Sunday, April 4, 2010

RESURRECTION DAY 2010 : To Live, We Must Die

To Live, we Must Die
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Galatians 6:14-15
14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.


May I never boast of anything but the cross of Jesus Christ.

The cross is the symbol, not of what was, but what will be.

Jesus gave us instruction on how we are to live, and how we are to serve, and how we are to love.

He has also given us instruction in how we are to be born again, to become a new creation, and receive our everlasting glorified bodies.

To live, we must die.

To live life of service to Christ on earth, we must die to selfishness, self-centeredness, and rid ourselves of the “I am, I will and I can”.  Replacing those statements of pride with He is, He will, and I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

To serve, we must die to others, putting others needs before our own, serving those in need in the name of Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for the Lord.

To live everlasting we must die physically.  It is appointed to men to die once, we foreshadow this resurrection which will take place by becoming a new creation while living.

Today is the celebration of the empty tomb, the risen Lord, and the promise of forgiveness, and everlasting life through Christ Jesus.

But the question I pose today is this, are you ready for your resurrection?
I.                   WE MUST DIE TO SELF
                                                              i.      Mark 8:34-35 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it."

1.      Jesus said, to follow Him, you must die to “self”

2.      To deny yourself means to forbid yourself from ruling over “you”.
a.       Submit not to your flesh and its desires, but to the Lord and His commands.

3.      Take up your cross is a picture of how difficult it will be to die to self.

4.      But if you want to “save your life”, you must lose it.
a.       Not physically die to save it, but to submit to the Lord and His way rather than live out the desires of your flesh and its ways of life.
b.       But all who give up their way for the Lord’s way and the gospel will have everlasting life through Christ Jesus.

                                                           ii.      This is a picture painted by Jesus of a man who is already condemned to die.  A picture of one who is carrying the beam of his cross to the place of his execution.

1.      We are already condemned because of sin.
a.       Sin brought with it death.

2.      Some have laid down their cross to die where they are at.
a.       Given up to their flesh and its desires.
b.       Galatians 5:24-25 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
c.       1 Peter 2:22-25 22"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."[e] 23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
                                                                                                                                      i.      Jesus showed us that when we are attacked, insulted, we do not retaliate, but trust God who judges justly.
                                                                                                                                    ii.      When Jesus suffered, He made no threats, but submitted Himself to the Will of God the Father.
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Jesus showed what it is to die to self.

                                                              i.      Why me syndrome
1.      John 16:33 33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
a.       Self-centeredness cries “why me?”  The word tells us, this world brings trouble to all.

2.      Matthew 24:9 “...and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”

3.      John 15:17-19 17This is my command: Love each other.  18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

                                                           ii.      We are to endure hardship
1.      1 Peter 2:19-21 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
a.       It is commendable when you bear up to unjust pain if you are suffering because you are conscious of God.  Because of righteousness.
b.       But it will not be credited to you if you are suffering because you have done wrong.
c.       But if you were doing good, it is commendable before God.
2.      Christ suffered for you, leaving an example, that you will suffer for Him because of this world.

c.       I AM, I WILL, AND I CAN
                                                              i.      “I WILL” Isaiah 14:13-15  13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

1.      Five times Satan says “I will”
a.      But we need to follow Jesus’ example of submission to the Spirit of God instead of the desires of self.
b.       Luke 22:42 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

                                                           ii.      “I AM” Romans 12:2-3 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

1.      Only God is “I AM” not us.

2.      We must not think too highly of ourselves, but remain humble.

3.      Pride from “I WILL” caused Satan to sin against God.

4.      Our pride will do the same, I WILL and I AM should never be part of our vocabulary.

5.      Proverbs 16:18-19 18 Pride goes before destruction,  a haughty spirit before a fall.  19 Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

                                                          iii.      “I CAN” Matthew 19:26 26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

1.      All things are possible, through Christ Jesus who strengthens me!
2.      We must always acknowledge that all we accomplish is by God’s hand, not our own.

II.                WE MUST DIE TO OTHERS
                                                              i.      Matthew 25:35-37 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

1.      Jesus talking about those who will receive rewards for service in the name of Jesus.

2.      These faithful servants were told “Well done”, and received a place at the right hand of our Lord because they put others needs first.

                                                              i.      Matthew 10:41-42 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

                                                              i.      Ephesians 5:20-21 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1.      Submitting to one another is showing reverence to Christ.

a.      ALL MUST DIE
                                                              i.      Hebrews 9:27 man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
1.      The righteous will face the first judgment at the Judgment Seat of Christ, the unrighteous will wait in Torment to face the second judgment at the Great White throne Judgment of God.

                                                              i.      We foreshadow our transformation into everlasting life by transforming ourselves in this life through salvation.

1.      When we call on the name of the Lord and confess our sins and repent, we become a new creation and the old passes away!
a.       2 Corinthians 5:17-18 if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
b.       How are we IN Christ?
                                                                                                                                      i.      John 15:10 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
1.      through obedience
2.      Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”
c.       We become a NEW CREATION and the old passes away, this foreshadows our transformation that will take place when we receive our resurrected bodies as Christ did!
d.      I Corinthians 15:53-55 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."[a]
 55"Where, O death, is your victory?
      Where, O death, is your sting?"[



         Have you died to “self” to follow Christ, or do you still obey your sinful flesh?

         Are you centered on Him, or on yourself and how everything relates to you?  This is self-centeredness.

         Have you replaced “I WILL, I AM and I CAN” with His will, He IS and I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.  If not, you are having issues with pride.

         Have you put others needs before your own?  If not, this is selfishness.

         Are you serving Christ by serving others?  If not, you are not serving Christ.

         Do you submit to others out of reverence to Christ, or do you always have to be “right”, “prove your point”, “tell others how they are to act, speak, behave”, are you constantly correcting others?  This is prideful self-righteous behavior, and a sin.

         Have you become a living sacrifice to God, which is Holy and acceptable because you have submitted to Him, and become a New Creation which serves Him alone?

         If you have not died to self, selfishness and self-centeredness, today is the day you can bury the dead and receive new life!

Crucify your flesh today, bury the old you in the Rock of our salvation, and let Him transform you into the New Creation today!

Let your life be a reflection and a foreshadowing of your everlasting life which is to come.