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Great Week 3: R – Represent, The Strategy | Luke 24:48

Mary Ellen Ermis February 4, 2024 sermons, CityRise Missouri City, Great, houston, Luke, Roger Patterson,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at our CityRise Missouri City campus.

Welcome to week 3 of Great. We had a week of introduction. Many of you are grouping up and pairing up. We had a week where we talked about “Go” – this powerful, compelling word.

Today we are talking about the R in Great – and the R stands for “REPRESENT.”

As you will see on the video, we are Ambassadors…representing Christ. To do that, we have two necessary steps.

  1. To offer ourselves as an “all in” representative. As you will see, we are to step into the offering plate.
  2. The second facet of being a good representative, is to represent the message well. We have to know the message. We have to understand what it means.

You know, Easter is early this year. It’s right around the corner…its on March 31st. It’s usually in April, but this year it’s a bit early.

Aggie Joke – 4 Aggies were asked about the meaning of Easter and the…

Freshman said: Easter – turkey, dressing, football

Soph – Easter – tree, decorate, presents

Jr.  — Easter – roses, hearts, special dinner, special gift, a little romance

Sr – Easter – commemorates Jesus’ death on the cross, and the three days in the cave, and when he comes out he sees his shadow.

That Aggie didn’t quite get it right, did he?

No…he got the core message wrong. He was close, but was off just a bit.

Well, I want to pick up in Luke 24 today in verse 48.

Slide: Luke 24:48

You are witnesses of these things.

Being witnesses of “these things” is what I want to focus on today.

Last week, Mark led us through Luke 24:44-47. I’ll add to that verse 48 as we look at those verses again.

Luke 24:44-48

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for[c] the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

As we talked about Go, we see Jesus saying, “The core message of the Scriptures is about me…and I’m revealed in the law and the prophets and the Psalms. And here is the summary…

“The Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning form Jerusalem.”

Now, we see verse 48…

Luke 24:48

You are witnesses of these things.

The word witness is Martus…from which we get the word Martyr. The Martus was one who was called into court to testify of the facts of a situation or dispute.

A Martyr was one who died for their testimony…because they would not recant it.

The Apostles are being commissioned by Jesus after his resurrection. And He is saying…

“Here is what you are a witness of…not just understanding the Scritpures that point to me coming and my ministry. But, you are also a witness of my death and resurrection. And that’s what I want you to declare…Tell the world the facts…Be my representative of what you have seen.”

Now, just telling people about Jesus of Nazareth…his ministry…his teaching…his love and even his death…dying on a cross…anybody can do that. The Muslims do that…they speak of Jesus as a prophet…and that he did good and loved and is to be highly esteemed.

Again, anyone can speak of Jesus as the man from Nazareth who had an amazing following and did good deeds and was killed by crucifixion.

BUT…as we talk about being the Representative…both living a life for Jesus and representing his message well, I want to help you understand the significance of this final piece…His RESURRECTION.

You see, I made that Easter Joke…and the Aggie got it wrong…but the truth of the matter is at our CORE…

WE ARE EASTER PEOPLE! And today, I want to teach on the Resurrection. And I want to talk about the Worldview that Flows out of Understanding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

So, let’s turn to the largest treatment on the Resurrection we have in the entirety of the Bible…Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 15.

1 Corinthians 15:32b

If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”

This verse is explaining the Apostle Paul’s worldview.  — He is saying, I am an EASTER PERSON.

1 Cor. 15 – the most significant writing on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its application to the follower of Jesus Christ.

Paul – arguing to the Church that he established in Corinth not to believe in those who have infiltrated their ranks who say that there is NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.



A set of beliefs that explain what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human beings should spend their time doing.  A worldview answers two fundamental questions: 

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • How is life to be lived?

ONE’S WORLDVIEW, no matter your faith background or lack therof, IS A FAITH ASSUMPTION ABOUT THE NATURE OF THINGS! – what is this life all about and how should I live it

3 Dominant Worldviews

  • A Secular Worldview
  • A Religious Worldview
  • The Worldview that flows from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Three Dominant worldviews that I want to look at today.

Secular Worldview – material world is all that there is.  We are here by accident and when we die we just rot.  Therefore the important thing is to choose to do what makes you happy and not let others impose their beliefs on you. There is no resurrection of the dead!

Their understanding of life is that there is no real fundamental purpose of this life.  It has no intrinsic value, no real worth.  Human life is no more valuable than trees, the earth, the climate, the animals.  As a matter of fact, human life is much of the problem with this world.  Thus, their conclusion is simply to eat and drink for tomorrow we die.  We will live, we will die, we will rot.  Let us live it up with all of the gusto we can.  This is a very dominant worldview in highly educated societies.

There is a competing worldview – THE Religious Worldview that posits that man was created to please God. God is the maker of life and man can find heaven, nirvana, absolute peace, or a greater spiritual enlightenment by the way a man behaves.  Man is made higher than the earth, the animals, and he can have relationship with God based upon his behavior.  The various views of God vary in this view – he can be pretty easy going, relaxed, and will weigh my good with my bad and let me in to this heavenly existence, because I was more good than bad in this life.  This ranges from a diest’s view that God is somewhat disengaged from all of our lives, to cultural Christianity’s view that says, I am Christian because I was born in a Christian nation.  I am Christian because my grandparents went to church religiously. I am Christian because my parents are Christian, but my theology is patchwork, figuring it out as I go, and I figure that God will see I was trying to be more good than bad.

Another view of God is much more harsh.  He is very strict, difficult, stringent, and ones quest will be to strive as hard as he can to please God with all that he is. The Religious Worldview’s answers to the two fundamental questions of “What is the meaning of life?” and “How is this life to be lived?” are answers such as, 1.”God has made us to revere him.  2. Thus, we will behave the best we know how and hope that He is happy with us.  In this, fate will run its course, and we hope to be with God in eternity because we have been good.”  THIS IS PROBABLY THE PREDOMINANT VIEW IN OUR CULTURE AND MOST AROUND THE WORLD.  It includes religious cultures such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Some forms of Christianity.

In Essence, in a Religious Worldview, man’s essential purpose in life is to strive to please God in such a way as to get permission into the next life.  That is where life will have its meaning.

A Third Worldview – The Worldview of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the Worldview that I want to speak about today.   It is only fitting on this Easter Sunday to speak about Christ’s resurrection, is it not?  But it is the questions that the resurrection answers that I want to speak about.  Remember a worldview asks two fundamental questions:

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • How is life to be lived in light of its meaning?

The worldview of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is not that far off from the secular worldview.  Remember the slogan of the secular worldview?  Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!


The Resurrection

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • How is this life to be lived?

What is the Meaning of Life? 

The First answer to this question in light of the Resurrection is:


Definition of Resurrection:

2 Primary Definitions we are concerned about:

  1. the rising of Christ from the dead
  2. the rising again to life of all the human dead before the final judgment

Of the Resurrection, NT WRIGHT DEFINES IT AS:   

“Life after life and death.”

N.T. Wright

Resurrection is, “Life after life and death.”

TO PAUL – The Resurrection was Primary — 1 Cor. 15:3-4

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…

FIRST IMPORTANCE– This is crucial.  Everything regarding Jesus Christ rises and falls on HIS RESSURRECTION.


Now as I said, this is where life begins.  Why is it where life begins?  Keep in mind the definition of Resurrection – Life after Life and Death!

1 Corinthians 15:22a

For as in Adam all die, . . .

We are all going to die.

MovieWhat About Bob – Bill Murray – Bob Wylee – A Psycologically Disturbed Individual who thought he had every kind of psychological disorder known to man.  Murray connects with a newly published, highly acclaimed Author and psychologist, Dr. Leo Marvin who was just about to escape to Lake Winnapasakie for his summer vacation.

Dr. Marvin and his family went on their vacation, and Bob became so needy that he makes his way to Lake Winnapasakie.

It is a funny movie, and it explores the anxieties of us all.  As a matter of fact, in one scene, Dr. Marvin’s pre-pubescent son gets overwhelmed with anxiety.  As Bob is trying to teach him to swim, he exclaims in his lifejacket, “I am going to die.  We are all going to die.”

That is exactly right.  This young man nailed it.  We are all going to die.  Every single one of us was born and we will eventually die.

Further, the Scripture Declares that because of our sin nature, and the ways we have violated the law of God, we are in a state of condemnation and death, even though we live in this natural state.

Take a look at Ephesians 2:1-3.

Ephesians 2:1-3

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in 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. 3All 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.

Though alive, the Scripture declares us dead spiritually.  All of us are in a state of death, or condemnation because of the sin nature that we possess and have inherited from one generation to the next.


Look at Romans 10:9-10

The Resurrection is where life begins!

Romans 10:9 — That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Do you see how the resurrection matters?

Life can begin for you, new life, the life in Christ, because you call upon him for salvation.  The Bible declares that we can believe that Jesus is the Lord of all, and that we believe He is raised from the dead, and SALVATION CAN BE OURS!


TRANSITION: Now notice this amazing truth with me about the Resurrection:

II. Because of Christ, there is life beyond the State of Death

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

All will be made alive!

Did you know that the righteous and the unrighteous will be resurrected?

Yes, that is right!  Both according to our definition – the resurrection of all mankind for final judgment

And According to Acts 24:15 – All will be resurrected from the Dead!

Acts 24:15

. . . and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

There will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

This is where the meaning of life take a long-term view and considers what this life is about.  You see, there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked for a final judgment.

  • Some will be Resurrected to Eternal Condemnation
  • And Some will be Resurrected to Eternal Life

I know that some of you have just tuned me out.  You have said, “Wait a minute!  How arrogant of you to say that some will be resurrected to eternal condemnation!”

Friend, please hear me out.  This statement doesn’t come from a heart of arrogance but a heart of true concern. A concern that because you don’t like a particular portion of the story, you disqualify the entire story.

Hear me out!  If there isn’t a final judgment:

  • then our entire concept of law is a farce.
  • If there isn’t a final judgment, then Hitler, Stalin, Mussalini, Murderers, Child Abusers, Rapists, and the like will go free.
  • If there is not the possibility of a final condemnation, there is no sense of justice whatsoever for anyone whatsoever.

Where did the sense of justice that we have come from?  Why do we have this need for justice? 

Because we have been made in the image of God, and God is just!  He must punish sin.

But continue to hear me out.  The reason Christ was RESSURRECTED from the dead in the first place is because God was just to punish the sin of the world 2000 years ago when Jesus of Nazareth hung on a cross.

God the Father poured out all the wrath that he could muster onto Jesus Christ so that he could save us.  That is why we can be saved.  Saved from what?  Saved from the wrath of God toward sin.

Listen to Revelation 20:11-15 as it speaks of this coming judgment:

Revelation 20:11-15

11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

It is an awful part of God’s plan.  But, God cannot dwell where sin dwells.  God has made available to us His Son, Jesus Christ.  And friend, understand, it is His desire to commune with you.

Revelation 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

You may say, well I am not on that list.

Are you believing?  Do you really believe?  Have you experienced his salvation?

Listen to what His salvation sounds like, for those whose names are written in the book of life!

Revelation 21:1-4

1Then 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. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3And 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. 4He 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.”

Because of Christ, there is life beyond the State of Death – either a second death –eternal condemnation … Or Eternal Life as described here in Revelation 21:1-4

So, let’s answer this final question regarding worldview:  In light of the meaning of life, how is this life to be lived?

III. How is this life to be lived?

As I see it, there are two options.

Option 1: No Resurrection

Option 1: No Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:13-14, 32

13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith . . .  32If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

If there is no Resurrection of the Dead, this is your only shot.  Do whatever you want. do what makes you happy!  Live it up!  Live as if there is no tomorrow!

If there is no resurrection, we, as Paul says, are to be pitied above all men.  We are still in our sins, our faith is futile, and this is all a waste of time.

Or, there is Option #2…

Option 2: Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

These are the concluding words of Paul on this topic.

Give yourself fully to the Lord and His work.  Know that there is purpose to God’s plan and his resurrection can give you purpose.  Know that there is a coming judgment and giving yourself to the Lord and His work will be costly and expensive, but it will be worth it.

Gospel Presentation – Some need to come to Christ today.

For Believers – Some of you may need to Reorient your life to be a better representative.  You would agree completely with what I have said today, but your life doesn’t reflect it.  You are eating, drinking, and being merry.  Friend, the Lord wants you to return to His ways, and walk in them. Your labor won’t be in vain.