Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the great truths is that when you are a Christian, you have victory. You have the victory already. Isn't that great to play a game and know that you're going to win? The good news is the Bible says that you're going to win, you're going to have the victory.
Friday, February 26, 2021
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
One of the great truths is that when you are a Christian, you have victory. You have the victory already. Isn't that great to play a game and know that you're going to win? The good news is the Bible says that you're going to win, you're going to have the victory. Who will you have the victory over? You'll have the victory over sin and death.
I get this from 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 where it says this: "Where oh death is your victory? Where oh death is your sting? The implied answer to both questions is it's nowhere. Verse 56 says, "the sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law." The law helps us to know right and wrong and that's what helps us see sin. The wages of sin is death. So the law leads to sin, or at least leads to us seeing that it's sin, and sin leads to death. But we have victory over all of that. So the text goes on to say, "but thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ".
You're a winner. I'm not talking about looking in the mirror and pumping yourself up. You're a winner because of Jesus Christ. You have one question? Do you want to be a winner or not? If you do, then follow Jesus Christ. Put your faith in Jesus Christ and trust Him alone. He will give you the victory. When I put my faith in Jesus Christ many yeas ago in October or November on a Sunday night, 1983, I felt the victory. I had some things going on in my life that I instantly changed. Yeah, there's some other things that took time and some other things that are still a battle right now, but I know this: from that day on, I knew I was right with God. I knew I had won. I had victory over sin and death in the law.
Do you? You can have victory if you commit your life to Jesus Christ. Many of you have, some of you have not, and there might be some of you who think you have, but you really have not. So how do you have the victory in Jesus Christ? You invite Him into your life by faith. You do that by saying "Jesus Christ, you are God. Jesus Christ, I am not and I'm a sinner. I believe when you died on the cross, you took my place and paid for my sins. You allowed me to be forgiven of everything so that I can be in right relationship with you for the first time ever and so that I can go to heaven. Because of all that, I have your victory."
Have you ever committed your life to Christ? You say, "Vince, I've always believed that." First of all, you didn't "always believe that". When you're three months old, you didn't believe anything. There has to be a point in time when you believe it. You might say "I believed it when I was a kid." Great. That's not enough, either. Have you received Jesus Christ? You have to believe it and receive it. Have Jesus Christ come into your life. He never goes where he is uninvited; he must be invited. Will you invite Him into your life? Say, "Jesus Christ, come into my life. I put my faith in you alone, not in my good work, not in my religion, not in my sacraments, not in any human effort, but in you alone. Come into my life. I receive you by faith." If you say it and mean it, you're a Christian. Life might be hard. In fact, it might get harder. Just because you become a Christian doesn't make your life automatically easier, but I will say this: with Jesus Christ at the center of your life, you have the victory. You have won.
I want to win. Do you? If you've committed your life to Jesus Christ by saying that prayer, let us know about it! You can send us an email or tap the Connect button in the Lakeshore App. We want to celebrate with you and support you in your new faith! Thanks for joining me today, have a great day.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Our theme "Your identity in Jesus Christ". It's amazing to me that when people become a Christian they really fail to grasp who they are in Jesus. They've been transformed, translated, and they're new creations. And they don't understand how.
Monday, February 1, 2021
So we're looking at Ephisians 1, which is a fascinating, rich chapter that speaks more of our about our identity in Christ and different traits of that than any other chapter that I'm aware of in the Bible. And so far, we've looked at five of them, and I'll give you them by way of review from last week. And if they intrigue you can read, watch or listen to them. So far, we've learned that our new identity in Christ means that because of Jesus Christ, we are blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, and redeemed.
So today, I'm going to talk about the sixth, it's perhaps the most plain, but the most beautiful nonetheless, in Jesus Christ, our new identity is that we are forgiven. We are forgiven. It doesn't matter what somebody wants to hold over your head. You're forgiven. I had a friend, when I worked at RIT, we had desks next to each other in the office, where we were technical lab assistance. And he had a sticker on the wall behind our desk that said "Christians aren't perfect, we're just forgiven".
We're not perfect. We're just forgiven. But thank God that we're forgiven. I get that from Ephesians 1:7-9, it says "in Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,...". God forgave our sins, according to the riches of God's grace. And he lavished us in forgiveness.
What a thought -- lavished in grace and forgiveness. Forgiveness, the Christian bar of soap, it cleanses you, from everything in the past, everything in the present, everything in the future. Did you know that? That God has forgiven you of everything in your past? That's the most obvious. Do you know that because of his forgiveness, he's forgiving you of the sins you're struggling with in the present? Did you know that he's forgiving you of sins you haven't even dreamed of committing yet? That's how rich His grace is, forgiveness. I know this, when God has forgiven me of something, I can forget about it. It doesn't mean I don't learn from it. It doesn't mean I'm not warned to not do it again. Jesus said "go and sin no more" to the woman caught in adultery who he forgave, and didn't condemn. But forgiveness is a great feeling. When I know I'm forgiven, man, I feel good. Life has meaning. When you are a Christian, you are a forgiven person. Live the freedom that forgiveness provides. That's your identity in Jesus Christ.
Are you living free? You should because you're forgiven.
Let's pray. Father, thank you for forgiving us. We didn't deserve it. But your grace, determined that we would be forgiven and not only do forgive us, by grace you lavishly, graciously forgave us. Thank you for something we couldn't do, couldn't earn and it was all through your Son, Jesus Christ who shed his blood to forgive us. Help us live free, free not just to do what we want, but free to please you with our life, because that's our new identity. And we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.