Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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"Whom do you say that I am?" 3.1.2015
Sermon Text: Mark 8:27-38
Sermon Title: Jesus: "Whom do you say that I am?"

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all now and forever, Amen.

Today we are faced with a question asked by Jesus of all people of all time? "Who do you say that I am?" Is our knowledge of Jesus by revelation from God or is it a combination of other people's opinons? By God's grace we will consider a short portion of the revelation of God from the Gospel of Mark, in the 8th chapter.


Mark 8:27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The followers of Jesus had to come to know who Jesus was and this they did by being with Him for over 3 years, but they did not really understand the heart of God as shown by Jesus until after His resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The following excerpt from Luke's gospel gives insight as to how they were still understanding things according to the OT and were in need of Jesus' teaching through His attitudes, words and actions. As we read this account, may the Spirit search our minds and hearts and not only show us where we are in relation to looking at the lost in the world, but may He also convict us to repentance so that we may have the mind and heart of God towards them.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

At another time in John's Gospel we see that even though they did not understand many of Jesus' teachings, they yet recognized that there was no one else to go to, for at the very least they knew that He had the words of eternal life.

John 6: 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

May we be encouraged and grounded in this fallen world today by sticking with Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, and in so doing reject the pluralism and relativism that abounds today. Apostle Paul found his peace only in the cross and what it accomplished for him, for he came to live in the dual effect of the power of the cross: The world lost its hold over him and the world lost is love for him.

May we understand what is being said here in the light of our text today, which speak of disowning ourselves, taking up our instrument of death which means that union with Christ will cause us to be persecuted by our own flesh, by the world, and ultimately by the devil.

KJV Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

KJV 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus asks us today? "Do you know who I am?" The Apostle Paul thought he knew who God was, but when he met Jesus He found out who God really was. Next week, if the Lord so wills, we will illustrate what it means to deny oneself, take up one's cross and to follow Jesus through the life of Apostle Paul in chapter three of the letter that we have been studying, the letter to the Philippians. Here is a portion of that third chapter.

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

May the Spirit give us revelation into the heart and mind of God through Christ through His Word.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 01 Mar 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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