Sunday, October 9, 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

1 Corinthians 15:10-19But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

Last Sunday, Our Youth Pastor Kevin preached a message on “Resurrection: the coming back to life”, and used the church’s High School group as the illustration. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines “resurrection” as: A rising again; chiefly, the revival of the dead of the human race, or their return from the grave, particularly at the general judgment. By the resurrection of Christ we have assurance of the future resurrection of men. There is a great duty of each and every generation to connect with the next generation. Because we are always one generation away from losing the knowledge of  the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the responsible obligation of every Christian, every family and every church to pass on the Word of God and the gospel to the succeeding generation. There are only three options: hold back, be on the fence or go all in.   

Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

The point is that if Jesus is not raised, then everything we do is completely worthless. There is a theory that there is no resurrection from the dead. Why are we here then? What is the purpose of life? Jesus Christ is the foundational block that if pulled will collapse the point of forgiveness and salvation - your faith is futile. The greatest hope is gone. If Jesus is not raised then Christianity is founded on a like we are still stuck in our sin and the wrath of God is our destiny. John 3:36  says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Why? Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If we do not believe this gospel of Jesus Christ, then we make God out to be a liar. We might as well eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and it’s all over. There is no point in standing up for anything for there is no definition of what is good, right and moral.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man,the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

But, in fact, Jesus has been raised and has an amazing reality for us. God counters and conquers our sin with Jesus atoning substitution death on the cross, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father in glory. In believing by faith in this gospel, we are completely redeemed, forgiven, regenerated and reconciled to the Lord God in perfect relationship. We can follow Jesus with confidence. Jesus’ Apostles, would not endure torture and horrific death for a lie. They saw the resurrected Lord and nothing was going to making these empowered fishermen from telling the world. Sin has been put to death and new life is available. The “born again” Christian believer is well-equipped by the indwelling Holy Spirit to handle the temptations of sin now. We have something far better to look forward to in heaven. We set our eyes on our future with Jesus. This is the eternal perspective that the Christian has today. We desire Him as our source of hope and joy. Possessions don’t really matter, because the one at the end with the most toys, money, power and stuff is still dead. The one with Jesus Christ at the ends wins.

John 3:15-17 “That everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

We see changed lives for the better by people turning their eyes upon Jesus and following Him forever. Lives free from sin and the bondage of the mind and soul. Forgiveness; not guilt. Understand what the gospel of Jesus Christ means and does in our lives. Get it and be clear. We really have nothing under control. Then, invest in ministry and the lives of others, so that they may turn their eyes upon Jesus for resurrection life.

In Christ, Brian

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