April 4, 2021

Resurrection of Christ and Our Faith


There is a temptation for the church to hide Christ’s resurrection from its visitors. You don’t want to give an impression to people that you actually believe in miracles… This part of the Gospel is very hard to accept! 

It is interesting to observe that all the early sermons preached in the Book of Acts were focused on Jesus’ resurrection: 1) Pentecost (Acts 2:32), 2) After healing the paralytic man (4:10), 3) Sermon to Cornelius (10:40-41), 4) Paul in Athens, on Mars’ hill (17:31) – the resurrection of Christ becomes the culmination of the Gospel presentation! It seems, that the early church didn’t shy away from the resurrection. But more than that, it was the fuel for their boldness and confidence during persecution.

“The church is a fact of history. The explanation for the existence of the church is its faith in the resurrection. Throughout its early years, this institution suffered much persecution from the Jews and Romans. Individuals suffered torture and death for their Lord only because they knew that He had risen from the grave.”

All but one of Jesus discipled have died martyr’s death. If it was a lie, no one would die for it… they all gave their lives for it; they were absolutely confident of it! Even secular historians all agree – the early church greatly suffered yet withstood through that persecution. Why? They were confident that Jesus was risen from the dead!

Today, we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, and we are not going to shy away from this truth; we are here to proclaim that Christ is risen! Since we as a church are studying the Book of Romans, we are going to look at this book has to say about Christ’s resurrection. It is foundational for our faith. Like the early church, being confident in Jesus’ resurrection, was able to withstand through persecution, in our days, we will be able to walk by faith by focusing our attention on Christ’s resurrection. This book gives 5 ways Christ’s resurrection becomes foundational for our faith.  

I. Resurrection brings life (1:3-5; 10:9)

Context – apostle Paul begins his letter with the formal greeting. And part of this greeting is Christ’s resurrection. I don’t know many greetings in this world, that include someone’s resurrection in it. But here it is! Paul cannot be silent on this fact! CHRIST IS RISEN!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!

(1:3-5) – Jesus was revealed as the Son of God through resurrection! (passive voice) So we can see! We just need to look to Him with faith!

Spurgeon’s conversion story:

On January 6, 1850—15-year-old Charles Spurgeon was on his way to church in Colchester, England. When the blizzard prevented him from going further, he turned the corner and made his way into a small Primitive Methodist Church on Artillery Street.

He shared the story hundreds of time; here one he shared:

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, when I was going to a place of worship.

When I could go no further, I turned down a court and came to a little Primitive Methodist Chapel.

In that chapel there might be a dozen or fifteen people.

The minister did not come that morning: snowed up, I suppose.

A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach.

He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was, ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth’ [Isa 45:22].

He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.

There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in the text.

He began thus:

‘My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, “Look.”

Now that does not take a deal of effort. It ain’t lifting your foot or your finger; it is just “look.” Well, a man need not go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man need not be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; a child can look. But this is what the text says.

Then it says, “Look unto Me.”

‘Ay,’ said he, in broad Essex, ‘many of ye are looking to yourselves. No use looking there. You’ll never find comfort in yourselves.’

Then the good man followed up his text in this way:

‘Look unto Me: I am sweating great drops of blood.

Look unto Me; I am hanging on the Cross.

Look: I am dead and buried.

Look unto Me; I rise again.

Look unto Me; I ascend; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand.

O, look to Me! Look to Me!’

When he had got about that length, and managed to spin out ten minutes, he was at the length of his tether.

Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger.

He then said, ‘Young man, you look very miserable.’

Well, I did; but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made on my personal appearance from the pulpit before. However, it was a good blow struck.

He continued: ‘And you will always be miserable—miserable in life and miserable in death—if you do not obey my text. But if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.’

Then he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist can, ‘Young man, look to Jesus Christ.’

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that moment and sung with the most enthusiastic of them of the Precious Blood of Christ.”

Our text says that Christ was revealed as the Son of God – through resurrection – so that we look to the living Savior! You look only to the living people!!!!! He is alive!!!!

(10:9) – this is the look of faith; to behold Jesus, is to respond to the message of salvation with faith in Jesus Christ!

Resurrection – gives specific direction to our faith – Jesus, who is alive! This is where you look! This is where you focus your attention on!

II. Resurrection gives confidence (4:23-25)

In order to better understand the reality of resurrection, we need to understand the nature of sin. Sin comes to us as a penalty we cannot pay, and as a power we cannot overcome. Now, our next point will speak about the power of sin, but here we need to reflect on the penalty. This is judicial term – meaning, by sinning we have broken God’s law and order, and there are consequences for it (6:23). This is the repeat of the warning that God gave to Adam and Eve – if you sin, you die! (4:23-25) – it is because or for our justification – in other words, resurrection proves that Christ’s death satisfied God’s righteous wrath against our sin. What we could not pay, Christ did, and since the penalty for sin was death, Christ died, but to prove that it was completed, God raised Him from the dead!

The effect that this produces confidence, and faithfulness (5:1-5)!

III. Resurrection provides strength to fight sin (6:4-11)

Let’s be honest – we sin; sin brings the smell of death; but Resurrection of Christ brings the smell of life into any situation!

As we mentioned previously, sin brings 2 consequences: penalty (judicial part of sin), but also it has the power. Sin has many powers… power to murder, power to lie, to revenge, to fall into addiction, but all these powers of sin, in one or the other way, people can try to fight, but there is one power of sin that no one can fight against – it is the power to kill us. Without question, it is the greatest power of sin (1 Cor. 15:53-56).

So if on the cross Christ has actually completely conquered the sin’s greatest power – death, then the only way to show that it was truly accomplished, God raised Him from the dead!

What do you think when you are really tempted with sin? A child whom parents told not to take candies… If at that moment of temptation you think of the parent, and how this will disappoint them, you stop! A husband or a wife, if you know something will not please your spouse, if at the moment of temptation you think of them, you less likely to dishonor them. That’s why Christ is risen! At the moment of temptation, you don’t think of the system that you break, the law you are breaking, but if you think of the living person, suddenly it is very special, intimate and personal! You overcome temptation by thinking of the living Christ (Heb. 12:1-3)!

IV. Resurrection leads to relationship (7:4; 14:9)

(7:14) – sense of belonginess to Christ; we are His;

Very important to note the contrast presented here: we have died to the law, and now we belong to Christ. So, the system of the law is replaced with a person!!!! Christianity is not a program, but a person! It is not the routine but the relationship.

Christ is risen – so we can be in relationship with Him!

(14:9) – Christ’s authority over us (He is Lord over our lives)

This is the element that we must not neglect when we describe our relationship with Christ. Many, describe their relationship to Christ as to a school friend; we hang out with him. You don’t hang out with Christ. He is our Lord. It is a relationship indeed, but it is guided by Christ’s Lordship!

Many trip over this fact… they don’t want any bosses over their lives. But, what if the boss that you have really cares for you, and works toward your success? What if the Lord Jesus cares so much for your soul, that he went on the cross for you? What if His love directs his lordship?

V. Resurrection unlocks the eternal life (8:11; 31-34)

(8:11) – based on what we have such confidence that we will rise as Christ was risen? 

Here is the answer – Christ holds the keys to death (Rev. 1:18) – the keys are the sign of authority!

When did he gain this authority? Based on few passages that we are about to read, we will understand that this unique authority over death was gained through His death and resurrection.

(Matt. 28:18) – the authority was given to him (he obtained it; it is unique authority that Christ gained at some point)

(Phil. 2:6-11) – authority is gained after death

(Eph. 1:19-22) – authority is gained after resurrection

(Rom. 14:9) – death and resurrection – led to authority over living and dead.

What we must conclude is that the keys to death were gained by Christ during his death and resurrection. The key were somewhere in the tomb of Christ, and in order to get to these keys, Christ had to die, and when he was raised, he grabbed those keys, and now He has authority over death in a unique, new, and very powerful way!

Listen, if you are scared of death… these texts offer you hope!

(8:31-34) – those who are born again believers, have not only the confidence that Christ holds the keys of death, and he will free them from death at one point, but they know that while they live, He intercedes for them as the best advocate there is before the throne of God!

We began with the story of Spurgeon’s conversion – Look unto Christ! What do we see based on Scripture? He is alive, he has wounds on His hands so you and I can have confidence. He has paid the penalty for sin, He has overcome the power of sin, He is risen so that we could have relationship with Him, and He holds the keys to death. Our faith has a strong and powerful foundation – Risen Christ!