Remember Your Resurrection
Introduction: My goal this morning is to to cause you to leave here praising God and pursuing him and his will more earnestly because we obeyed and 12. We are commanded, "Remember this! Bring it to mind again and again" (v. 11,mnemoneuete: present tense, continuous action). Remember! Remember! Remember (we can not forget this) that once we were cut off from Christ, without any citizen-rights to heaven; no promises applied to us; we had no hope and no part in God. I'd like to take a story from to illustrate why we must remember our need for a resurrection.
36-39 One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and knelt at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”
40 Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
41-42 “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
43-47 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”
48 Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”
49 That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”
50 He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The Difference: This women knew she was a sinner but Simon, well, he was a Pharisee. He wanted to serve Jesus Diner and discuss the law.
What you need to see here is:
- If you know you are in need of being rescued, you will kiss a Saviors feet.
- If you are going down in the water and Jesus reaches out and lifts you up, you'll hug Him.
- Unless we feel a great need for a Savior, we do not feel that he is a great Savior.
-clearly see who we were so that we might more brightly see your glory
-prepare each heart to come to you and learn to know you more so we would treasure you more.
-Wisdom and guidance for the deep thoughts
Remember Your Resurrection (&12 and )
In verse 4 we see:
1. Our old nature is crucified with Christ.
2. Like Christ, we have been raised from the dead.
3. By the glory of the Father
4. To walk in newness of life
All of these could be topics in themselves. This morning I'd like to spend a little time looking at our rescue from the dead.
- we were raised from the dead just like Christ?
- you were dead in your trespasses and sins?
- we were dead in sin?
If this means what it looks like it means, we didn't need just any ordinary Savior, we needed a mighty Savior. A Savior who can walk through the dead in a valley of VERY dry bones and raise up an entire army for himself (). A Savior that stops beside us while we are yet polluted in our own blood and there is NO reason to take pity on us yet, with one word He raises us to eternal life ().
Sinners by Nature
Let's look at the context first. There is a phrase in verse 3 that shows the seriousness of deadness. At the end it says, "We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." In other words the things we have done to bring the wrath of God upon us we have done by nature. We need a Savior not just because we have sinned, but because we have sinned by nature. We are by nature sinners.
At the end of verse 2 it says that we are "sons of disobedience." Which is another way of saying that disobedience is in our spiritual genes. Rebellion runs in the human family. It is part of our sinful nature.
Dead to Righteousness and Faith
Now what does that have to do with being dead? It sounds like we were very much alive and active in our rebellion and disobedience. Indeed we were. But in being alive to disobedience, we were dead to obedience. In being alive to rebellion, we were dead to submission. In being alive to unbelief, we were dead to faith. We had no living spiritual nature to incline us to do anything for the glory of God and in reliance on his power. And lacking that spiritual nature, we were dead: dead to righteousness, dead to holiness, dead to obedience, dead to faith.
Spiritually speaking I was dead. Without a Savior I had no spiritual inclinations at all. For there was no spiritual life at all. And therefore I needed a Savior not only to forgive me for my sins, but also to give me spiritual life so that my heart would incline to trust him and obey him.
In Need of a Savior to Raise Us and Create Us Anew
You can see this implied in verse 10 also. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works." Note the word "created." Do you see what that implies? The condition we were in before we had a Savior was so bad that we needed someone not only to forgive us but also to create us. This is an even more radical image than the one in verse 5. There we were only made alive out of our deadness. But in verse 10 we were created as though out of nothing. The point of both these images of conversion is that it took a miracle like resurrection or creation to give us spiritual life. It was non-existent, and had to be created. We were dead and had to be raised.
So we weren't just in the doghouse with God. We really were in the morgue. And whatever thoughts we thought or whatever feelings we felt or whatever deeds we did—they were not the thoughts and feelings and deeds of the Spirit but of the flesh. Nothing that we thought or felt or did was spiritual, because we were dead spiritually. Everything we thought and felt and did came from what we were by nature, and by nature we were children of wrath.
Do you begin to see how utterly horrible was our condition without a Savior? Since we had no spiritual life within us but only death, everything we did was sin. For what is sin but falling short of the glory of God, and who does anything for the glory of God when he is spiritually dead? And so before the Savior came, before he quickened us and made us alive, all we did was sin.
But someone will say, "This can't be, because I know many unbelievers who do good deeds." Ah, but when you say that, you do not have a view to God. When you judge what is sin and what is righteousness, don't just think of man! Think of God. We were made for God! He is worthy of all our love and trust and honor and thanks and obedience and worship. We may well build our hospitals and feed the hungry and educate the ignorant, but if it doesn't spring from trust in God, and if we don't do it to give him glory, and if we don't have a view to the salvation of others, all we do is sin with respect to God.
For whatsoever is not from faith is sin (). And falling short of the glory of God is sin (; ). And therefore presuming to do good to men without pointing them to God is sin. All that any of us can do without a Savior is sin. For by nature we are spiritually dead. And until we are made alive by our Savior, nothing we do is spiritual, everything comes from the flesh. And therefore without a Savior all our so-called good deeds are rags and ashes.
In Paul spells out in more detail what this spiritual deadness means.
6) For the mind of the flesh is death, and the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; 7) because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it does not submit to God's law, for it cannot. 8) And those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9) And you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you.
In other words, until the Savior comes and makes us alive by his Spirit, we are simply "in the flesh" (verse 9). That is, we simply have "the mind of the flesh"; and the mind of the flesh is in rebellion against God (verse 7). It is so much in rebellion against God, in fact, that it CANNOT submit to God's law (verse 7), and it CANNOT please God (verse 8). Therefore, verse 6 says, "The mind of the flesh is death." Spiritual death is the condition of being devoid of God's Spirit and therefore being unable to submit ourselves to God (verse 7) or please God (verse 8). In other words, without a Savior, everything we do is insubordination against God and displeasing to God.
We could go on and on multiplying passages that make the condition of spiritual deadness more vivid and terrible. For example:
The natural [i.e., unspiritual] man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually assessed.
Without a Savior to quicken us and make us spiritually alive, we are so perverted in our values that when we hear the truth of the gospel, we will think it is foolishness. And so our perverse sense of values will make us unable to grasp the truth for ourselves and be saved.
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one.
Without a Savior we are ruled by sin. We have no inclination to seek God. None of our deeds is good. All is the veiled expression of sin.
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
Until the Savior set us free, were slaves of sin.
Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Without a Savior, our hearts were so hard that they gave rise only to spiritual ignorance and futility and alienation. This hardness is the death spoken of in 2:1, 5.
But let's draw the message to a close by looking at a word from the Savior himself concerning our deadness in sin. Was this just Paul's idea or did he learn it from Jesus?
Leave the Dead to Bury Their Own Dead
In disciple approached Jesus and said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." So Paul didn't originate the idea that there are people who are alive and yet dead—spiritually dead. Leave the dead to bury their own dead.
But what did Jesus think of this deadness? Was it excusable? In –28he said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
So here is an example of the "righteous" dead man. A man clean and religious on the outside—like a whitewashed casket in the county morgue—and inside rotten bones and filthiness and death. No, our deadness is not excusable in God's sight. It is abominable. Our inability to submit to God and please God does not excuse us. The reason we can't submit without a Savior is because we don't want to. The power of our CANNOT is the depth of our WILL NOT.
And Jesus gives us the most sober warning and the most encouraging hope as we close.
He warns here in that you can have your life squeaky clean on the outside and still be dead on the inside. We need a Savior not just to cap off our good deeds, not just to forgive our sins. We need a Savior because we are spiritually dead and helpless without him, no matter how good we look on the outside.
And finally the Lord encourages you who are still dead in your sins, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live" ().
If you have any spiritual life within you, you owe it to the sovereign voice of the Savior. And if you don't yet have life in Christ, the voice says,
Let him who is thirsty come. Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely. ()