This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 13, 2008, and was taken from Mark 12:28-34.
How do we define what it means to know Christ and to live for him? Biblical faith’s aim is not my personal fulfillment, but the glory of God. Biblical faith is God-centered, not man-centered.
- vs. 28-30: Biblical faith stands in awe and wonder of the God who is, and is utterly consumed with the very thought of him.
- v. 31: Biblical faith is marked by a passionate devotion to others. You cannot separate love of God from the love of others.
- vs. 32-34: To acknowledge agreement with and appreciation for biblical faith without a wholesale committment to it is to fall short of saving faith. Being “near” the kingdom is not the same as being “in” the kingdom.
What is essential for salvation is a radical transformation from the inside out. Nothing short of conversion will do. What is needed is to come to an honest awareness and acknowledgment of your sin which brings you to a point where you flee to Christ for salvation.
Some sobering lessons from this message:
- It is entirely possible to grown up in church and have Christian parents – and not be a Christian.
- It is possible to study theology and learn great things about the Bible and its history – and not be a Christian.
- It is possible to hear the grace of Christ preached all of your life and be trusting in your own goodness and your own ability to please God.
- It is possible to be gospel hardened and to seal your own damnation, even while in the church.
- It is possible to fool every one, and to have the preacher to preach a beautiful message at your funeral, and assure everyone that you are resting in heaven, and you be in hell instead.
- It is entirely possible to be within an inch of the kingdom of God, but to be an inch away is still to be outside of the kingdom of God.