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The Resurrection is fundamental to our faith

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·         The Sunday School lesson has been taught

·         Hello’s have been said

·         Hugs have been embraced

·         Compliments have been given

·         Testimonies have been testified

·         Intercessors have interceded

·         The music has been played

·         The choir songs have been completed

·         The prayer has been prayed

·         Seats have been taken

·         Alertness has been engaged

·         Relaxation has set in

·         And now it’s my turn

·         The sermon must be preached

·         But actually as you sit here in the sanctuary today, or you are listening to a re-broadcast of this by some multimedia source

·         It actually comes down to you

·         This is not your first Easter service, and for most of you, by the grace of God, it will probably not be your last

·         The world would have you fill baskets, color boiled eggs, make wishes to a giant bunny, rebuild your clothing wardrobe, or engage in eating your favorite type of sweets

·         But after the basket has been filled, the eggs has been pealed, the giant bunny has ended his or her job, the clothes are hung up or in the hamper to be washed and you are hurting from all of the sweets

·         It still comes down to you

·         If you are going to be associated with this fellowship directly or indirectly then you can’t escape it

·         The Resurrection – that phrase that means Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior rose from the dead never to die again, is fundamental to our faith and is part of our working vocabulary

·         Peter knew it and Peter believed it, what about you?

 

 

 

1 Peter 1:3
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ESV

·         When asked what is your religion, you need to respond that mine is a way of life

·         It is really not so much of what I have done to earn all of this but what God has done for me. 

·         That should be your statement to remind yourself and others of who you are.

·         It’s not even so much of the praise that we send up in comparison to the blessings that have come down to us from God above

·         Way of life, I am born again to it, to live new in it!

·         Way of life with a living hope that is not imaginary but beyond imagination

·         Way of life through the resurrection, the coming back to life to never die again, of Jesus Christ and He is LORD!

·         Yes and amen to the song that says ‘Because He lives I can face tomorrow’

·         ‘Because He lives all fear is gone’

·         ‘Because He lives, life is worth living because he lives’

·         O my brothers and sisters of New Hope, that’s a living HOPE!

·         But after saying all of that, it still comes down to you

·         I have spent hours pondering these Scriptures and not just me but if you have sit under the teachings and preaching of Brother Brad and Brother Willie you also know that they too have spent hours pondering the Word of God and literally on our faces before the Lord

·         And we each realize in a customize way that we are just scratching the surface and I would rather be scratching the surface than missing the mark.

·         Will I or you ever be able to look at this and say; “I got it!” to teachings that say ‘as God’s elect, God foreknew us and predestined us before the foundation of time’ and at this very moment in time, we are glorified, sanctified, justified, regenerated

·         Just when I realize that this is so amazing, Peter continues with this statement

1 Peter 1:20-21
20
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake, 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. ESV

·         Jesus and what he did as the Theo-anthropos (the God Man) was known before the foundation of the world before there was time

·         The redeemed and the redeemer, the elect and their sin and the Lamb of God who takes away that sin

·         Manifested, revealed, in time for your sake

·         Your sake O Elect!

·         Through Him you are believers in God (no one comes to the Father but by Him)

·         The God, the Father, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory – why?

·         So that your faith and hope are in God (the same God who is making us alive and bringing us into glory)

·         My question is simple; is it?

·         I preached on the elect, was I talking about you?

·         Praise is what we do, is it what you do?

·         We added to this and said praise is who we are, is it who you are?

·         When I think of all the Lord has done for me I’m glad about it; in your thinking what makes you glad?

·         Are you glad in the Lord or are there other things that you’re glad about?

·         It comes down to you!

·         And I want to leave you with this basic, very basic thought and it does not matter to me if you are elect or nonelected, if you can or you can’t, or that you will or that you won’t

·         It comes down to you and Romans chapter 10 verse 9, says it this way

Romans 10:9
9
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         We can preach, the choir can sign. 

·         Our teachers can teach, our prayer warriors can pray

·         And God still says in His Word, ‘if you!’

·         All titles, all adulations  removed

·         No gender or age stated – “if you”

·         You who pray and study on a regular basis as well as you who are sitting here and know you have not had a word of prayer with the Lord in awhile and as far as studying goes that is not part of your activity or makeup

·         If you who are saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost as well as you who aren’t saved and you are just here today to keep down the fuss

·         You who can rip and run pain free as well as you who every step rips you with pain freely

·         You who left church last week and your home was dry and secure as well as you who also had a dry and secure house last week but the rains and the flood came during the week

·         If you, my young one who have been blessed with athletic skills, academic skills, whereby you do well in curricular and extracurricular activities as well as you who these blessings seem to have passed you by

·         You who know you are looking good today as well as you who know you are looking good today

·         This passage is about you, “if you”.

·         So I can stand here today and say it comes down to you

·         You are going to leave this sanctuary and go back out into the world

·         You are going to face uncertainty with situations and circumstances in and out of your control

·         In your life you got parents, teachers, preachers, doctors, bosses and even yourself but who is the Lord of your life and are you willing to confess that in the present tense

·         Is it them or is it Him?

·         If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord

·         Some of you know what signing a song will do for you but can you confess  – break down the pride and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord

·         Not write it down somewhere and look at it from time to time, not put it on a tee shirt for others to see it but say it – Jesus is Lord

·         Stuff isn’t right – Jesus is Lord

·         Pain won’t move – Jesus is Lord

·         Hard headed and stubborn, whatever – Jesus is Lord

·         I can show you in the Word of God where he said all authority has been given to me,

·         I can also show you, in His Word, where it says that every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess

·         But today it is about you

·         But in this realm of  being about you can you yield to this condition “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord”

·         You may be one to say pastor I made that confession a long time ago, why are you preaching about that to those of us who are saved?

·         Because it is ongoing and not something you do and stop

·         And if I ask you, my brother or my sister, is He still Lord and if your answer is yes then why not be reminded on this day to say it

·         Now back to the question, can you yield to this condition, and don’t say yes I can without much prayer

·         Verse 9 is a compound statement separated by the word ‘and’

·         That means the two statements must go together to have full meaning

·         To illustrate; it is like bread and butter, sugar and cream, black eye peas and cornbread, collard greens and okra, peanut butter and jelly, the two go together and leaving one off, leaving one out just isn’t right, you can get by but you know you’re missing something

·         Notice “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

·         We know, without a lot of academics, that in compounds statements like this the importance is in the togetherness and not necessarily which one is mentioned first, or second.

·         Back to my illustration; If I am sitting down to a plate of black eye peas and cornbread, I’m not going to get upset or bothered by the fact of which one you put on the plate first.  Amen

·         You should have put the peas on first or the cornbread always gets place there first – no, no, give me the plate and let me start in on this!

·         How do you maintain that living hope that Brother Peter talks about?

·          If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         Every calendar year we celebrate a Sunday set aside for Easter and thus we are reminded at least once a year about the resurrection of Jesus Christ

·         Does this carry over into what we are preaching in Peter and then does it carry over into your everyday life.

·         That’s why it is about you.

·         Because He lives, I can face tomorrow and that means that today is a snap.

·         Because He lives all fear is gone and instead of putting a number on your fears, place a time on them

·         Yes past fears are gone, and some present fears are in the process of leaving but those future fears, how are you handling them

·         Fears like - Getting older, lost of love ones, being alone, having a terminal illness, the process of passing on to glory, being unsafe or being abused

·         If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  

·         You see;


1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

·         Confession with the mouth reminds the rest of me what the heart is fixed on “He lives”  Alfred Ackley knew it.

·         He lives, He lives Christ Jesus lives today!  He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way, He lives, He lives salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart.

·         He, my Lord, your Lord, the Lord, hold the future and life is worth the living because He lives

·         Peter and Paul say the same thing but their way of saying it is different.

·         Peter says rejoice, I see that as being glad

·         Paul says;

10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. ESV

·         God’ trying to tell you something are you listening?

·         We’ve had some strange weather patterns in this area, amen?

·         So what about you, how do you handle it?

·         My advice; confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         Do I need to say again, I can show you in His word, where the wind and the waves obeyed His will?

·         But this economy is behaving with some strange financial patterns, gasoline prices are going up and it seems like there is no end in sight.

·         So what about you, how do you handle it?

·         My advice; confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         Pastor you don’t know my wife like I do, you don’t know my husband like I do, these babies of mine, these teens, I can’t wait until they’re grown and on their own, these grown and rusty kids they still have not learned, this brother, this sister, my relatives!

·         So what about you, how do you handle it?

·         My advice; confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         That’s nothing, you should live in my neighborhood, work where I work, go to my school, drive down my street, deal with the people I have to deal with.

·         Again, what about you, how do you handle it?

·         My advice; confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         But what about me?  I know about church.  I know right from wrong.  I’m trying to get right, straighten my life out and turn stuff around.  But pastor it hard out here in these streets

·         I got some advice for you too and anyone else out there who is trying to make it home

·         Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

·         I’m young and all of that praying and bible stuff is for the old folks I don’t want to be going to church, it’s too boring and nothing is happening for young people

·         I got some advice for you, my young one, it easy to be fake, everyone who say they’re your friend isn’t and you will soon discover what was fun yesterday is boring today and what was in style yesterday is out of style today the conclusion even for you

·         Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

·         Let me conclude with the book I am preaching from

1 Peter 1:6-7
6
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV

·         When you are able to say that Jesus is Lord, that removes the lordship from you and any other human except Jesus and are you glad about that?

·         In a practical way you can begin to say, whatever comes or goes in my life Jesus has signed off on it.  Are you glad about it?

·         When the rest of you listen to what the Holy Spirit has put in your heart that says in that still voice “He lives”.  Then you will begin to know that this is more than religion to me but is a way of life for me!

·         Now you are beginning to see that even when you are sad or even mad you can make yourself glad about it!

·         And now my turn is up

·         The sermon has been preached

·         In a few we will leave this sanctuary and here at the end of this message just like at the start

·         It still actually comes down to you

·         If you, if  You,  IF    YOU

Let us pray!


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