Dead To Sin, Alive In Christ
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 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. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Let me ask you a question this afternoon. 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. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ has not made a permanent change in you and your life, this afternoon we need to reexamine ourselves 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 was crucified.
The resurrected life must begin at the foot of the Cross. Before we came to Christ, sin had a choke hold on our lives and we could do nothing but to serve it as obedient slaves. YES…before Jesus, we were slaves to sin. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, however…we gain the power to live for God.
Let us look at the death of Christ. This should still be fresh since we just celebrated good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Do we fully understand the work of Christ upon the cross? Man, woman and child, in disobedience to the command of God, sinned and fell from the state of innocence and is under the sentence of death, spiritual death & eternal death. Man, woman and child, is separated from God and under the bondage of sin’s chains.
10 As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
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.
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.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
All our sin was imputed to Christ. God then poured out His wrath against sin on the son of God, Jesus Christ, let’s let that sink in. Gods anger, Gods wrath against sin…your sins and mine, were poured out on His only Son as payment, propitiating or appeasing His wrath, satisfying His holy, righteous demands against sin.
God took out His wrath on Christ instead of on sinners. (You and I) Now anyone who will place their 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 every 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, women and child.
In order for this to be permanent, the sinner has to die. YES!!! That is what our opening verses meant. The price of entry into the resurrected life is His death, but the process of living the resurrected life is our death. There can be no resurrection without death. Death always precedes resurrection... if we want to experience resurrection in our own life, we must die.
From our opening text we read…
6 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.
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.” Everybody should be familiar with that verse by now. After all, it was in our camping shirts last year. Every believer that has put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, has been crucified with Him! 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.
Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ in His death on the cross…
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Neither Satan or sin, could hold the Son of God in its grip as He defeated the enemies of our souls by raising Him from the dead. The resurrected life finds its power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul declares in…
1 Corinthians 15:17
17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
That is why the resurrection is very important. The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is essential to the truth and power of the gospel. There is no Christianity without HIS resurrection!
Justification is the act of God removing the guilt and penalty of sin from a sinner who places their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, in Whom that believer stands a righteous person before God’s law for time and eternity. This is all made possible by and based upon the satisfactory propitiation which Jesus Christ offered on the Cross as the complete payment of the penalty for sin and secured in His resurrection.
It is because of this justification that we can now walk in the newness of life. Living the resurrected life is living a transformed life. Now listen…I know that many feel the burden, the doubt, whether they have been saved or not. And why wouldn’t they feel that way. Some doubt their salvation because of the lack of spiritual gift. (speaking in tongues, prophesy and so on) Some don’t feel that their good enough. Many are being condemned by the lies and false teachings that has been going around for centuries. Your salvation and mine, is by Gods grace alone.
Sin’s penalty paid for, sin’s chains broken, we have new life in Christ. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then your life is defined by and in the resurrection of Christ. You are now a new creation. I am not saying we’re now perfect, NO!!! and we will never be as long as we are still in the flesh. But because of Jesus sacrificed, we stand perfect before God, because God sees His Son when He looks at you and me.
Let me show you our former selves before Christ…
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
If God has removed these things in your life, you have been made new, then you are in a good place. You have no need to doubt whether you are saved or not. “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” Stop listening to the lies of the enemy and start believing in the One that saved you.
The resurrection gives us the assurance that Jesus will transform our lives every day. We live empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit Who enables us to live changed lives. Paul refers to this as “the power of the resurrection.”
Before you die with Christ, to self and find new life in Christ, the Bible says that you are the slave of sin, but when you come to Christ you are set free to become an instrument of righteousness and are no longer bound to sin and self. Christ becomes your life.
Living the resurrected life in submission to Christ results in a fruitful life. Having new life in the resurrected Christ means living life daily, walking with Jesus. It means focusing on the risen Lord and not on ourselves. When we live for Him and not for ourselves, we will bear fruit and be productive for Him.
Please listen…Do you love Jesus? If you saved, then the answer is YES! Do you have a hunger to know more about Jesus? If you are saved, then the answer is YES! Do you battle with sin daily? If you are saved, then the answer is YES!!! Has your life changed since Christ came into your life? If you have been saved, then the answer is YES!!!
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He Is Risen
28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to bring His disciples word.
This afternoon, I want us to examine one of the Bible’s eyewitness accounts of what happened on that first Easter – resurrection morning. I want to share with you a very simple outline. Two Indisputable facts, two imperative commands and one inescapable conclusion.
First: The Two Indisputable Facts.
As one examines what the eyewitnesses discover-ed on the first Easter morning, there are two facts that cannot be disputed. The first indisputable fact is that the Tomb is Empty. The borrowed tomb in which that they had lay the body of Jesus on that Friday evening is now empty.
The King of kings, who had so little of this world’s goods, if it were not for the goodness of Joseph of Arimathea, he would not have even had a place to be buried. But Nicodemus and Joseph had gone to Pontius Pilate and requested the body of Jesus be released into their care for burial. Surprised that Jesus was already dead, Pilate granted their request. I want you to note that the fact that tomb was empty seemed to surprise everyone.
The tomb is empty contrary to the Precautions of His enemies…
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So, the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
His enemies at least seemed to remember that Jesus had said that He would rise from the dead after the third day. So, the enemies of Jesus went to Pilate and said, “We are afraid that His disciples will come and steal the body of Jesus and then tell everyone that Jesus has risen from the grave. So we would like to post a guard to make sure that does not happen.” I love the response of Pilate to these men, “Go make the tomb as secure as you know how.” I’m sure that Pilate did not realize how prophetic his words would be. Nevertheless, guards were posted to make sure no one stole the body of Jesus.
The tomb is empty contrary to the Expectations of His Friends. There were a variety of reactions among the friends and followers of Jesus to the news of His death. Some such as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and some of the women made plans for and arrangements for his burial, apparently only concerned that His body be properly cared for.
Others fled out of fear for their safely. Some gave themselves over to being depressed and sad Some hid themselves and when they heard the news of His resurrection… they refused to believe.
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
The second indisputable fact is that- He Is Not Here, He is Risen! (v. 6a) “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
The tomb really is empty. Even the critics do not deny that the tomb is empty, only why it is empty! But His enemies surely did not steal the body of Jesus, for they would have produced the body when the claims were made that He was risen. His disciples surely did not steal the body, for they would not have been willing to die a martyr’s death for a lie. “They were willing to spend the rest of their lives proclaiming (that he was risen), without any payoff from a human point of view. They faced a life of hardship. They often went without food, … were ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned. And finally, most of them were executed in torturous ways. For what? For good intentions? No because they were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had seen Jesus Christ alive from the dead.”
The facts are simple enough, the tomb is empty and He is not here for He has risen!
Secondly, Two Imperative Commands.
The women, who come to the tomb with the expectation of caring for the body of Jesus, are met by an angelic messenger with a very specific invitation! “Come and See”
The women are given the invitation to “Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (v. 6b). There were perhaps many reasons why they would have been hesitant to follow the invitation to “come and see.” After all… they are in a cemetery just as dawn is breaking. It was undoubtedly a kind of creepy place to be. They also had reason to fear the authorities, by the proclamation of Rome, the tomb had been sealed by Pontius Pilate and guarded by soldiers. They could have been in trouble for even being near the tomb of Jesus. And there is also the troubling thought that perhaps they were now treading on holy ground.
But the angel invites them to come and see - that they might compare what they have heard, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said,” (v. 6) - with what they now saw with their own eyes. The angel told them to “come see the place where the Lord lay” (past tense) – He is not there any longer. “Go and Tell” (v. 7a) “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead…”
Third, One Inescapable Conclusion:
In the case of Jesus, the issue is not just the absence of a body. An empty tomb does not in and of its self, make a resurrection. It was not just that He was nowhere to be found. It is that He was seen, repeatedly by many people in many different places. The point I want to make is the disciples did not merely “believe” in the resurrection, they “knew” it as a historical fact because they had seen Him themselves.
Writing of the event many years later the Apostle Paul wrote in…
1 Corinthians 15:3-7
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Paul either personally knew some of the people who had seen the resurrected Jesus or had spoken to some people who knew them and that they were still living and could verify that the resurrection was true. Paul’s statement virtually invites those who do not believe to check it out for themselves. But because He is Risen - the resurrection does prove all that needs to be proven about the message of Christianity.
• Jesus Is Who He Said He Was.
He predicted that He would die, but that the grave would not be able to hold Him, this miraculous act proved Jesus was the indeed the Son of God. Jesus’ resurrection confirmed His identity. We can believe in Jesus. Jesus is the unique Son of God and He is fully divine.
• Jesus’ Resurrection Bought Us Life.
The Bible says sin earns us death. On the cross, Jesus took the penalty of our sins on Himself. His death paid the debt our sins earned. But His Resurrection overcame the power of death. If we believe that Jesus’ sacrifice was on our behalf, Scripture says our debt is canceled, and we gain eternal life. Because Jesus rose from the grave, we too shall rise victorious over the grave.
• Such News Can’t Be Contained.
Mary immediately went and told the disciples. And in verse twenty-one, right after Jesus appeared to the disciples, He Said to them, “As The Father Has sent me, I Am sending you.” The life-giving message of Jesus’ identity and resurrection are a gift we are called to share with others. We can’t keep it to ourselves.
We have faced two Indisputable Facts; The Tomb is Empty and He was Not Here, Because He is Risen! Along with the disciples we have also received two imperative commands: “Come and See” And “Go and tell.” Which leaves one inescapable conclusion. The resurrection proves all that needs to be proven about the message of Christianity.
As soon as we reach that verdict we must wrestle with the implications. Jesus overcame the grave, He is alive, and it possible for me to have a personal encounter with Him today. He did go to the cross and personally pay the penalty for my sin! He did conquer death, and so He can open the door for eternity for me.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
You see…to the world, the resurrection of Jesus is very hard to believe. There were those that witnessed Jesus bring the dead back to life and yet…when Jesus Himself rose from the dead, they doubted. Sadly…even today many chose not to believe. Where do stand on “The Empty Tomb?” If God has already called you to be His own, then your life is already in Christ. If not???
Let me just remind you, that its not too late. Ask any Christian in here and they will tell you… “Jesus lives!” You just have too believe. Pray to God to remove doubts. Pray for forgiveness…pray to Jesus to your Lord and Savior.
The Empty Tomb
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.
In Bible days, when someone died, it was the duty of a family member to close the eyes and kiss the cheek of the dead. When Christ died, this became the duty of two men: Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. They went to Pontius Pilate and begged the body of the Lord Jesus.
Then they had to take Him down from the cross…which was not an easy chore. First, they had to rig a ladder, and climb up the side of the cross, and then they had to pull Jesus’ hands off, over the nails. There was no way they could get those spikes out of the wood, not from that angle, not with His hands in between the wood and the nail head. Once the hands were loosed, they allowed the body of Jesus to sag into a sheet and would then remove His feet from the nail in the same manner.
They took the body of Jesus to a new tomb, that Joseph had prepared for himself. They washed His body, and wrapped it in white linen, folding His arms over His chest. They closed His eyes, kissed His cheek, and placed a cloth over His face. They walked away from that tomb, and no doubt they walked in silence…so that all you could hear was the sounds of their sadness, muffled crying, and sniffing.
For 3 days, all the demons of hell rejoiced, and Satan and the forces of darkness thought they had won a great victory. For 3 days, the Jewish leaders, as well as the Roman government, congratulated themselves on their brilliant scheme. But on the 3rd day, something wonderful and miraculous happened. The stone rolled away, and up from the grave He arose…He lives!
In our text, Mary arrives first to the empty tomb. She sees the stone rolled away and it frightens her. And so, she runs to get Peter and John, and they run together to the tomb as fast as they could. John outran Peter, and when he got there, he looked inside, and saw those grave clothes lying there in disarray.
Then Peter arrived and, just as we’d expect of him, went right in. He also saw the linen clothes lying there, but there was something unusual in that scene. Something caught their eye that was very interesting.
The Gospel of John tells us that the piece of cloth, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the piece of cloth was neatly folded and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Is that important? You’d better believe it! Is that significant? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!
In order to understand the significance of the piece of cloth, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded cloth had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up the piece of cloth (as napkin) and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded cloth meant, “I’m done”. But if the master got up from the table, and folded his piece of cloth, and laid it aside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the servant knew that the folded cloth meant, “I’m not finished yet.” The folded cloth meant, “I’m coming back!”
Peter and John had walked with Christ for 3 years. They had watched as He opened blind eyes and deaf ears. They watched as He literally raised people from the dead. Then they watched Him die…and as they watched, all of their hopes, all of their dreams were shattered! All they could think was, “it’s over, it’s all over!” And for 3 long days they were in the depths of despair…the lights of their soul had gone dim. Peter even said, I’m going’ fishing’. I’m going’ back to what I used to do.
He’s not finished yet! The tomb is empty, our Savior is alive!!!
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
A few days before Christ died, He took His disciples aside and told them what was about to happen. He said, I’m going to be betrayed, arrested, beaten, and crucified. Then he looked at the disciples and said, all of you are going to desert me when the heat is on.
The Apostle Peter rose up in typical style and said, Not me, Lord. “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” Peter goes on to say… “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny You.” Can you just imagine the reaction of Jesus, knowing that Peter would deny Him three times.
They arrested Jesus and subjected Him to shear torture. And while this was happening, Peter’s courage turned to butter. A young lady approached and said, “I know you, you were with Him”. And this same man who had just stood up to the entire Roman army, now backed down and said, “I don’t know the man!” Another came up and said the same, and again he denied Christ. Yet another said, your accent betrays you, you’re a Galilean, you’re one of His disciples, and he not only denied Christ that 3rd time, And the rooster immediately crowed, and Peter remembered the words of Jesus. And he looked off into the distance, and there stood Christ, and their eyes caught. And when he saw the sadness and sorrow in the eyes of Jesus, it broke His heart.
Listen now, let me drop a blessing in your heart. Look at Mark’s acct of The Empty Tomb.
16 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
Can’t you see it in your mind’s eye…these ladies run to the disciples to tell them the good news. He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s risen from the dead!!
Can’t you see Peter, in the corner of the room, shocked, saying, what? What did you say? It’s true!
“Yes, He said to meet Him Galilee!”
And Peter, who has been in the depths of depression for 3 days, stunned at the reality of the Resurrection, and almost encouraged, is once again plagued in his mind at his pitiful denial of Christ, and is dragged right back down into his pit of despair, and thought, “surely He doesn’t mean for me to come…I denied Him 3 times.
And the ladies said, oh, Peter, by the way…He mentioned you by name!!! (V7)
He said, go tell the disciples…and Peter.
Why did Jesus want to see Peter…to rebuke him? No, he wanted to restore him! And one of the sweetest scenes you’ll ever see in scripture is Peter and Jesus, coming together, and Jesus hugging him and saying, Peter, do you love me? (3times)
That’s the real issue. If you’re here today and at some-point in your walk, you stumbled like Peter, let me remind you that Jesus is alive and loves you. how do I know this for sure? Didn’t Jesus…because of His love for you, died for you. and on the third day, rose for you. And is alive and well to this day. Wasn’t that the reason Jesus faced the cross…sacrificed His life, so that we can be saved! Salvation is an eternal gift by Gods grace. Just because we can slip off track from time to time does not mean that God will take away His gift. The life of His Son was a gift to you, and you need to believe that!
Please listen. Peter denied Jesus three times, and yet Jesus called him by name. Peter was asked with one of the greatest question Jesus could ever ask anyone. “do you love Me”. Jesus is asking you today, “do you love Me”. If you’re a Christian, your answer should be a definite YES!!!
I heard about a little boy who had done something very naughty. His mother punished him. He was afraid his mother was still angry at him…in the kitchen there was a chalkboard on the wall where they wrote down phone messages. When no one was around, he wrote on that chalkboard, dear mom, if you forgive me, please wipe this out. He went to his room, and about an hour later returned, and to his surprise and joy that chalkboard had been completely erased!
Are you away from God right now? Bring your sins to the cross…Jesus will not rub them in, He’ll rub them out! That is the beauty of “The Empty Tomb” Jesus is alive and loves you the same as when He first called you by name. His love will never change once you are His.
If you’re here today and you need to be saved, or you need to come BACK to God, I need to remind you there’s coming a day when another supper will take place…it’s called the marriage supper of the Lamb. I beg of you, don’t wait ‘til it’s too late. Right now, the napkin is still folded!
Remember the prodigal son…when he came home, his father welcomed him home w/ open arms! Today, Jesus is calling you!!!
1 Corinthians 11:23-34
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
Paul had warned the Corinthians about divisions in the beginning of the letter but moved on to discuss some of the questions and issues in the church from an individual standpoint. Beginning in ch.11, Paul begins a section on the church and its operation continuing through ch.14. After dealing with some gender issues in the first part of the chapter, he moves to dealing with some major problems with the Lord’s Supper. There were divisions, gluttony, selfishness, drunkenness, and other things that made a mockery of this sacred ordinance.
The Lord’s supper is a time when we remember the Lord’s sacrifice on our behalf, and we come humbly to the table acknowledging our sin and His perfection, proclaiming His death till He comes in a bond of unity with the rest of the body of Christ.
There is a time of remembering the sacrifice…
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
The first thing Jesus did was give thanks. The common loaf that was shared indicated a unity and common bond shared among the body of Christ. A visible sermon showing Christ’s death for sin, until He comes again. Note also the presence of Christ. The word here is testament, in ancient Greek, it carried much meaning—it was the act of someone of His own free will distributing gifts upon others after His death, and it was usually conditional. This text also shows the temporary nature of this feast.
A heart transplant recipient was asked one time if he ever thinks of the person who gave him the heart, that he died and all. And the response was that it was too hard to think of someone dying for you. Several years ago in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, George and Vera Bajenksi’s lives were changed forever. February 16, 1989. A very normal Thursday morning. The phone rang at 9:15 a.m. "There’s been an accident..." It involved their son Ben. As they approached the intersection of Adelaide and Simcoe Streets near the high school, they could see the flashing lights of the police cars and ambulance units. Vera noticed a photographer and followed the direction of his camera lens to the largest pool of blood she had ever seen. All she could say was, "George, Ben went home…home to be with his Heavenly Father!" Her first reaction was to jump out of the car, somehow collect the blood and put it back into her son. "That blood, for me, at that moment, became the most precious thing in the world because it was life. It was life-giving blood and it belonged in my son, my only son, the one I loved so much." The road was dirty and the blood just didn’t belong there. George noticed that cars were driving right through the intersection--right through the blood. His heart was smitten. He wanted to cover the blood with his coat and cry, "You will not drive over the blood of my son!" Then Vera understood for the first time in her life, one of God’s greatest and most beautiful truths...why blood?
Because it was the strongest language God could have used. It was the most precious thing He could give-- the highest price He could pay. Through God’s amazing love we were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ…
1 Peter 1:18-19
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
May we never treat lightly nor trample underfoot the blood of God’s Son.
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
So…a great warning is given to those who take the Lords supper lightly. Let us not take the Lords Supper as some kind of a routine/ritual that we have to do. Let us not partake in such a way that we do it because of some religious practice. It is to be taken seriously.
This should be a time of thanksgiving for the sacrifice that was made. We are also to do this in remembrance of Him. We should remember how He died and why He died, and what happened because He died. We should rejoice in the new covenant. My debt and yours was paid by an innocent man. Poured out upon Christ on the Cross.
There is a time of reexamining the saints, you and I!
1 Corinthians 11:27-32
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
The word used here means for someone to be put on trial, or to examine for genuineness, to find out if one is approved. However, this trial is not for a judgment from a jury of your peers, but an intense personal self-search of one’s own heart, looking for things that displease God.
This is a time for confession, church discipline, repentance, and removal of things that disrupt the unity of the body and one’s relationship to Christ. This prevents the judgment that Paul says comes with not taking the supper worthily. The judgment talked about here, and sickness and death, is the chastisement of the Lord.
This is an individual and corporate time of examination. During our examination time, ask God to search you, and show you the unapproved areas. Your personal walk with the Lord. A relationship with someone that is damaged. Your commitment to the church. Confess, repent, discern the body, and drink reverently. Remember that failure to do so properly could cause us to receive discipline from God, even death.
Tonight, we will use the church covenant as a helpful reminder of our commitment to one another and most importantly to Christ our Lord.
It is also a time of renouncing our selfishness…
1 Corinthians 11:33-34
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
Having remembered the death of the Lord, and examined themselves, Paul told the Corinthians to begin behaving like Christians should. Caring for one another. Focusing not on what you get out of it, but about the body and its health.
We must realize that it is not all about us! It’s about Him. We should use this time to look for ways that we can contribute to the overall health of the body of Christ. We should consider the mission statement and our purpose. Remind ourselves that we are in a war for our own souls and those of our families, neighbors, friends, and coworkers.
Looking for ways to serve. Looking for ways to use your spiritual gifts. Looking for ways to build up one another. Looking for ways to show support to the body. Looking for ways to change our behavioral patterns to reflect Christ, and what He wants for the church, and not ourselves, and what we want for the church. This should be a time for strengthening unity in the body, around the Word, and around Christ.
So tonight… as we partake together as the covenant body called First Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church, let us judge ourselves that we not be judged.
Pastor Richard Santos
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