HE IS RISEN! INDEED, HE IS RISEN!
Good morning and Happy Easter to all! We call this day Resurrection Sunday because this message is for all of God’s people a Happy Resurrection Sunday because it was during this week that Two Sabbaths and the Cross which took place on Wednesday Morning after a week of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was during this time that our Lord was in the Garden and praying that the Cross might be taken away if it could not by His will but by the will of God, as well as a time when He sweat drops of blood for us and all who would believe.
Now, it is because of this that we say “Happy Resurrection Sunday.” If anyone is reading this who is not born again and saved, that is, anyone who has never believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who was judged for all sins, past, present, and future, of every member of the human race, as He said He is, and trusted in Him for eternal salvation, this is an excellent opportunity for you to give God a fair hearing and consider accepting through faith all the wonderful freedom and blessings which God offers to all those who believe in His Son’s name and seek an active relationship with Him. If there is a God who created all that exists, we owe Him a hearing. May the Holy Spirit find your grain of positive volition and lift the veil that you may perceive the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ today and welcome you into the royal Family of the one true and eternal God!
Do you owe Him a hearing?
If there really is a God, what does God want from your life? No one can go through life saying I believe in God, yet ignore Him. Many people that say they believe in God, really do not. We know that because of something our Lord’s stepbrother James said:
JAM 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
To really believe in God you would have to realize that just believing in God doesn’t save you, even the demons believe that there is a God but that doesn’t save them. God wants something from you or from all of us. In fact, God expects something from you:
PRO 23:26 Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways.
In fact, the Gospel of John deals with who Jesus Christ really is. The Gospel of John is one of the most unique Gospels in that Matthew, Mark and Luke are very repetitious. But, the Gospel of John is much different than the Gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke. John wrote his book after the other Gospels were already written. The Holy Spirit wanted him to bring something out about Jesus Christ more than what any of the other Gospels did, even combined and that is the Deity of Jesus Christ. The deity of Jesus Christ reveals who Jesus Christ really is. Matthew, Mark and Luke do not tell us who Jesus Christ really is, it is only the apostle John that does that.
Now, many people will come up with excuses to not face who Jesus Christ is. Most people will say things like, I don’t go to church because there are too many hypocrites there. Truth is,there are hypocrites everywhere. Sorry to disappoint! Christians do not have a monopoly. There are just as many hypocrites in the bar, or the ball park, in the office, at the club, the salon, you name it. Hypocrisy is as human and as universal as red blood! Some Christian may think they are pure and holy and perfect in their flesh, but we do not subscribe to such blasphemy here! If we were perfect, what would we need Christ for?
This book is not written to condemn you!
John said in John 20:31 These have been written so that you may believe [with a deep, abiding trust] that Jesus is the Christ [the Messiah, the Anointed], the Son of God; and that by believing [and trusting in and relying on Him] you may have life in His name.
The Gospel of John is a book that is primarily written to unbelievers to cause them to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Yet, is also written to Christians to cause them to keep on believing that He is Lord and Savior so that they can have a life through His name. Many people never learn to love themselves through Jesus Christ our Lord. The world is always at odds with the teachings of Christ, it is always at odds with God, and with Grace. Men seek to be independent from God and do things our own way, even while completely dependent on Him. It is He who keeps the atoms and molecules together, who keeps the planets in their orbits and the sun burning hot! (HEB 1:3a) We are like a child living at home, not working or paying rent, believing they are independent and refusing to heed the rules! We are all like that in our carnal nature, and so the world, being the domain of men, and running on the secular operating system of men, is always at odds, like a stubborn child is at odds with the parents. So, even as believers, we may get worn down at times and need help to keep on believing. John’s gospel is for us too, and the blessings from God are not limited to the afterlife but also for our life on earth.
Notice what the apostle John said in the first three verses of the Gospel he wrote, the Gospel of John.
JOH 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In fact, speaking of His Word, notice what John says about Him being the Word.
This book is considered by many scholars to be the deepest and the most spiritual book in the Bible. The main purpose for this book is to inspire you and I to have faith in Jesus Christ is the Son of God and to keep having that faith so that He’s not only Savior of your soul but He’s also Lord of your life. What good is it if Jesus is your Savior but He is not the center of your life? You will have eternal security but you will miss out on the fantastic blessings God has set aside for you in eternity past to enjoy both in time and in eternity (EPH 1:3) and the abiding inner peace and contentment that come from occupation with the person of Jesus Christ, which we also know as Problem-Solving Device #10.
(Q) Many believers ask what is the Gospel?
(A) This Gospel is designed for us to recognize the Celebrityship, the Kingship, and the Lordship of our Lord and that Jesus Christ is God!
(Q) Is Jesus Christ is equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit?\
(A) Yes. Jesus Christ is not just the Son of God but He is God Himself.
In fact, our Lord Jesus Christ used the same terminology that the Father used to describe Himself, we see this in the ten “I Ams.”
Jesus Christ IS God, and He does in fact say He is!
1) JOH 6:35, Jesus Christ said “I AM the bread of life”.
2) JOH 6:41, He said “I AM the bread who came down out of heaven.”
3) JOH 6:51, He said “I AM the living bread”
4) JOH 8:12, “I AM the light of the world.”
5) JOH 8:18, “I AM He who bears witness of Myself.”
6) JOH 10:7, “I AM the door of the sheep.”
7) JOH 10:14, “I AM the good shepherd.”
8) JOH 11:25, “I AM the resurrection and the life.”
9) JOH 14:6, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.”
10) JOH 15:1, “I AM the true vine.”
In JOH 10:30 our Lord says “I and the Father are one.”
These ten “I Ams” of Jesus Christ represent the number of completion in the divine order.
In these verses Jesus Christ emphatically identified Himself as deity! Many say Jesus Christ did not claim to be God. But yes… He did claim to be God! All through the book of John Jesus Christ was teaching that the unity of God consisted of three manifestations and He was one of them!
In attempting to prove that Jesus Christ is God you would first take your listener to GEN 1:1 and cross reference it with COL 1:16 and then onto JOH 1:1,14. You then take them to REV 1:17 in which Jesus Christ says He is the first and the last, and REV 1:8 where Jesus Christ says He is the Alpha and the Omega.
The fact that Jesus Christ is God demands your attention. You will have to stand before God someday to answer to God for your rejection of this – unless you repent (metanoeo - change mind) and believe.
So, in JOH 1:1 In the beginning [before all time] was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word “beginning” means a beginning that has no beginning, and it means eternity past is the Word. So, if the Word of God IS God, then as much as you know about this book is as much as you know about God. May people think they know God but they do not know the Word. They operate on assumptions confirmed by feelings and emotions.
JOH 1:14 And the Word [Christ] became flesh [human], and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory [His hypostatic union] as of the only begotten [Son] from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The same One who is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit is the same one Who is occupied with the highest place of deity, and He decided to come down on earth and take upon Him the form of a man.
PHP 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.
Jesus Christ came because you and me were the joy that was set before Him, and He was willing to die in our place so that we could live forever together with Him. The ultimate work has been done. The only thing that matters now is -
MAT 22:42 "What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?"
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done, if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you will have eternal life. There is only one reason and one reason only why people go to hell and that is because they refuse to believe in the Son of God, nothing else. Think about it. If Jesus was judged for your sins, how can you be sent to hell for them? That would be double jeopardy. If you’re facing a death sentence, and someone agrees to take your sentence so that you can be free, you still must believe that this person is able to fulfill the promise and accept the agreement. If you refuse to even believe, let alone agree, then you choose to stand on your own defense, and in this case, to remain condemned, because your good deeds don’t measure up to the perfect standards of God. That’s all there is to it! Nobody goes to hell for sins, they go for refusing God’s pardon which is Jesus Christ the perfect sacrifice, and so they are judged on the basis of their good deeds, which fall short. Only the perfect sacrifice of our Lord Jesus is acceptable! Imperfection can not redeem imperfection.
HEB 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
Why did Jesus Christ in his humanity have to endure judgment from God and be made to bear our sins in His body? Because sin can not pay for sin, sin must be paid for with a perfect sacrifice. This is why the Levitical offering had to be a “lamb without spot or blemish.” This points to the sinless perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ, “the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” Only Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, thus not receiving the sin nature from the male chromosome, was “without spot or blemish”, hence, worthy to be our sacrifice. No one else could have done it!
2CO 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
It is difficult for the human mind to comprehend that God, the member of the trinity who created everything that exists (COL 1:16, JOH 1:1-3) was willing to humble himself and occupy the body of a man, to be rejected and scorned, beaten and crucified – one of the worst forms of torture – for the very people who put Him through this! Doesn’t it make your soul stir when you see an innocent person being punished? But there is only one truly innocent person – the Lord Jesus Christ! And He was railroaded more than anyone in human history – for the joy set before Him – for US! It is hard to comprehend. The more we grow and learn the more we begin to understand and then we begin to really love Him – because of His system of thinking and our growing spiritual capacity.
The day that Jesus Christ died is much more important than the day that He was resurrected, because the resurrection was done by God the Father God the Holy Spirit but the death was done by the Son and if there was no death, there would never be a resurrection.
Think about it; The One who is the bread of life Himself was hungry because of you and me.
In JOH 6:35, Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life;”
The One who is a supernatural giver of that water we need so much was thirsty for that water for you and me. But Jesus Christ said something very vital. All roads do not lead to Rome. There’s only one way to get to heaven and that is through Christ and Christ only.
JOH 5:23 so that all will give honor [reverence, homage] to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. [In fact] the one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who has sent Him.
To not honor Jesus Christ is to not honor God. You cannot honor God unless you honor Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus Christ is God. Do you know where the Son is dishonored today? Many places. Wherever and whenever we assign Jesus Christ a lower place than the Father, He is dishonored.
The Bible says that there are no atheists are in hell. Do you know what that means? Once they get into hell they realize that there is a God.
Why is it that people universally except the fact that God the Father is real but the Son is not equal to Him? Because when the Son came down in the form of human flesh, people look at that as a lesser position than God.
Jesus Christ is Jehovah.
God the Father is Jehovah.
God the Holy Spirit is Jehovah.
COL 1:15 He is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation.
HEB 1:3 also tells us He is the exact image of God. Jesus Christ is not like God, He is the exact image of God. Jesus Christ is God.
COL 1:16 For by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, [things] visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [that is, by His activity] and for Him.
MAT 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.”
Is God really with you? How important is God in your life? Do you really believe, or is it a lot of ritual without reality? Do you go through the motions? Are you like Thomas?
JOH 20:26-29 Eight days later His disciples were again inside the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though the doors had been barred, and stood among them and said, “Peace to you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place it in My side. Do not be unbelieving, but [stop doubting and] believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see [Me] and yet believed [in Me].”
If we are not only learning but metabolizing and applying Bible doctrine and living in it on a consistent basis, as a routine function, and sharing our spiritual gifts as team members in our local assembly, we will develop great faith through the experience of God’s great faithfulness and unfailing love which can be seen everywhere around us and in our lives when we know God from His Word circulating in our stream of consciousness. Doubt like Thomas’s comes from casual faith, faith without active eusebeia. The Word IS God, it is His thinking. Live inside of it and you will share His peace and joy, not only when things are good, but when they are falling apart.
Happy Resurrection Sunday from Grace Bible Church and Pastor Robert McLaughlin!