The first followers of Jesus didn't believe in the resurrection as an idea, but as an event they had witnessed. Jesus' resurrection was not only the fulfillment of His promise to rise from the dead, but God's promises about the Messiah who would come to rescue humanity from sin and death and for a life of holiness with Him. How do we respond appropriately to this event? Live out our faith by making every effort we can to walk in God's promises to us, cooperating with what God has already done in and for us.
Jesus went to the cross for more than only paying for our sin (rebellion) against God. Jesus' death was an act which Paul said exposed or disarmed the spiritual powers and authorities. These were the spiritual rulers created by God, who also rebelled against God. Jesus' death and resurrection was a demonstration to humanity of there being another way to live than offered by our world. A way of love and sacrifice which evil could not overcome. Do we believe the cross and resurrection of Jesus still has the power to overcome evil, not only in the world, but in our day to day lives?
The early church devoted themselves to a set of basic practices that helped them fulfill Jesus' Great Commission and Great Commandment. While we live in a different culture and can't do things exactly as the early church did, we can still engage in the same practices, the first in our series being devotion to the teaching of the apostles. To apprentice ourselves to Jesus requires we know His teaching.
This is the second sermon is a series looking at practical ways to help ourselves grow to be more like Jesus. The tagline for Connect to Others is I am helping someone and someone is helping me be a reproducing follower of Jesus. We are not designed to follow or become like Jesus by ourselves. We need at least one other person who knows what is going on in our inner life to help us follow through on what God speaks to us about. Without accountability we will struggle to become more like Jesus.
Becoming like Jesus means putting off our sinful attitudes, behaviors & character (ABC’s) qualities as we also seek to put on the ABC’s of Jesus. Confession is a key spiritual discipline to help us put off sin while making room for us to put on the life of Christ.