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Christian Beliefs

List Number 8
Bible Reading Essay (NT)
Chapters 11-16 of Mark narrate the events from Christs entry on a donkey to
Jerusalem, all the way up to his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Chapter 11
describes Jesus entrance into Jerusalem and also His reaction to seeing people buying
and selling merchandise inside the temple; openly defiling the house of God, making it
into a den of thieves. The ensuing chapters contain a number of parables and teachings
Jesus orated to the people, as well as challenges and unanswerable questions posed by
Pharisees who wished to trick Him into saying the wrong thing. Time and time again,
however, Jesus responded in such a way that made the Pharisees efforts fruitless while
still providing a valuable message. Additionally, much foreshadowing is presented; Jesus
predicts the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, explains the signs of the end of times,
and foretells of his second coming. Finally, chapter 14 begins with the Jewish authorities
planning and brewing a plot to kill Jesus. Judas agrees to betray Jesus, the disciples have
the last supper with Him, they follow Jesus to the Mount of Olives (Gethsemane, to
pray), and the chapter finishes up with the arrest of Jesus and Peters denial of him. Jesus
is humiliated, beaten, crucified and buried in the following chapter. The final chapter
begins on a more positive note: Jesus resurrection! He appears to Mary and his disciples,
leaves them with the gospel commission, and ascends to heaven. These last six chapters
of the book of Mark document the end of Jesus life here on earth. It is important never to
forget what Jesus did for us on that cross, to appreciate it, cherish it and remember that
God wants us to share this message with the world too.


The first chapters of Romans depict Pauls desire to preach to the people of
Rome, as he is obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the
foolish. He talks about our sinful nature, our need for salvation, and the power that lies
in the gospel. God can justify us, the unjust, if we believe in the name of Jesus Christ.
However, we cannot achieve righteousness in the eyes of the Lord by our actions - faith
in Christ and His grace alone can accomplish this, not works. Paul speaks of justification
by faith saying, Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness
and to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is
counted as righteousness. Paul continues by mentioning that there is hope and security,
even in the face of suffering and death. There is a contrast made between light and dark;
death through Adam and life through Christ. As we are birthed into sin by way of Adam,
so we are also reborn into new creatures by our faith in Christ. Paul declares, count
yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus; Jesus gives us hope for a new
life - exoneration from sin and justification in Him. Finally, chapter eight ends with a
very powerful idea: the concept of Christs love and how nothing can separate us from it.
We should not be afraid of dying, whether we live or whether we die we are the Lords,
for to this end Christ died and rose again, that he might be Lord both of the living and the
dead.
In Revelation chapters 1-3, John begins by describing the details of how he
received this revelation, and then proceeds to write to the seven churches about what he
had seen. He gives both praise and critique, all the while offering encouragement. He
reminds Ephesus to return to their first love, he tells Smyrna not to worry for fiscal
matters for they are rich spiritually, he chastises Pergamum for following false teachings


(of the Nicolaitans), and Thyatira as well for tolerating Jezebel and her immoral
doctrines. John asks the church of Sardis to wake up, for they are spiritually dead, the
church in Philadelphia he encourages remain strong and steadfast, the church in Laodicea
he calls wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked and asks that they chose God or the
world, for they cannot have one foot in and the other out (hot or cold, not lukewarm).
John ends these chapters reminding them that he does not admonish them for pleasure -
he does so out of love. Just as these churches were imperfect, so too are we. We often
grow dead spiritually, or allow our faith to become lukewarm. It is important that we read
these chapters as if they were written directly to us, in order to avoid falling into the same
errors and in order to grow in Jesus Christ.