“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. 'Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.'” Mark 9:41-50
The most important aspect in the life of a disciple is to see the reality of Jesus in a comprehensive and clear fashion by the power of the Holy Spirit under the authority of the Word of God.
Salt preserves, flavors, fertilizes, is part of every Old Testament sacrifice (Leviticus 2:13) and can be “lost.”
Have salt: maintain your allegiance to Jesus and purge out destructive influences. (Mark 9:43-47)
"The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed of the Lord shall return." Isaiah 35:1-2, 8-9
"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7
2. Be at peace: this exhortation was provoked by the disciples' strife (Mark 9:33-34). In essence Jesus is saying be loyal to me then you will be able to remain at peace with one another instead of arguing about status.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight." Romans 12:16
"So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding." Romans 14:19
1. How do we fulfill the mandate or the desire to maintain allegiance and shun destructive influences? (Mark 9:43-48, 2 Timothy 3:18)
2. How do disciples of Christ “flavor” situations in their daily living?
"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Colossians 4:5-6
What do we mean when we refer to the Kingdom of Christ “is already but not yet”?
4. Explain this stanza from Issac Watts hymn, Joy to the World?
“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.”
What do we mean when we say the reality of Christ should bring “real and substantial but not perfect change” in our living?
How can we grow comfortable with ongoing sinful behavior? (i.e some responses may involve “that's my family heritage,” “we all have issues we are dealing with,” or “I can’t help it. I am made this way.”)
Who has been a person in your life who has lived out the encouraging reality of Psalm 84:5-7?