The word of God is powerful. It makes things happen. Paul testifies that the simple, unadorned message of the cross of Jesus reveals both the righteousness and the wrath of God. At the same time, it reveals those who are perishing and those who are saved. Christians can trust the word of God to do the work of God as we reach out to save the lost in the world today.
God's plan is to freely forgive us of the sins for which Jesus died on the cross. This message of "justification" bears a few important implications for living faithfully as a Christian today.
At certain times in the history of God's plan of redemption, God has spoken his promises through the mouths of angels. In Luke's account of Gabriel's message to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, we are reminded that God's promises never fail.
The Light of the Cross, Lesson 1.
The Sun defines our solar system by its light in which so many parts become visible. Also, the Sun defines our solar system by the force of its gravity, which holds everything together in their relative orbits as a system. In a similar way, the message of justification--the good news of the cross of Jesus of Nazareth--defines everything that faithful Christians must believe.
Maps of the nations around the world clearly depict the borders between them. Where is the border of the Kingdom of God? In a few places in the New Testament, God's messengers set standards for discipline of troublesome church members. These cases teach us how Jesus' defines the boundary of his own community.
Too often, the Father's children assert themselves to divide against one another. To reject the legitimacy of one another. Instead, we should look around those gathered around the Father's table to see whom the Lord has gathered there.
Eventually, everyone is ready to get back home. But the joy of coming home does not last beyond the reminders of so much work to do once we are there. Disciples of Jesus learn to recognize in these things the promise of a homecoming someday that will finally and forever fulfill all of these longings without any disappointment.
We are all a work in progress--God's work! This concluding section in the Gospel of Mark challenges disciples of Jesus to obey to the best of their understanding; to trust Lord Jesus (who loved them with his very life) to correct them and to help them grow in his way.