Class Notes: 5/28/2014
Mark 10:27-31; Believers give up nothing to follow Jesus; Believers with wrong priorities end up last, believers with right priorities end up first
In our study of Mark last time we stopped in Mark 10:27; where Jesus responds to the disciples regarding their incredulity about His comments regarding the impossibility of salvation.
The point is that no one can save themselves (with men it is impossible), only God can save (but with God all things are possible).
The rich young ruler is trying to save himself and he can't do it and no one else can either because salvation requires God's very own righteousness that can only be acquired by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9; Rom 9:30-32;
The rich man had the advantage of wealth and because he was an Israelite, the Mosaic law, but neither would save him in fact they both actually became an impediment to his salvation because he was misusing them in his attempt to establish his own self-righteousness so he could justify himself instead of simply believing in Jesus as Messiah for righteousness. Rom 3:1-3;
Remember the principle that God's power is deployed in our weakness. 2Cor 12:9-10; God is in the business of helping the helpless. (The poor and the weak who are humble enough to receive His help). Isa 66:2;
From God's perspective because of spiritual death everyone regardless of wealth, natural ability, racial identity, or social status is poor and weak. Rom 10:12;
Mark 10:28; In response, Peter acting as spokesman for the twelve, arrogantly reminds Jesus that unlike or in contrast to the rich man who went away saddened said We, (the twelve) have left everything to follow You.
Peter's implication is since we have left everything to follow You what is in it for us? The disciples' perception of the kingdom was still narrowly focused on the Millennium and temporal position and prosperity even though Jesus had been explaining to them that because the Jewish people had rejected Him the Millennium and it's temporal prosperity was being postponed indefinitely.
Peter's question shows us that the disciples' emphasis was still all wrong. They are saved but they don't understand that capacity developed from spiritual prosperity must precede the conveyance of position and prosperity.
The Divine solution (Divine Good) is the only solution and the human solution (human good) is no solution. Too many believers still fail to understand this today and they fall into satan's trap just like Peter did and it led to him denying Jesus.
Jesus is going to point out to Peter that he has the wrong emphasis. Peter is emphasizing what he has done for Christ rather than what Christ has done for him and as a result he doesn't have grace orientation and is functioning in arrogance.
Peter eventually got it. 2Pet 3:9; God is not slow He is waiting because He does not want any to perish. He wants everyone to change their mind about who Jesus Christ is.
Mark 10:29-30; Jesus responds to Peter and by extension the other disciples with a solemn affirmation. Truly (Amen) I say unto you there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel,
v30 who will not receive in this age (the time between Jesus' first and second advents) and a hundred times as much, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields, all with persecutions and in the age to come, (after Jesus' second advent) eternal life in an immortal resurrection body.
We see from this that no one who follows Jesus actually gives up anything. God compensates them with more than they what they have lost in the devil's world.
Persecution is the natural consequence of steadfastly standing for truth while under continuous assault by the deceit, lies and murder that are endemic in satan's world. John 15:20-25;
Mark 10:31;"But many that are first" are believers that are first in the field white unto the harvest. "First" is defined in Matt 20:10; first into God's vineyard, first to serve. Many believers in the first century "shall be last," they will lose reward, "and the last," many believers down at the end of the Church Age, "shall be first."
So we have the principle of reward in God's kingdom: every believer will be rewarded on the basis of capacity developed from the use of God's grace provision after salvation.
No two people have the same capacity but God will reward each believer on the basis of their capacity. This is why we should not compare ourselves with other believers even though there is often a tendency for believers to do so. 2Cor 10:12;
This brings us to a study of the doctrine of how the first become last and last become first that is discussed in the parallel passage in Matt 19:27-30; and explained in Matt 20:1-16;
But before we do we must state some grace principles that are based on God's integrity. His perfect justice and righteousness aka His Holiness. James 1:17;
God's standards for maturity and qualifications for blessing are the same for every believer.
It is therefore arrogant for any believer to imply that he has achieved what no other believer ever has, or that he has some unique experience or that his life is more important than anyone else's.
This arrogance comes in many forms. Legalism is comprised of one or more of three categories of arrogance: salvation by works, spirituality by works, or spiritual maturity by works.
There is also the emotional arrogance of those who associate spiritual advance with the obsolete spiritual gift known as tongues. Everyone involved in the emotionalism of "speaking in tongues" is arrogant because they are disregarding God's Word.
The self-centered arrogance of that believer who assumes that his life, his activities, his opinions, are more important than those of anyone else.
The arrogance of the person who assumes that God's plan stands or falls on the basis of his behavior. It is arrogance to assume that the plan of God depends on any believer. It is obvious that the plan of God depends exclusively on God. That is grace.
Arrogant people set up false standards and then comply with their false standards, and because of their compliance falsely conclude that they are great believers. This is arrogance.
It is arrogant to judge or criticize people who do not express the same enthusiasm that you do for your personal interests.
In Jesus' statement "the first shall be last and the last shall be first." The first refers to arrogant believers who end up becoming last in God's economy because they are under the influence of evil.
The last refers to those who have super-grace humility from the influence of doctrine in the soul, and as a result that in God's economy they are first for blessing in time and first for rewards in eternity.
While arrogance or pride is a sin it often combines with reversionism to form a concentrated system of evil. Pride and evil combine to form an occupational hazard for believers that becomes a hindrance to their spiritual advance into the super-grace spiritual life of the Church. Rev 3:11;
Matt 19:27; Mark 10:28; Then Peter (the arrogant disciple) "began to say" (the aorist passive participle from the Greek verb apokrinomai) that means to reply as a result of a lot of questions that are not in the context.
"Then Peter replied to Him" the aorist passive participle has antecedent action to the main verb, the main verb is the aorist active indicative of "lego" that is translated "began to say."
"we have left" His first arrogant assertion, the aorist active indicative of the Greek verb "aphemi" means to forsake, to leave, to abandon, to give up. The aorist tense is a constantive aorist, so it takes into view the entire process.
Peter implies that they ( he and the disciples) had given up everything to follow the Lord. This is not true, so it is an arrogant statement.. The active voice indicates that Peter alleges to produce the action of the verb. The indicative mood is declarative for implied reality, not actual reality.
"all" - the accusative neuter plural of "pas" is the direct. The neuter implies that they had given up everything.
"and followed You" the aorist active indicative of the Greek word "akolouqew" that means to join or accompany.
Note that arrogance always emphasizes one's self; it emphasizes what "I" have done. Peter emphasizes himself. He puts it in the plural (we) because he and the other disciples have discussed this so they are all in on it.
Peter is trying to emphasize to the Lord just how important Peter is in comparison to the rich man. So we have the arrogance of legalism, reversionism and evil all tied up together in one package. This was the cause the fall of both satan and the woman.
The last phrase in Matt 19:27c; adds "what will there be for us" With this he expresses even more arrogance. He is interested in what reward he is going to receive as a result of leaving all and following Jesus. He is bargaining with Jesus.
In the Greek the verse literally says, "Then Peter, having answered, said to him. We have given up all things and have followed you what then will be for us?"
We have a future active indicative of " eimi" translated "what will be?" indicating Peter's arrogant expectation of future reward. Peter has lost the grace perspective by emphasizing what he has done for the Lord, rather than what the Lord has done for him.
And up to this point all Peter has really done that really matters is to believe in Jesus as Messiah and thereby follow Him in regeneration.
He goes on to note things that will result in future reward but when He states this there is no basis for reward because they have not yet given up any of these things for the sake of Christ or the gospel.
Up to this point they have given up nothing for doctrine. Bible doctrine in the soul often displaces other things in the life but up to this point they have made no doctrinal decisions so at the moment they have no basis for reward.
Mark 10:29; Mark 10:39a; Matt 19:28a Matt 19:29a Jesus explains that anyone who gives up anything for His sake and for the gospel's sake during their life on the earth in time will receive much more than they gave up in time.
Mark 10:30b; Matt 19:28b; Matt 19:29b; and in the age to come (the Millennium) they will inherit eternal life and rule with Jesus. Peter and the disciples except for Judas Iscariot will rule over Israel in the Millennium.
Mark 10:30; Matt 19:30; "But many first shall be last (in blessing and reward); and many last shall be first (in blessing and reward)"
The first are those who are guilty of arrogance. They are first chronologically but last in blessing in time and last in reward for eternity. In other words, the word "first" therefore refers to arrogant believers. Matt 23:12a;
The last are those who are last chronologically but they have God's Word resident in their soul so they have grace orientation and humility that results in their being first in blessing in time and first in reward for eternity. The word "last" therefore refers to humble believers. Matt 23:12b;
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