New Creation

 The Easter Story is God taking a life which was being spent on self, the pleasures of this world, blinded by the devil, and turning it around to achieve all of His good purposes. The Word of God has some good news.  The “New Creation” is living as a new man in Christ which enables you to live a “Life with Real Meaning.” The greatest tragedy in life is not death, it is to go through your entire life without knowing and living out your purpose for which God created you.

You will find the real meaning of your life as you let the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwell within your heart.  Allowing Christ to be both Savior and Lord of your life literally brings your soul, which was once dead in sin, back to life.  “…If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11) Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is also for us today, “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Eph. 3:16-17)

One of the secrets to finding meaning in this life that satisfies the soul is to understand what God means in regard to having Christ dwell in your hearts. To “dwell” (katoikeo) means to give Christ full permission to take up full residence by His Spirit in your spiritual heart. It means to give Christ full permission to take up full residence by His Spirit to set your life in order.

The idea is letting Christ come into your heart and life that He may be a ruling master, so that He may take every part of your body and life and use it for His Father’s purposes.  Your first and most important meaning of being created is that you become an inhabitation of the Lord, reflecting the likeness of Christ through all you do.  You are created for His glory not your own.  What God is saying is, “Let Me tell you what your purpose for living is and then you can start to enjoy your life.”  This is why the Holy Spirit moved the apostle to write, “And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Cor. 5:15) Doe your life reflect a new creation in Christ Jesus?

Freed By Grace

A life connected to the “Ever-Flowing Life of Easter” is a meaningful life and it is a life “Freed by Grace.” Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” F.F. Bruce points out, “These passages are the watchword for the reformation theology: ‘By grace alone, through faith alone, to God alone be the glory.’”  When we really meditate upon it, God has “Amazing Grace.”

“Grace” (charis) means that we are justified freely by God’s own hand, nothing done by us. The application is we have free forgiveness through Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross and thus we have reconciliation to a holy God. It is impossible to achieve victory over sin merely by striving to do things. All salvation is by God’s grace. It is unmerited divine help that even causes even a sinner to have a desire to want to seek the Lord, to inquire about the Christ and then have the ability to live a life pleasing to Him. If you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or if you have been given the opportunity to consider what you will do with Christ, then it is by God’s grace alone.  Without Him there would be no drawing to Christ or ability to respond to the gospel and live it out. (John 16:5-15)

God is willing and wanting to give us all grace.  The Holy Spirit moved the apostle Paul to write about this powerful truth, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” On the Cross of Calvary Jesus Christ paid the only payment that could purchase your freedom from the bondage of sin.  Robert Lowry wrote, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Let the Holy Spirit of Christ keep you from the cancers of “Traditionalism,” “Denominationalism.” “Legalism,” and “Faddism,” trust only in God’s grace in Christ.  Does your life express the grace of God upon it?  

An Easter Reminder

   When Jesus was crucified on the Cross, and was raised again on the third day, He got victory over sin and death and that purchased the abundant life in Christ which is available to all who will surrender to His Lordship.

The Apostle Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit wrote a powerful truth that should govern the lives of all Christians who desire to enjoy the “Ever-flowing Life of Easter,” “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.   And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Easter has a whole lot more for you than just a special Sunday for family meals.  Easter is about coming alive.  The heart that understands what Jesus accomplished on the first Easter births forth a “Life Filled with Meaning,” and “Life Freed by Grace.” We live in an area that if we are willing to work hard we can enjoy pleasure, money, acceptance, recognition, position, possessions, and recreation.  Compared to many parts of the world, we really do have the good life.  “The Good Life” has a way of hiding the truth for a while. Life is not supposed to work unless it is Christ-centered.  A Christ-centered life is lived by allowing the Holy Spirit of God to move you to live in a way that shows God’s grace upon your life.  A Christ-centered life reflects a heart that is concerned about the testimony of Jesus among those who claim His name.

The Christian life that has a good testimony for the Lord is a new creation in Christ, is freed by grace and accepts the Gift, Jesus Christ from God.   Your life can be an expression of the truths of the Easter story by allowing the Holy Spirit to place this truth within your spiritual heart, “And if Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11) Does your life reflect a life that is surrender to the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead?

Easter Redemption

 The apostle Paul wrote about this redemptive work of Christ upon the Cross and victory that is available to the children of God through the resurrection of Christ.  He writes, “So you are no longer a slave…” (Galatians 4:7) Jesus said, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn. 8:36)

On the Cross of Christ the price was paid in full for your freedom so you can be freed from the bondage to sin. There is a Biblical term for this freedom that the Lord purchased for those who have Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The term is “redemption.” “Redemption” (apolutrosis) here means to let go free for a ransom. There are many forms of this word for “redemption” in the New Testament. “Lutroo,” is “The recalling of captives to set them free, referring to sinners set free from captivity, the bondage of sin, by the payment of a ransom for them through Christ’s death.” It is important to note that in a least four passages of Scripture sin is presented as slavery. (John 8:34; Romans 6:17,20; 2 Peter 2:19)  Another form of the Greek word for “redemption” (lutron) means “Deliverance on account of the ransom paid” as spoken of the deliverance from the power and the eternal consequences of sin which Christ purchased by laying down His life as a ransom for those who believe. Redeemed (lutroo) by the highest cost possible, through the shed blood of Christ.  Redeemed, (agorazo) literally set free from the slave market of sin, death, and hell. Redeemed, (exagorazo) literally delivered out of the enslavement to sin. In the first century, whenever the Greek Word (lutron) for “redemption” was used, people would naturally know that it was referring to the price being paid to free slaves.

Because of the redemptive work of the true Easter story, the child of God has been set free and is at liberty to live a life of real meaning, freed from the sinful passions that destroy fellowship with the Lord and devastates lives. True born again Christians have been delivered of sins and are enjoying the empowerment of the Holy Spirit of Christ to overcome sin. For example, those once hooked on drugs or alcohol have been set free. Those bound by adultery or steeling are set free. The redemptive work of freedom from sin goes on and on for those who truly enjoy the “Ever-flowing Life of Easter.”  Live a life that reflects that Christ redeemed you!

Calvary’s Redemption

  Luke 24:36-50 tells of a meeting held on that first Easter that holds truths to establishing a “Victorious Foundation” to the Christian life.  The character of heart that grasps this foundation is well represented in those who were in that meeting on that first Easter Sunday.  The key Scriptures to laying this foundation is found in what Jesus did at that meeting. “Then He opened their minds so they can understand the Scriptures.  …The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations.” (Luke 24:45-47) Easter Sunday is actually “Resurrection Sunday Celebration” and Christians are called to live like it has real meaning.

There are certain attitudes of heart that must be found in those who grasp the truths of the Easter.  The first attitude is to have a heart that is broken over the sin that caused Christ to give up His life on the Cross of Calvary.  It is that heart that is broken to the point that moves the sinner to want to minister to the Christ who died for him.

On that first Easter, the first to come to the realization that Christ had risen form the dead were two ladies, one being Mary Magdalene, (John 20:1) a lady who truly grasped what Christ did for her so she can be freed from the bondage of Satan.  Do you grasp the truth of your sins that were bound the flesh, the lures of the world and the lies of the devil in regard to what they inflicted upon Christ? The second is a heart that wants to discuss the things of God.  Luke 24:13-35 records two men on the road to Emmaus who were “talking with each other about everything that had happened” and they were willing to talk to others about the things of God. (Luke 24:17-24, 33-35)   The third key truth to grasping the truths is of Easter to have a heart that is responsive.  Does your life reflect the Easter story?