Summary: The good news of Jesus Christ for Easter
This morning we will be looking at the subject of Life, Death, Forgiveness and You. For many of you, Easter is a time of Easter bunnies, chocolates, eggs and the annual trek to church. Today I want to address the real reason we celebrate this resurrection Sunday.
Many times we hear people say, "Nobody’s perfect!" The Bible wholeheartedly echoes this point. Look at Romans 3:23:
Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory." Romans 3:23(GW)
You see God’s standard is perfection. Admittedly all of us fail to that standard. Now you may be thinking wait a minute...I’m not a bad person. Sinner is such a strong label. Let’s consider the reality of our situation. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever hated someone? Have you ever wanted what someone else had? Ever had lustful thoughts? Ever put your faith on the back burner? All of these are sin. You may not be a bad person, but in God’s eyes you’ve sinned.
With sin comes a very high price, fortunately there also comes a free gift of grace.
When people sin, they earn what sin pays-death. But God gives us a free gift-life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23(NCV)
The penalty of sin is death. Death is both physical and spiritual in nature. Our sin dooms us for all of eternity. But God in all of His grace, has offered us a free gift. One that cannot be earned, and is most certainly undeserved. That gift is Life...Eternal Life. Only God could give us this gift and once given it can never be taken away.
When you were a kid, did you ever ask for a "do over" when you were playing with your friends. All of us need a fresh start. Most of us agree if there were a chance to do some things over again, we would do them differently.
Jesus replied, "I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God."
John 3:3 (NLT)
That free gift of Eternal life is amazing. It begins with a new beginning. Spiritual birth takes place, we receive a clean slate as children of God.
Just as God has given the gift, He has provided a way to receive that gift, but there is only one way...Jesus Christ.
Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me."
John 14:6 (NCV)
One way means there is only one way to God. You can’t get there by being a "good person", going to church, by being "religious" or by beign baptized. Only through Jesus Christ can we come to God...there is no other way.
Jesus has given you the A,B,C’s of Eternal life. We must Admit, Believe and Confess.
If you use your mouth to say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. We believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we use our mouths to say that we believe, and so we are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed."
Romans 10:9-11 (NCV)
Let’s examine this thought a little more closely:
Admit - that you are not perfect and that your imperfection separates you from God
Believe - that Jesus died on the cross for you, that His blood paid the price for your sin and that He rose from the dead to give you new life.
Confess - Your need for Jesus to be the Lord of your life.
Jesus died so that you might live.
He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT)
Jesus died for everyone. No on is so "bad" that Jesus did not die for them. As with any gift, God’s gift of salvation must be received, it’s a free choice. With salvation comes new life, a fresh start, a chance to live for the purposes in which God has created you.
Will you open the door of your life today?
Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Revelation 3:20 (MSG)
Jesus is standing at the door of your heart today. He is ready to come into your life, to give you the gift of eternal life and He brings with Him the salvation of your soul. Only you can open the door. Jesus does not kick the door down, He patiently knocks.
The cross and the empty tomb are the demonstrations of God’s love for you. Jesus died and rose again so that you would experience God’s saving grace.