What believers need to know about the Law Pt 2 ” Operational Facts”

What believers need to know about the

law Part 2 “The operational facts”

Romans 7:6-13 (NLT)
6  But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
7  Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”
8  But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.
9  At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
10  and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
11  Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.
12  But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13  But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.

May the Lord add a blessing to the reading and the hearing of HIS holy word.

When we were last here studying this letter to the church at Rome we learned some wonderful truths about the freedom we have in Christ.

As it so clearly states in Romans 7:6 we have been released from the law and it’s captive power and instead we have been freed to serve God not in the old way of obeying the letter, but it the new way of living in the Spirit.

Now of course it is imperative that error be avoided here because some have pierced themselves terribly by falling into the trap of embracing sinful indulgence and fleshliness as a license to sin.

You may have heard this kind of error in the teachings on hyper-grace, or you may have misunderstood that your freedom from the law makes it ok for you to live like a sinner and sleep with who ever and do whatever.

Paul would clearly teach the wrongness of that off-minded way of thinking, God forbid, he would say in an earlier portion of the letter, how are we who are dead to sin (and been freed by death) live any longer there in.

So in our last sermon, from this series, we shared a teaching entitled what believers need to know about the law. In that teaching we explored the subject of the freedom we have FROM THE LAW.

 

The law as we taught earlier, was likened an ancient marriage relationship, where the husband had all of the power and control over his wife; and humanity was pictured as the wife who was held in a legal relationship where her husband the law bound her as long as he lived, but if the husband died she was free.

That is who we are in Christ when we are saved, we are free from the bondage of the law but instead have been liberated to the joy of a love relationship, where we live and walk and endeavor to please our beloved Lord not because of the threat of the letter but we are free in that and we should now serve in newness of the Spirit.

Today the sermon concerns the operational facts about the law, or the purpose of the law.

The bottom line is that the law was given to show us and to help us understand our need for a savior.

Now there are seven operational facts that we could break out, but to keep it simple and to conserve time today we are going to look at just four points.

And the reason we are going to do this is to keep in mind the good things that the law can do for us even when we are saved and free from the bondage of it.

Now I am not contradicting Paul or the scriptures, but rather I am backing up and building upon his opening statement to let us know that the law or the commandments are not sinful, but rather the law is good and holy and beneficial

Paul said and I’ll quote from Verse 7 if you forgot this “7  Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”

And so it is from the basis, that we are going to examine four of the operational aspects, or things that the law does; which have been beneficial and will benefit the life of believer.

So here we go.

Four operational facts about the law..

  1. The law awakens us to the reality of man’s sinfulness and it points us in the direction of improvement and or avoidance.

Romans 7:7 (NLT)

7  Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.

Matthew 5:28 (NLT)
28  But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Exodus 20:17 (NLT)
17  “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”

Exodus 20:13-16 (KJV)
13  Thou shalt not kill.
14  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15  Thou shalt not steal.
16  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Man would not know that he’s a sinner unless the law had revealed it to him.

If I am driving down the road and going 55 I might think that I am driving just fine until I see the sign that says, the speed limit is 40.

For us who are saved, the law is there to help us know right from wrong; it can’t save us, but the knowledge of boundaries can keep us safe so that we avoid exposing our godly bodies or our lives to things that are harmful to us

Thought:

Some of the worse mistakes you can fall into as a Christian come as a result of ignorance or simply being naive.

What’s wrong with that ?

I didn’t know that was wrong. I didn’t know that was a problem….says the naïve Christian.

I could build and entire sermon on how many lives have been ruined and are being ruined simply on the basis of carrying on relationships with people because no one ever told you what the bible said about that….but I’ll leave that for another sermon.

Here, we looked at the scripture from Matthew and what Jesus says about looking.

This is written and addressed to the men and for many Christian men this word is an eye opener because we’ve been taught that it’s ok to look as long as you don’t touch, but Jesus said OH no…

This passage is written to men but I am here to tell you that it applies to women as well, because I’ve learned over time that it’s not just men that have an eye problem, woman have it too.

Jesus in this passage sets the bar high and he said lusting, is not just a matter of what goes on below the waist, but that adultery is starts what with what happens in the mind and with your eyes.

The law awakens us and opens our eyes to the standard of GOD and that is good.

Now it’s not just doing it, but it’s looking and browsing, it’s the computer screen and TV show.

It’s ABC and the favorite show that is on your DVR that you watch and get all worked up about.

It’s that “R” rated film that is fully of nudity.

It’s Lifetime network, where Christian women are watching and getting all steamed up; thinking that it’s ok to enjoy the eye candy on the screen, until we learn that God says no, it’s adultery.

The law awakens us to the reality of man’s sinfulness and it points us in the direction of improvement and or avoidance; after you’ve been exposed to the truth, then you will be in a position to make a decision to avoid it.

Now that you know it’s wrong, you make an adjustment not because you are in fear of loosing your salvation, but because of the law of love now written in your heart.

Now you will not cross over into certain things, though your flesh may desire to do so, because of the love relationship you are in and the law of love that is written in your heart.

Remember what we learned in our last sermon from this series. Remember God’s word as recorded in Ezekiel 36:26 concerning your heart. God said I will remove the heart of stone and replace it with a tender and sensitive heart.

Four operational facts about the law.

  1. The law reveals and reminds us of the human proclivity towards sin and it will remind you that you can be          aroused.

Romans 7:8a (NLT) 

8  But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me!

Mark 7:21-22 (NLT)
21  For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,
22  adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)
9  “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

There is a part of us, as believers, that can become inappropriately comfortable with our perceived moral superiority; if you are a Preacher or Pastor or long time believer this can happen very easily.

Here sin is personified in Paul’s description and he points out that the law provides an opportunity for sin to take occasion, but the law doesn’t make you do what is wrong, you and I as people make the decision.

So let’s talk about this in greater detail.

For the Christian who desires to walk rightly before God; the draw of sin and the flesh to break the law is a constant reminder, of the evil that is resident within our flesh and it shows us, that man’s nature is corrupt.

Thought:

Why is it that there is within each of us, a desire to do something wrong some times.

Why is that we love to do something such as speeding just because we have been told not to do it; why is there such a draw towards the forbidden?

There is something within us that is drawn to the lust of the eyes.

There is something within the good girl, even though she is saved, watch this, which is drawn toward the excitement of dating a bad boy.

That war between the Spirit and the Flesh within you will remind you that you are at war and that you can be aroused just like the guy or gal you know at work, who messed up.

The times that you surprise yourself because you are acting up and rebelling and pushing back on the employer or coming in late just because you want to stick it to the boss; there is a fighting against the rules; he said you need to be there by 9:00AM and you are just going to push it to 9:15 because someone told you that you had to and you wanted to feel how it is to push the envelope.

That reality, is a reminder, that sin is always at the door, so the law is good in that it will help keep you humble when you find yourself feeling that you are all that.

Yeah…just when you were feeling impressed with how much better you were than brother so and so, you’ll find in spite of your completed salvation and justification before God; that within your heart will come evil thoughts, slanderous words, pride; the heart says Jeremiah is deceitful above all things.

Four operational facts about the law..

  1. The law shows (exposes) and reminds a man of his true spiritual condition without God.

 

Romans 7:9-10 (NLT)

9  At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
10  and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.

This passage is somewhat confusing because at first glace it appears that Paul is speaking about himself at a point when he did not understand the law, when we know that Paul was a Pharisee and very much acquainted with the law.

What Paul here is talking about is his lack of proper knowledge regarding the law.

Paul’s previous knowledge of the law was as a Pharisee; his “knowledge “was that of a conceited person who did not understand his true spiritual condition.

When Paul encountered the grace of the living God through Jesus Christ, his conscience was awakened, he found that he was guilty of many sins and he saw himself in his true condition, as one who had not obtained life through the commandments, but instead was shown by his inability to keep them to be dead, without Christ and his righteousness

Now here in this 3rd point of the sermon, there are two groups that we need to speak to.

Thought:

The first group, which we’ve already spoken to is believers.

In our earlier conversations we made the point clear in; the law will be there to show believers and remind us of how difficult and impossible it would be to meet God’s standard and to become acceptable to him, without Christ.

The second group that I’ll address is the unsaved person who like Paul was before he was converted, lacks the ability to understand the wrongness within him self.

Thought:

There are a lot of unsaved people in this world who are absolutely satisfied with them selves.

You may be here today, or watching the sermon on line and YOU are just like that.

I’ve met more that a few people who are unsaved, who are happy and totally ignorant about themselves.

They can’t even process the reality of their own shortcomings because the tool that they use to measure themselves is their own opinion or feelings.

I’ve met more than a few folks who’s eyes are blind to their own sinfulness because they process reality based on a comparison between themselves and someone to whom they have found themselves to be superior to.

Oh…. but just ask that same person have you ever stolen anything or lied even once; just take them through the ten commandments and try as hard as they might, once the eyes have been opened, the truth about the covetous thoughts they harbor against the person who’s job they desire, come into focus not just as ambition and or competitiveness, but it can now be seen as a hunger or a thirst that is inordinately immoderate, that it rises to the level of wanting what another person has so much, that they will take it if they can.

An unsaved person, who does not know God’s law, feels good about himself, because he or she is not aware that he falls short of God’s standard.

He doesn’t know the real meaning of right and wrong.

He actually feels safe. He may even believe there is a God and based on his feelings he or she is pretty confident that God would accept him.

I’ve heard such thought expressed by people; I’m good, I’m a good person

But the law will cut that person down to size, quicker than anything he’s ever encountered.

It shows him or her his real condition.

It shows him that is guilty before God Almighty.

It shows him that he is condemned and on his way to a devil’s hell.

It shows him that he is corrupt and that he desperately needs a savior.

Today in the sharing of the word, that illumination may be happening even now at this very moment.

I don’t point these facts out as a put down, but as an eye opener.

That is the law’s job, it is like a schoolmaster, teaching us, exposing us to the realties of man’s lost condition.

This is the law’s job to bring us to Christ, that we might “in the middle of the realization of our complete helpless” turn to Jesus, placing your faith in him, knowing that you need him and cannot save yourself, so you turn to him by faith.

This is the power of God’s word and the power of his law. This is what the law does for us today. It destroys self-righteousness by showing and reminding man, that he desperately needs a savior and that he is destined for death and eternal damnation without Jesus Christ.

4th and finally…

  1. The law reveals the holiness and righteousness of God and shows us that sin is the cause of death.

Romans 7:12-13 (NLT)

12  But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13  But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not!

14 Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.

Psalm 19:7 (YLT)
7  The law of Jehovah is perfect, refreshing the soul, The testimonies of Jehovah are stedfast, Making wise the simple,

Romans 3:19b (NLT) 

19 b “for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.

Romans 3:23 (KJV) 

23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

To a certain extent, this 4th point repeats what we can glean from the other points as an over-arching message.

The law of the Lord is perfect; converting the soul, the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple says the 19th Psalm.

The law is good and it shows man how to live, but it also shows us how serious sin is because it points out in glaring detail, it’s presence and it’s consequences.

Sin kills.

Sin has a wage and according to Romans, that wage is death.

The law shows us that every sin leads to destruction, whenever it shows up.

Thou shall not kill is the most obvious; the taking of the life of another person, brings destruction on the life of his or her family, it breaks and impacts generations for years to come.

It breaks and destroys relationship and lives and that is undeniable.

When the law says thou shall not commit adultery, the truth of what an adulterous affair brings, shows that the law of God is good; nothing good ever came from that kind of behavior.

Families are destroyed. Lives are negatively impacted. People are hurt and injured by such actions in ways that cannot be measured.

The law exposes the truth about sin and it shows us, that God almighty is wise and just and perfect and good, when he gave mankind these laws.

Ultimately God’s laws show that he is holy and perfect and righteous; the difference between us and God is really so much more than we can measure, but we get a glimpse of HIS perfectness as compared to our filthiness; the law speaks plainly and loudly, that it is SIN, that makes it impossible for us to know God on our own.

Thought:

For me and perhaps for you who are saved, this is where you begin to realize the hopelessness of your situation, before you came to Christ.

The holiness of God versus our unrighteousness and guilt before him, for me was over-whelming.

But at that moment when I felt like OH my GOD what am I going to do…. God in his gracious loving kindness, did something for me that he did for you and may be doing for someone at this very moment; he opened my eyes to the cross, drawing me to HIS Son.

God was and is so good, that at the same time I began to understand the crushing weight of my sins and helplessness in them, that at that moment, he opened my eyes and still opens the eyes and hearts of people and draws them by faith to his SON Jesus.

If you are here today and you recognize the truth about your own unsaved self and the impossibility of you having a relationship with the perfect creator on your own, I’ve got some great news for you.

The situation that you are in is no different that what every other person in this room has faced before coming to Christ Jesus

  • The realization that you are lost.
  • The realization of your guilt before and Holy God.
  • The realization of the wages of sin.

All of these hopeless realities can be dealt with and eliminated by placing your faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son.

Here is the gospel just to make sure you’ve got it.

God so loved the word that he sent his son Jesus to die on a cross to pay for the sins of mankind.

Only the blood of God’s own innocent Son could pay the wages of our sin.

You can never be good enough on your own to measures up to God’s standards, but you can obtain the righteousness that Christ secured for you, by believing that Jesus was crucified, that he died and rose again and now is seated in heaven as Lord and savior of all who believe…

The situation that you are in is no different than what every other person in this room has faced before coming to Christ Jesus….

You can come out from all the guilt and condemnation that the law points to, being free the wages of sin and receiving God’s gift through Jesus Christ, by faith.

While all eyes are closed and heads are bowed…

 

 

 

 

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Seven Declarations From The Cross

Seven Declarations From The Cross.

Sermon by Rev. Julius A. Harper, Senior Pastor Santa Clarita Christian Fellowship Church

Luke 23:33-46 (NLT)
33  When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
34  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
35  The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36  The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.
37  They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
38  A sign was fastened to the cross above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39  One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
40  But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?
41  We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
42  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43  And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
44  By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.
45  The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle.
46  Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

May the Lord add a blessing to the reading and the hearing of HIS holy word.

Christ is risen and he is risen indeed AMEN.

On this wonderful morning we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; this is a day that is unlike any other day in Christendom; it is a day that sets our faith and belief a part from any other day and any other religion.

A day of celebration a day of triumph and victory; a day where just three days earlier Christ Jesus our Lord suffered bled and died for us on the cross.

Although today is a day of celebration for our sermon this morning, I am drawn most powerfully to Friday and the words of the Lord Jesus on the cross as he suffered for us, before that glorious day on Sunday morning when he arose from the grave.

For many of you who have been in and around church for sometime you are familiar with the last words of Jesus on the cross. You are familiar with the love and passion that was expressed by our Lord as he hung there and suffered for all humanity.

It’s been recorded and noted that these words of Jesus have been widely used in sermons, since the 16th Century.

I’ve wanted to deliver a sermon on these words for quite some time but the truth is that approaching something that has been many times spoken on by theologians and bible scholars is somewhat intimidating.

But it occurred to me that the reason why so many sermons have been preached on this subject and why it is recognized as traditionally powerful is because it works and it communicates truths to us in a way that no other story can

 If you are among our special guest today, I want to invite you to take notes to listen and to consider the sermon today, which is entitled Seven Declarations from the Cross

As Jesus hung on the cross and prepared to die, he spoke and declared..

  1. A Request For Forgiveness

Luke 23:33-34 (NLT) 

33  When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
34  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV) 

13  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)
7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

As Jesus hung on the cross between two criminals; suffering as he was, we note and see that his heart and mind were focused in the issue of forgiveness.

Now at first glance you it might seem as though the words of Christ were directed specifically to those who were carrying out the crucifixion, but I believe that in reality his request for forgiveness was not just for those who had beaten and tortured his body on that day, but instead his request for forgiveness applied to all of humanity.

Now this may come as a surprise and may indeed offend on some level, so hold on to your seat belts for this next statement.

You see you and I and every person born upon the face of the earth, though we were not there…. bare responsibility for crucifying Jesus and rejecting Jesus in one way or another.

We may not have hammered the nails. We may not have been there to spit in the faces of Jesus, but through our sinful rejection we collectively participated in the death of Jesus symbolically and at the least you and I are in need of forgiveness because of our sinful rebellion against God.

It was normal everyday people who called out crucify him when just a week earlier they were lauding the Lord and praising with palm branches and songs; it was people who called out to Jesus as the Son of David one week earlier and just a few days later, they were calling for his death.

Jesus wasn’t seeking forgiveness for himself, but his request was for all of humanity, because he understood that without forgiveness, all of mankind would be lost.

We would be lost, you would be lost and separated forever condemned before a holy and righteous God, if the issue of forgiveness had not been dealt with by Jesus.

As Jesus hung on the cross and prepared to die, he spoke and declared..

  1. A Promise Of Salvation

 Luke 23:39-46 (NLT)

39  One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
40  But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?

41  We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
42  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43  And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

1 Timothy 1:15a-b (NLT)
15  This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

Luke 19:10 (NKJV)
10  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

As Jesus hung on the cross that terrible Friday as he suffered the incredible pain; in the midst of his suffering, he declares and confirms his purpose and mission, which was to provide salvation to those who were lost.

Notice if you would please that the criminal who was hanging on the other cross near Jesus, knew that he was guilty and was a criminal worthy of death, by his own admission.

Think for a moment if you please about the un-usualness if this action, because most folks will never admit their guilt even when caught red handed.

But Jesus WATCH THIS focuses not on the man’s guilt, but rather because his purpose was to save folk, declares and speaks not only forgiveness, but salvation to a man who was clearly guilty, assuring this person that today he would be with him in paradise.

This is a mind blower for sure, but on this Easter Sunday morning, I want you to hear what Christ is saying and how it applies to us.

Thought:

These words are meant for mankind today in this time and in this age and each of us should embrace this as an assurance of Christ’s mission and commitment to save sinners.

Now on a wonderful Easter morning like today when the place is full of people dressed in their most impressive attire, the idea that I’m standing here before you declaring our sinfulness and our condition, as sinners may not be very appealing but it is the truth none the less.

You and I are not sinners just because of what we do. Every man, every woman, every boy or girl is born into this world as a sinner because of Adam our father.

This applies to the best person you may know, this is applies to the most respectable and honest looking person you have in your life, good as they may be as compared to Joe the sleazebag down the street, the bible declares in Roman chapter 3:10 there is none righteous no not one.

Psalm 14:2 said God looked down upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand; and what he saw was universal corruption, that applied to every person regardless of their age income or national affiliation, he said they had all together turned aside there is none that does good.”

The promise of salvation is not just to the criminal who hung beside Jesus that day, but it a promise that every man, women boy or girl should embrace because of the truth of our guilt and our condemned status without Christ before a holy God.

The words of Jesus echoed a promise that would be and is available to us today, by faith in his work on the cross and the completeness of it

That criminal who hung next to Jesus recognized his guilt and that is what we have to do today; we cannot pretend that we don’t have a problem and be too prideful to fall on our knees before God almighty and ask him to save us.

We have to be honest about the fact that we need salvation and then come to Jesus in faith asking HIM to take us to the Father and to apply his righteousness to us so that we too can spend eternity with God in heaven.

As Jesus hung on the cross and prepared to die, he spoke and declared..

  1. A Recognition Of Relationship

John 19:26-27 (NLT)
26  When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.”
27  And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

1 Peter 3:18a-b (NLT)
18  Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

Colossians 1:22 (NLT)
22  Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

Here in this passage we see a Mother, a Brother and a Son.

John is often described in biblical writings as the one whom Jesus loved; clearly John was his younger ½ brother because Jesus identifies the woman Mary as being the Mother of both of them.

Jesus understood the place of and value of relationships. Those of you who have a relationship with Jesus Christ as LORD of your life understand this.

Jesus lived as a man, just like you and I, he loved his mother and brothers and disciples and valued those relationships.

Relationships were important to Jesus, because he understood the relationship that was lost between Man and God.

Thought:

You see God created man to be in a relationship with him. That is the way it was in the Garden of Eden before SIN entered into the world.

I talk to you about relationships, because our relationship with God was broken and ruptured when man decided to rebel against God one day long ago.

The story of Eden is not just a fairy tale; it is the tragic and heart breaking loss of a valuable relationship, that was broken by ONE MAN.

Adam was that man’s name.

Adam decided to disobey God and the relationship of peace and oneness between God and man was broken.

Adam was the person who started this whole mess and because of Adam, that sinful seed of rebellion and hardheadedness still exist in us today.

Sin destroyed the relationship of peace and put a wall of partition between God and man.

And because of that sinful man cannot have fellowship with God, for God will not accept into his presence, that which is characterized by sinful impedance and rebellion.

Today there is a wall between sinful man and a holy God and that is the reason for it.

I can tell you that today, the relationship destroying aspect of sin and rebellion still exist.

Part of the reason why Christ came to the earth and died on the cross was to restore that relationship and as Peter said and “to bring us safely home to God”

Through the death of Christ on the cross, God has reconciled, God has reestablished the relationship that was lost; having accepted us in the beloved by faith, where now because of Christ’s goodness we who were guilty of sin and separated from him have been declared blameless and accepted because of faith in God’s wonderful Son.

The sin has been taken away and the relationship has been restored a-new.

That is why Jesus went to the cross and died for the sins of man, he did a reset when he suffered bled and died on the cross at Calvary and his resurrection declares and confirms that the new ADAM, who’s name is Jesus Christ has accomplished the work of restoring the relationship and bringing us safely home back to God.

Thought:

Now this wonderful reality by the way only applies to those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and given their lives to him by faith in him. He did the work, but you have to embrace it by coming to him as Lord of your life and repenting of your sinful rebellion and independence.

Now I am not trying to ruin your Easter or make you feel bad about yourself, no I’m trying to share great news with you. This reality can apply to your life-starting TODAY. You can become a born again child of God today. You don’t have to be outside of the family of God looking in; no you can come to Christ today on this Easter Sunday morning, the invitation will be given at the end of the sermon and by faith you can come into the family of Born Again redeemed believers TODAY

As Jesus hung on the cross and prepared to die, he spoke and declared..

  1. A Feeling of Desertion.

Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)
46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabach-thani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) 

21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
6  All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

When Christ hung on the cross as a sacrificial lamb, representing all of humanity in it’s filth and ugliness, something happened to Jesus which rocked his world to the core.

You see the relationship of Jesus with God his father was one of incredible closeness and it was a closeness and oneness that existed before time began.

Jesus always did the will of his father, he always had the approval of his father; he was one with his father in complete harmony. He never committed one sin. Never said one inappropriate word, never cursed his fellowman, never misused his power, he was perfect.

But on this day as he hung on the cross at Calvary, the sins of the world were placed upon him.

He became sin for us; he became sin for you. Every dirty deed of every man, woman, boy or girl was placed on God’s own Son.

The pain and the weight of taking my guilt and your guilt and every man’s guilt must have been over-whelming.

But then something happened that Jesus had not previously experienced.

God his father turned his back. God who had always been one with him, now saw Jesus covered with OUR sins.

2nd Corinthians said that he who knew no sin was made to be sin for us.

  • Jesus was made to be something that repulsed God.
  • Jesus was made to be the scapegoat for our sins;
  • Jesus was made to be something disgusting to the eyes of God.

And because of this he was deserted by God himself as he hung on the cross.

Thought:

This of course is a picture that we don’t want to embrace, because what made Jesus ugly and repulsive was that which belonged to us.

Think about the most disgusting thing about yourself that no one knows about, that is hidden deep in the recesses of your mind; you know what it is; it’s that thing that you’ll take to the grave with you that no one knows about; now multiply that times all of humanity born today, died in the past and still to be born in the future.

Think about how terrible it was as Jesus the sinless one bore of the filthy sins of man.

And then consider these words that you likely have heard before “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten SON…

As Jesus hung on the cross and prepared to die, he spoke and declared..

 

  1. A Word Of Distress

John 19:28 (NKJV)
28  After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”

John 19:29 (NKJV) 

29  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.

John 4:14-17 (NKJV)
14  but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15  The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

As Jesus hung there on the cross his body began to ache for water; the cause was not only the heat of the day, but the exhaustion that would set in as he struggled on the pendulum to raise his self off of the weight that pressed against his arms and legs, combined with a struggle to breath.

Such a combination of forces would result in a dry mouth and sticky throat for sure.

Thought:

When Jesus suffered on the cross he didn’t do it as some sort of super human who operated in a realm of unrealism that meant that Jesus didn’t suffer.

When Jesus declared I’m thirsty, he was fulfilling scripture according to Psalm 69:21 and Psalm 22:15, but don’t get the idea that he wasn’t suffering.

Jesus to this point in his life had been the kind of person who met the needs of others; the woman at the well as recorded in John chapter 4, spoke of this reality; to her and everyone who was thirsty Jesus was a well of living water.

Now as he hung there suffering on the cross the people there could do nothing for him, they could only offer him sour wine and the hope of intoxication.

This speaks so powerfully and so accurately of the inability of man to meet our needs. People even though they might think that they can help you, in fact in most cases cannot do anything to help you when you are really in need.

But Jesus can. He suffered so that he could be a sensitive high priest who knows what it is like to be in distress.

Christ knows and understands what it means to live with a level of suffering in this life.

Christ knows and understands what it means to be in want.

So he came to this earth as a humble suffering servant who suffered bled and died that we might have the water that he supplies, which when imbibed by you and I becomes a well spring of living water, unto eternal life and that more abundantly.

As Jesus hung on the cross and prepared to die, he spoke and declared..

  1. A Cry Of Victory

John 19:30a-b (NKJV)
30  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”

Romans 5:19 (NKJV) 

19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Philippians 2:8 (NKJV)
8  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

In this 6th declaration of Jesus, the words of our Lord mark the cry of victory.

Jesus has now completed what he came to do; yes he in himself had reversed what Adam did in the Garden of Eden.

We spoke about this earlier in point number # 3

You see it was by one man, that sin entered into the world and because of the sin of Adam our federal head, all of mankind became sinners.

Jesus was born into this world as the second Adam, as the Son of God who would take on the assignment to save all mankind.

Now it was coming to a close.

He had offered himself fully, he had humbled himself and obeyed even to the point of death on the cross at Calvary and so he announces those words, it is finished.

This is something that you don’t want to forget by the way.

The victory cry of Jesus declares that it is finished. !!

He’s done everything that needs to be done, in order to secure our salvation.

One man’s disobedience jacked us all up, but one man’s obedience makes it possible for every man to be saved.

One man’s righteousness secures for us, righteousness we could not obtain.

One man’s obedience secured a right standing with God, who counts our faith in Jesus Christ, as righteousness unto justification and a right standing with the father.

His cry of victory and his declaration of the finished work is great news for every believer who can confidently and peacefully rest in him who has completed and finished the work.

7th and finally as Jesus hung on the cross he spoke and declared..

  1. A Rejoicing Of Reunion And A Free Will Offering.

Luke 23:46 (NKJV)
46  And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ “ Having said this, He breathed His last.

John 10:18 (NLT)
18  No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

Here Jesus anticipates his reunion with the Father, death for him would be a door through which he now joins again with him.

He rejoices in the fact, that it was the hands of the father who would receive him who had laid down his life voluntarily.

The soldiers who managed the crucifixion that day may have through that they were in charge.

The religious leaders who trumped up charges and falsely accused him may have thought that they were running the show.

But Jesus through out the entire process, was in charge of everything that was happening, for even in these final words he quotes Psalm 31:5, not as a request from one who was pleading with God to protect him, but rather as one who was simply announcing and celebrating the power and authority that God had given him, to lay down his life and to take it up again when he rose from the grave with all power in his hands.

Today on this blessed Easter Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, hear the declaration from the cross…

Hear that Jesus is still in the forgiving business and recognize the truth that you need him and Lord.

Hear the promise of Salvation from the Jesus who came to set man free from the curse of Sin and death

Hear that Jesus wants to restore us to a right relationship with God and to bring us back safely home to be with God eternally.

He took on our sins.

He suffered in our place.

And now having obtained the victory, he declares that he HAS defeated the powers of death and hell.

That is what we celebrate the name of Jesus

This is why we lift up holy hands.

This is why we gather today to laude and applaud him.

And we declare and celebrate…the one who rose again, who GOT UP from the tomb with all POWER IN HIS HANDS

AMEN.

While all eyes are closed and heads are bowed.