The Intrinsic Element of the Gospel, Life-Study of Mark, Message Fourteen, pp. 128-132
THE INTRINSIC ELEMENT OF THE GOSPEL
In this message I am not concerned with a verse-by verse study of 4:1-34, nor even with a study of the different parables. My burden is that we may see what the kingdom of God is. It is crucial for us to see that the gospel is the gospel of the kingdom of God. This gospel is actually the God-man, Jesus Christ, sown into us as a life seed, a seed which is the seed of the kingdom. This seed is now growing and developing in us. Eventually, a kingdom will issue from the growth and development of this seed.
If we say that in the Lord's recovery we are practicing the kingdom life, we need to realize that this kingdom is not something of organization. No, this kingdom is something of the inner life, a life which is actually the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He has been sown into our being as a seed, and now He is growing and developing within us. Praise the Lord that this seed is in each one of us and is now growing and developing in us! The growth and development of this seed will issue in the kingdom. Furthermore, this kingdom will bring us to the destination so that God's goal may be reached. Do you know what this goal is? This goal is the full development of the kingdom of God.
We have pointed out that the Gospel of Mark records the Lord's activities. In the first three chapters we see the contents of the gospel service (1:14-45), the ways of carrying out the gospel service (2:1--3:6), and the auxiliary acts for the gospel service (3:7-35). Now in chapter four we see what the gospel is. According to this chapter, the gospel is the seed of life sown into those who believe in the Lord Jesus so that this seed might grow, develop, and issue in the kingdom. Apparently, the gospel is a matter of preaching, teaching, casting out demons, healing the sick, and cleansing the lepers. Actually, the intrinsic element of the gospel is the divine seed, the God-man, the incarnated God, sown into our being. This intrinsic element of the gospel has been neglected by many of today's Christians.
Within the gospel there is an inner seed, and this seed, the intrinsic element of the gospel, is the God-man. Whenever we preach the gospel, we need to minister Christ to those who listen to us and receive our word, for within the gospel there is an intrinsic element. Whenever a person receives the gospel, he receives God incarnate as the intrinsic element, the seed, of the gospel. This means that as long as a person receives the gospel, he receives the seed of the gospel. Through the gospel the incarnated God is sown into his being.
THE TRIUNE GOD DWELLING IN US
There has been a theological argument among Christians concerning the dwelling of Christ within the believers. This argument concerns the question of whether or not Christ is actually in us. Some say that Christ is too great and that we are too small to contain Him. According to those who hold this concept, Christ can be in the heavens, but He cannot be in us. Therefore, according to this view, only the Holy Spirit as the representative of Christ is in us.
Some may admit that Christ the Son is in us, but they may deny that the Father is in us. They may go on to say that the Son and the Father are two separate Persons. In the Godhead, they claim, there are three separate Persons, and these separate Persons are the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Those who claim that the Son is in us but not the Father say that whereas the Son lives in us, the Father is on the throne in the heavens. Regarding the matter of the Father dwelling in us, we need to consider Paul's word in Ephesians 4:6: "One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." According to this verse, the Father is over us, through us, and in us. How can we say, then, that the Father is not in us?
Both from the New Testament and our experience we know that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are in us. We have seen that Ephesians 4:6 indicates that the Father is in us. Colossians 1:27 and 2 Corinthians 13:5 prove strongly that Christ the Son is in us. John 14:17 and Romans 8:9 reveal that the Spirit dwells in us. Moreover, in John 14:23 the Lord Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." Here we see that when the Son comes, the Father comes with Him. It is not the case that the Father remains in heaven and the Son comes to be in us. No, the Father and the Son together come to make an abode with the one who loves the Lord Jesus.
The Triune God is in us. The Triune God who dwells in us is the very seed of the gospel. We have seen that this seed is the God-man. Hence, the seed of the gospel is the Triune God in humanity.
In the case of the forgiving of the sins of the paralytic recorded in Mark 2, we see the Triune God in humanity. Here we see both the deity and the humanity of the Slave Savior. The Slave-Savior knew the seekers' faith, the sick one's sins, and the scribes' inward reasonings. This indicates that He was omniscient. Such omniscience, manifesting His divine attribute, unveiled His deity. However, the Slave-Savior went on in 2:10 to speak of Himself as the Son of Man. The Slave-Savior was the very God incarnated. As God incarnate, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. He was outwardly in the likeness and fashion of man, even in the form of a slave, but inwardly He was God (Phil. 2:6-7). He was both the Slave-Savior and the God-Savior. Hence, He had not only the ability to save sinners, but also the authority to forgive their sins. In the incident recorded in 2:1-12, He forgave a man's sins as God, but asserted that He was the Son of Man. This indicates that He was the true God and a real man. In Him we see both deity and humanity. According to chapter four, this wonderful One, the God man, is the seed of the kingdom. This is exactly what this chapter teaches us.
Chapter four of the Gospel of Mark enables us to see that the gospel announced by John the Baptist and preached by the Lord Jesus Himself is a matter of the Triune God in humanity as a seed of life sown into our hearts. If we would know what the kingdom of God is, we need to see this very important matter...
THE KINGDOM GENE
In order to make this matter clear, I would like to borrow a term from biology. This term is the word "gene." The Triune God in humanity sown into our being is the gene of the kingdom. We know that without human genes it is impossible to have human life. Our birth, our being, and our existence all came from a gene. Now we must see that the Triune God in humanity has been sown into us to be the gene of the kingdom. Praise the Lord that this gene is within us! Eventually, the kingdom will issue from this gene.
First, the kingdom is the issue of the gospel, and then it is the goal of the gospel. Between the issue and the goal we have the church. Do you know what the church is? The church is the continuation of the issue of the gene of the kingdom.
This understanding of the kingdom is certainly different from the superficial understanding of many Christians today. We have seen that one day the Triune God became a man named Jesus Christ, the God-man. In forgiving the paralytic in Mark 2, both the deity and the humanity of the Lord Jesus were manifested. Now this One, through the preaching of the gospel, has been sown into us. In order for us to contact Him today, there is no need for anyone to break through the roof as the zealous ones did in Mark 2. The Lord has been sown into our heart! The One who has been sown into us is the gene of the kingdom, the Triune God in humanity. This wonderful One is our God, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Master, and life.
Because the God-man as the gene of the kingdom has been sown into us, we spontaneously love one another and enjoy marvelous fellowship. We may say that the church in the Lord's recovery is the real melting pot of the different races, nationalities, and cultures. Actually, we are not only melted together—we are blended and mingled together. Do you know why we love one another? We love one another because of the gene that is within us. This gene contains the element with which we love one another.
Day by day the seed of the kingdom is growing and developing within us. I am burdened that we all be impressed with the fact that this seed, this gene, has been sown into us and that this is the Triune God incarnate, the very God in humanity. The One who forgave the paralytic is now in us as the seed of the kingdom.
Oh, may we all be burdened to tell others this good news! We may forget many things, but we should all remember the gene that is within us. The Triune God in humanity has been sown into us as a seed of life to grow, develop, and issue in the kingdom. The kingdom, then, is the issue of the gospel and will be the goal of the gospel. Between the issue and goal we have the church life as the continuation of the issue of the marvelous gene that is within us.