Mark: An Exposition 1:35-39
Dear friends, there is always a connection, even if we do not see it, between that great crowd on Sunday, and the pleadings of the saints;—a most intimate connection between the flocking converts of the ministry and those secret prayers which follow and precede it. There is such a connection that the two cannot be parted. God will not send great blessings in the way of open conversion if secret prayer be neglected.
The key to this change is the “mind” (noos), the control center of one’s attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions (cf. Eph. 4:22–23). As one’s mind keeps on being made new by the spiritual input of God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, his lifestyle keeps on being transformed.
It cannot, and must not, serve as a model for Christian living. Its values and goals are antithetical to growth in holiness. The church should stand out from the world as a demonstration of God’s intention for the human race. To be culturally identified with the world is to place the church at risk.11 Believers are to be salt and light (Matt 5:13–14), purifying and enlightening contemporary culture.