Saturday, January 20, 2018

The greatest thing about me is that Christ has made me ALIVE.

Paul is proclaiming that if you are a Christian, then you have been raised from the dead. This mere fact is what should change your whole life. You have been saved from sin and hell. You have been rescued by Jesus. Now does any of this surprise us? If you have been in a church for a long time, you know you are a Christian and know that Christ died for you. So, to hear this, you may be bored. You may say, “I know what Jesus did for me, and I know I am saved and going to heaven… so let’s talk about something deeper.” Let me say this: there is nothing more important for you than to hear what Jesus has done for you.

Paul uses the word “raised” here. He is implying that before Christ came into your life, you were dead. Your heart was lifeless. Yes, you could breathe, and walk and talk and think. Your heart was pumping oxygen to your body. But your soul, the only part of you that lasts forever, was dead. It was far from God and was destined for hell. Spiritually speaking, you were lying there in a casket in your grave lifeless. 

But as Paul said, Christ came and “raised you.” He called out to you and pulled you out of your death and brought you to life. And He forgave you of all your sin that led you to death and actually gave you more than you could ever deserve: love, forgiveness, eternal life, and endless joy. He made you ALIVE when you were dead.

Paul was writing to a church almost 2000 years ago and was trying to convince them that the greatest thing about who they were is that Christ had saved them. He was trying to show them that their identity, their worth, and their value should be in what Christ had already done! And this is relevant to us today, too!

Look at your lives today in 2017. What are you told that you should live for and base your life upon? When I was your age, I was told from my freshman year on that I needed to do all that I could to get good grades, score high on the ACT, get scholarships, and figure out what major I wanted to pursue in order to have a great future. I was pressured to think that my life’s worth was dependent upon my grades and success. Maybe for you, people say that you are a nobody, or you’re missing out if you are not in a dating relationship. Maybe you think that you must make a certain team or be in a play, or be the best at something, in order for you to find the happiness that everyone is seeking.

But Paul would say to you, “You have been made alive in Jesus!” Everything that you seek in grades, relationships, talent, and success you already have in Jesus! We all want happiness, joy, to be loved, to be satisfied. Isn’t that what you want in life? You already have that in Jesus! When He came to Earth to die and be resurrected from the tomb, He won all of that for you. All the love, joy, and satisfaction that you seek are found in Jesus!

Listen to this encouraging verse in Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” This means that when you become a Christian, in that instant, God gives to you everything that Jesus has! Love, joy, satisfaction. All of it is yours because Christ did all of the work… but He gave you the reward!

So, what does all of this mean? This means that God does not judge you according to your grades or success. Your value is not based on your athletic career and stats. Your happiness does not come from a boyfriend or girlfriend or a social reputation. You are a child of God. The greatest thing about you is that Christ has made you alive. You have been raised with Christ.

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