Sermon on May 12 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 9:38-50
Loyalty to Jesus is much more than identifying with Him. What does it look like in action?
If you want to be truly loyal:
1. PURSUE UNITY – NOT DIVISION! (v38-41)
- Be discerning, not exclusive
John is more concerned about loyalty to ‘our group’ than devotion to Jesus.
Unity does not mean accepting everything done in the name of Jesus: ‘False Christs and prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect if were possible’ (Mark 13:22)
Rejoice where Christ is preached, love the truth but do not expect others to be clones of yourself to prove their faithfulness.
- Be refreshing, not impressive
John is measuring service in the wrong way.
The really significant things in the kingdom are not done with pomp or show – but in the small things with an eye on Jesus.
2. PURSUE PURITY – NEVER COMPROMISE!
- Be your brother or sister’s keeper (v42)
Our example is either a signpost to Jesus, or away from Him.
- Be merciless with your sin (v43-48)
When we see the gravity of sin we will be so busy killing it that there will be no room for pride in any of us.
‘Do not offer the members of your body to sin as weapons of wickedness….but rather offer the parts of your body to him as weapons of righteousness’ (Romans 6:13)
Loyalty to Jesus is learning to be a quick repenter and to love Jesus more so you can hate sin more
- Be salty, not bland (v49-50)
All of us are salted with fire in a way consistent with our relationship to Jesus.
If you are loyal to Jesus, you will reveal the worthiness of your loyalty amid the worth trial.
‘In those dark moments, O God, Grant that I may understand that it is you who are painfully parting the fibers of my being in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my substance and bear me away within Yourself’ (Elisabeth Elliot as she realized dementia was setting in)
Remember! Jesus’ loyalty even to death is the reason for our salvation. So be humble and do not make others stumble. Be holy and merciless with sin as He prepares you for heaven.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. Does Jesus encourage co-operating across denominational lines with others who love the Lord but differ with us? Read John’s epistle (1 John) and write down the essentials on which all true believers will agree.
2. Can hell still serve as a motivation for repentance or should we avoid speaking about it? Should we be motivated to holiness out of the fear of hell, or love for Christ?
3. How can we be salt in our families and work situations? What will a healthy (salty) church family look like?
4. Do you know someone who is little known but probably a spiritual superstar in God’s eyes? What aspects of his/her life are worth imitating?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Meredith B