News, Not Advice — Part 1

Reading the newspapers, Lisbon, Portugal
Pranav Bhatt
BY-NC-SA | Flickr

Christianity is not a system of religious teaching, or a set of rules and advice about keeping them. The Gospel means “good news,” and if Christianity is good news, then it is news: information about an event that has already occurred. Pastor Luke teaches from Mark 1:1, 9–15 in “News, Not Advice,” the first message in a new series of that name.

Questions to Consider

OPEN. 1. If you were a contestant on a TV game show, would the show’s producers be more likely to ask you to act more excited, to settle down a little, or to just be yourself?

2. When you hear good news, which are you more likely to say: “Finally!”, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” or something else?

UNPACK. 3. The word “gospel” means “good news.” How many distinct elements can you identify in the “good news,” as Paul summarizes it in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8?

4. Briefly skim 1 Corinthians 15. Which of the elements in Paul’s summary (vv. 1–8) seems to be the main focus of the chapter?

5. Pastor Luke said that for something to be “good news” it has to be about an event that has occurred, which, due to a person’s context, has (positive) implications for their future. Consider the report: “The stock market rose today, and your I.R.A. doubled in value.” What is the event? What context connects it to you? What would be some implications, and how far in the future are they?

6. Consider the investment tip: “You should buy Apple stock.” It is only advice. What would have to change for it to become good news?

7. In the good news that Paul reports (vv. 1-8) what is the event? What context connects it to us? What are some of its implications? When?

APPLY. 8. When have Christians given advice to someone you know? Was it good advice? How did the person receive it?

9. What do you know about Jesus and his Church that would be good news to someone instead of advice for them? What are the event, the context, some implications, and their timeframe?