Easter Sunday | Living Hope

The following is a brief recap of Sunday’s sermon since Pastor Matt is on a well-deserved vacation this week.

Jesus is alive. This is the central fact of Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15:17-18:

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

If the resurrection isn’t true, our faith is futile and the work of the church is meaningless. We would still be in our sins and death would be the end. But because of the resurrection we can live by faith, we can live in freedom, and we can live forever.

Because of the resurrection we can live by faith.

ResurrectionIn Christ we are born again to a living hope. 1 Peter 1:3:

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.

Becoming a Christian is not like joining a membership club or even joining a church. Becoming a Christian is like being born. Just as the birth of an infant is a huge transition to a wider world, so the new birth opens up great possibilities for us. Our hopes in this life will end with our death. But because of the resurrection we are born again to a living hope that lasts forever, even into eternity.

The disciples left everything behind to follow Jesus, but then He was killed and buried and the disciples went into hiding. But the resurrection changes everything. They could now act with boldness in spreading the good news. They were born again to a living hope that gave them the strength to go on.

Therefore we can live by faith.

Because of the resurrection we can live in freedom.

We were buried with Christ and raised to new life. Romans 6:4-7:

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.

Without Christ we are enslaved to sin. We are born into sin and we must obey that master. But because of Jesus’ resurrection sin is no longer our master and we are free to walk in newness of life. We are free both from sin’s grip and sin’s guilt.

This is a fact, not just a future hope. It’s not that we should die to sin, but we are dead to sin already. All our sin has been nailed to the cross. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Therefore we can live in freedom.

Because of the resurrection we can live forever.

He is our life. John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Death kills all other hopes. Hope in Jesus Christ is the one hope that kills death (1 Corinthians 15:55). True life is found in Jesus, who is both the resurrection and the life. He has overcome the power of death.

Therefore we can live forever.

Because He is alive we can live by faith in freedom forever.

 

Discussion Starters:

1) What does it mean to live by faith? How do we do that in daily life? What other Scriptures can help us learn to live this way?

2) What does it mean to live in freedom? How do we do that? What other Scriptures can help us?

3) Because of Christ we can live by faith in freedom forever. Is there one of the three phrases that strikes a chord with you and encourages you right now? Why?

4) How can we pray for one another and how can we pray for those who need to know this truth for themselves?