Summary: Easter is the day when God said 10 and Jesus sprang up to His feet in victory over Satan.
Sermon – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 and He’s up!
Thesis: Easter is the day when God said 10 and Jesus sprang up to His feet in victory over Satan.
Play – Carmen’s song the Champion!
Text: Romans 4:25-5:2
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
When Jesus rose from the grave he imparted to us justification. You might ask “How are we justified and what does it mean?” Quest gives us a great explanation to these two questions.
To be justified means to be made right. Paul’s great question was “How is a sinful human being made right with a holy God?” What needs to happen to make this relationship right? If we could follow the law and live perfectly, we would be right with God. But how can we do that? We are slaves to sin, incapable of obeying God’s law! Yet God wants to have a relationship with us. So he has taken the steps necessary to make the relationship right. In Jesus Christ he does for us what we could never do for ourselves: Jesus lived a wholly righteous life-a perfect life in line with the law, in total relationship with God, the Father. Even more, in Jesus God took upon himself all the punishment our disobedience deserves (Romans 3:24). At the cross he fulfilled all that righteousness demanded. His life was given in exchange for ours; his blood paid the price for our justification. The results of Jesus’ sacrifice are personally available to us simply by faith. God has done everything that needs to be done to justify us. All that remains is for us to accept the grace of God shown on the cross. We are justified when we stop trying to justify ourselves and depend completely on the finished work of Jesus Christ (1556).
The finish work of Christ is exemplified by the empty grave, which we celebrate and recognize today. It’s the symbol of New Life.
Illustration: Philip’s Egg
My friends the empty tomb is the sign of New Life and it’s the hinge pin for all of Christianity.
Yancey states, “The Resurrection is the epicenter of belief. It is, says C.H. Dodd, “not a belief that grew up within the church; it is the belief around which the church itself grew up, and the ‘given’ upon which its faith was based “(217).
The empty tomb is what stands Christianity apart from all other religions and makes it THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE WAY TO GOD! It’s the sign from God that Jesus is the way to New Life and true happiness for now and forever.
T.S.- The key to happiness forever rests in Easter’s empty tomb and when we believe and accept it by faith we enter into a right position with God. Then we receive the blessings of the empty tomb.
I. Faith is the pathway to being made right and gaining New Life!
A. We are reminded from our text in Romans that we are justified by faith. In other words made right by placing our faith in Jesus.
a. Promise from Romans 5:1a states, “ By faith we have been made acceptable to God…”
b. There it is that word Faith – Faith is the belief in Jesus! It’s the philosophy of life centered on Jesus. It’s the attitude of being determined in my heart to live for Him. To believe in what He did and live like He did.
c. It’s like it says in Word believing on something you cannot tangibly see, feel, touch, taste, or smell. Jesus tells us to put our faith in Him and we will be saved. He is the only way to Father –there is not other way!
B. Faith is placing our trust in Jesus. It’s the act of confidence of letting Him lead!
a. Cymbala states, “Faith is happy to step out not knowing where it’s going so long as it knows Who is going along” (154).
b. He adds “We like to control the map of our life and know everything well in advance. But faith is content just knowing that God’s promises cannot fail. This, in fact, is the excitement of walking with God. When we read the book of Acts, we never quite know what’s going to happen with the next turn of the page. The Spirit is in control, and that is enough. Paul had no formula as to how he would evangelize; he was simply going by faith. God unveiled the route as he went along” (154).