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By Grace We Believe and Witness (CC)

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EASTER SUNDAY MARCH 31, 2013 SERMON TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:9-11 LET US RISE FOR THE READING OF THIS MORNING'S SERMON TEXT RECORDED FOR US BY THE APOSTLE PAUL IN HIS FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS WHERE WE READ FROM CHAPTER 15 BEGINNING WITH VERSE 9: FOR I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES AND DO NOT EVEN DESERVE TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, BECAUSE I PERSECUTED THE CHURCH OF GOD. BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD IAM WHAT I AM, AND HIS GRACE TO ME WAS NOT WITHOUT EFFECT. NO, I WORKED HARDER THAN ALL OF THEM -- YET NOT I, BUT THE GRACE OF GOD THAT WAS WITH ME. WHETHER, THEN, IT WAS I OR THEY, THIS IS WHAT WE PREACH, AND THIS IS WHAT YOU BELIEVED. THIS IS THE WORD OF OUR LORD. LET US PRAY: GLORIOUS AND GRACIOUS GOD, MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH AND THE MEDITATION OF EACH OF OUR HEARTS BE ACCEPTABLE IN YOUR SIGHT, OUR ONLY SOURCE OF HOPE AND COMFORT. AMEN. [TEXT TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, USED BY PERMISSION OF ZONDERVAN BIBLE PUBLISHERS] DEAR FOLLOWERS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST: THOSE 12 DISCIPLES THAT JESUS GATHERED AROUND HIMSELF, CERTAINLY WERE AN INTERESTING GROUP. A STRANGE MIX OF PERSONALITIES AND BACKGROUNDS. AND YES IF WE LOOKED AT THEM UNDER A MICROSCOPE WE WOULD FIND THAT THEY WERE NOT PERFECT. WE CAN THINK IMMEDIATELY OF JUDAS WHO WAS THE MONEYKEEPER WHO DIDN'T ALWAYS USE IT IN ACCORD WITH HOW HE SHOULD BE USING IT. BUT LET'S NOT FORGET PETER ... SO EASY TO FLY OFF THE HANDLE IN RAGE BEFORE THINKING SOMETHING THROUGH. AND THOMAS: I'M NOT GOING TO BELIEVE IT UNLESS I SEE IT WITH MY OWN EYES. FOR ALL OF THOSE ELEVEN GATHERED IN THAT ROOM ON EASTER SUNDAY. THAT FIRST EASTER SUNDAY PARALYZED BY FEAR ... TREMBLING. AND EVEN WHEN JESUS HIMSELF ENTERED THAT ROOM AND SAID: PEACE BE WITH YOU THEY STILL DON'T HAVE THAT PEACE. THAT COMFORT. YES, THEY'RE IN SHOCK. THEY'RE TRAUMATIZED. BUT JESUS SAID: LOOK! IT'S ME! LOOK AT MY HANDS. LOOK AT MY SIDE. AND THEY STILL WERE WONDERING WHAT WAS GOING ON. HE ATE FISH IN FRONT OF THEM. AND YET HE STILL HAD TO REMIND THEM OF THE TRUTH HE HAD TAUGHT AND PROCLAIMED TO THEM TIME AND TIME AGAIN: THAT CHRIST MUST SUFFER AND DIE AND RISE AGAIN. AND THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT JESUS SAID: YOU ARE WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS. YOU ARE GOING TO GO AND TELL OTHERS. WHAT A STRANGE GROUP OF PEOPLE GOD CHOSE TO DO THAT. OR THINK OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: WHO SAYS IN OUR TEXT FOR TODAY THAT HE IS THE WORST OF THE LEAST OF THOSE APOSTLES. THE MAN WHO WENT OUT AND ACTIVELY PURSUED DESTROYING THE CHURCH. HE PERSECUTED MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN WITHOUT A THOUGHT OR CARE OF HAVING THEM IMPRISONED AND PUT TO DEATH. AND YET, GOD CAME TO HIM AND SAID: I AM CHOOSING YOU TO GO WITH THIS MESSAGE. THIS MESSAGE THAT CHRIST HAS DIED. THAT CHRIST ROSE AGAIN. THAT CHRIST HAS COME INTO THE WORLD AS SAVIOR. AND PAUL WAS VERY CLEAR THAT ANY OF THE WORK THAT HE HAD ACCOMPLISHED WAS NOT BECAUSE OF HIS OWN DOING EVEN THOUGH HE WORKED HARD. BUT IT WAS THE GRACE OF GOD THAT WAS IN HIM AND THE GRACE OF GOD THAT WORKED THROUGH HIM. YOU CAN PUT ME UNDER THAT SAME MICROSCOPE. AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO FIND? THINGS THAT PROBABLY DISTURB YOU ABOUT MY THOUGHTS AND MY BELIEFS AND MY LIFE AS WELL. GROWING UP, I WASN'T PERFECT. THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE WHO ARE AMAZED THAT I STAND IN FRONT OF A CONGREGATION EVERY DAY AND PREACH GOD'S GOSPEL. BUT I UNDERSTAND WHAT CHRIST IS. THAT HE TOOK ME A SINNER; THE WORST OF SINNERS AND BY HIS GRACE MADE ME A CHILD AND HEIR OF GOD, BUT BY HIS WILL AND BY HIS DESIGN HE HAS ALLOWED ME TO PROCLAIM GOD'S GOSPEL AS ONE OF HIS CALLED SERVANTS. BUT BEFORE WE GET SO EASILY ENTANGLED ABOUT THE ELEVEN, OR PAUL, OR PASTOR DAVE ... ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AROUND AT WHO GOD HAS GATHERED TOGETHER THIS MORNING. A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO NEED TO HEAR THE SAME MESSAGE PREACHED TO THEM: THAT CHRIST HAS DIED; THAT CHRIST IS RISEN; THAT CHRIST HAS BROUGHT YOU TO FAITH AND HE IS COMING AGAIN TO TAKE YOU TO BE WITH HIM. THIS IS WHAT YOU BELIEVE. THIS IS THE IMPORTANCE OF ALL OF OUR EDUCATION IN THIS CONGREGATION. IT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR OUTREACH. IT IS NOT ABOUT: LOOK AT ME AS AN INDIVIDUAL. OR LOOK AT YOU AND WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. IT IS ABOUT OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST AND WHAT HE HAS DONE. BECAUSE WHAT HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED NONE OF US COULD HAVE DONE. WHAT HE HAS BROUGHT INTO OUR LIFE IS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, THE RELIEF FROM SATAN, THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOT ETERNALLY CONDEMNED TO A HELL THAT IS REAL. TO A HELL THAT IS TORTUROUS. BUT YOU AND I HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD. THIS IS WHAT YOU BELIEVE. THIS IS THE JOY OF YOUR LIFE. IT IS THE STRENGTH OF EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD IN YOUR LIFE. IT IS THE THING THAT ALLOWS YOU EACH AND EVERY DAY TO WAKE UP AND LIVE AS A CHILD OF GOD SAYING FIRST AND FOREMOST: TODAY, GOD, I BRING YOU MY SINS. PLEASE FORGIVE THEM FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS' SACRIFICE. AND GOD, IN HIS AMAZING LOVE, TURNS TO US AND SAYS: YOU ... ARE ... FORGIVEN. MY CHILD ... I LOVE ... YOU. BY MY GRACE I HAVE CALLED YOU TO BE MY OWN AND I HOLD YOU TO MYSELF. AND JUST LIKE ALL OF THOSE BELIEVERS WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US, GOD COMES TO US ... COMFORTING US. COMFORTING US IN THOSE DAYS OF TRIAL; THOSE DAYS OF FEAR. WHEN ANXIETIES ARE ALL RUNNING AROUND IN OUR HEADS. AND WE DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY PEACE OR COMFORT. HE COMES WITH THOSE SAME WORDS THAT HE CAME TO THOSE DISCIPLES LOCKED IN THAT ROOM. PEACE, I GIVE YOU PEACE. HIS LOVE WASHES OVER US. AND HE COMFORTS US THROUGH EVERY TRIAL AND TRIBULATION IN OUR LIFE. AND WE STAND VICTORIOUS WITH HIM WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD. WE DON'T LOOK IN AN EMPTY GRAVE TO FIND OUR SAVIOR. HE IS ALIVE AND HE IS IN HEAVEN AT THIS VERY MOMENT RULING ON OUR BEHALF. SITTING AT THE RIGHT-HAND OF GOD. AND HE PRAYS FOR ME CONTINUALLY. AND HE PRAYS FOR YOU CONTINUALLY. INTERCEDING WITH THE FATHER. WE CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE BRINGING TO GOD WHAT HE IN HIS OMNISCIENCE BRINGS THOSE THINGS ON OUR BEHALF. BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND HE CARES FOR US. AND THIS IS WHAT ... WE BELIEVE. AND IT GIVES US STRENGTH TO STAND IN PLACE AGAINST THE ASSAULTS OF SATAN. HE WANTS TO SHAKE US ABOUT OUR OWN FORGIVENESS. WANTS US TO THINK THAT SOMEHOW GOD DOES NOT LOVE US. WE STAND VICTORIOUS AGAINST THE WORLD WHO WILL NOT EVER UNDERSTAND WHAT WE BELIEVE WITHOUT THE POWER AND THE STRENGTH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. BECAUSE IT IS ONLY BY GRACE THAT WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. BUT KNOWING THAT ... IT IS OUR STRENGTH. IT IS OUR VICTORY. NOT JUST FOR THIS LIFE, BUT FOR ETERNITY. BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT WHEN CHRIST ROSE FROM THE DEAD, HE SECURED FOR YOU AND FOR ME AN ETERNITY WITH GOD. NOT LYING ROTTING IN A GRAVE AND THAT'S THE END AND THERE IS NO MORE. AN ETERNAL LIFE WITH THE SAINTS OF GOD GATHERED AROUND HIS THRONE SINGING HIS PRAISES HAVING THE FULFILLMENT OF WHAT WE BELIEVE. TODAY IS THE GREAT VICTORY DANCE FOR US AS GOD'S CHILDREN. IT IS THE SCREAMING AND SHOUTING OF WHAT OUR GOD HAS DONE. CHRIST HAS DIED! CHRIST IS RISEN! CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN! THIS IS WHAT WE BELIEVE; AND IT IS WHAT WE HOLD FAST TO BY THE POWER OF THAT HOLY SPIRIT EACH AND EVERY DAY. WE KNOW THAT WE ARE ONE DAY CLOSER TO JOINING THAT HEAVENLY CHOIR AND BEING THERE IN GOD'S PRESENCE. WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM MAN. WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM SATAN. BECAUSE OUR GOD HAS REDEEMED US. HE HAS PURCHASED US TO BE HIS OWN. HE IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT WE FEAR. AND THAT IS WHAT WE STAND ON. WE STAND ON JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GRACE. FORGIVEN CHILDREN OF GOD. AND HE HAS SAID TO US: NOW YOU GO. YOU ARE THE ONES THAT I'M SENDING OUT INTO THE WORLD. YOU ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE THAT FAITH. YOU HAVE THAT KNOWLEDGE. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE BELIEVED. NOW YOU ... BE MY WITNESSES. GO AND PROCLAIM WHAT YOU KNOW. AMEN. LET US RISE. NOW MAY THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH GOES BEYOND ALL OF OUR UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS AND ESPECIALLY YOUR LIVES IN THE ONE TRUE FAITH UNTO LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 71
Posted by: hischild on Apr 1, 2013

This Easter Sunday sermon, based on 1 Corinthians 15:9-11, begs the question: Where would we be without the grace of God? www.ziontorrance.info

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