Summary: If the resurrection of Jesus Christ has not made a permanent change in you and your life, you need to reexamine yourself and to understand what it means to have and live the resurrected life offered by the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
LIVING THE RESURRECTED LIFE
Let me ask you a question this morning. What impact has Easter had on your life? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most history-making, earth-shaking, life-transforming, and eternity-changing truth ever (copied). If the resurrection of Jesus Christ has not made a permanent change in you and your life, this morning you need to reexamine yourself and to understand what it means to have and live the resurrected life offered by the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrected life begins with death, death on the cross upon which the Son of God hung.
I. The resurrected life must begin at the foot of the Cross.
A. The Death of Christ.
1. Do you understand the work of Christ upon the cross? Man, in his disobedience to the command of God, sinned and fell from his state of innocence and is under the sentence of death, spiritual death, eternal death. Man is separated from God and under the bondage of sin’s chains. Romans 3 tells us that this sin nature was passed on to every person since the creation of Adam and Eve. That means you and I were born with this sin nature and were spiritually dead, being separated from God, not only by the inheritance of Adam’s sin but also by our own willful choices to sin and therefore falling short of God’s standard of righteousness, we were all under the sentence of eternal separation from God.
2. God’s Word tells us that “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses”, sent the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ to take all our sin, every one of them, upon Himself. All our sin was imputed to Him. Isaiah 53 says, “And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (v. 6) In Romans 3:24 we read that God put forward Christ “as a propitiation” for our sin. All our sin was imputed to Christ. God then poured out His wrath against sin on the son of God, Jesus Christ, propitiating or appeasing His wrath, satisfying His holy, righteous demands against sin.
3. Dr. Jack Arnold wrote “God took out his wrath on Christ instead of on sinners. Now anyone who will place his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as personal Savior from sin will receive the forgiveness of sins, and the wrath of God will never again come down upon that one because Christ bore God's wrath on that believer's behalf. Why? Christ satisfied the holy, righteous demands of God against sin. Now, through the death of Christ, a holy God and sinful men can meet, and God can have fellowship with men.”
B. The Death of the Believer
1. The price of entry into the resurrected life is His death, but the process of living the resurrected life is your death. (adapted)
2. One writer has properly stated that “There can be no resurrection without death. Death always precedes resurrection... if you want to experience resurrection in your own life, you must die. (Jeremy Meyers)
3. In our text we read, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin...Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our “old man” is crucified with Christ when we were baptized “into the Body of Christ” when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior from sin.
4. This is what Paul meant when he said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
5. Living the resurrected life means being crucified, dead to self and dead to sin and walking in the newness of life through faith in Christ. (Romans 6:4)
6. We are dead with Christ to sin by having borne our punishment in him. In Christ we have endured the death penalty and are regarded as dead by the law.
7. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ in His death on the cross, Ephesians 1:7 tells us that “we have the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Romans 4:25 states that as believers not only was Christ “delivered up for our trespasses” but that He was raised for our justification. Neither Satan, sin, nor the sepulcher could hold the Son of God in its grip as He defeated the enemies of our souls by raising from the dead.