Sunday Sermon (Easter Service) – 21 Apr 2019 10:39:55 am – Pastor James Yang
A few years ago the father of elder Peter Lee passed away. He had listened to our gospel but he just did not get one thing in his heart. So he asked me “What is resurrection?” It was an easy answer for me.
I explained to him and asked him to recall if he was able to remember how his son had been involved in a car accident where he killed someone. So he was imprisoned and after serving his term, he was released. Likewise, Jesus who carried our sins had to face death. And he was considered dead as he was in the tomb for three days. After three days, he did not have to stay there any long and he got out. So I explained this as resurrection. I was so thankful.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is most important in Christianity. For many people, although Jesus had arose and defeated sin, they still believe that they have sin. This is as good as implying that Jesus should still be in the tomb. If you claim that you still have sins left in you, then it means you do not want to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In Luke 24, two disciples were walking towards Emmaus. They were discussing amongst themselves. They were so saddened by the fact that Jesus had died on the cross. They saw the circumstances and just believed that Jesus was indeed dead. They totally forgot how Jesus had mentioned that He would rise again after three days. So with a sad countenance, they walked.
But Jesus appeared to them to explain and remind the scriptures to them.
When I preach the gospel to people, some of them ask me, “But pastor, ok, so Jesus took away our sins but what about our sins of the future?” As I hear this, I can see they are confined by their thoughts.
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.””
Matthew 1:21-23 NKJV
Some people also ask me “Pastor, so if Jesus took away all my sins, then can I commit sins wilfully?” They misunderstand. Yes, Jesus is Saviour. But Jesus also means “God with us”. So if you are together with Jesus and together with God, then it does not make sense that you are also together with sin. What does the bible say about this? It says this:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
Romans 6:1-2 NKJV
We are not no longer in sin for we have died to it. Before we were slaves of sin. But now, we are slaves of righteousness.
Thus asking the question “Can I still commit sin after salvation?” Also implies “Can I still be slave of sin and not of righteousness?” The bible says that we are now no longer living in sin for we have died to it. We are now slaves of righteousness.
With our thoughts, we can only see the circumstances. This was exactly what happened with the disciples heading to Emmaus. They lost all hope. They thought that believing in Jesus amounted to nothing.
Many people ask me “Pastor, how can I say I am righteous when I see myself as sinning all the time?”
Last night, I spoke to a man who was an accupuncturist. We spoke about this and that. He told me how he believed in God and how he graduated from theology school. He tried to teach me and I wanted to learn. But what he told me was very contradictory to the bible.
So I testified to him.
When I was young, close to my house, there was a chubby girl. She would say hi to me and also wink at me. Then very naturally, I started to think about her. Continuing on, lustful heart started arising. I then went to the dawn services and prayed loudly “Lord, forgive me because I have this lustful heart towards this girl”. Then someone tapped my shoulder and it was the pastor who then told me not to pray so loudly as he could hear everything. I was so ashamed. No matter how much I prayed to have my sins forgiven, it never was.
Then I shared how I received salvation in the army. I told him that if he has only knowledge but there are sins in his heart, then he would be in trouble.
Many people have knowledge of the bible and that too, in limited form, but important thing is that in their heart, they still have sins remaining.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—”
Romans 5:12 NKJV
According to the Word, through one man (Adam), sin entered the world. Then death spread to all men. If you believe this, then you can believe that your works and efforts are all meaningless.
“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”
Romans 4:19 NKJV
Folks, it is true that it is not easy for one to have a child once you are over 45. Think about when you are 90. Thus, Abraham and Sarah both knew the deadness of their bodies to conceive. The circumstances is thus very stuffy. This is an important verse.
Jesus then expounded the scriptures to the disciples who were on their way to Emmaus. Then their hearts burned as they remembered the Words of Jesus. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
As I shared the gospel yesterday with an elderly lady named Doreen, and her son, they accepted the gospel right away in their hearts. I felt so thankful because God prepared them. But many others will argue and say “But…, but… but”.
Folks, Jesus came down to earth to wash away our sins because we cannot do it ourselves. We are people who cannot understand the true position of our heart. We are all sinners.
“If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man.”
Job 35:6-8 NKJV
Folks, your works and deeds cannot make God sad. Before God, we are such insignificant beings. We are all equally sinful and are sinners. There is no difference.
For the woman caught in the very act of adultery (WCA), she was no different from those who wanted to stone her to death. So when Jesus asked them “Those of you who do not have sin be the first to stone the woman”, all of them left.
If you can see yourself through the Words of Jesus, then you will be able to see how dirty, filthy and evil you are. Eventually, you will not be able to point your finger at others because you yourself are so dirty, filthy and evil. The bible says there is nothing more deceitful and wicked than the human heart.
People think that they can do good. They think that they can love their neighbours as themselves. Even if not, they try. They think they should try at least. But the bible says this:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Romans 3:20 NKJV
Folks, my wife and I have differences. If I truly love her, then it means I should feel cold when she does, hungry when she does and so on.
“knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,”
I Timothy 1:9-10 NKJV
Apparently, the Australian Border Force authority is entrusted by Australian Federal law to check bags of passengers if they want. If I stop then, then I commit a crime. Likewise, the law is made for the lawless. Not for the righteous.
In this world, there is nothing that satisfies our heart.
““Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.””
Ecclesiastes 1:2 NKJV
This is the conclusion of king Solomon, who had 1000 wives.
“Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.”
Ecclesiastes 2:10 NKJV
Solomon realised how vain his life was.
For us, it is impossible but for God it is all possible. Consider Mary who gave birth to Jesus although she was a virgin.
“But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,”
Romans 4:5 NKJV
God justifies the ungodly. If God says that we are righteous, then we are. If the president of the country appoints you as an authority, then think about how much more will you be when God establishes you.
“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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
With our capabilities, it is impossible. But with God it is possible.
In the eyes of the two disciples, it was not possible that Jesus could come back to life. Even though Jesus was next to them, they could not understand. Only when Jesus began to expound on the Words of God, then only could they understand and start to believe.