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Sermons from Grace Baptist Church

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“Is Self-Confidence a Virtue?” Mark 14:66-72

Do you think that having self-confidence is a negative? Peter’s self-confidence is what got him into trouble. His self-confidence had a negative impact on his decisions. There is a multi-million, probably billion dollar, industry telling you that self-confidence is what you need to change your life. The whole self-help industry is built on the belief that self-esteem and self-confidence is a virtue; something that you should seek and for 6 easy payments of $29.99 they will help you develop self-confidence. We are taught from a very early age that we are good; we are great; we are wonderful. We are taught that what limits us is our inability to recognize that all our power in life resides in our self-esteem and all our influence in life and ability to achieve great things lies in the power of our self-confidence. That is a lie. Peter is a great example of a man who was very self-confident. We see in Mark 14:66-72 the fruit of that self-confidence. Self-confidence at its very core is esteeming yourself and your own ability over God and your need for God. It is sin. Self-esteem and self-confidence are both forms of personal pride and is sin. It is an evidence of corruption with us. You can’t re-label it as a virtue, without lying to yourself and everyone else. Beware of those who are trying to motivate you to be all that you can be without the gospel. They are pedaling lies that will only lead to pride and sin.

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Jesus said He was the Christ - What say you? - Mark 14:53-65

The Sanhedrin was there at their trial of Jesus to make a judgment. The entire trial was a sham. It was completely a miscarriage of any semblance of justice. However, there is one sliver of legitimacy to this trial. “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” That is what the Sanhedrin had to make a judgment upon. Remember, Jesus is in complete control of all of these events. They did not turn Judas; Jesus sent him. They did not forcibly arrest Jesus – he allowed them to arrest him. He has not answered any question that he has not wanted to answer. Why answer this question. I think that the reason that he answered this question was because he wanted to. So, why would he want to answer this specific question? All of those other questions where abstractions. I don’t think Jesus wanted to be convicted on any abstraction of the law. Remember, Jesus intends to be convicted. Jesus is not answering questions so that somehow he will not be convicted. He plans on being convicted. If you plan on being convicted, what then is very important? The charge! Jesus wants the charge to be the correct charge. That means the question has to be the right question. Jesus has done a lot of things in his ministry that they could have convicted him on. He does not want to be convicted on an abstraction. He is waiting for the right charge. To get to the charge, he needs the right question. He was waiting for this question. Are you the Christ? This is the most important judgment that anyone can make, “is Jesus the Christ”. The way you answer that question is the most important decision that any person can make. There are some who will deny that he is. There are some who will believe what he says. There are some who will say that they don’t know. There are some who will say that it doesn’t matter. The question is before us all, just like the question that was asked Peter and the Disciples. Christ is asking all of us, “who do you say that I am”? You can read how Jesus answered that question. Do you believe him; do you trust him; do you know him; will you follow him; the Son of God, the great I AM.

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The Way the World Works - Mark 14:43-52

The betrayal of Jesus by Judas is so familiar to anyone who has grown-up in the Church. It actually is very familiar to most people because of the despicable manner in which Judas acted. We tend to be so offended by this particular betrayal and this is just the standard fare of the world that we live in. The betrayal of Jesus is how the world that we live in operates. All over the participants, except one, responded in this event with the standard responses of this world, self-interest. Jesus was the only one who place God’s interest above his own. Jesus was the only one who followed God’s will and not his own. That is why this is such and excellent example for us to follow as we strive to follow God’s will in all that we do.

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When a Garden is a Desert

Have you ever lay in bed, dreading something that you knew you was coming the next day? How do you handle it when something bad is about to happen and then does happen but you had pleaded with God to take if from you and He doesn’t? Did Jesus ever dread tomorrow? Yes, He did. Did God ever lead Him somewhere He did not want to go? Yes, He did. In fact, the Gospels tell us that Jesus’ suffering did not begin on the Cross, but in a garden, where He came face to face with the dreadful will of God. If you have never experienced anything like this then praise God for you but don’t expect that to last. We all will at one point in our lives face the dreadful will of God; we all will at some time or another be taken to a place that we don’t want to go. We will all face what Mark Buchanan calls a “winter seasons” in our lives. This study in the Gospel of Mark is to learn how to deal with those seasons

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Why do you sin?

Why do we sin? Why do we lie; why are we indifferent; why do we hold in our hearts anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy and lust? Those are not some external forces acting down upon you. We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. At the core of every sinner is a profound defect in our value system. We value the things of this world more than we value Christ. We do not really believe that Christ loves us and we do not really, truly, with all of our hearts, love him. The example of the disciples abandoning Christ is the evidence that, at that moment, they valued their personal safety more than Christ. We have all done the same thing. The key to standing by our Lord is understanding that He truly does love us and gave himself for us and then to love him with all of our hearts in return.

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