Summary: This sermon demonstrates that the abundant life really can only happen in Christ.
FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST, TO DIE IS GAIN
1. If we could interview anyone…
- I wouldn’t have chosen Paul b/c intimidation. Now I see him as a man who loved J.
- Tell us about yourself, Paul?
- Can you tell us your favorite HS story?
- What were some of your toughest times?
- How would you sum up all of your life? “For to me to live is Christ…”
2. Wouldn’t that be a great interview?
- not a multiplicity of things… it wasn’t “life is about 3 things” ONE THING
- Could you say that w/o feeling like a hypocrite? Everything else we draw life from.
- Most of us couldn’t… but wouldn’t you want to… “My life is about 1 thing.”
3. City Slickers.
- Ad Exec vacations with friends 1x/yr. COFFEE grinder causes stampeed
- Curley (Jack Palance)… grizzly, strong, confident. “You’re gonna come w/ me!”
- “What is the meaning of life?” “Your finger is the meaning of life?”
- “No, 1 thing… one thing is the meaning of life” “What things” For you to find out.
4. Jesus says a similar thing in Lk 10. Mary/Martha
- Mary sits at Jesus feet while Martha prepare food
- “ Martha… you are worried about so many things… but only 1 thing is necessary.”
5. This passage shows what that 1 thing is… sitting at the feet of Jesus, in the presence of God.
- Martha wasn’t so off… she invited Him and was serving him. We need to serve too
- She was a worker 1st, lover 2nd. Jesus wanted to switch that and show that only the lover part is truly necessary… the worker part would follow. Mary would have eventually given Jesus a cup of coffee!
- Jesus is the center of all of life… Col says: For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
- Even the Bible itself has Jesus at its center.
o Lk 24… all scripture points to Him & all promises find fulfillment in Him.
o ADAM, Abraham (the ram),
o Joseph… betrayed, thrown in pit, rose to be king, redeemed his brothers
o MOSES… Saves his people from enemy. Jesus b/c the Passover lamb + saves
o Matthew starts genealogy: “Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham”
o Whole Bible & all of life finds its center, meaning, purpose in Jesus.
6. John refers to Jesus as “LIFE” 36x in his books (rez & life, way,truth,life, bread of life)
- Bread of life, Poor sharing bread. Pick off floor, kiss it, farewell bite, face up
- If we believe, as Paul did, that Jesus is the center of life… then we need to center our lives around that Life… in His presence.
- This is what God created us for… Adam & Eve
- Find our rest in His presence.
7. The heartbeat of this church… that we be a place that God looks forward to coming…
- That we value being in the God’s presence more than anything else
- A church that is lover 1st, worker 2nd
- We wouldn’t be a church that just knows about 1 thing, but rather LIVES for 1 thing.
8. To Live is _______ and to die is __________
- Money leave it all behind
- Fame to be forgotten
- To be happy loose it all
- A clean house no more cleaning
- How would you fill in the blanks?
- To live is CHRIST… to be in His presence… in communion with Him… and to die… is even more of His presence. Paul can’t loose!
9. How would Jesus fill in the blanks? To live in the Father’s presence.
- Jesus had perfect communion thru eternity & earthly ministry
- This was broken only once… SET THE STAGE: Good Friday
- Passover morning (Passover week celebrates freedom from Egyptian slavery
o priests prepare unblemished Passover lamb for its sacrifice.
o later, at 3:00pm shofars would blow and the lamb would be killed.
o Goat not sacrificed in temple but taken outside of city
o represented transfer of sins… and that their sins were taken away.
- We read in Mat. 27, from noon till 3pm darkness covered the land.
o In one moment, sins of humanity… yours & mine fell on back. All the horror.
o Worse than this, far worse than nails in feet/hands… His communion w/ Father was broken… Father turned His face on Jesus.
o Nearing 3:00pm, Jesus cries out, “My God, Why have you forsaken me?” But he knew it b/c of our sin.