Celebrating 76 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
Pastor Mark is offering the
“Welcome to the Family” class
during Sunday School in April.
Each Sunday there is a children's program for children K through 5th grade. It is from 6 to 7 PM.
Senior's Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
The Centrality of Christ’s Resurrection
If we’re not careful, as evangelicals we can so emphasize the cross that we forget about the resurrection. Now the cross is central to our faith: there is no salvation without the cross. The resurrection, however, is also central. In fact, without the resurrection the cross would not bring salvation. It takes a living Savior to rescue us from our sin. The gospel involves both the death and resurrection of Christ (see 1 Cor 15.3-4). So today I’m going to emphasize the resurrection of Jesus Christ and show how it is central to the Christian faith. I will do this by looking at key elements of Christianity and point out how the resurrection relates to them. These elements are baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Day, prayer, and salvation.
Baptism is one of the ordinances or sacraments of the Christian faith. Virtually all Christian groups believe in baptism and practice baptism. When a person decides to follow Christ, they are baptized in water. They are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches baptism by immersion. This is because baptism symbolizes the death and resurrection of Christ and our union with Christ in his death and resurrection (see Rom 6.3-4). Every time we baptize a person we are affirming our belief in Christ’s resurrection, in our spiritual resurrection, and in our future, bodily resurrection. Our resurrection is based on his (see John 14.19; 1 Cor 15.20). Baptism points to this reality.
The Lord's Supper is also connected to Christ's resurrection and would not make sense without it. Another name for the Lord’s Supper is communion. When we take the Lord’s Supper, we commune with the resurrected Christ and we commune with one another (see 1 Cor 10.16). In taking communion, we not only remember the death of Christ and look forward to the coming of Christ, we fellowship with the risen Lord Jesus Christ here and now. The Lord is present when we gather together as his people and when we take communion (see Luke 24.30-32). The Lord's Supper is a means of grace, not of saving grace but of sustaining grace. The elements do not impart this grace, but the Holy Spirit does as we take of the elements and do so with faith in the risen Lord.
Most churches worship on Sunday. We call this day the Lord’s Day because it was on this day that the Lord Jesus was resurrected from the dead. All the first Christians were Jewish, and Jews had always worshiped on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. But Christians early on began to worship on Sunday (see Rev 1.10; Acts 20.7; 1 Cor 16.2). This is proof that they believed strongly in the bodily resurrection of Christ. For why else would they have changed the principal day of worship? They changed it because Jesus arose on Sunday. Now Easter Sunday is when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, but in reality every Sunday is Easter Sunday. Every Sunday is the Lord’s Day, the day we celebrate Jesus’ defeat of death and the victory he has given us over death.
Every time we pray we affirm our faith in Christ’s resurrection. We pray in Jesus’ name (see John 14.13-14). Prayer in Jesus’ name would mean nothing if he were dead. We pray in his name because he is alive. His name gives authority and power to our prayers. We approach God the Father through his name, that is, through the person and power of Jesus Christ (see Eph 2.18). Prayer in his name is powerful because he is the resurrected Lord. By the way, it is prayer in Jesus' name that separates Christian prayer from all other forms of prayer.
Central to the gospel and salvation is the resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 2 Tim 2.8). The gospel is the good news that Jesus has risen from the dead and that he has defeated sin and death and Satan on our behalf. To be saved we must believe in his resurrection (see Rom 10.9). We must believe that he arose bodily from the dead and that he arose to die no more. His resurrection was not a spiritual resurrection; it was a bodily resurrection. The empty tomb proves this as does his eating fish and allowing his disciples to touch him (see Luke 24.36-43). Jesus arose to immortal life. Lazarus was resurrected but he later died again. Jesus will never die again (see Rom 6.9). “Death cannot keep his prey—Jesus my Savior! He tore the bars away—Jesus my Lord! Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever with his saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” Do you believe this? You must in order to be a Christian and have eternal life.
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.