August 27, 2020 – Thursday
Mark 1:14b-15 NIV
14b Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15 “The time has come,” He said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Another word for proclaiming is preaching, so we may say Jesus went into Galilee, preaching the good news of God. No matter which gospel you read it is easy to forget Jesus was a preacher. And what He preached was the good news of God. Yes, He did miracles, incredible miracles, but His real purpose was to preach a message and the message was (and remains) The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!
When Jesus said The time has come, He did not imply a form of straight forward time. Instead, it is a time for decision. Why is it a time for a decision? Because Jesus is here. From our perspective, He was, He is, and He is to come. So, for us it is still time for a decision as it is for everyone around us. Grace has arrived. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Of course, Jesus went further and explained what was necessary. Repentance, that is turn from your wicked and sinful ways. Jesus said, Repent and believe the good news, repent – ask and accept forgiveness for your sins as you turn from them. Of course, that could not happen, would not happen, unless one believed in the good news, the gospel, that salvation was available. Going a bit further, this could not happen, would not happen, unless they had faith for belief comes from faith.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary said, The former phrase signifies no more than a firm and fixed assent to the proposition of the gospel; but to believe in the gospel, is to place our hope of salvation in the doctrine and promises of the gospel, which are the proximate object of our faith, though the primary object of it be the person of the Mediator. There is a repentance that must go before faith, that is the applicative of the promise of pardoning mercy to the soul; though true evangelical repentance, which is a sorrow for sin, flowing from the sense of the love of God in Christ, be the fruit and effect of faith. While I really like what Matthew Poole said overall, I have one point of disagreement. Poole said, There is a repentance that must go before faith which only works for me if he means repentance goes as a result of faith.
Belief and repentance result from faith. And what is the good news that leads to such actions? Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible tells us the good new or gospel lies not in worldly pomp and splendour, in outward observances, in legal rites and ceremonies, but in righteousness, peace, and joy; in peace and pardon by the blood of Christ, in justification by his righteousness, and in free and full salvation by him. The Expositor’s Greek Testament tells us “repent” echoes John’s preaching, and savours of awe, but “believe” is a new word, and presumably the watchword of the new ministry. And the name for the message to be believed settles the nature of the kingdom.
The Pulpit Commentary states, Repent and believe the good news, These words may be regarded as a summary of the method of salvation. Repentance and faith are the conditions of admission into the Christian covenant. Repentance has a special reference to God the Father, and faith, to Jesus Christ the eternal Son. It is in the gospel that Christ is revealed to us as a Saviour; and therefore we find Jesus Christ, as the object of our faith, distinguished from the Father as the object of our repentance. Repentance of itself is not sufficient – it makes no satisfaction for the Law which we have broken; and hence, over and above repentance, there is required from us faith in the Gospel, wherein Christ is revealed to us as a propitiation for sin, and as the only way of reconciliation with the Father. Without faith repentance becomes despair, and without repentance faith becomes only presumption. Join the two together, and the faithful soul is borne onwards, like a well-balanced vessel, to the haven where it would be. Notice the Pulpit Commentary uses faith almost as a synonym for belief. This, in its own way, acknowledges belief comes out of our faith.
Jesus clearly brought us a message of salvation, the good news. His miracles were not His message, instead they only authenticated who and what He was and is, the son of God and God Himself. He fulfilled a great many prophecies as He became the payment for our sins. He and His Father did this in an incredible act of love for us, so we would have a chance to live eternally in heaven.