Faithlife Sermons

4-1-2018 - Easter Sunday

ReCharge  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Christ welcomes us into life with Him through his death and resurrection

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Thesis: Christ welcomes us into life with Him through his death and resurrection.
For Kids:
Why is it hard to be good sometimes?
Being mean
Taking things that are not yours
Jesus took the nails for us, but they could not hold Him down forever.
Jesus took the nails for us, but they could not hold Him down forever.

Not your typical Easter scripture

Not Pentecost either
This is Easter for the rest of us

Why do we need an Easter?

Christmas and Easter stories carrying the whole of our faith

Two holidays that sit on the edges of winter.
Jesus in a nice, neat package

Sometimes it makes the first Easter seem like it was not for us.

Like finding out you can get free coffee once you retire if you move to Sweden.
Jesus was born, Jesus died, He rose from the dead... your sins are forgiven and you can go to heaven when you die.
That is life changing when you are dying, but when you are still in the spring, summer, and fall of your life, it can be hard to see why it is important.
If we are not Jews, what does any of this have to do with us?
Why do we need an Easter?

The first sermons

Peter's first sermon was not particularly deep.
The Savior came
You killed Him
Now what are you going to do?
Something changed when the Holy Spirit moved the apostles out of Jerusalem
Peter got a new understanding of Easter when he stopped focusing on
(NIV): 34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Gospel accounts
Peter's personal experiences
Jesus was:
Chosen by God
Doing good
Healing those under the Devil's power
God was with Him
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”


Witnesses of His work
Witnesses of His death
Witnesses of the resurrection
Witnesses chosen by God
Like Jesus was chosen by God
Commanded to preach and testify
Just as the ancient prophets had
everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues  and praising God.

Participating or Spectating

Those were constantly trying to figure out who God's true people were going to be.
Placing their bets relationally
Deciding who they did and did not want to be standing next to when judgment day came.
Spectators often long for judgment day
Either out loud or secretly in their hearts
They are ready for this game to be over.
Spectators are continually surprised by the miraculous
They focus on what they can do to earn miracles or find ways to at least be around them when they happen.
Don't care who is in or out because they know they are in the game and there is work to be done.
People don't get saved by themselves
The one biblical exception of the apostle Paul proves the rule
Jesus revealed himself to pull in struck him blind on the road to Damascus
However, this happen soon after Paul observe the execution of Stephen, first Christian martyr
Just before he died, Stephen preached one of the best recorded sermons we have in the new testament
Paul himself would later write to the Romans, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
Participants are busy sharing that message of saving grace that is transforming their lives
They pray like Peter, that God would continue his patience and hold back judgment against our world so that more can be saved
Participants are usually less surprised by miracles because they recognize that God is at work within themselves to make a miracle out of their very lives.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

So how do you move from being a spectator to becoming a participant?


You will certainly find yourself working - giving up time, energy, money, sleep, etc. in the service of God.
However it is not the work itself that changes you.
It is the relationship you begin to foster with God and with those you serve in His name that begins to change you.
You can serve without building relationships
But you won't change unless you invest in those relationships
Baptism in early church was not about water
It was an adoption
It meant changing your last name
There are some branches of the church that still practice that
Peter was inviting these non-Jews to be full brothers and sisters in the family of God's people.
Born again into this new family
This is where it stops being story that happened 2000 years ago
Forgiveness of sins is just start
Today you are invited to become one of God's chosen people
To work with Jesus
Doing good works
And healing the damage that the devil has done in this world
and finding life eternal forever with Him
This is what Easter means for you:
Your Winter is over.
Come and live in Christ with us today!
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