What Paul Thought About Easter

Romans 8:35-39

What is Easter all about?

Is it simply about bunnies, baskets, and boiled eggs? Is it about families, feast and fellowship?

Is it more about the new dress, the new duds or the new doo? 

Are you the religious type? Does Easter conjure up thoughts of the church service, cantatas, or plays? 

All the Gospels record the resurrection of our Lord, hence the gospel, the good news. If Jesus just died for our sins he would be another martyr, a name amongst many who have died for a cause. What separates Jesus the Son of God from all these false gods is He rose again and is at the right hand of God making intercession for us and waiting instruction to go gather His faithful.

But what does the death and resurrection mean for us? What does it mean for you personally? How has it, or has it affected the way you live?

Turn with me to Romans 8:35-39 and look what it meant to Paul.

Paul wrote this after he had met the living Savoir. You might think what’s the big deal about that? It’s not until the Holy-Spirit of God can convict and convince you of your spiritual deception that you can grasp what Paul is writing here. 

  • Paul the prodigy 
  • Paul was a passionate, persuasive, proponent of a false religion.
    • One that started out attempting to serve God in the effort of redeeming fallen man.
    • But became part of a self-serving, self-righteous ritualistic religion that filled the lust of fallen man of serving God apart from God.
  • Paul was doing this in what he thought was the name of God. He was sold out, he was serious.
    • He was seriously wrong.
  • The book of Acts detail his encounter with the living Christ on the road to Damascus. In this recall he was struck blind, in the spiritual aspect of this; he wasn’t stuck blind but simply the true condition of his heart was revealed.
    • We keep bringing to light how we see our condition but what have you really done about it. Why do we keep doing the same things expecting it to change us?
  • Paul the perplexed.
    • One can just imagine all the things that were going through his mind, those three days he was without sight.
      • How many he had delivered to torture even to be killed because they believed that Jesus was the Christ
      • How he tried to persuade all he could that Jesus was an imposter and those who believed in Him blasphemed the very name of God.
      • Suddenly finding out he was the blasphemer
      • How his heart must have broken to learn that he was the one doing damage to the name of the very God he said he served.
      • You might ask why God didn’t just kill him? He might have asked the very same thing. Why would God not punish him for all the evil he had committed in the pretense of serving God? How could God love him after what he had done?
    • Now your starting to get a picture of what Paul was writing to the Romans
      • Ro 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
      • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ
  • Paul the purposeful
    • What the resurrection means to you and me is the same it meant to Paul;
      • Unmerited favor with God. Grace 
    • Paul knew he didn’t deserve forgiveness, what he had done was unforgivable.
      • Paul knew all too well what he did deserve; eternal damnation where the fire is not quenched and the worm dies not.
    • Paul knew also he was experiencing unbelievable, overwhelming, abundant grace and it radically affected what he believed and how he lived
      • Paul knew what the resurrection meant to him
    • Grace is where God extends His love to us even when because of our own conceited pride won’t admit He exists.
      • Grace is where God extends His love to us even when we fight against him.
      • Grace is where God extends His love to us when we create our own way of serving Him and call it right
      • Grace is where God extends His love to us even when we refuse to extend it to others.
    • Because of grace I want to serve Him, yield to Him, follow Him
      • Tithing is not an intrusion on my lifestyle.
      • Being involved in the things of His church is not burdensome.
      • Trying to learn more about Him so I can please Him is not a chore.
      • Giving to His work is not an expenditure but an investment
    • You can choose to refuse God’s grace but you cannot prevent Him from loving you.
  • What the resurrection of Jesus means to the world is the re-righting of the relationship between God and man.
    • What Paul knew about the resurrection of the Son of God radically affected what he believed and how he lived.
      • Are you having a Paul-like Easter today?
    • You could be here today and think it’s too late, no way, God can’t forgive that. I am here to tell you on the authority of God’s Holy word, He will and He wants to.
    • You might be here today and know you have received His grace but have not been living in the realization of it. That can all change by simply committing your life to Him today.

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Thanksgiving 2020

                                                       (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I spoke to you a couple of weeks ago about gratefulness. One of the most profound statements to me in that sermon was this. 

Someone once said that gratitude is the source for all other Christian virtues. If that be the case, then perhaps we need to reason that ingratitude may well be the source of all, or at least much of our vileness, our depravity as well.

In the letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gives out instructions to this congregation on how to not only survive but thrive. He speaks of rejoicing, praying, even being careful not to quench the Holy Spirit. He also lays out for all to see what God’s will, His desire, His plan for those who trust Him is.

In everything give thanks:

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It really is the will of God to live a grateful life.

What do we know about gratitude and being grateful?

Often we hear things like; well I’m grateful in my heart, but I’m just not very good at showing it. But you know my heart. 

No I don’t know your heart, what am I, a cardiologist? I don’t know your heart, unless you say it and show it.

I want to give you three things to help us grasp a biblical understanding of gratitude.

  • True gratefulness, gratitude is never invisible or silent.
    • My Lord said:

(Lu 6:45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

  • When your heart is grateful, it’ll overflow to your mouth. 
    • When you’re grateful, you’ll say it and you’ll show it. 
    • When you’re grateful to God, you’ll tell Him, and you’ll show Him, you won’t just assume that He knows, 
    • When you’re grateful to God for others, you’ll tell them, and you’ll show them.
    • If you’re grateful in your heart… out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 
      • So if you’re not speaking it, your heart isn’t really grateful.
    • Some like to say,” well I’m just not that type…
      • Can I say this one more time?… for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
    • From the overflow of your heart, the mouth has to speak, and if you’re really grateful it will show up in your life, through your words and your actions.
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  • Have you ever received something special or seen someone who has received? 
    • Often they break down with emotion. They can’t speak, they are overwhelmed and the face, body, their being shows it.
    • I’ve seen proud, ungrateful people get mad. Get bitter. Feeling now they have to do something
      • But I’ve seen grateful people humbly, lovingly, gratefully, accept and not feel they have to do something of equal value.
    • Now, if we can be that thankful for a special touch from someone, then I know the church of Jesus Christ ought to be able to give God the same kind of praise, for sending His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. 
      • To set us free forever from our sin and guilt.
      •  Giving us eternal life,
    •  Are there any grateful people here today? 
      • Is there anybody who isn’t just grateful in your heart, but you’re willing to show it with your life, you’re willing to shout it with your mouth?
    • Now I know that you have to be real, I know that you can’t walk around all the time saying, praise the Lord, about everything, or you’ll sound phony,
      • I’m telling you, most of us are in no danger of being too grateful to God. That’s not what we’re struggling with.
      • Gratitude is never invisible or silent
  • Gratitude Sustains Joy and Blessing.
    • A piano has three foot pedals below its keys. The one on the far right is the damper pedal also known as the sustain pedal.
      • When this pedal is depressed it lifts the dampers off the keys allowing the sound to be prolonged.
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  • Does anybody here remember a time in your life when you relieved an offense over and over again, 
    • Somebody hurt you and you replayed that in your mind a 100 times, through bitterness.
    • There is a perverted power or pedal in our mind that enables you to re-live an offense over and over again because of bitterness and un-forgiveness.
    • If you’re a follower of Christ and the Holy Spirit is in you, then by the perfect power of the Holy Spirit, ,( the regenerated pedal)  you can relive the blessing of God over and over and over again, and you can sustain the blessing of God.
      • Even when your situation starts to go bad, or even when someone hurt you today, you can flash back to the times in your life when God was faithful, and He worked it out, and He blessed you.
      • It depends on what note you’re wanting to prolong?
      • Gratitude sustains joy and blessing in your life.
  • Lastly, and very powerful! Gratitude Begins Where My Sense of Entitlement Ends.
    • You cannot be grateful for something that you feel entitled to.
      • That’s why people don’t write thank you notes to the IRS when they get a tax refund.
    • If you start to feel entitled to something, then your gratefulness just immediately ends.
      • It’s gone, disappeared, the moment you feel entitled.
    • When you first became a Christian and you felt that forgiveness and grace of God.
      • You realized what Christ had done for you on the cross, and the huge price He paid so you could be part of His family, you feel so grateful, so blessed. But what happens?
      • Over time you start to take it for granted, and you start to feel entitled. 
    • It is an honor to be allowed to serve Him, even the privilege of knowing Him is a huge blessing.
      • How in the world can we ever start to think we’re entitled to any of that?
      • We’re not entitled to any of it, but we are hugely blessed by God, and we ought to be extremely grateful.
    • Now, the unfortunate truth is, some people in the church do feel entitled. 
      • We get the privilege to teach a class, sing a song, lead in silent prayer all of a sudden it’s ours for life.
  • Let me close with this:
    • Gratitude is never invisible or silent. Gratitude Sustains Joy and Blessing. Gratitude Begins Where My Sense of Entitlement Ends.

To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.

Psalms 9:1

  • Are you grateful for what God has done in your life? 
    • What He has allowed you to be a part of?
    • For those He is letting in to be to carry on?

Do you really know Him? 

Does it show? 

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