Resurrection Opened the Way

Resurrection is the reason for this season. Jesus came alive. The tomb was opened. The travelers’ eyes were opened. The disciples minds were opened and this opened their mouths to tell the Gospel story. (Luke 24:11-42)

Speaker(s): Pastor John Love, Pastor Steven Scibelli

Sermon # 11588
7:30 PM on 12/5/2018

 

 

P. Scibelli

Acts 26:22

We talked about this in our Bible college chapel. It’s a great verse. I was talking to people today in China, Japan, Africa, Europe, – different people overseas. The importance of continuing. The enemy cannot reverse my salvation. There’s no way that can happen. We know eternal security. He would love to get me to a place where I would not continue to come to God or receive from God.

Heb 4:16 says we come boldly with tremendous freedom and confidence to the throne of grace. We find grace and mercy to help in time of need. “Help” means running and crying at the same time. Running and crying out to God. God is my helper means he is running to you. You are running to God and he’s running to you.

Acts 26:22, I continue to this day having received help from God. I can’t continue unless I receive help from God. Paul is saying after facing one trial after another, he has Barnabas leave him and has to face Peter in a problem in Galatia, a thorn in the flesh, his eye sight, everything was coming at him to stop him. He says I continue to this day. He didn’t say for the next year. Every day, I need help from God. Every day, I need to receive help from God. I’m running to his cry. Understanding this truth is so vital for my life. This ministry is approx. 55 to 57 years old. We are here. There have been people who said it’s over and finished. We have 734 ministries in 80 countries. That’s not because of us. It’s because we receive help. Having received help from God, I continue to this day. How does a mother and father raise a family? Get help from God. How does a pastor pastor a church? Get help from God. How do you pray? Receive help from God. How do you continue to read the Bible? Get help from God. How do I give in the offering? I receive help from God.

God is my helper in Heb 13:5-6. He’s a very present help in time of trouble. I continue because I receive help from God. This is such an important thought. Otherwise, it’s “quit this” and “quit that” and you become a quitter in everything. I love P. Renaldo. He’s been 20 years in Africa in about 5 countries. Every time he writes me, the last thing he says is “keep going.” Keep going. It’s not about age or health. It’s about keep going. I get help from God. Keep going. We’ve seen that with P. Stevens, P. Schaller, and this church. We keep receiving help from God. Try to continue without help from God.

It might go for a while but then Gal 6:9 you are weary in well doing. We think about prayer and just sit there and honor God in this prayer time.

Let’s believe God that God answers prayer. I know God is going to help me. He’s going to help us.


 

P. Love

Good evening everyone. P. Shibley, good to see you down here. Isn’t it good to have him here? A new cry out there for people my age and of course years ago in our country, I don’t know if it was the Spanish-American war between the United States and Mexico looking for our independence, the cry was remember the Alamo. The new cry now is every time I get on a ladder to clean out my gutters, my wife comes out, remember Kim Shibley! I don’t think there will be a time for anyone over 40 they will get on a ladder without hearing those words. My gutters will be filled with leaves now and forever!

Luke 24, kind of ironic to me I’m going to talk about this subject because it has to do with the resurrection of Christ. This entire chapter deals with Christ’s bodily resurrection. Ironic because we are moving into the Christmas season. All of our thoughts are occupied with his entrance into the world. Tonight I’m going to talk about his exodus. It’s always appropriate to talk about the resurrection of J.C.

Rom 4:25, Christ was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification. Delivered for our offences, handed over to God as a sacrifice for your sins, my sins, and raised again for our justification so we can be made righteous in the sight of God.

I was talking on Face Time to my granddaughter who lives off the coast of Massachusetts, and she started asking some questions. She asked me who Jesus is. I thought this is a good teaching moment. He died for our sin. She said, what’s sin? I said ask your mother that. It’s when we do bad things and disobey mom. She said, I really don’t understand that. We do something wrong or bad. That’s why Jesus came. I tried to break it down for her to understand at 3 years of age. You do something so bad that mommy and daddy will punish you. She said what does “punish” mean? …then imagine you’ll be punished, but a little friend says you can punish me instead of Willa. Oh, she said. Almost like she liked that idea.

Could we get that kind of substitute? Jesus took our place. I love the story and reflect back on it during a time with the NBA players in the chapel. We had a great group of guys. The media called them the God Squad. They were very committed to Christ. If they were conducting an interview and it was chapel time, they would say sorry we got to go. They were a good group. They were responding. It was a powerful time. Not only were they coming to chapel on the off nights, they were having Bible studies in their hotel room. A reporter asked if he could join one of those Bible studies. They didn’t know the reporter had a different agenda. He had a Jewish background and at some people he started asking questions. He wanted to know who they thought crucified Jesus. One of the players said the Roman government but the Jewish people handled him over for death and he was guilty of blasphemy. This article appeared in the N.Y. magazine and they said the Nick players said the Jews killed Jesus. The media outrage was over the top. That’s all the media wanted to talk about. One gentlemen said, who teaches you the Bible? Someone said that’s the chaplain. That’s Pastor Love. One night I got on the elevator and didn’t know what was happening. It hit the fan and what hits the fan is not evenly distributed. The elevator opens and there are 10 television cameras and they were waiting for me. It was like an ambush. Are you Pastor Love? I didn’t want to lie. Later I would! They said, did you hear about the article? They said we’ll ask you who killed Jesus. I said, oh, that’s easy. I did. And you did. And one of them looked at me and said, what? We killed Jesus. It was our sins that he died for. It was your sins and my sins. I killed Jesus. You killed Jesus. We killed Jesus. You never saw a group in the media leave so quick. I felt a little like Jesus. From that day forward they asked him no more questions.

That’s the gospel message. The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Paid in full the price for our sin forever. Because God was so satisfied with that substitutionary atonement, he raised Christ from the dead. That was God’s way of saying I accept that sacrifice. I am satisfied with the work of my Son. It’s a work that is completed. Anyone who believes on him is perfected forever.

1 Cor 15, Paul said if the resurrection is not a reality, then our faith is empty. If not a reality, we can’t even celebrate Christmas. That would just be another person born in the human race, miraculous but if not raised from the dead, there is no salvation.

Luke 24 none of his disciples, nobody believed he would be raised from the dead. This chapter opens with the women on the way to the sepulcher, the tomb. On the way to finish embalming his body with the spices. They didn’t believe he was raised from the dead. They had no intention of finding an empty tomb. They were surprised when they got there. Their hearts were perplexed. With their perplexed hearts, he opens the tomb, not so he could get out but so they could go in and see the empty tomb. They went back and told certain disciples and they went to see for themselves. They still did not believe. These are his disciples. The tomb is open and they still don’t believe.

God says I won’t stop there. I’ll continue to open a few things. This is the nature of God toward each of us. By nature we are blind. No capacity for spiritual reality. We are as blind as you can imagine when it comes to spiritual truth.

We are like the blind man in Jn 9. That’s our testimony. Once I was blind but now I see. It’s amazing we can see who Jesus really is. We can confess J.C. is Lord. You can’t do that unless the Spirit of God reveals it to our hearts. God, open our hearts, open our eyes. Their unbelief didn’t hinder all God promised. Our unbelief doesn’t hinder the promises of God even when we don’t believe them. Shall our unbelief make the word of God of none effect? Will our lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Absolutely not.

2 Tim 2:13 even when faithless, he abides faithful. Imagine if all of God’s promises hinged on our faithfulness. I would say they would all be nay and never come to pass.

2 Cor 1:22 they are all yeah and amen in Christ. They’ll all come to pass. Our unbelief can’t stop them from being fulfilled. They come, see it, and angels say why seek the living among the dead? Still that doesn’t do anything to their hardened hearts. He stays with them. It all starts by opening the tomb. He came and found their discouraged hearts and opened their eyes.

It starts with opening the tomb and then to opening their eyes. These two men were at the tomb. They were witnesses to an empty tomb but did not believe. They returned to the town of Emmaus. Jesus has paid for our sins, raised from the dead and he should just ascend to the Father…the two men are on the road to Emmaus and I have to seek them out, meet them in their discouragement. They are saddened. He can read their countenance. It’s like a three-act play. The first act is discouragement. The second act is he begins to dialogue with them. I can’t imagine Jesus doing it without cracking a smile. Why are you so sad? Why do you ask such a question? Are you a stranger in Jerusalem? Haven’t you heard about Jesus’ miraculous power and he was crucified and now dead. We had hoped he would have delivered us.

Jesus in that dialogue the Bible says he began to open the Scriptures unto them. This is where it all becomes a reality. We gather together as often as we do. We need the Scriptures opened up to us. Without the Scriptures, we can’t see Jesus. No matter the nature of our disappointment or discouragement, the answer is the same. We need to see Jesus. If our eyes are open and we begin to comprehend him by faith, no matter how overwhelming the circumstances and no matter the disappointment or discouragement or despair, all you have to do is see Jesus. Not able to see him clearly unless the Scriptures are open to your heart. What is the answer to my real problems? Have a Bible study. Let God speak to you. Let him reveal who he is. He revealed everything concerning himself. They didn’t have the N.T. only the Old Testament. On every page of the Old Testament, you will find Christ. On every book of the Old Testament, you will find Christ.

When Christ is revealed to our hearts, our eyes are open. They began to see who he really was. He opened the Scriptures and their eyes opened and they recognized him. When he spoke, can you imagine they got spiritual heartburn? That’s the kind you can live with. Our hearts burned within us when he opened the Scriptures. The discouragement evaporated.

He goes from open tomb, to opening their eyes, to thirdly those whose heart was troubled, and Jesus shows up personally and begins to open their minds. The Bible says they were frightened, terrified and troubled. He’s back from the dead and what do these unbelieving disciples do? Terrified, frightened, and troubled. It says it must be a ghost. In the presence of Christ they still didn’t believe. He shows them his wounds. Someone said the wounds of Jesus will be the only work of man in heaven. No works of man in heaven. Only work we will see that men did are the wounds they put in his hands and feet. He showed them his wounds, not his scars. We will always see Christ as a freshly wounded Savior. As a freshly wounded Lamb of God. He revealed and they still did not believe until he opened their understanding. He did it with the Old Testament Scriptures. The link between the word of God and the enlightening of our hearts and minds. The link between the word and hiding it in our hearts is so vital, so important.

Thank God as P. Scibelli shared we have been in a ministry for some 50 or 60 years. It’s a Bible preaching ministry, a word of God ministry. We won’t settle for being worked up in our emotions. We know heaven and earth pass away but the word of God will abide forever. Hide those words in your heart and familiarize yourself with those words. The more you do the more things open up in your life.

Open tomb, open eyes, open minds or understanding and finally they will open their mouths. They will begin to testify. Finally, their hearts are joyful and now they will become witnesses. That’s why we are in the world today. Jesus didn’t send us or commission us to be judges. I’m sending you in the world to be prosecuting attorneys. No, so you can be my witnesses. What do we share? He’s alive from the dead. He was dead and crucified but raised by the power of God. Our sins are forgiven and salvation is offered by faith alone to whosever will. No matter what you’ve done or your past looks like, you can have a fresh start with God. We’re not prosecuting attorneys. Sometimes when we hear the gospel preached, it comes forth with such condemnation you don’t want to be around it. You are a royal priesthood, a holy nation. It is a response for all of us. You should be witnesses unto me and show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. The gracious way God has dealt with you. His mercy revealed to your heart. The way he has taken your broken heart and made it whole again. Now you are defined by his grace and mercy. Show forth the praises of him. Tell people how good God is. If they just turn to him and trust him and believe on him. Witnessing isn’t something we do for the Lord. He does it through us. We go out and say once I was blind, but now I can see. Once it looked like I was heading for a tomb, but that tomb was opened by Christ and I’m delivered from death and the penalty of sin and a meaningless life that could be characterized by despair. He opened the tomb, our eyes, our understanding and our mouth to go forth to be his witnesses. I’ll give you power so you can be a witness unto me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. Thank God for an open tomb that has led to our eyes being opened. You get renewed in your physical energy and heart and mind. They walked 7 or 8 miles and just scampered back there.

The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will quicken your mortal body in Rom 8:11. If you’re feeling a little tired and haven’t done half the shopping yet, the Spirit of God will quicken you….and you will be his witnesses. An open tomb evidently leads to you and me opening our mouths and filling it with his praises. What makes a difference in your life? We will say the resurrected Christ.

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

Comment(1)

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    Debbie Peragallo says

    When I heard the message this evening, it is exactly what I think that this ministry stands for. The finished work greater grace message. And by grace we continue to walk in this high and holy calling. Thank you for the messages tonight. By His Grace, Debbie

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