Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

The Righteousness of Easter

I heard of a preacher the other day who said he had a man complain to him that he wasn’t coming back to church anymore and the preacher said, “Why not?” The man replied; “I only come to church twice a year and all I ever hear you preach on is the birth of Christ and the resurrection of Christ.”

Needless to say, this man did not see the worth of Christ throughout the year. This can be said, not only of those who may only attend from time to time, it can also be said of those who attend for wrong reasons.

Jesus Christ is not just the beginning of our faith and the end of our faith, he is also everything in between. Not only does he hold the universe together as per Col.1:17, he likewise holds our faith together as well.

This is why the Apostle Paul said in I Cor.9:6 ...”woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

It may be foolishness to some as Paul notes in I Cor.1:18-25.

The message of the cradle is comforting to the world, but the message of the cross condemns the world. Christ came because we have sinned and come short of the glory of God our creator.

When people visualize the baby Jesus in the manger they get soft feelings in their hearts for the innocent child. But when they visualize the blood stained cross and the pierced body of our disfigured Lord they cringe. There is a country song Toby Keith sings entitled, What Do Your Think of Me Now?

This same question is now asked of us regarding Jesus Christ. What do we think of him now? Was his death foolish as some suppose? Is his gospel message of forgiveness of sins and eternal life foolish as some suppose it to be?

Jesus Christ, as the sinless manifestation of the Father to the world, has already made known to us God’s holy price for our sins.

Rom.1:14-17

In this passage the Apostle Paul gives to us three of his “I am” statements. Paul understood his sinfulness. He understood the holiness of God. He understood why God could have nothing to do with him apart from being made clean in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

He said in v.14, “I am a debtor”, and in v.15, “ I am ready to preach the gospel” .., and in v.16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.... v.17 For in it (the gospel of Christ) is the righteousness of God revealed...”

What a powerful statement, what a powerful proclamation.

All of the pettiness that goes on in some churches and the scrambling to get things done sometimes comes to a sudden stop when we take in this passage.

The gospel of Christ is: the good news that Jesus Christ has atoned for all of the sins of mankind, and he did it by means of his own death as an innocent man dying for a guilty world. And then the good news continues that he arose from the dead three days after his death and burial, just as he said he would do. Now this may be foolishness to some, but it’s not foolish to those who have believed. It’s not foolish to me.

I read a story of a man in a big city who walked around with one of those sandwich signs strapped to himself. On the front of the sign it read; I AM A FOOL FOR CHRIST!

And on the back of the sign it read: WHOSE FOOL ARE YOU?

God did not pick our human good to reveal his righteousness.

He did not pick religion to reveal his righteousness. He picked his Son, Jesus Christ, to reveal his righteousness.

God’s righteousness is his right-ness. And he wants us to be right. Sin has made us wrong. Sin has put a wall between us and God and no amount of effort on our part, no matter how grand; no matter how sacrificial we may become, will ever lift us over that wall.

Unless people admit this stark difference between us and God; this gospel of Christ will continue to be foolishness.

God says you can’t climb over that wall, and you can’t go around that wall.

God’s standard of all that is holy and right and pure and clean and joyous is the standard he wants us returned to. And this is why God put a door in the wall that separates us from him.

Paul said in Acts 14:27 that this door is the door of faith. Jesus Christ said in John 10:7,9

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep... I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.”

Can it be said any clearer than Christ said it here?

We serve a risen Savior.

We close with Luke 24:1-6 read...

We do not visit His burial site for the angel told the disciples on that first Easter morning, “He is not here...”

Are you saved? Have you received Christ as your Savior. Have you gone to him to be your door to eternal life? If you have then you have begun a lifetime of blessing and a lifetime of challenges. He will be with you all the way and his word will guide you all the way as well. If you are already a believer, but you have allowed the things of this world to cloud your appreciation for Christ, he stands ready to take charge once again in your life. Privately confess your sins to the Father in Christ name and he will forgive you of all sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness, I John 1:9.

The Pastor
February 2013

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