I’m going to use this time after Easter to explore Christian belief from the ground-floor up. After Easter, in my opinion, is a fitting time to do so because we stand in the glorious afterglow of Christ’s emergence from the
tomb. The Cross and the Resurrection which follows provides for us an absolute and undeniable certainty that
God truly loves us.
And it is love which allows us to talk about deep and difficult matters. Here’s what I mean. When I walk down the street and meet people, it isn’t likely that I’m going to talk about weighty matters. Instead, “hot enough for you?” or “How about those Panthers?” are going to be the limits of my conversational topics. Very light, not terribly deep. With loved ones, on the other hand, I can talk about all sorts of things, sharing even the depths of my heart. My hopes, my dreams, my aspirations.
So, again, that’s why I think after Easter is a perfect time to delve into what the Bible says about Christians and about Christian life.
Because, and anyone who knows me knows my thoughts on this matter, that is to say I talk about it frequently, knows that I think things within the Church of Jesus Christ have, on a whole lot of fronts, gone awry. My sense is that many of us think that the leaders of the Church with the capital “c”, have lost the thread on what the Bible says. Instead of listening to the Word of God, we’ve chosen to reframe the Word of God around whatever contemporary philosophy is putting forward. Now look, I won’t bore you with too much of that today, but do know that’s my belief. Natalie, my wife, is a saint, because despite how dull that topic is to her, and rightfully so, she sure endures a lot of my droning on about it.
So, I want to take this time after Easter to just remind all of us, myself included, about what it is we Christians believe, unencumbered my contemporary trends in intellectual circles.
During the course of this sermon series I’m going to reflect on this theme that “You Can’t Lose in Christ.” That title will make more sense as we go deeper into the series. Just so you know, I believe the Bible puts forward the belief that, for those who are in Christ, you really can’t lose. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t lose things, but, throughout this life and into the next, we can’t lose God’s protection and the security which comes knowing our eternal tomorrow is safe alongside our reward in heaven. In order to get there though, I’m going to keep coming back to one particular passage of Scripture. It’s the Ephesians passage I read just a few moments ago. In this passage, we get so many of the highlights of Christian belief.
The passage begins with a difficult matter. Sin. Paul writes – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked…”
There’s our entry point. Our beginning. Because if there is but one thing every one of us here and online totally get deep within us is sin. Rich or poor, young or old, we get it.
Contrary to a lot of the voices of the world, Jesus talks an awful lot about SIN. Nowadays mostly what we hear from pulpits are sermons on Jesus’ congruity with social justice. And, don’t mistake me here, Jesus does in fact endorse a lot of what social justice warriors espouse.
But it wasn’t the ONLY thing He talked about. And, again, among His chief topics is SIN.