Go to Easter Sunday ministy at a specific location.
or view all locations .

Easter Sunday

socialmedia@cityrise.org April 5, 2021 sermons, christianity, church, cityrise, houston, Roger Patterson, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Roger Patterson on Sunday April 4, 2021 at our West U Baptist Church campus. To view the sermon in full, please visit our YouTubpage.

He is Risen…He is Risen Indeed!  This was the greeting of the early church to one another.

Join me in reading Matthew 28:1-8, as Matthew records the moment that Mary and Mary Magdalene went to the tomb that Resurrection morning.

Matthew 28:1-8

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Do you see what the resurrection does?

It’s such a beautiful story. One of pain…loss…despair that turns to joy.

My friend, as we begin today, I want you to hear me say something to you right up front…I know that many of you have lost a loved one this year…some very recently, some a few months ago, and others within the last 12 months.

Listen to me: Because we are followers of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ turns our pain, loss and despair into JOY.

Do you have the joy of the resurrection?

As we came together last weekend for Palm Sunday, I made a statement about reading the gospels that I want to remind you of.  That statement was this:  When you read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and you look closely at the words of Jesus, it is unmistakeable that Jesus was very purposeful in declaring that he was going to die.  He was very intentional to proclaim that he was going to the cross.

I then asked this question:  Why did Jesus come to die?  If he was very intentional to declare that he would be lifted up, why did he come to die?

I want to contine to ask that question on this Resurrection Sunday, as we examine the Apostle Paul’s message to the church at Rome.  Our portion today is Romans 6:1-14.

Romans 6:1-11

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

This Easter Sunday, we once again ask, “Why did Jesus come to die?” Let me cover three significant answers over the next few moments we have together.

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. To Change our Identity
  2. To Provide us Freedom
  3. To Secure our Resurrection from the Dead

Let’s look at this first one together.

Why did Jesus come to die?

I. To change our identity

We have just seen in chapter 5 the result of being in Adam.  We saw that because Adam sinned, all have sinned, and death reigned over us.

But because of the free gift, the gift of Jesus’ death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead, life reigns for those who accept that free gift. We studied that last week in Romans 5:12-21.

And one of the questions that develops in people’s minds when they hear the gospel message of Jesus…that there is a free gift available in Jesus, to forgive us of our sins and to make us in right standing before God…one of the questions that develops is this:

Does that mean I can just go on sinning all I want?  I get fire insurance and I can live how I want?  Wow! That’s cool that grace reigns.

Paul anticipates this question as he opens chapter 6 and says, “By No Means!!! How can he who died to sin live in it?”

Look at verses 1-5 again.

Romans 6:1-5

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Paul responds to this question with his own question…a question that actually declares that something happens…something happens in our lives when we come to Christ. 

Quote: F.F. Bruce says,

Paul proclaims that, “our baptism marked our former existence coming to an end and a new life beginning. And this new life is the participation in Christ’s own resurrection.”

And then Paul points to the believer’s own baptism:

  • being placed into the water,
  • publicly confessing Jesus Christ,
  • and the picture of burial and resurrection, to convey what has happened to our lives.

Notice this in verse 3.

Romans 6:3

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

You see, the word baptism has two basic meanings: (1) a literal meaning—to dip or immerse; and (2) a figurative meaning—to be identified with.

When we baptize, we immerse…we literally plunge one under the water.  And in doing so, the person being baptized is IDENTIFYING with JESUS CHRIST.  We say it this way: “You are buried with him in baptism and raised to newness of life.”

Warren Wiersbe says…

Historians agree that the mode of baptism in the early church was immersion. The believer was “buried” in the water and brought up again as a picture of death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism by immersion…pictures the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. It is an outward symbol of an inward experience. Paul is not saying that their immersion in water put them “into Jesus Christ,” for that was accomplished by the Spirit when they believed. Their immersion was a picture of what the Spirit did: the Holy Spirit identified them with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

It says in Galatians 2:20…

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Notice the pattern of this proclamation of our own death and new life repeated in verses 4 and 6.

Romans 6:4

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Our baptism identifies us with the DEATH of Jesus, as well as the RESURRECTION of JESUS.  When we were baptized, we identified with him. And some today, through their baptism are identifying with him.

Have you taken that step of believer’s baptism?  Have you publicly proclaimed your faith in Jesus Christ?

Notice now how Paul says our old self was crucified WITH HIM in verse 6.

Romans 6:6a

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing…

Our old self…the old person found in Adam was crucified with him.  Remember, we identify with him.  And our IDENTITY Changes.

Sam Storns Illustrates this by telling the story of Augustine.

Prior to his conversion, Augustine lived with a mistress. After his conversion, she met him on the street:

“Aurelio, Aurelio,” she calls out to him. He continues walking, ignoring her calls. She runs to him, grabs him: “Aurelio, what is the matter? It is I.” To which he responds: “The matter, dear lady, is that it is not I.”

Was it Augustine? In one sense, yes. In another sense, no. He was a new man. The old man, the old unregenerate-in-Adam Augustine, had died to sin. The new man, the regenerate-in-Christ Augustine, was alive to God. Although it would not have been impossible for him to have gone back to his mistress, it would have been unthinkable.

The point is this: YOU MUST NOT GO ON LIVING THE LIFE YOU USED TO LIVE, BECAUSE YOU ARE NO LONGER THE PERSON YOU USED TO BE.

Are you living with a new identity?  When you are, something is evident.  You are no longer enslaved to sin.   

Look at our next point in answering the question, “Why did Jesus come to die?”

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. To Change our Identity
  2. To Provide us Freedom
  3. To Secure our Resurrection from the Dead

Why did Jesus come to die?

II. To Provide us Freedom

Now, what sort of freedom do we need?

In verse 6a, we see that we are, “no longer slaves.”

In verse 7, we are “freed from sin.”

In verse 10, we see that Jesus died to sin…this is a past tense completed action.

Paul’s readers saw slavery every single day.  Indentured slaves served for six years under the Jewish Code.  The Code of Hammuarbi called for three years of indentured service for debt.  So, the Romans would have seen people exit slavery and understood the great freedom that comes to a person’s life once the debt was paid.

You and I have been freed from the penalty, power and authority of sin. We experience a freedom when we come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Let me tell you about three aspects of freedom.

Three Aspects of Freedom

  1. From Sin
  2. From Shame
  3. From Condemnation 

Look at this first one with me…freedom from sin in Romans 6:6-7.

Romans 6:6-7

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. 

Do you hear the message to our lives?  We have been crucified with Christ.  We died with Christ.  The one who has died has been set free from sin.

Now, don’t minimize sin. Sin is the root problem of all of our problems.  All of the “isms” of life are sins…isms like:

  1. Racism
  2. Sexism
  3. Alcoholism
  4. Workaholism
  5. Angerism
  6. Sleep late – ism (it has infected my teenagers!!!)

We have all kinds of isms…these are the various fruits of sin. Here, Paul is saying that Jesus died to sin…he confronted the root problem.  That’s what it says in verse 10… “The death he died, he died to sin.”

After the freeze from mid-February, we had a lot of dead plants. Like you, I needed some time one afternoon to get out there and not only cut away the dead leaves and branches, but in some cases, I had to uproot the entire plant.  I had to pull it out at the root.

Jesus came to deal with sin…to uproot it in our lives and get it out. 

You see, as John Piper says…

Sin is such a powerful force in our lives that we must be liberated by God’s power, not by our willpower.

You see, sin pleads with us.

Annie Illustration: Many of you know the story of Little Orphan Annie.

In the 2014 Remake of Annie movie with Jamie Foxx, the first night Annie is in the penthouse, she has her own room. It is huge, with a king-sized bed and full-panel screen walls with falling stars trying to lull her to sleep. The place is any kids’ dream. However, Annie can’t get to sleep. She tries a snack, but still ends up in bed wide awake.

She looks over at a table in the next room, grabs her blanket and sets up a sleeping place cramped under that table.

As she’s settling in you hear her say, “It’s kinda like a bunkbed.” She had grown up cramped with several other girls and just couldn’t seem to rest without the familiar close quarters.

When we become Christians, our old life dies and new life in Jesus begins. However, we are left in a sinful world and are still prone to choose our own way over God’s. There are some sins that are comfortable and we don’t feel like we can enjoy life without them. God offers abundant life, yet we choose the familiar path of bad decisions.

  • Sin wants to be our master. It finds a foothold in the old nature, and through the old nature seeks to control the members of the body. But in Jesus Christ, we died to sin; and the old nature was crucified so that the old life is rendered inoperative.
  • Remember, if you have placed your trust in Christ, you have a new identity! We are “in Christ”; therefore, sin and death have no dominion over us. Jesus Christ not only died “for sin,” but He also died “unto sin.” That is, He not only paid the penalty for sin, but He broke the power of sin.

Three Aspects of Freedom

  1. From Sin
  2. From Shame
  3. From Condemnation

We are provided freedom from Shame as well…Another way to say this is that Jesus provides me a clean conscience.

Hebrews 9:14

14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

You see, our lives are defiled…they are made dirty by our:

  • pride,
  • self-pity,
  • bitterness and
  • lust…
  • our envy and
  • jealousy and apathy.

And we feel hopeless in our consciences.  We have regrets of actions taken, mistakes made, words said, lives hurt.

But the freedom that Jesus brings covers my shame and cleanses my conscience!

Have you had your conscience purified?  Have you allowed him to cleanse you and cover you?

One way he might lead you to a clean conscience and cover your shame is by calling you to humble yourself and ask another for forgiveness. 

  • Do you need to say, “I’m sorry, please forgive me?”

The third way that Jesus brings me freedom is from Condemnation.

Three Aspects of Freedom

  1. From Sin
  2. From Shame
  3. From Condemnation

My friends, Jesus died to take away your condemnation.

We will see this as we study Romans 8, but let’s bask in this good news.

Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John Piper says…

The death of Christ secures our freedom from condemnation. It is as sure that we cannot be condemned as it is sure that Christ died.  There is no double jeopardy in God’s court. We will not be condemned twice for the same offenses. Christ has died once for our sins. We will not be condemned for them. Condemnation is gone not because there isn’t any, but because it has already happened.

My friends, this is such good, good news!

But the best news of all, I have saved for last.

Let’s look at our question again and how this passage answers that significant question.

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. To Change our Identity
  2. To Provide us Freedom
  3. To Secure our Resurrection from the Dead

  

Why did Jesus come to die?

III. To Secure our Resurrection from the Dead

Look at our passage again, beginning in verse 5.

Romans 6:5

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

As a matter of fact, the New Testament is replete with this promise.  It makes this promise to us over and over and over again.

Slide: Romans 8:11

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

 

2 Timothy 2:11

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 6:14

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

Pastor & John Piper proclaims…

The resurrection of Jesus is God’s gift and proof that his death was completely successful in blotting out the sins of his people and removing the wrath of God…The great work of paying for our sin and providing our righteousness and satisfying God’s justice was finished in the death of Jesus.

Then, in the grave, he had the right and the power to take the keys of death and open the door for all who come to him by faith.  If sin is paid for, and righteousness is provided, and justice is satisfied, nothing can keep Christ or his people in the grave.  That’s why Jesus shouts, ‘I died and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades (Revelation 1:18).’”

My friends, listen to me. This is the Good News.  Jesus Christ has conquered death and offers you everlasting life.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

My friend, do you believe this?  Have you taken Christ as your savior by faith?

Have you professed him publicly through the waters of baptism?

Let me remind you that if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ turns our pain, loss and despair into JOY.

 

comments