Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Take Your Place
Easter Sunday Service at The River Gardens
Take Your Place
Look to Jesus on the cross, look to Jesus at the resurrection, and take your place.
The story arc of the entire Bible can be summarized in 4 chapters:
Chapter 1 – Creation
Chapter 2 – The Fall
Chapter 3 - Redemption
Chapter 4 – New Creation
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
God had given them one rule – there are fruit trees everywhere. They may eat any of the fruit. But there is one tree they may not eat of – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they eat of it, they will surely die, says God.
The tempter says God is lying. They will not surely die, he says. Rather, they will become like God. They look at the fruit, see it’s beauty, begin to look at it with lust in their hearts. They make the fatal decision to disobey God, to try to do things their own way, to become like God themselves.
And all hell breaks lose.
And they who were created to be God’s vice regents over the earth, give rulership to the serpent, to Satan.
And Jesus calls him the prince of this world, the ruler of this world.
Paul writes to the Ephesians:
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The Final 2 Chapters – Redemption and New Creation
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Chapter 4 New Creation
Those same prophets also predicted that God would recreate the whole world and restore it to what it was at creation.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him —
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord —
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
The New Creation is best described by the words of the Revelation:
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
2 Crucial Things Took Place on the Cross.
And currently most Christians only emphasize one of them. But both are crucial.
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
1st – Sin has been dealt with.
Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
On the cross, Jesus took away
But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
2nd – Satan has been dealt with. The powers have been destroyed. The ruler of this world as been driven out.
Crucial truths from the Bible –
15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
1 Corinthians 2:8-9
8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
In the Resurrection, New Creation has Begun. Jesus’ resurrection is the first fruits of the resurrection of all of Creation. Of the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Chapters 3 and 4 – Redemption and New Creation – are overlapping. Redemption is complete. New Creation has started in advance before it’s consummation at the return of Jesus.
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for ever and ever!
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."
Because of the Cross, you can take your place. You can live the life of purpose for which God Created You.
1 John 3:8b
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
At the cross:
Sin has been dealt with. Jesus has taken away its penalty, its power and its presence
At the cross:
Satan has been dealt with. He has been destroyed by the death of Jesus (that word means – rendered powerless and ineffective. Jesus has disarmed the powers and authorities that are the force behind all the reign of wickedness and evil in this world
Easter – the resurrection of Jesus – is the inauguration of New Creation.
When we look in faith to Jesus, we enter into the experience of all of this – defeat of sin, defeat of Satan, new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Take your place
It is Free
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