Rev. Dr. Peter Grinion's message today, April 26, 2020.
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
Topic: Because of the Resurrection
We are presently going through great adversity. Death is on our minds! Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have all had to think about death in some form. Whether it is contemplating our own mortality or the death of someone we know or knew; there is no way to avoid it at this time.
Some of us have an intense fear of death all around us. Yes, some of us have fear of us dying.
It is the fear of the unknown: What happens when I do? Where will I go when I die? Your anxiety makes my sermon even more relevant today.
Today is Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday! Today we celebrate the resurrection power.
The resurrection is central to Christians. If you celebrate Resurrection Sunday once per year, you are missing out! As we live the Christian life, we literally live and walk in the resurrection power every day. We Christians cannot talk about Resurrection without talking about Jesus…He was raised from the dead on the third day. There are those persons who deny the resurrection of Jesus. Hear me:
The Resurrection of Jesus is credible and believable. Dr. Geisler argued that, “the most outstanding proof that Jesus rose from the dead is that He was seen by more than 500 people on twelve different occasions.”
There is an equally credible reference in 1 Corinthians 15:7, James the half-brother of Jesus saw him after His resurrection.
Jesus’ own brother would not be fooled. (1 Corinthians 15:7 say…He was seen of James). James knew his own brother! After all, they were raised together, and knew each other intimately since childhood! More than that, James had been an unbeliever, a skeptic who had not believed yet that Jesus was the Messiah. He later believed; was converted; and he became a Christian leader and a martyr (Acts 15:13; 21:18, James 1:1, Acts 16:31)
The purpose of the resurrection-- Christ died as the necessary sacrifice for our sins. As Paul puts it, “He was raised to life because of our justification” (Rom 4:25). The resurrection of Jesus signals the Christian overcoming death.
The power of the resurrection Broke the bond of sin and death and set us free forever. He left for us an empty tomb. Jesus is alive! We don’t worship a dead Christ; We don’t follow a dead Christ! We worship a loving Christ with whom we have a relationship. Christianity is a relationship with a living Savior, a Savior we can know, a Savior who infuses our life and empowers us; A Savior who transforms us into his likeness.
Allow me to share the following truths with you:
First: Because of the resurrection we are forgiven of our sins
Sin has a hold on all of us. Without God, we are slaves to sin. But Christ, through his death and resurrection, frees us from the power of sin.
How is the resurrection connected to our forgiveness? Isn't it the death of Jesus that takes away our sin, because he bore our sins and took our judgment (1 Corinthians 15:3)? The connection with the resurrection is very important. Romans 4:25 puts it like this,"he was handed over [to death] on account of our transgressions, and he was raised on account of our justification."
My charge to you this morning s this! Live Free with Resurrection Power, which sets you free from the consequences of sin. John 8: 36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…even so we also should walk in newness of life” (KJV).
Second: Because of the resurrection we have been given the power to conquer Sin (Ephesians 4:24)
God gives us the power to break those habits -- but we must first know we have the power! That is why Paul has such a strong desire for this knowledge. God empowers us not only to defeat sin but also to share and display his loving message to the world. Jesus in sermon [The Beatitudes], says, "You are the light of the world."
Hear the Good News! God shows his power by working through us, by working mightily through us, even though we are weak and unworthy.
Third. Because of the resurrection our faith is well-founded
The death of Jesus proves his love for us, and the resurrection proves his power over every enemy of life. And so, there is someone you and I can count on. Someone absolutely trustworthy. Someone who will never let you down. Jesus is alive to be trusted. YOU HAVE A FRIEND IN JESUS, [WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS]
Finally, Because of the resurrection those who have died in Christ, will live again.In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul says, because Christ is raised those who have fallen asleep in him—those who have died in faith—have not perished; they are alive. They will live forever. They will enter into the joy of their Lord.
Yes, because of the Resurrection:
§ We have a friend that we can count on; A glorified Jesus who is utterly reliable;
§ We have guidance and unchanging truth and a glorified Jesus who is the absolute foundation for truth and righteousness;
§ We have received a life that is not pitiable but enviable.
§ In spite the present difficult and uncertain times, we can have a foretaste of everlasting joy in this world. More so, this life will not be ended by death, for the glorified Jesus; the author of life, the victor over death, and the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep, Jesus Christ himself will welcome us into Eternal Life.
Listen to Paul, And Christ has completely conquered death, giving us the greatest assurance of eternal certainty, that is to have life eternal with Christ!§ Nothing brings us more joy than the hope of the resurrection.
Therefore, I urge you with all my heart this morning to lift up your heart and say with the choirs on earth and in heaven: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by his blood to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. Amen.”
As the death of Christ removes the penalty of sin and declares the believer to be righteous before God, the Resurrection of the Lord empowers the believer in a transformed life. Both aspects are divine works of grace. By Christ’s Crucifixion, JESUS becomes OUR Savior; by His Resurrection, He becomes our Lord.
Jesus, the Resurrected One, has the power to determine our destiny. Listen to him, as it is recorded in Revelation 1:18: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
Resurrection life is available to all of us, but we must receive it by faith. We don’t have to wake up in the morning or go to bed at night feeling afraid, anxious or lonely. We should wake up every morning and declare, “The resurrection life of God is living in me today!” When last have you prayed? When you experience feelings of loneliness, reach out in prayer to Jesus and receive comfort knowing he is with you.
Hear me today: Because of Christ resurrection; Because of Easter we have this hope:
Those who die in the Lord, will all be resurrected; they will be raised up again. These bodies will rise from the grave. Yes! Believers will be granted eternal life.
When I think about the thousands of people dying from coronavirus pandemic. It grieves my heart! They are somebody’s fathers, mothers, grandpa, grandma, etc. These devastating results of this pandemic, including death will be 100% eradicated from those who died in faith.
That is the promise of our God. That is where our hope rests. That is where the Word points us, to Jesus who died and who is now alive. What happened to Him on Easter Morning will happen to you and me on the Last Day.
Fear not! Live in hope of the resurrection! This song captures the essence of my sermon:
Some glad morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away,
Just a few more weary days and then
I'll fly away
To a land where joys will never end
I'll fly away.
I'll fly away, oh glory
I'll fly away in the morning
When I die Hallelujah, by and by
I'll fly away.
Do you know the risen Lord?
He can make that difference in your life this morning.
You choose Jesus today as your Lord, you choose life and guarantee your resurrection.
You neglect Jesus today, you choose death. I implore you to choose life!
I wish you all a blessed Easter Sunday!
Rev. Dr. Peter E. Grinion, Pastor
Good morning!! Our Palm Sunday YouTube Sermon Video unfortunately cut off early. So that you can see the close of his sermon, we are posting the written narrative.
Text: Romans 5:3-5 & St. John 16:33
Topic: Triumph Over Tribulation
Dr. W.A. Criswell on March 3, 1978, preached a sermon on Triumph and Tribulation. He said, there is a tribulation, a sorrow, and a pressure that is common to all persons everywhere… He referenced Job, “Man that is born of woman is a few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). He concluded,” All who live this life experience that common sorrow.”
In John 16:33, the Scriptures give a discussion Jesus had with the disciples: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but I have overcome the world.” Trials and tribulations come upon us in many different ways, including accidents, the death of a loved one, or losing something material, or persecution.
We are presently experiencing trials and tribulations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that turns our world upside down. This pandemic unleashed untold economic problems, social isolation, social disturbances, and illnesses and death that is very challenging to public health. This pandemic makes us all feel feeble and vulnerable. As a Church family, we have cancelled Sunday services, Wednesday Bible studies, and all other ministry gathering until further notice.
It is no coincidence that we are experiencing the coronavirus during Lent. Next Sunday will be celebrated as Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. The narratives of the New Testament indicate that it was a day of temporary triumph. The words that describe the experience of Holy Week are hosanna, confrontation, betrayal, denial, trial, scourge, crucifixion, and tomb. Do you sense the theme of trial and tribulation? According to Frank Harrington in his sermon, “A Day of Applause,” … Holy week reveals the abyss of denial and betrayal. We see the weakness of all of his disciples who fled the city, the ambivalence of Pilate, and the agony of death between two thieves. Jesus was killed (crucified) and was buried in a borrowed tomb. We see triumph in the glory of his resurrection (Easter).
Listen to the encouraging words of St. Peter, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy” 1 Peter 4:12-13). The disciples understood this. Many people, who fall into frustrating times, scream, fuss and complain. What is our approach the COVID-19? How are you dealing with the isolation of social distancing?
During these times, our Lord is asking us to settle down and to trust Him through trials and tribulation. We must believe that He is working on us through our present trials and preparing us for the kingdom of heaven. Trials and tribulations are two of the methods Jesus uses to shape is for heaven. Listen to St. Paul, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4). Hope is the motivation that will get us through the trials to triumph.
Five Sundays ago I preached on Psalm 46:1, in an effort to offer you comfort. Once again I lift up that text to you, and say to you:
Fear not! We serve a mighty God!
He is our God on the mountain!
He is our God in the valley!
He is our God in good times!
He is our God in bad times!
He is our God in the morning!
He is our God in the night!
Believe me, when things go bad, He will make them right. He is worthy of your trust!
Let’s look forward to Easter! He arose! Christ arose!
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior! Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose with victor from the dark domain. And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Please pray with me!
Rev. Dr. Peter Grinion, Pastor