Summary: This sermon was written as part 2 of 2 for Easter Sunday 2007. Part 1 was delivered at the Sunrise service, part 2 at the second service.
Easter Sunday - Part 2
Recap part 1: Hope of the Resurrection:
1Peter 1: 3-5 (NIV) 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Hope of the resurrection in Salvation –
Saved from the power of sin to condemn us to eternal death
Sanctification – Shielded by the power of God, Sanctified by HS becoming more and more like Jesus
The Resurrection of our own glorified bodies when Christ Returns
This Hope – the living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – brings us Joy
True Joy, the Joy of the Resurrection:
1Peter 1: 6-9 (NIV) 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
TRIALS WILL COME:
Jesus in the sermon on the mount:
Mt 5: 10-12 (NIV) 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You could say we have a heritage of persecution
Notice he says Blessed are you WHEN people insult you, persecute you, not IF.
Not just persecution, but all kinds of trials and suffering:
Phil 1: 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,
Trials and suffering of all kinds:
Some of you may be going through trails and suffering now:
Trials at your job: Stress, frustration, difficulty with other people where you work,
Trials in your family: strained and even broken relationships with husbands and wives, children, parents, friends and neighbors
Trials in your own personal life, struggling with sin, temptation, addiction, depression
The loss of a loved one,
When the trials and the suffering come, we want to look for the meaning behind what is happening to us.
We want to know that what we are going through is not meaningless, that our suffering is not for nothing.
Many times we can’t see the bigger picture the way God sees it, we can’t see how he works through things and events that don’t make sense to us.
But we know we can trust God. We can know that God is in control.
God tells us in his word here in v7
7 These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
So your faith may be proven genuine – when does this happen, When Jesus comes back.
How you deal with trials and suffering now, is going to prove out who you are as a disciple of Christ.
Why is that important? Because it will result in praise, glory and honor – for who?
For you? – Well, we do long to hear those words, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
But this is yet another reminder that though your salvation is of extreme importance to you because it means that you have eternal life – a relationship with Jesus Christ, but It’s NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
Who do the glory and the honor belong to?
Who is it that makes your faith genuine? Is it you? Can you muster up enough faith to make it through?
Even your faith is a gift from God – it is by the His grace that we are faithful
It is by His grace and by HIS strength that we are able to make it to the other side of our trials in life. And in our trials He works in us to make us grow and change, becoming more mature, more like Christ