Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on April 26, 2015
Open your Bible to Philippians 4:1. Today we are going to examine only one verse. However, as many of you know, you can never really only examine one verse; for to understand that one verse you must, in a sense, examine the entire Bible.
What I find fascinating, is the mighty hand of God guiding our Church. Some of you will recognize that what are doing today is reinforcing what we are doing on Wednesday nights at our ACTS 242 Adult Bible study. This last Wednesday we were encouraged to meditate on the Word of God; to think about it; to contemplate it; to soak in it. As I have said before, reading the Bible is not a race. Our deepest desire is to know the one true God. If that means that we do it one verse at a time, then so be it. Therefore let us read our text, pray that God would give us understanding, and then meditate on God’s Word.
This last week I read a blog article by Jackson WU who was posting on a website named Training Leaders International. The title of his blog was “The Most Important Words in the Bible.” Can you guess what he believed to be the most important words? Perhaps you would guess Jesus...God…grace…cross…faith…hope…love. Those are all good words, but Jackson claimed that the most important words in the Bible were conjunctions. Do you know what conjunctions are? Conjunctions are words such as because, however, for, so, and therefore. These he claimed were the most important words in the entire Bible. Why? One reason is because conjunctions, many times, connect the command with the promise. Without conjunctions commands lack power, lack strength, they lack foundation. We can see this in our text today.
The first word that starts chapter 4 of Philippians is “Therefore.” This word is really in the Greek manuscript. They are not just throwing in that word to make it more readable. The Greek word is hóste. This is a conjunction. It joins two thoughts. It is somewhat unfortunate that these thoughts are separated by a chapter shift. So let us look at both sides of the conjunction. First let us look at the thought in verse 1.
The Greek word for stand firm is “stékó.” This word can be translated into English as stand firm, stand fast, persevere. As some of you have learned recently, when attempting to figure out what words mean in the Bible, we should use the Bible. So what we do is we conduct a word study on steko. We find other places that this word has been used. To do this you can use a concordance. If you are old school, you can use a concordance that is in book form, or if you are comfortable with the Computer then there are plenty of online concordances. I use Biblehub.com and on that site I use what is called Strong’s Concordance. Paul actually uses this word somewhat frequently in his letters. In fact, he has a used this word earlier in Philippians.
In the Lord
This leads to the question, don't relent, hold position, be strong in what? Paul's command is for the church to stand firm in the Lord. What does it mean to be in the Lord? First, I think we need to understand that to be in the Lord is a statement of position. It is a description of location. If I ask, where is the car? And someone answers, “it is in the garage.” This is a description of location.
This is exactly what Paul is speaking to. He is speaking of the Christian location. This is something I think so many people don't get, and by so many people I mean religious people, who think they are saved but are not saved. They view being a Christian, not as a location but as an activity. They see Christianity as something that is scheduled. This is not what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian is to place your life entirely in the hands of Jesus Christ. To fully and completely abide in him. This is a radical repositioning of your life.
So the question we must all ask ourselves is, are you in the Lord, are you hidden in Christ, do you abide in Jesus, are you in the Ark of God's Grace, with the door shut behind you? Or are you playing church? If you are playing Church, the game you are actually playing is Russian roulette with your soul, for at any moment that door could shut in your face. And when God says time is up, then time is up. It is too late. Time is truly of the essence. The rain could start falling at any moment. Chose today to leave this world behind you and enter into a union with Jesus Christ.
Now for those who are in the Lord, does that mean being in the Ark is like a ride on the love boat? That being in Christ is like riding a pleasure boat in the Caribbean? Absolutely not, it is, in fact, more like a ride on battleship.
Implicit in these statements of standing firm is the existence of a force that is pushing against you, a force that is attempting to make you not stand, attempting to cause you to fall, attempting to knock you over, attempting to take the hill that you have secured.
What is Paul referring to? Paul is referring to the attacks that he just got speaking about in Chapter 3. The dogs, the evildoers, the mutilators of the flesh, enemies of the cross, whose God is their belly, glory in their shame, and set their minds on earthly things. This is the force that Paul is speaking of. It is the force of the World. The World that lies in the hands of Satan.
When you align yourself with Jesus Christ, and choose to follow Him and to be found in Him, you no longer walk as an enemy of the cross, but an enemy of the World. When we bear the image of Jesus Christ we are guaranteed to be treated the exact same way as our Savior. Jesus tells us this.
However, we must also be aware that persecution is not just murder it is also the threat of murder. This type persecution is becoming more and more prevalent. For those who participated in the Secret Church gathering on Friday night you are already aware of this, but the Church in which the live event was being broadcast, the Church at Brooks Hills, the Church we are going to be partnering with in our Guatemala Mission trip, received a threat. The threat was legitimate enough that they moved the taping to an undisclosed location.
But it is not just large events like Secret Church, with well known pastors speaking, it is also Christian businesses. I am sure you are familiar with Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana. After speaking out that they were a Christian business that would not cater a gay wedding, they immediately started to receive threats, no not from ISIS, but from average Americans. One was a female high school coach, we tweeted, “Who is going to Walkerton, Indiana with me to burn down Memories Pizza.”
This is the America in which we live in. If you place your faith in Christ stand upon the inerrant Word of God, you will be persecuted. It won't just be from ISIS. It will be nice little high school volleyball coach that lives next door. In fact for many of you, it may come from even closer to home.
The question is, will you stand firm? Will you remain strong? Will you hold to what you are taught in God's Word? Will you persevere? Will you endure? Or will you fall? Will you sell your soul to gain favor with the World?
God has commanded us to stand firm in Christ, but how are we to do this when all the World seems to be chanting for our heads on a platter. This is were the word “therefore” is so crucial. For “therefore” points back to the foundation of the command. So what does the therefore point back to?
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on April 19, 2015.
Open your Bibles to Philippians 3:17-21. Today we will pick up where we left off last week and continue our discussion regarding our destiny. If you recall, last week we saw that we, as followers of Christ, are to press on, and strain forward, for the goal of becoming like Jesus Christ. This goal is the preeminent, the supreme, the primary goal for all disciples of Christ. We, the servants, are to become like our Master. This is our purpose, this is our calling, this is our destiny. The reason that I say it is our destiny is because of what is found in Romans 8:29-30.
In verse 17 we see Paul say, “Brothers, join in imitating me.” If you were to have read this verse in isolation, you could have mistakenly thought that what Paul is saying is that Christians should aspire to be Paul, that Paul is the goal in which we press on, or strain towards. However, as we have seen, this is not what Paul means by saying “join in imitating me.” For Paul tells us that our ultimate goal should be to become like Christ, not Paul. In fact, this was a point of contention in the Church in Corinth.
Therefore, the question each of us must ask ourselves is, does the pattern of our life match that of Pauls? Are we entirely oriented around the person of Jesus Christ. Are we his slave? Do we preach Jesus at all times? Is He our Greatest Treasure? Is He our greatest goal? Does our manner of life, match the gospel that we claim to have embraced? Or does our life, instead pattern the world?
Pattern of the World
In our text, we see Paul give two options. You can join in imitating me, and pick up your cross and follow Jesus, or you can walk as enemies of the Cross. Those are your choices. You have to pick one of the other. There is no fence sitting when it comes to Jesus.
So let us ask, who is an enemy of the Cross of Christ. First, we must realize that Paul is not talking about obvious enemies. He is not talking about people who hate Jesus, who deny God, who live radically sinful lives. Are these people enemies of Christ, yes, but that is not who Paul is talking about, because there is no need to warn Christians about those types of enemies.
The enemies that Paul is talking about are wolves in sheep's clothing. Those people who calim to be Christians, but are not. They are the ones, that are covert enemies, and they are ones that have a potential to lead true Christians in the wrong direction. They are enemies that have their own examples of how to follow Christ, and Paul is telling the Philippians not to follow their example. So what do theses enemies look like?
First, we are told their end is destruction. What does this mean? It means that they are not saved. This is important. In all local churches you will have the saved and unsaved. This is true for Philippi and for Cornerstone. Just because someone attends Church, it does not mean they are going to heaven. Here are some examples.
IN Matthew 7, Jesus tells us directly that there will be some people in the Church who have never been saved.
The point I want to make is this, don't assume that just because some claims to be a Christian, that they truly are a Christian. You must use discernment before you follow them on facebook, purchase their book, read their blogs. My guess is that on judgment day, many “Christian” authors are going to be saying, “but Jesus, we wrote many books, and made a lot of money in your name.” and Jesus is going to say, “depart from me, I never knew you.”
The second thing we see is Paul describing as enemy as someone whose God is their belly. Who are these people? Most likely these people are Judiazers. Remember them? These are the people who say they love Jesus, but tell everyone that you have to keep the Jewish traditions. One of those traditions were the dietary laws. These people said that unless you eat the right food, or unless you abstain from the right food, you will not be saved. Instead of serving Christ, they are serving their stomachs. They have placed their faith in tradition, not in Christ, and this is why their glory is their shame. They wrongly put confidence in the flesh to eat their way into God's presence, but in the end what that produces is nothing but the shame of their self-centered worship.
Lastly, we see Paul describe enemies of the cross as those who set their minds on earthly things. Now this is where some of you will start to get uncomfortable, for God is speaking directly to you. What does it mean to set your minds on earthly things? Let's use some text to understand this?
Walk Life a Citizen of Heaven
And Paul is telling us not to follow their lead, don't be lukewarm. Resist the temptation to purchase cheap grace. Refuse to be a friend of the world. Do not follow them into the pit of their destruction. Do not walk as an enemy of Christ, but instead walk as a citizen of Heaven.
Live your life as if this is not your home, as if you are a sojourner just passing through. Do not put your hope in the things of this world, put you hope in God. Live as if you truly believe. Live as if Jesus is your greatest treasures. Live a life that is worthy of the Gospel that you have received. Live as if you have no fear. Live radically for Jesus Christ. Live like Paul lived who said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We must never forget what lies ahead of us and is spoken in verse 20 and 21, “the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” This is what we are moving towards, so imitate Paul's pattern of life and become what you already are.
The reality is this, every Church has a culture. What will be ours? Will we be lukewarm? Will we be friends with the world? Will be be enemies of the cross, or will be imitate the pattern of Paul and walk like citizens of heaven.
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on April 12, 2015
Open your Bibles to Philippians 3:12-16. Last week we took a short break from studying the book of Philippians due to last week being Easter Sunday. However, today we will return to our journey through my favorite book in the Bible, Philippians.
Before we dive into our text, I wanted to spend some time, once again, talking about why we are walking through an entire book. We began our study of Philippians on the first Sunday of January. Most likely we will end our study of Philippians in May, or perhaps June. This is 5-6 months in one letter, a small letter at that. Philippians has only four chapters in it. Some of you may be thinking, what about the rest of the Bible?
First, when you work through a book of the Bible, you are never in just that book. To mine the Word of God you must use the Bible to interpret itself. By this I mean, to illuminate certain text, we must shine the light of God’s Word onto God’s Word. We must pull in different text to see examples, to show patterns, to define terms. The study of one letter is never limited to one letter. In a way, you end up studying the entire Bible through the lens of the book you are in.
Second, there is an epidemic within American Churches today, and the epidemic is that Churches are full of one inch deep Christians. Now there are multiple reasons for this, but one reason is that pastors aren’t doing their job in preaching the full counsel of God. Many pastors preach only topically. Meaning that the pastor picks a topic and preaches. This is ok, from time to time, but if this is the only way you preach, then you have a tendency to pick easy text, or comfortable text, or familiar text, and you leave out the difficult stuff. When you preach through an entire book, you don’t pick and choose. The preach as it comes, no matter what the topic: divorce, homosexuality, gluttony, death, the doctrines of Grace, etc. You are required to teach all that God commands.
Third, when you study a book for six months, week after week digging into the text, seeing how it all fits together, asking hard questions, meditating on implications, comparing it to your life, you will find the greatest treasures. The largest and most beautiful diamonds are not found on the surface, they are deep inside the mountain.
So those are a few reasons why I predominately subscribe to teaching through books of the Bible. There are of course more reasons, but those are the ones that I wanted to bring to your attention today. So with that said, let us get into our text for this morning and see what God has in store for us.
In verse 12 we see Paul say, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect.” What is the Apostle Paul talking about? For this we must look back into verse 10 where Paul says, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
Paul, in verse twelve is continuing his thoughts in verse 10 and 11 and he is talking about obtaining the knowledge and likeness of Jesus Christ. So when Paul says “Not that I have already obtain it” he is saying that he is not obtained a full knowledge of Christ and it not completely like Christ. Paul is admitting that he is still on the journey of being sanctified.
And what do we see the end goal being? Perfection. Verse 12, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect.” If Paul would have obtained “this” if he would have full knowledge of Christ or be completely like Christ, he would be perfect. Why? Because Christ is perfect. In Christ there is no flaw. In Christ there is no sin. He is God incarnate, Emmanuel. Jesus himself tells Philip in John 14:9, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” In Hebrews 1:3 we are told, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,”
How crucial is this reality. Jesus is the ultimate role model. If you want to know how to live, look at Jesus. If you want to know how to love, look at Jesus. If you want to know how to have joy, look at Jesus. If you want to know your purpose, look at Jesus. Jesus is the perfect man, and his is the only perfect man. Which leads me to a false doctrine that is taught from time to time and it the doctrine of Perfectionism. It is the false teaching that you can become totally without sin. This doctrine has its roots in John Wesley, not that he necessarily taught it, but it is out of his words that perfectionism has its origins. Today, perfectionism still exists in some teachings of the Methodist and the Nazarene denominations. However, we know these teaching to be false due to text like we have today. Paul admitted that he was not perfect, how can we believe that anyone can achieve perfection if not even the Apostle Paul can attain it. Perfection only comes upon the return of Christ, but until then we are all sinners, and as we discussed last week, this sin finds its origin in teh Garden of Eden.
If you recall, in the beginning, God created Adam and Eve in his image. However, something happened, sin entered the world and the image of God has been severely marred. Sin caused us to bear the mark of Satan, more than the mark of God. However, this is not so for Christ. Christ does not bear the mark of sin, he is spotless. In fact, this is one of the reasons Jesus came to die. To restore the image of God that was marred because of the fall. In fact turn with me to Romans 8:29.
We are perfect in the sense that we are justified before God. All the sins that I commit in the past and in the future are cleansed from me; therefore when I stand before God, he will not see any sin in my life, for Jesus washed away my sin. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that tomorrow I won’t commit a sin. It just means that tomorrow when I commit a sin, it is already paid for. Therefore, I am perfect in the sense that upon the day of judgment Christ has paid my penalty; however I am not perfect in the sense that I don’t sin anymore. You can see this in Hebrews 10:14, ““For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Yes we are perfect in Christ, but there is still work to be done in our lives. We still struggle with sin and we will still fall short. God is sanctifying us. As Romans 8:29 says, God is conforming us to the image of His Son. We saw this in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” It is guaranteed. God is making the outside look like the inside. He is making our lives match our eternal reality.
However, our role in this is not passive. What does Paul say in 2:12-13, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Paul says that once you are justified, the work begins. We must work, not to earn our salvation, for Christ does this, but we must work out of salvation. Our salvation produces in us a desire for sanctification, and this desire is not easy. It is work. Paul is now expanding on that idea of working out your salvation, your sanctification, and says that we must “press on.” We must press on to become like Jesus.
What does press on mean? The Greek word is diókó. It means to pursue as a hunter would pursue his prey. Chasing after it to apprehend. I don't know if we have any hunters in our congregation, but perhaps some of you can relate to this picture. I know that I have met a lot of obsessed people when it comes to hunting. In fact, I am related to some of them. During deer season, they are consumed with killing the 10 or 12 point buck. It is all they can think about. Paul is speaking the same language, not regarding white tail, but with Christ. We must be consumed with a desire for Christ likeness.
Does this describe you? In your life, are you pressing on, pursuing Christ-likeness? Paul in verse 14 says it is his goal, and it should be the way we should be oriented. We should think just like Paul. How many goals have you set for yourself in your life? Perhaps you have made educational goals, financial goals, business goals, social goals, creative goals, physical goals. In pursuing these goals you have devoted substantial time, money and energy, and most likely thre have been sacrifices made.
I want each of you to take a moment and think about some goals you have made in your life. Now I want you to picture yourself on your deathbed. Now I want you to picutre yourself in the presence of God, a million years from now. How important is that earthly goal of yours? Who cares about how much money you have? Who cares how fast you can run a 5k? Who cares how successful you business was? Who cares what degree hangs on your wall? In those moments of death and glory, the only thing that matters is Christ.
My challenge to each of you today, is to reorient your life starting today. Stop pursuing things of this world, instead pursue Christ. Stop thinking like infant Christians and start thinking like mature Christians. Start to implement things in your life to reach the goal of looking more and more and more like Jesus. Be intentional is then pursuit. Each morning wake up with this goal on your mind. Pray that God would work continue this work in your heart and produce in you an image that resembles his son, not the world.
Read your Bible, not sporadically, but every day, multiple times a day. And don't just read it to read it, but eat it, like spiritual food for your soul. Approach the Bible like Jesus approached the Bible. Jesus in the desert to Satan, what does he say? Matthew 4:4 - “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus before he is crucified what does he pray? John 17:17 - “Sanctify them in your truth, Your word is truth.”
Paul understands this. To become like Christ means to pick up your Bible? What does Paul remind the young pastor Timothy? 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of Godb may be complete, equipped for every good work.” What does complete mean? It means to be like Christ. How is this done? By eating this book like we eat bread!
This is how we press on, this is how we pursue, this is how we are made perfect, this is how we become like Christ, by reading this book and letting it cut off the sin that clings to us. Will this be easy? Absolutely not. Paul says in verse 13 that we will have to strain. What does strain imply? It implies a force pushing against us? Not as light force, but a force that causes us to grit our teeth and put our head down and move forward.
This resistance may be the world that you have saturated in for 30 years. It may be your flesh that loves slothfulness. It may be your pride. It may be your family that thinks you went off the deep end. It may be Satan himself in the wilderness of our life, tempting and mocking you. But never forget that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” and “he who began a good work in your will bring it to completion” and he who foreknew you, predestined you to be conformed to the image of His Son; therefore work our your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and work for His good pleasure; so press on to reach the destiny for which you were created.
And do not forget that he who justifies will also glorify, and this is the end for which we pursue. It is the prize of the upward call. And this prize is like no other prize in this universe. As we stated several weeks ago, Jesus Christ far surpasses anything this world has to offer. He is better than money, your business, the American dream, your life itself, and anything else that this world tries to deceive you with.
So let us be like the Apostle Paul. Let us forget what lies behind us. Let us forget the goals of the world, let us forget the fleetingness of this world, let us walk out of this building with a new found commitment to pusruing Christ-likeness. Let us be like Joshua who at Shechem in Joshua 24 said, “choose this day whom you will serve ...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on April 5, 2015.
As everyone knows, today is Easter. Easter is the celebration of the singular greatest day in all of history. No day compares to what took place 2000 years ago when Jesus’ disciples went to the Garden were they had laid his body and found the stone rolled away, and they heard from the lips of Angels, “He is not here, but has risen.” In those words lie all hope.
Some of you who sit here today, have “celebrated” Easter in your entire life, however you have never CELEBRATED Easter. Your celebration up to this point has been vanity, for you have not been struck in your heart by the words “He is not here, but has risen.” You have yet to experience the full and complete weight of that reality as it relates to you eternity.
To grasp the hope found in the resurrection, we must understand death. Death exists because sin exists. This is crucial to understand. Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin is death.” Therefore, when kids ask, why do people die? The answer is because it is God’s punishment for our sin. It is the penalty for our rebellion. It is the consequence for rejecting the Author of Life.
The next question is where did this sin come from? It came into the world through the first man, Adam.
What is interesting is that the first thing that physically died on this planet was not Adam or Eve. Yes, they died eventually, but not immediately. The first creature that died is found in Genesis 3:21.
From that point on we begin to see a pattern of animal sacrifices begin.
Why is this important? Why should you care about the animal sacrifice in garden , the lamb sacrifice of Abel, the ram sacrifice of Abraham, the Passover lamb sacrifice for Egypt, the consecration sacrifice of the Priest, and the yearly sacrifice on the Day of Atonement? The reason is because of Hebrews 10:1.
The Day of Atonement is just a symbol, it is an outline of the true object. This is also true for the Passover Lamb, the ram of Abraham, the lamb of Abel and the sacrifice in the Garden of Eden. Each of these things are a form of a greater reality. What is this greater reality? What is this good thing to come?
Single Offering of the Body
It is the good news of Jesus Christ. Look at verse 5, “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me.” The good thing, the true substance, the object that cast the shadow is the body of Jesus Christ. This is why John the Baptist says in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus is object that cast the shadow that we see in the Garden, with Abel, with Abraham, with Moses, and with Israel. All of these shadows point to the substance of the single offering of the body of Jesus Christ.
This is the reason why Jesus came to earth...to die. He did not come to be a good moral teacher, or to lead a conservative political party. The Son of the Living God left the glory in Heaven to be the single sacrifice for all of humanity, to have his flesh torn apart and to bleed out so as to cover the shame of wretchedness, to die in our place, to cause death to Passover you, to atone for our sins.
And the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross is not like the shadow that was cast before it. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God has power. Jesus accomplished what no sacrifice accomplished before. The sacrifices of the shadow could not perfect those who draw near. This is why year after year after year these sacrifices of Israel continued, because they didn’t work. Look at verse 4, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.“ This was not their purpose. Their purpose is to point to Christ, for it is only the blood of Jesus that can take away our sins.
Perfected for All Time
Look with me at verse 12-14, “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Let’s read it one more time and let these words sink in.
Once again, we see a single sacrifice. The death of Jesus happened one time and one time only. It is blasphemy to say that Jesus is sacrificed over and over again. What did Jesus do after he offered his body for sin? He sat down. Now compare this to verse 11, “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” But when Christ offers his body, instead of continueing to stand, what does he do? He sits down. Why?
Because when Jesus offered himself the work was completed. It was done. There was nothing left to do to pay for your sins. The blood of Christ was sufficient to pay your debt to God. This is why Jesus cries out “It is finished” right before he dies on the cross. He had accomplished what he set out to do.
Which is what? To perfect you. Verse 14, “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” It is by the single offering of the body of Christ that you go from sinner to sinless. 1 John 1:7 says, “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” It is not our blood and sweat that takes away sin. It is only the blood of Jesus that has this power. Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” It is the blood of Christ that provides redemption, that provides forgiveness. It is grace alone. Romans 3:23, “or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” The one and only way that you are justified before God is through redemption that is found in the blood of Jesus. There is no other way to deal with your sin issue. The body of Christ is the only solution, He is your only hope, and his body is sufficient to pay for all your sins.
Why is this important? It is important because some of you have been taught by false teachers. Some of you have sat in a religion that does not preach and teach Hebrews 10, 1 John 1, Ephesians 1, Romans 3. You have been wrongly taught that Jesus sacrifice was necessary, but that it was not sufficient.
Do you hear the difference? Necessary and sufficient are not the same words. There difference makes all the difference. You have been wrongly taught that you have to atone for some of your own sins; you have been wrongly taught that Jesus’ blood didn’t perfect you for all time; you were wrongly taught that you have not been justified by grace. Instead you were told that you have to perform some penance to absolve you from your sins, whether that be hail Mary’s, the Lord’s Prayer, communion, confession, church attendance, etc. The Bible speaks of none of these things having the power to pay for your sin. No sacrifice that you perform can pay the debt that you owe God. The bible is abundantly clear that it is Christ alone; so stop attempting to earn your forgiveness, for you can’t. Instead find refuge in the single sacrifice of Christ
The Resurrection is the Proof
So what does this have to do with the resurrection? How is the empty tomb connected to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ on the cross? Everything.
No legitimate scholar debates the life of Jesus. It is almost universally excepted that Jesus existed. It is not a question of his existence. The question is, “Is He the Lamb of god who comes to take away the sin of the world.” That is what each one of you have to determine. Who do you say that Jesus is?
If his bones lie in a tomb, then eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die, but if he has risen, and He has overcome our greatest problem, death, then I encourage you to listen to what he has to say.
The Lord’s Supper
Today we will celebrate the sufficiency of the body of Christ by remembering what he has done for us by eating bread and drinking juice.
This table is open to every follower of Christ. However, if you have not turned and placed your faith in the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice, then this table is not for you. However, I pray that by the Grace of God someday it will be.