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Get Out Of Those Grave Clothes

(39)

Sermon shared by Steve Malone

March 1997
Summary: Paul in these verses tells us how to walk in this new life. (Ephesians 5)
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
THE WALK OF PURITY
"GET OUT OF THOSE GRAVECLOTHES!"


TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:17-5:20


INTRODUCTION
IN JOHN CHAPTER 11, WE READ OF THE ACCOUNT WHEN A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF JESUS’ DIED, LAZARUS. HE HAD BEEN SICK FOR A WHILE AND JESUS ARRIVED IN BETHANEY, WHERE LAZARUS LIVED FOUR DAYS AFTER HE HAD DIED...

WE ALL KNOW THIS POWERFUL STORY -- DESPONDENT SISTERS (MARY AND MARTHA) IN TEARS, "LORD IF YOU ONLY HAD BEEN HERE MY BROTHER WOULDN’T HAVE DIED..

AND JESUS SAYING, "YOUR BROTHER WILL RISE AGAIN, FOR I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME WILL LIVE, EVEN THOUGH HE DIES AND WHOEVER LIVE SAND BELIEVES IN ME WILL NEVER DIE."

JESUS HAD THEM TAKE HIM TO THE TOMB -- AND WHEN HE SAW THE WEEPING OF LAZARUS SISTERS AND OF THE REST WHO HAD COME, AND AS HE REFLECTED ON HIS OWN LOVE FOR LAZARUS, JESUS WEPT.

THEN HE HAD THEM ROLL THE STONE AWAY, AT FIRST THEY HESITATED, "LORD HE HAS BEEN DEAD FOR FOUR DAYS -- AND THERE WILL BE A BAD ODOR..."
BUT THEY ROLLED IT WAY -- AND JESUS CALLED IN A LOUD VOICE, "LAZARUS COME OUT!"

LAZARUS CAME OUT OF THE TOMB... HIS HANDS AND FEET WERE WRAPPED WITH STRIPS OF LINEN, AND A GRAVECLOTHES WAS AROUND HIS NECK.... (THIS MUST HAVE BEEN QUITE A SCENE)
THEN JESUS SAID TO THEM, "TAKE OFF THE GRAVE CLOTHES AND LET HIM GO..."

YOU SEE, LAZARUS WAS ALIVE - HE WAS NO LONGER DEAD. AND WHAT BUSINESS DOES AN ALIVE MAN HAVE WEARING THE CLOTHES OF A DEAD MAN. AND BESIDES HE WOULD HAVE FOUND IT PRETTY DIFFICULT TO GET AROUND AND DO THINGS WITH THEM STILL ON >> NOT TO MENTION THE DINNER INVITATIONS HE WOULDN’T GET UNTIL HE TOOK OFF THOSE GRAVECLOTHES..


WHAT IS PAUL TELLING US TO DO?
"TAKE OFF THOSE GRAVECLOTHES!"


THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT PAUL IS TELLING US TO DO IN OUR TEXT... GOD THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS SON HAS BROUGHT US FORTH FROM THE GRAVE OF SIN >>> WE HAVE BEEN RESURRECTED...
WE ARE NO LONGER DEAD -- WE ARE ALIVE!

YES IT IS TRUE AS PAUL SAYS IN CHAPTER 2 OF EPHESIANS WE USED TO LIVE AMONG THE DEAD AT ONE TIME; CONSTANTLY GRATIFYING THE CRAVINGS OF OUR SINFUL NATURE -- FOLLOWING IT’S DESIRES AND THOUGHTS; BUT BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US -- GOD WHO IS RICH IN MERCY MADE US ALIVE WITH CHRIST JESUS...

JUST LIKE LAZARUS JESUS CALLED US FORTH FROM THE TOMBS OF SIN -- AND WE RESPONDED... AND LIKE LAZARUS WE NEED TO GET OFF THOSE GRAVE CLOTHES BECAUSE WHAT BUSINESS DOES AN ALIVE MAN HAVE WEARING THE CLOTHES OF A DEAD MAN...

WE MUST NO LONGER AS PAUL SAYS IN EPH 4:17 WALK AS THE GENTILES DO -- WE MUST NO LONGER WEAR THE CLOTHES OF THE GRAVE >> WE NEED TO TAKE THEM OFF, WE NEED TO WALK IN PURITY...AND THIS IS OUR TOPIC FOR TODAY

WHY IS PAUL TELLING US TO DO THIS
(TO TAKE OFF OUR GRAVECLOTHES)?

NOW IT MAY HAVE BEEN NATURAL FOR LAZARUS TO TAKE OFF HIS GRAVECLOTHES, AFTER ALL IF HE HADN’T IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS TO LAZARUS AND EVERYONE AROUND HIM THAT HE STILL HAD THEM ON.

BUT IT IS NOT ALWAYS NATURAL FOR US TO TAKE THEM OFF, NOR IS
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