Click HERE to download Sermon Notes, Slides, & Song Sheets
He Took Them in His Arms
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Jesus provides a series of warnings about sin that serve as sobering but necessary reminders of the disorientation of the human heart when it comes to the things of God. Sin finds many avenues into our lives, carries the potential to wreck the lives of others, and has serious consequences after this life is over. Jesus, therefore, instructs His followers to fight against sin for their own good and for the benefit of others. These truths are illustrated in the discussion that follows regarding marriage and divorce. Although God provided marriage as a lifelong blessing between a man and a woman, unchecked sin can lead one or both hearts to become hardened to the point of separating what God has joined together. As sobering as these truths are, Jesus offers tender hope to everyone who turns to Him in childlike faith—He will indeed take them in His arms and bless them as members of His kingdom.
01. The desire to enter the kingdom of God is evidenced by understanding the nature of our sin, agreeing with the penalty for our sin, and refusing to indulge our sin.
02. The ability to enter the kingdom of God is achieved by coming to the One who knew no sin, trusting in Him who took the penalty of our sin and receiving His righteousness in place of our sin.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Read Mark 9:42-48. Is there any possible way to conclude that Jesus was soft on sin? Why do you think people ignore such hard sayings about sin? Is our denial of sin or minimizing of sin also proof of the pervasiveness of sin?
2. In what ways do you find people influencing others to sin (Mark 9:42)? How do social media, corporate advertisements, and other cultural influences contribute to a worldview that either excludes or denigrates biblical values? How can you ensure that you are influencing others for good, not evil (Mark 9:50)?
3. What issues stand out to you regarding Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce in Mark 10:1-12? Are there legitimate reasons for divorce and or remarriage in the Bible? What is the significance of Jesus’ citation of Genesis 2 in His response to the Pharisees (verses 5-8)? How should His approach inform our understanding of marriage?
4. How does the section on marriage and divorce illustrate the pervasiveness of sin referred to in Mark 9:42-50? Are we more or less likely to find fault in others (spouse included) when we fight our own sins, as Jesus describes?
5. What does it mean to “receive the kingdom of God like a child?” How does your conversion story reflect a childlike trust in Jesus Christ? What blessings have you received since you have trusted Him as your Savior?
For Further Reading: Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers (Crossway, 2020).