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Because God Loves His Son


Mark 1

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”

4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”



Welcome to the Gospel Stand!


I’m not sure how many of you know why we’re actually called the gospel stand. What does that mean?


We don’t really use the word gospel anymore – when I say gospel what do you think of? Church choir? Well, gospel means big news that bring relief. Imagine a big bush fire bearing down on your house and you’re stuck. Roads are closed, you can’t go anywhere. You’re in the direct path of the fire and you know this is it. And you suddenly get a sms alert saying the winds have changed direction and the fire is now burning away from you. We’ve been saved! That’s good news isn’t it? That’s gospel.



There is a gospel we want people to hear. It’s a story of how rescue and salvation came when we most needed it. It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s where we find ourselves today. That’s what the Bible is – a record of the gospel of God. What God has done for us to rescue us.


Jesus is the beloved Son of God


Our story begins like this in verse 2.

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,

It begins with as it is written. Straight away this tells us a few things. Why do you write stuff down? Because it’s important. If you want to be absolutely sure about something, put it in writing. That’s why we have contracts. But we write stuff down also because it’s permanent. So you guys know that whatever you post on facebook or wherever can come back and bite you. If you write rubbish, there’s a good chance your future employer will find out. It’ll follow you everywhere.


The gospel begins with “as it is written…” This is not some myth or legend. There are historical records.

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”

And the gospel begins with Isaiah the prophet. None of us really know him, except that he lived about 700 years before Jesus and he wrote down a bunch of stuff that became a key part of the Jewish religion. Why this matters is because it tells us that Jesus didn’t appear out of nowhere. There’s been prophets writing and predicting his coming. The reason the Bible is so thick is because our head is thick and also because it’s giving us reasons to believe.


And the story of God has been written to prepare the way. There’s no point writing anything to someone who doesn’t know how to read. What is the preparation that Isaiah talks about? Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight?


4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

What is the preparation? Putting decorations on the wall? No. What do you do when you have people coming over to your place? You clean. That’s the preparation. That’s what John the Baptist is doing – baptizing which is just a ritual where you dunk someone in water to symbolise washing. Because Jesus is coming.


Now the amount of preparation you do depends on who’s coming right? Any of you guys can come over to my place and honestly, I wouldn’t really prepare anything for you. But if my mum comes to visit, or worse my mother in law, you should see how well charis packs the house and squares everything away.


John the Baptist says this about Jesus in verse 7.


7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Here’s the surprise. John baptises people to prepare them for Jesus who comes and baptises people again. There’s an irony here. Imagine I clean my home and my mother in law comes and cleans it again. Well, actually she does that but for a different reason.

What does it mean that Jesus will baptise us with the Holy Spirit? In fact, what does it mean to have the Holy Spirit? Is it so we can perform miracles? Look at verse 9.


9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

How do you know whether God is pleased with you or not? How do you know whether you’re on the right side with God? Have you been paying your subscription fees? Do you have a membership card? Why would God love you?


We know, because Jesus is the beloved Son of God. We know God loves us, because God loves Jesus. That’s the logic in this passage. God is well pleased with Him who has the Spirit – Jesus Christ. And Jesus baptises us with the Holy Spirit. He gives us the Spirit so that we too can share in God’s love.


That’s why Paul in Romans 8 says this:


9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Paul says if Christ is in us, if we have the Spirit, then whatever happened to Jesus will happen to us. He received the Spirit, we receive the Spirit. He is loved by God, we are loved by God. He was raised to new life, we are raised to new life.


I hope you can see the massive comfort that this is. Because the day God stops loving Jesus, is the day He stops loving you. And that ain’t never gonna happen. This is what you want to put your confidence in. Not on your performance, but on who Jesus is.


Put your faith, not on your own standing with God, but Jesus. Jesus will never be anything other than the beloved Son of God. And those of us who trust in Him, will likewise be loved by God.

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