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Mark 1:1-8

Talks for Growing Christians

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

Mark 1:1-8

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. John's baptism was not Christian baptism.
  2. The baptism with the Holy Spirit took place at Pentecost.

Practical Application

  1. We can use Mark 1:3 to refute the cults.
  2. We need to be a voice in the wilderness.

Questions

  1. What was Mark's relationship to Peter? to Paul? to Barnabas?
  2. Why was Paul unhappy with Mark? Did this situation change? What is the spiritual lesson here?
  3. There are 18 miracles performed by our Lord, but only 4 parables recorded in Mark? Why?
  4. Describe the different baptisms: a) John's baptism, b) Christian baptism, c) Old Testament baptism and d) Holy Spirit baptism.
  5. What do the cults have in common? Which verse in this passage can be used to refute the cults?
  6. Describe John's background and demeanor. What is the spiritual lesson here?

Answers

  1. Mark was possibly Peter's spiritual son (1 Peter 5:13). Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey, but quit half-way through. Barnabas took Mark with him on a second missionary journey, sailing to Cyprus. Paul chose Silas to go with him, strengthening the churches in Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:37-41).
  2. Because he quit. See how the situation changed as recorded in 2 Timothy 4:11. The lesson here for us? God picked up the pieces of John Mark's failure, even choosing him to write this gospel. This should encourage us on a comeback trail.
  3. Because the Lord is pictured in this gospel as a servant. What He does is the important point.
  4. a) a baptism unto repentance, b) see Acts 19:4-5, c) there is no record of O.T. baptism, d) this took place at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the church. See Acts 1:5; 2:1-4.
  5. They refute the deity of Christ. Mark 1:3.
  6. John grew up in the wilderness, eating locusts and wild honey, the chief diet of desert people. He dressed like Elijah, in a simple garment of camel's hair. He was a messenger sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of Christ (John 1:6-7). The spiritual lesson? It is not the diet or the wardrobe, but our humility and our message that points people to Christ.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Do a Bible search on "humility" and related words. Who were some of the humble people in the Bible? Who were some of the proud people?
  2. Draw conclusions from this study and consider what you can apply to your life. This could be meaningful as you seek to be the kind of person God wants you to be.

Challenge

  1. Ask yourself, "What does the Lord require of me?" (Micah 6:8) and "To whom does the Lord give grace?" (James 4:6). Are you meeting His requirements? Do you know the grace of God in your life?

Key Verses

  • "I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way..." (Mark 1:2)

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