You cannot understand Easter without first understand Good Friday. There is no Easter without Good Friday. Good Friday and Easter represent the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
CHRISTIANITY HAS TWO CARDINAL DOCTRINES:
CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION.
The Church of Jesus Christ is built on the substitutionary death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Only the revealed religion speaks of the Savior who died for the world in order to redeem mankind, and the empty tomb to demonstrate the saving power of God.
CRUCIFIXION tells the sad story how Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to die bodily for sinners, a Good Friday some 2,000 years ago, the Righteous for the unrighteous. That Friday is called Good Friday because sinners who deserve eternal death, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ might be saved and receive the forgiveness of sins. The death of Jesus Christ speaks of the love of God.
EASTER tells the good news that Jesus Christ who died for our sins, on the third day which was Sunday, rose from death bodily so that the Savior of the world can justify whoever comes to Him to receive eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves the power of God is able to save all who accept and believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Easter Sunday (April 5, 2015) I went to a Chinese church planning to find out if a certain pastor is still alive or not. It was raining; the Holy Spirit led me not to go to that nearby church, but to go to a church further away. The first session was not over. I had to use the dirty and stinking toilet because of long hours involved. After, I went to buy two Bibles. There was still time so I sat on a bench outside the auditorium. There came an old man of over 80 years old. I talked to him about the way of salvation; he said he did not quite want to believe. There came his wife and sat in the middle. So I discussed the Gospel with her. She was receptive, and it became clear to her mind. After learning the way of salvation, I asked her did she want to believe now. She was willing to accept the Lord Jesus as her Lord and Savior. So I led her in a prayer to receive the Lord. She was so happy and grateful and with both hands to thank me. I told her I was only a servant of the Lord, not important; she should thank the Lord. Then the first service was over. I went in and sat next to a young man. Somehow I knew the young man was not receptive and I did not talk to him about the Lord. I already rejoiced for bringing the Easter message (the resurrection of Christ) to an old woman. Sitting in the congregation contented waiting for service to start. There came a young woman sitting on my right. She was receptive and I explained the way of salvation to her although she had not been baptized she was influenced by her grandmother. Rejoicing in my heart because I had witnessed for the Lord fruitfully the second time on Easter morning. I gave her my card and told her she can visit my website and call me with any question about Jesus. Then service started, the Scriptures read were suitable for Easter. There arose the preacher who is supposed to be a clergy high up in the church organization with a pathetic and poor message. No idea why on Eater sermon he used the un-Scriptural practice of Catholic Filipinos who reenacted crucifixion using anesthetic and painful afterwards. Second illustration was a famous Hong Kong tycoon (not to mention his name) who made money through honesty. I object to any preacher who praises the rich and powerful people in the church. I do not know the pastor was paid to use the name of the tycoon or he was instructed to say good things about the tycoon. I have not met a tycoon or rich and powerful person who is not greedy and corrupt. It is dangerous for any preacher to illustrate a rich man for his good deeds. Years ago I learned the very powerful American tycoon who was praised by many American preachers was not what they proclaimed him to be. I am even leery to praise any preacher unless he is already dead. I have great admiration for Martin Luther, John Bunyan, G. Campbell Morgan, J. C. Ryle, etc. That preacher dwelt on doing good deeds for the message of Easter. The Bible says to you, no matter how much good deeds will not earn you an admission to Heaven, for no one is good enough to go to Heaven. The message of Easter is this: Because Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins on Good Friday, we can have forgiveness of sins. Because Jesus Christ rose from death on Easter Sunday, the Son of God and the Savior of the world, is able to save anyone no matter who you are and where you are, if you on put your faith in Him and receive the Lord in your heart and confess with your mouth that you are a believer in Jesus Christ. No matter what church, what organization, or what preacher who teaches religion, but does not preach the Gospel – is an enemy of the cross. The religious or ecclesiastical organization that does not preach the Gospel, forbids others to preach the Gospel, and forbids other preachers to establish Christian churches, is in fact an enemy of the cross although they may claim to be a Christian church. The Church of Jesus Christ does not need, does not want, and does not seek any authority or approval from any government or authority or any power on earth. The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world.
1Co 2:2-5, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” The Church of Jesus Christ rests on the power of God, not on authority of man. Long time ago the Roman emperor declared Christianity as the state religion; the result was the corrupt and apostate Roman Catholic Church. The U.S. government gives support to Christian churches so that donations to church are tax-deductible. This right or privilege corrupts not a few American preachers who are afraid to preach against the sins of American presidents. Did Billy Graham ever preach against the sins of American presidents? I don’t think so. Why? I do not know. Do you know any American preacher dares to preach against the sins of any American president? The Church must come clean from any power or authority on earth and only serves and obeys the power of God.
Today was Easter (April 20, 2014), before I went to a Chinese church, I prayed the Lord to send two persons to receive a copy of my free books. Lo and behold, a young man came to sit on the same pew with me, so I gave him a copy of Truth of the Gospel in Chinese. The pew behind came an old man. I asked him but he did not know he was saved or not and he did not know what is the proof that he has been saved. There are about 1 billion church members in the world who do not know whether they are saved or not, and they do not know what is the proof of salvation. Salvation is the way of God. The way of salvation is simple as 1,2,3. I explained to them:
(1). You are a sinner. We are all sinners. No one is good enough to go to Heaven; every sinner deserves to go to Hell. No sinner can save himself. But God loves you and He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world.
(2). Jesus came into the world to save sinners by dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus died for sinners on Good Friday, and He rose from the dead on Easter. Jesus Christ rose from death by the power of God, so He is able to save all who come to Him. The blood of Jesus washes away all our sins.
(3). How can you be saved? Not by good deeds or merit, but by repentance of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Salvation is the gift of God. You are saved by grace and through faith. You must confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. The Holly Spirit will enter into your heart and give you a new life. Thus you have passed from death (spiritual death) into life (eternal life).
What is the proof that you are saved?
(1). Have the Spirit of Christ.
Rom 8:9,“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
To belong to Christ, you must have the Spirit of Christ. Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, joining a church, offerings, giving to charity, etc. do not and cannot save you. How can you have the Spirit of Christ, but simply asking the Lord Jesus to send His Spirit into you.
(2). The Spirit of Christ lives in you.
Rom 8:11,“But 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.”
Only the Holy Spirit can give you life. If you are full or hungry, you know, I do not know. If you have the Spirit of Christ in you, you can know. If you do not know, then you do not have.
(3). The Holy Spirit testifies with your spirit.
Rom 8:16-17,“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
If you have the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit lives in you, then the Spirit will speak to you and tell you that you are a child of God. The preacher or pastor cannot tell you if you are a child of God or not. Only the Holy Spirit testifies with your spirit that you are a child of God, and then you have been saved or born again. If you are saved, you would be willing to suffer for Christ. To suffer for Christ you will glorify with Christ.
Millions and millions of church members want to know whether they are saved or not. Occupational preachers do not preach the truth of the Gospel; most likely they do not know the truth themselves. I realize the power of speaking the Word of God is more than writing the Word of God. Tears were running down the old man’s check. Millions and millions are eager to know the truth of the Gospel in Jesus Christ. If you do not know you are saved or not, say this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. Although I believe in you, but I am confused and do not know whether I am saved or not. I accept and confess you are my Lord and Savior, please send your Spirit into my heart, live within me, lead me and guide me, and testify to me that I am a child of God. In Your Holy Name, I ask for the Holy Spirit and the proof of my salvation. Amen.
Ask, it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find.
Why is it called Good Friday?
What good is it? It was some two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on a Friday, died on the cross for sinners; for you and me. That is the good news, the amazing Gospel. Sinners are condemned and will die in sins and go to Hell for eternal punishment; but Jesus Christ died so that sinners may be saved and need not go to Hell.
Rev 14:6-7, “And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”
Gospel is eternal for the salvation of God is eternal to all who repent of their sins and put their trust in the Savior of the world.
1Co 1:22-25, “For indeed Jews ask for miracles and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
The Jews want miracles, and the Greeks search for wisdom. The Cross points the love of God that unworthy and undeserving sinner may receive the gift of God which is eternal life in Jesus Christ.
What is the meaning of Easter?
1Co 2:2-5, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
In the West they preach a false gospel of prosperity. In China they teach religion, and not the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of the Gospel of Christ is God loves you and He sent His Son to die for you. The Cross testifies to the love of God, and the Empty Tomb demonstrates the power of God.
1Co 1:18, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Those who seek money, power and pleasure, the Gospel is foolishness to them who are perishing. To those who are being saved the Gospel is the power of God. There are only two groups of people in the world, not the rich and poor, not the powerful and helpless, the saved and the perishing.
Rom 1:4-5, “Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.”
If Good Friday stands for the love of God, Easter stands for the power of God. The Cross symbolizes the love of God; the Empty Tomb symbolizes the power of God. Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday, and He rose from the dead on Sunday. Oh, peoples of the world, this is glad tidings, Jesus Christ died for sinners and He rose again to save sinners.
How can you be saved?
It is simple as ABC.
(A). Accept the fact you are a sinner in the sight of God and unable to save yourself. No one and nothing can save you. You cannot save yourself. There is nothing you can do to save yourself. Good deeds and charity and merit cannot save you. No one is good enough to be saved and go to Heaven.
(B). Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down from Heaven to save sinners, you and me. All are sinners and there is no exception. Believe in the Holy Bible (the Word of God) that you are saved by grace and through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no other way. There is no other salvation. There is no other one who can save you but Jesus Christ.
(C). Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. Confess your sins and ask the Spirit of Christ to enter your heart and give you a new life. Declare to the world from now on you are a follow of Jesus Christ. Believe and be baptized.
How can you know you are saved?
There are billions of church members who do not know whether they are saved or not. I have met many who preach false gospel and do not preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Probably occupational preachers are not saved themselves and so they cannot and do not explain to their church members the proof of their salvation.
Rom 8:9-11, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But 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.”
The proof that you are saved is not you have been baptized, pray and read the Bible, participate in the Lord’s Supper, give to the church and charity, etc. The only proof is the Spirit of Christ lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. Only the Spirit of Christ who lives in you can give life to you.
How can you know the Spirit of Christ lives in you?
Rom 8:14-17,“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
If you have the Spirit of God living in you, you are being led by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ is also called the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit. The process of salvation involves the Spirit of God entering into your heart (regeneration or being born again), living in you and leading you (sanctification). Can you know the Spirit of Christ lives in you and leads you? Yes. If you are full or hungry, you can know for yourself. I cannot know whether you are full or hungry. This is the only proof and seal of your salvation. The Holy Spirit testifies with your spirit that you are a child of God. Yes, the Holy Spirit speaks to all children of God. If you have the Sprit of Christ living in you and leading you, the same Spirit will testify to your spirit that you are a child of God. If you do not know this, then there is no proof you are saved. Baptism, church membership, Christian giving and even testimony are not the proof you are saved. I cannot know whether you have the Spirit of Christ in you or not, you can know. Jesus says,
Jhn 10:27-28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” If you are a sheep of Jesus, you hear His voice and follow Him. If you are saved, the Holy Spirit will testify with your spirit that you a child of God. If the Holy Spirit does not testify with your spirit that you are a child of God, then you have not been saved.
Say this prayer, “Lord Jesus, I believe in you, but I do not know whether I am saved or not. Please let your Spirit come and live in me and lead me, and testify with my spirit that I am a child of God. I want to be saved for sure. I ask this as a favor in Your Name. Amen.”
Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be given to you.
As I was on my way to the church, a young woman said: Today is All Fools Day. I corrected: No, it is the Day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After attending an Easter service, I felt compelled to write this article about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some Chinese churches are like Buddhists temples, the former is spiritually dead, ritually dead without the living message of the Risen Christ. Without offense, does anyone really believe Buddhist temples have any living message?
1 Cr 12:2, “You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.”
Note: Apostle Paul says that pagans were led astray to the mute idols. Pagan in Greek is ethnos which means heathen, people not worshipping the true God; - it occurs 164 times in the New Testament. The leader of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou was wrong to worship idols because he claimed to be a Christian. Christians worship the true God, not idols. No one can claim to be a Christian and an idol worshiper at the same time. I do not know whether Mr. Ma has stopped worshiping idols or not. Idolatry is a grave sin against God. If Mr. Ma wants to worship idols, there is religious freedom, but he cannot claim to be a Christian. If Mr. Ma wants to be a Christian, he cannot worship idols. He must come clean one way or another, just as a woman can be married only to one man, not two men at the same time.
Psa 115:4-8, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.”
Note: The psalmist has a classical description of idols. Peoples have advanced civilization do not worship idols. However, in America most people worship the idols of money, power and sex. Primitive peoples tend to be superstitious, and superstitious people tend to worship idols.
The sins of those who cannot preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ but forbid others to preach are heavy indeed.
The word “Easter” does not exist in the Bible. Our purpose here is not to trace the origin of the word and its etymology. For the purpose of this article we use Easter to mean a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the third day after His crucifixion as written in the New Testament. We do not accept any connotation or denotation from any church tradition or history. We repudiate and reject the Roman Catholic Church tradition as un-Biblical. We only accept and believe in the teaching of the New Testament on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not accept Easter as a part of the commemoration of martyrs, or customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades whatever their origin or meaning maybe.
It needs to be said; the death of Jesus Christ is closely linked or tied to His resurrection. Every time Jesus predicted about His death, He invariably stressed that He would rise again on the third day.
Mat 16:21, “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.” Crucifixion has to do with the death of Christ, please see CRUCIFIXION.
I. Jesus was physically dead and His resurrection was bodily.
There are some unbelievers who spread the false gospel that Jesus Christ did not really die, He only fainted. This was a lie and not a historical fact.
Jhn 19:30-42, “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED." After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
Note: the death of Jesus Christ was real, He was buried in a tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus brought a hundred pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes for body of Jesus.
II. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was with incorruptible body.
Rom 1:2-4,“Which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of Holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Note: God promised the coming of Messiah through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus Christ was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of Holiness.
Rom 6:4-11, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Note: Through the death and resurrection of Christ, the salvation of God is accomplished for all who have become united with Christ.
III. There were witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Act 2:22-24, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”
Act 2:31-33, “He (David) looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
Note: Witness in Greek is martys which means one who is mindful, a spectator in a historical sense, in a legal sense; - it occurs 34 times in the New Testament. The apostles and early disciples were all witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That was the motive and power of their preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of persecution, imprisonment and even death.
Act 3:14-15, “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.”
Jhn 20:24-31, “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you. Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed. Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Note: The apostles and early disciples had seen the Lord and believed. Blessed are they who did not see and yet believed.
1Cr 15:5-11, “and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me (Paul) also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
IV. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT according to man.
Gal 1:11-24, “For I would have you know, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying. Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy. And they were glorifying God because of me.”
V. The Core and Content of the Gospel.
1Cr 15:1-4, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Note: The first importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that Christ died for our sins according the Scriptures. Jesus Christ did not die because He was a good man persecuted. Jesus Christ did not die as a victim. Jesus Christ did not as a martyr. Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures – for your sins and for my sins and for sins of the world. Not only Jesus died for our sins, He was buried. It was not the spirit of Jesus who died, you cannot bury a spirit. Jesus was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Jesus was raised by the power of God to be declared the Son of God. The core and content of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ died for our sins in order to atone for our sins and to redeem us from our sins. Jesus Christ rose from the dead for our justification. Because Jesus Christ died for our sins so we may have forgiveness of sins. Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead so that we are counted by God as righteous. God justifies believers on account of the sinlessness of Christ and on account He is the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.
1Cr 15:13-28, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the Kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
Note: The resurrection of Jesus Christ insures He is able to destroy the last enemy that will be abolished is death. Jesus Christ reigns when He puts all His enemies under His feet. All things shall be put in subjection to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
VI. The Ultimate Victory.
1Cr 15:44-58, “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
Note: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ insures the spiritual will triumph over the natural, the heavenly over the earthly, the imperishable over the perishable, and the immortal over the mortal – the Victory.
On March 30, 2013, Obama says the Easter and Passover holidays give millions of Christians, Jews and people of other faiths a chance to slow down and recommit themselves to loving their neighbors and seeing everyone as a child of God. On the surface, it sounds nice and plausible. In fact, it is a big lie.
(1). The Easter and Passover holidays do not give millions of Christians, Jews and people of other faiths a chance to slow down and recommit themselves to loving their neighbors and seeing everyone as a child of God. It is up to you to love your neighbors.
Mar 12:31, “The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these.” Since the infamous Opium Wars to the present time, the United States has oppressed and suppressed China and wronged China too many times. If Obama practices what he says, his pivot to Asia policy should be pivot to mainland America home. In 1971 the U.S. illegally and unlawfully gave administrative control of China’s Diaoyu Islands to the unconditionally surrendered war crime nation of Japan. Instead of righting the wrong, adding insult to injury the U.S. declares to defend the evil empire of Japan militarily if China wants to recover China’s territories by force. The U.S. has many overseas military bases encircling China and Russia, with most advanced weaponry and radar systems, fleets and aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and war planes and thousands of troops stationed at China’s doorsteps while China does not even have a single overseas military base and never conducts a military exercise near America east or west coast. Do you call all this loving your neighbor? Since 1949 the U.S. violated China’s sovereignty by sending the 7th Fleet to protect Chiang Kai-shek regime and prevented Taiwan from reunification with China. The U.S. passed the illegal and unconstitutional US-Taiwan Relations Act in order to force selling costly and deadly weapons to Taiwan so that the Chinese may kill each other in fulfilling the American strategy of “divide and destroy” China. Does Obama call this loving your neighbor? In fact, the U.S. is not required to love China, it is required not to violate China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity or start a war of aggression with its allies against China which may cause a global nuclear holocaust.
(2). Not everyone is a child of God.
Jhn 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” When Jesus was on earth the Jews claimed and thought they were children of God, but Jesus clearly called the devil their father. Jesus clearly defines people who lie and kill as children of the devil. Obama supports same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Those who practice homosexuality and same-sex marriage are definitely not children of God. Who says this? God says so. God sent down fire from heaven to burn Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes. Doesn’t Obama know Sodomites are descendants of Sodom and Gomorrah who committed the abominable practices of homosexuality? 1Cr 6:9-10,“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.”
The right way to have a joyful Easter and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and obey God and do what is right. It is for America to give up pursuit of world domination and seek peace and harmony in the world. It is right for America to withdraw all troops abroad and close all overseas military bases. It is right for America to be a law-abiding nation and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. Humanly speaking, it would be enough for the world if American leaders respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations.
Such is the perfect condition as described in
1Cr 15:44-58, "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does fnthe perishable inherit fnthe imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised fnimperishable, and we will be changed. For this fnperishable must put on fnthe imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this fnperishable will have put on fnthe imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
The children of God will be with the Lord and reign with the Lord for eternity in the Kingdom of God.
Christianity has two cardinal doctrines, namely, Crucifixion and Resurrection. Crucifixion refers to Jesus Christ who died on the cross for sinners, the Righteous for the unrighteous, Resurrection refers to Jesus Christ on the third day rose from the dead by the power of God in order to justify all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Easter has nothing to do with eggs, Easter has something to do with the empty tomb because death cannot hold Jesus Christ prisoner. Because my Redeemer lives and I will live forever. The Lord of life can give you eternal life.
Do you want to inherit the Kingdom of God? All you have to do is to believe and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Will you come and do it now?
January 9, 2016
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