From Death to Life: The Resurrection's Revolutionary Power by Pastor Jeremy Collins
Matthew 28:1-15, Romans 6:1-14;8:1-11
Hearing a sermon about the resurrection on a November Sunday morning is refreshing! The resurrection is not meant to be brought out of storage for Easter Sunday alone. The resurrection is good news for every Sunday! It is essential to our faith, how we live, and what the church should do. The resurrection of Jesus is more than an event that happened. The resurrection is THE defining characteristic of our lives.
In Romans 6:1-14, the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write about how the resurrection transforms our lives through union with Christ in his crucifixion and resurrection. It is good news to hear that through faith in Jesus, our sins were crucified with him on the cross of Calvary. Every Sunday, we are reminded of the forgiveness of our sins. But the truth is, though we are forgiven, we still struggle with sin. How do we reconcile this tension? Well, there is more good news! Paul teaches us that just as we are united with Christ in his crucifixion, we are also united with Christ in his resurrection. Before faith in Christ, we were dead in our sins. Through faith in Jesus, we are raised to a new and eternal life.
Our union with Christ is the means by which we walk in the newness of life and the power of the resurrection. Do we struggle with sins like lying, apathy, confusion, lust, anger, hatred, greed, and selfishness? Sure. The Apostle Paul offers hope in Romans 8:1-11 and tells us,
You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit… and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.
This leads us to understand that our struggle with sin isn’t something we can win in our strength. Paul continues in Romans 8:14, saying,
…sin will not rule over you because you are not under the law but under grace.
Our union with Christ becomes our new rule for life. When we are tempted to sin, our union with Christ readily reminds us that we take Jesus with us into that sin. We should ask ourselves,
Do I want to take Jesus with me into sins of selfishness, gossip, grumbling, lying, deceit, lust, greed, and idolatry? Do I want to grieve his spirit, or do I want to know his joy?
When you flee from sin, the joy of the Lord can be your strength to live in the newness of life. This thought can make us flee from temptation and turn to prayer, the counsel of God’s Word, a rhythm of Sabbath keeping, and the encouragement of fellow believers. And when we sin, we should run to Jesus in a spirit of sorrow and repentance. He will not turn us away but restore us to himself. This is the power of grace and the work of the Holy Spirit, who preserves our union with the Son, to bring glory to our Father.
The resurrection of Jesus is more than an event that happened.
The resurrection is THE defining characteristic of our lives.