In 2nd Corinthians 5:17, Paul writes to the Christians in the Roman city of Corinth: “If anyone is in Christ, he is new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” What he means is what I said in last week’s sermon intro post: we can be, and in fact we need to be, resurrected now, before we die.
On Easter Sunday, we looked at what Paul says in 1st Corinthians 15 about resurrection. At the beginning Paul reminds them of the good news that he preached to them. Good News is often called gospel. That’s what “gospel” means? “Good News”.
The amazing good news is that there is no one that cannot be reached. There is resurrection hope for everyone…NOW!
But what is the scope of that resurrection hope? Like I said last week, just pie in the sky when we die? So often churches and Christians through ages have talked about the good news as salvation from hell. No doubt that is good news! Resurrection means we have hope of rising from the dead as Jesus did, so that we can be with him. But what we see in the pages of the New Testament is that God is very much concerned about the situation of our lives NOW.
The shocking good news that the resurrection tells us is that we can begin to live the new life of Christ now.
The old has gone, the new has come. The words are in in the present tense. We can be changed NOW.
I think this is what is so powerful about the words that Paul shared in the verses that we studied a week ago. Remember what he said in 1st Corinthians 6:11?
After listing a bunch of vices, he says “that is what some of you were!”
You were changed.
Think about the junk of your life. God wants to lift you up out of that and help you experience his abundant life now.
This new abundant life gives us the idea of Jesus’ kingdom come now. Like he taught us to pray in the Lord’s prayer: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on EARTH as it is in heaven!
One way to understand this concept is to see that the resurrection so changes us that we make it our life’s passion to usher in the Kingdom now, in all its various forms. This is why we as a church have given so much time and attention to the needs of our community. Serving the poor through CVCCS. We want them to understand that God’s Kingdom matters now, that resurrection is available now! I love seeing the display in our building’s lobby, asking people to donate items for the food and clothing bank. I am so proud of Faith Church for having Church Has Left The Building Sundays where one Sunday per year, instead of having a worship service in our sanctuary, we the church leave the building and worship by serving the community. We want them to see that God’s Kingdom matters now, that resurrection is available now.
And so we need to be resurrected now. When we trust in Christ, when we believe in him as the savior of our sins, when we give our lives to follow him, he tells us that we are being made new, right now. Do you need to be resurrected now? I’d love to talk with you.