The Two Dangers
- Mark 9:42 (ESV)
- Mark 9:43 (ESV)
- Mark 9:45 (ESV)
- Mark 9:47 (ESV)
- Mark 9:48 (ESV)
- Mark 9:49 (ESV)
- Mark 9:50 (ESV)
I. The danger of causing other believers to sin.
Causing another believer to fall into sin neutralizes their ability to do the work God has given them and is itself a sin.
1 Corinthians 8:10-12 (ESV)
For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
II. The danger of our own sin.
It's very easy for the body to lead it's own soul astray. As above, it can render the believer ineffective for the work God has given us to do.
Note:ESV lacks verses 44 and 46 since the earliest manuscripts don't have them. KJV and NAS do have these verses.
When Jesus reefers to cutting out of body parts as a warning to not leave even the smallest sliver of sin in your life. The Devil can uses even a seemingly insignificant sin to make you ineffective to God.
One analogy is a homeowner sold his home but insisted that as part of the sale, he be permitted ownership of one nail over a doorpost. Years later the original homeowner wanted to buy the house back he was refused. The original owner then hung a dog carcass on the one nail he owned. Eventually the current owner had to sell the whole house due to the stench of the carcass.
The lesson is this: Allow the Devil even a small foothold and he will hang his rotting garbage on it.
We must ruthlessly cut out sin in our lives. Jesus used the analogy of hands, feet and eyes as those parts of us that sin. We see something and want it but shouldn't. Our feet take us to places we shouldn't go. Our hands do work that we shouldn't.
The essence of hell (verses 47b-48) is unrelenting suffering. Matt 25:41-46. Our hearts should ache for the lost. Too often our lives do not reflect this truth. It should motivate us to action, to move to tell others about Christ.
V. 49 - all people, believers and non-believers will be judged. It is inevitable. For believers we will have the works we have done judged to be rewarded for it. For non-believers it will be the White Throne Judgement.
V 50 - Being 'salty' is showing the impact if Jesus in our lives by obeying His commands. Some churches resemble the world too much. They have lost their saltiness. How can that be restored?
'To know and not to do is not to know at all.'
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 ESV)
III. Strive for Holiness. Why?
- It is a command of God.
- It is the only appropriate response to God's grace in our lives. We work hard, strive, labor and pursue obedience to God.
- Without holiness 'no one will see God.'
Be careful of falling into the trap of letting known sin go unaddressed because you feel it's 'too difficult' or that you know you will be forgiven.
How do you pursue holiness?
- Dwell on the Gospel. No one can be made holy and pleasing to God without the Gospel.
- Radical Repentance. Literally remove those items that cause you to sin; TV, Internet, shopping, even friends and family. Strive, Rau, make every effort, do whatever it takes to get rid of that sin.
- Live under the Spirit's power. Our world teaches a corrupted version of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power of God. We're to live by the Holy Spirit.
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