SERMON FOR THE WEEK: Jesus and resurrection: who He is and why it's important
Because opportunities to attend services may be limited for several weeks, the newspaper has invited local clergy to submit sermons for publication here.
Grace Community Fellowship Church, Hillsboro
If I were to tell you that I worked 12 years as a full-time firefighter, how would you know this is true? Did anyone ever see me at work? Did anyone ever see me fight a fire, in the fire truck, etc.?
A person can claim to be whatever they want, but does that make it true? To prove that I did work as a firefighter, it would help to have witnesses and evidence to this fact.
Who did Jesus claim to be? Eternal Son of God, Immanuel, Messiah, the way, the truth and the light, savior from sin.
How do we know that He is who He said He was? What evidence did the people have to verify who Jesus said He was?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus would come back and show Himself and there be witnesses?
The scriptures tell of many times He did that. (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Matthew 13.)
What is the difference between saying I have faith in Jesus and actually having faith in Jesus?
Think about a chair for a moment. If you walk into a room you’ve never been in before and you see a chair and someone tells you to have a seat, why is it that you will walk over and sit in the chair without checking it out first? How do you know it will hold you? It’s by faith that you simply walk over and sit in the chair.
Now, can a person have faith that a chair will hold them but never actually sit in the chair? They can say they have faith in the chair but the faith isn’t true until they sit down in the chair. That’s FAITH!
I can say I have faith, but until I put my faith into action, it’s not really faith.
As John MacArthur puts it, a person can be convinced the gospel is true but have no love for God, Christ, and righteousness. True believers hold fast to the gospel.
Throughout Paul’s letters, we see that he believed that saving faith would set itself apart from insincerity over time. True believers persevere in their commitments to Christ. Saving faith proves itself over a lifetime.
Scripture also addresses lasting faith. John 8:31, 1 John 2:24-26, Romans 10:9-10, 2 John 1:9.
The gospel message is not just about Jesus dying on the cross, paying the price for our sins. The gospel message includes the fact that Jesus rose from the grave three days later. There is no gospel without the resurrection.
I want to look at five reasons why the resurrection is important.
1. It proves what Jesus says is truth: Matthew 20:17-19.
If Jesus said this is what was going to happen and it happened, how much more can we trust everything else Jesus has said to them to be true? There is a problem though. We like to believe the good stuff but not so much the tough stuff. Sadly, we really do pick and choose which things Jesus said to adhere to but compromise all the time on things we don’t like or agree with.
This attitude really makes us no different in some aspects from the Jews who saw the signs fulfilled right in front of them.
2. It proves He is who He says He is — the Son of God: Romans 1:1-4. The resurrection separates Jesus from all other religions. He is the only one that has died and been raised from the dead.
3. It means the wages for sins has been paid: Hebrews 7:24-28. Jesus’ resurrection was God’s stamp of approval that this was the acceptable sacrifice. If not, then our faith is futile and what we are celebrating today serves no purpose whatsoever.
4. It gives value, significance, and power to our faith: 1 Corinthians 15:13-19. If Jesus died on the cross but was not resurrected on the third day, then our faith is worthless. Death has not been defeated and there is not hope for our eternal future.
If Christ had not been raised from the dead, then why would we celebrate Easter Sunday? He has been raised from the grave and lives today. We worship a risen Lord, praising His name, celebrating Jesus’ power over death and that we as believers, by His grace, are no longer in bondage to sin.
Do our pursuits, our desires, our lives reflect that this is the God we serve, that this is God we believe in for salvation? Does our faith match the significance of what Jesus has done for us? Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. James 2:18, 20, 26.
5. Christ’s resurrection assures our resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Romans 8:11. If Jesus has been raised then we need to find assurance that we will one day have resurrected bodies as well. How awesome is that!!
Does Jesus’ resurrection have any significance in how you live your life?
Non-believers can be nice people, they can put their families first, they can attend worship services, they can teach Sunday School classes.
There is a difference between a person that is stubborn, hardheaded, and divisive and someone who is steadfast, immovable and excelling in the Lord’s work. The difference is motive and conviction.
Being a Christian doesn’t stop at salvation, we have been given new life. We now have a mission, a new purpose in life, a work to do.
Last modified April 16, 2020