Monday, January 04, 2016

Human Faithfulness vs. Divine Resolve


Do you take sermon notes during church? I do.
While I was reviewing them recently, I realized they could be encouraging to more people than just myself--if I shared them. 

Here, then, are notes from a sermon given by my pastor, Steve Bice, earlier this year. The text is Mark 14:26-52. Be encouraged!

"The gospel is our hope; we need to be reminded of it over and over."


The resolve of our Savior trumps man's faithfulness.

     1. The faithfulness of man (is fundamentally flawed) 

Peter wants to be faithful; he anticipates being faithful; he PROMISES to be faithful: "I will never abandon you!" he tells Jesus. All the disciples said the same thing:  "We'll go with you even to death."
(And they meant it--they thought.)
But vs. 50--they all left him. Not days or weeks later, but HOURS later. 

In moments of revival, excitement or passion we make promises of faithfulness that we don't live up to. Our promises prove to be empty because they're based in emotion--not truth. 

vss.27-28. Jesus declares that he will be raised again, but the disciples gloss over it, missing it. HOPE would have helped them face the fear of the passion--but they missed the hope--and their faith proved fragile. 

What if they had PRAYED in the garden of Gethsemane instead of sleeping? vs. 38: Jesus nailed the problem:  "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

"It is the plight of mankind to be faithless and weak in ourselves." 


"Prone to wander." We should, of course, TRY to be faithful, but the point here is that we NEED God's faithfulness. HIS promises are not empty. 
His promises are not overcome by fear or temptation, as ours are.

      2.  The Faithfulness of God (The Resolve of our Savior)

Jesus knew the end from the beginning; He knew what was coming. He was fully cognizant of His coming suffering, but He remained faithful. He even knew his disciples would not. ("You will all fall away." Zech.13:17, Mark 14:30)

He knew well what was coming. "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death." 

He was fully human. Not unemotional about what he was doing. But he also knew he would be victorious. He remained resolved because he knew the outcome. 

He knew he would be betrayed, but went to the garden anyway. He met Judas, not even trying to avoid him. "("Come, my betrayer is at hand.") 

Jesus's resolve to remain faithful was not grounded in emotion. (He sweat drops of blood.)

Jesus felt every bit of sorrow, anguish and abandonment that could be felt on the Cross. His only fear--being abandoned by God--happened. But he endured the cross for the joy set before him. 

Everything in Jesus wanted to escape the fate that was coming, but everything in Jesus resolved to drink the cup.

It is because of Divine Resolve that we have any hope in this life. 
Hope for eternity.
Hope for growth right here and now.

We forfeit comfort when we ignore God's Word.


Pray for heart understanding as we hear or read God's Word. Pray not to read or listen carelessly.

Final Thoughts:


Unfaithfulness to God is treason against the King; punishable by death. 
But God sent His Son
To take our punishment
He was resolved to do it; 
and He did.

It is our only source of hope.

God is faithful in our place.