Sermon on May 13 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 2:18-22
We live in a culture that is extremely suspicious of religion? So what is true religion?
1. JESUS CAME TO BRING GLADNESS, NOT SADNESS!
- True religion frees us from the awful weight of works (v18)
It would be mad to fast at a wedding. Why would the disciples fast while the Bridegroom is present?
Jesus is not against fasting – but He is against anything we make out is ‘the key’ to the Christian life.
Beware the lead weights can rob you of joy: an accusing conscience, a demanding church and a blinding unbelief.
- True religion frees us to feast, more than fast (v19)
A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot.
Jesus is no gloomy Saviour. Are our lives marked by infectious joy, or gloomy religion?
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:5)
2. JESUS CAME TO BRING NEWNESS, NOT STALENESS!
- Are you patching up or resting in Jesus? (v20)
Religion that is pleasing to the Lord is avoiding hyper-spirituality – unlike the Pharisees.
Are you resting entirely on Jesus who is our Sabbath rest
Watch out for laziness – but faith that rests in Jesus does not overcompensate with duty after duty.
- Is Jesus your all or your add-on? (v21)
We cannot take Jesus and contain him inside our shrivelled skin of self-righteousness.
Very truly I tell you, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again
True religion is the old wineskin of my old nature replaced by the newness of life in Jesus. Jesus is no religion at all!
Remember! You can tell true religion by what is at the centre?
There can be no compromise between works-based religion and salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus alone.
Is Jesus at the centre of our lives and our church?
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. How would you respond to someone who believes that religion is outdated? Or that all religions lead to the same God?
2. Some Pharisees fasted to show they were deeply concerned about spiritual matters. How is that commendable? How were they mistaken?
3. How can we demonstrate to the world that we are celebrating with living Bridegroom rather that mourning His death?
4. How is our relationship with God in Christ like ‘new wine’ that cannot be contained within our old way of life?