of a woman marrying seven husbands is, of course, a challenge to Jesus.If He’s stymied, they believe they would prove themselves more intelligent than Jesus while also demonstrating how absurd it is to believe in the resurrection.
However, such challenges demonstrate a lack of knowledge of Scripture.Jesus demon…

SERMON: Wicked Vine-Growers and a Sovereign Lord | Mark 12:1–12

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Wicked Vine-Growers and a Sovereign Lord | Mark 12:1–12
Shaun Marksbury | Grace Bible Church
Sunday Morning Service | October 14, 2018

We know God is patient, though we sometimes fail to appreciate just how patient.  Still, there comes a moment when even His patience comes to an end.  In this parable, we're warned by the example of the Jewish leadership to repent while there's still time.

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This is perhaps Wednesday of the passion week.Remember that, in the preceding chapter, Jesus was walking in the wide courtyard of the temple and teaching the people gathered there.The chief priests, scribes, and elders chose that moment to accost Jesus publicly and challenge His authority.He deftly answered their questioning with a question of His own that they refused to answer.With this parable, as well as the parable of the two sons (cf. Mt 21:28–32) and the prophecy chief cornerstone, He turns the challenge back on them, prompting their retreat.
As we read it to…

The Christian and Government | Mark 12:13–17

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The chief priests and the rest may have physically departed (v. 12), but they aren’t done with Jesus.We read in v. 13 “they sent” Pharisees and Herodians “to trap Him in a statement.”The compliments of verse fourteen were mere flatteries attempting to snare Him.
They ask Him about taxes.Some zealots advocated withholding all taxes, knowing that it would invite the wrath of the Romans.If Jesus sided with them, He would be branded a dissident.If, however, He flatly affirmed taxes, then He risked alienating His followers—a lose/lose scenario.Far from falling for their trap, His answer chastens both groups.
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.The very coins that they use to engage in commerce bear the image and inscription of Caesar.Rome did more than mint this currency: it provided the benefits of pax romana (Roman peace) through good roads and soldiers who would stop those bent on evil.Taxes benefit the people who decry them, and the Lord commands that they be paid.
Render to G…

His Enemies and His Virtues | Mark 12:13–15a

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The chief priests and the rest may have physically departed (v. 12), but they aren’t done with Jesus.We read in v. 13 “they sent” Pharisees and Herodians “to trap Him in a statement.”They plan to ensnare Jesus with His own words (just like many of the skeptics of Scripture today).
The Pharisees and the Herodians disdained one another, but their hatred for Christ has united them since Mark 3:6.This unlikely duo flatter Jesus, intending to lay a net for His feet (cf. Pv 29:5). Even so, for the flattery to be effective, their compliments must be true.What do they say of our Lord?
First, our Lord is true.They say, “we know that You are truthful.”He deals with people honesty, reflecting the character of God; they reflect the father of lies (Jn 8:44).
Second, our Lord doesn’t defer to anyone.No effort can be God-honoring if it seeks the favor of men (cf. Gal 1:10).The fear of man ensnares, contrasting placing trust in the Lord Who exalts (Pv 29:25).
Third, our Lord is impartial.He practices no…

SERMON: Questioning Christ’s Authority | Mark 11:27–33

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Questioning Christ’s Authority | Mark 11:27–33
Shaun Marksbury | Grace Bible Church
Sunday Morning Service | October 14, 2018

We all have questions, and the Lord welcomes our inquiry! However, radical skepticism becomes the retreat of those in predetermined unbelief.  In this sermon delivered at our new location, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, we explore the questioning of Christ's authority, and what the answer to these questions means for us.

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Manuscript: This is still the third day of the Passion Week, most likely Wednesday.Jesus cursed the fig tree and had spent all of the previous day in the temple, keeping it pure and teaching.When we looked at the text together last time, we saw them approaching the temple in the early morning hours.They stopped because Peter noticed just how withered the fig tree had become (vv. 20–21), and Jesus admonished them to keep their faith in God in their prayers (vv. 22–26).
In our text this morning, they arrive back at the temple, but …

The Parable of the Vine-Growers | Mark 12:1–12

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The chief priests, scribes, and elders have challenged Jesus regarding His authority.He turns the challenge back on them with this parable, the parable of the two sons (cf. Mt 21:28–32), and the prophecy chief cornerstone.Here, He depicts their stunning wickedness and contrasts it with the intentions of God.
First, consider the patience of the landowner.Unlike some landowners, he provided them everything they needed for the work and left them alone until harvest time.When they violently refused to pay, he tried again and again.His patience might even be considered foolish, but he gives the farmers every opportunity to make it right.
Second, consider the impenitence of the farmers.They escalate their violence, beating the first slave, mortally wounding the second, and killing the third.They then contrive a plan to kill the landowner’s son to take the vineyard.As their commitment to sin grows, so does their rebellion and foolishness.
Third, consider the persistence of the Lord.Of course, …

SERMON: Faith in, but not in, Prayer | Mark 11:20–26

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Faith in, but not in, Prayer | Mark 11:20–26
Shaun Marksbury | Grace Bible Church
Sunday Morning Service | October 7, 2018

When we pray, too often, our faith remains in ourselves.  Sadly, some even misread this passage to support a misplaced faith; if you want something, just declare it in prayer, believe real hard, don’t doubt, and you will get it.   This is not what our Lord teaches here.  So, what do we see in this passage?


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If you remember from last week, we explained the reason why Jesus cursed the fig tree.If you haven’t listened to that message, I encourage you to do just that, because we saw that this wasn’t a moment of capricious anger for our Lord.He is enacting a parable before their eyes.
The message is that of fruitless faith, and the cursing the fig tree and cleansing the temple both show us examples of this (vv. 12–18).They apparently came back the way they came in, because the next morning, they pass by the same fig tree.It’s withered state Jesus an…