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Yes and Amen to the Promise of Grace

Sermon Series:

Always Yes

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Romans 6:5-14


Today, today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And everyone said, amen. So I think if you asked the kid, would you love it if your parents always said yes to everything you asked? I don't know a kid on the planet who wouldn't love that setup. So as parents, I'm a parent, we have to ask ourselves, why don't we just give kids everything they ask for?

Now we have a term for kids who get that, spoiled. Somebody in the first service actually said brat. They can play. They must have been a visitor. But. Now, there are many answers to why parents or grandparents don't give their kids or grandkids everything they asked for. Now, there could be things like, uh, it's not the right time. Maybe we can't afford it. Maybe they don't actually need it. But I think the most important answer to why parents don't give kids everything they asked for is simply because we know that not everything they asked for is good for them.

It was November 21st, 1991. I was 12 years old and the Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past was released for the Super Nintendo. I tell you now, as a 12 year old, there was nothing more I wanted on this planet than that video game. It was November 21st, and I remember begging my parents for this video game. And you know what my parents told me? I haven't told you yet, so no, yeah. My parents told me, well, why don't you just wait a month until Christmas? I tell you, for a 12 year old, a month is an eternity. I remember this conversation in our kitchen in our old house. I remember begging my parents for this. They said, why don't you just wait a month until Christmas? And I said, I want it now. And I'll tell you this, I tried to bargain with them. I said, if you give me this video game right now, I don't want anything else for Christmas and I don't want anything for my birthday. And then I even like tripled down. I said this, if you get me this video game, I will never ever ask for another video game for the rest of my life.

Here's the question. Did I really know what I really wanted? Did I know what was best for me? Here's your question. Listen to the, listen to this. Did I know what would actually make me happier in the long run? No, I didn't. But my parents did. Because that's what parents offer. Parents may say no to us in the moments, but it's because they have a grander, bigger perspective. Now, maybe for you it wasn't a video game. I don't know what it was, but I'm willing to bet at some point in your life you desperately wanted something from your parents and they said no, or your grandparents. I bet you wanted something so bad that your parents said no to it. Now listen, kids may not understand or agree in the moment, but it takes a parent to know what's best. Hear me, it takes a loving father.

And if we know this, if we know this from like a human, earthly standpoint, then that in some way helps us to understand why sometimes our most sincere and desperate prayers are answered by God with no. Because we are His children. And He is not just our Father, He's our loving Father. For a 12-year-old, a month feels like an eternity. And us grown-ups, we just kind of chuckle at that, don't we? But hear me, for an adult, a lifetime can feel like an eternity. And God just kind of laughs at that. Because God's timeline is much grander and better than ours. If a good parent knows that we shouldn't always say yes to our kids, that helps us to know why God doesn't always say yes to everything we pray for or everything we request.

But, but what if there is something that God always says yes to? Because there is something God always says yes to. And it's the promises he's made. The promises of God are things he will always say yes to. It's the better parent who keeps their promises rather than give their kids everything they're asked for. And God is a better father because he says yes to his promises, not yes to what we always ask for. Because his promises are better than our wants. Amen.

And we're reminded about this in such a powerful passage that we've been kind of using as the anchor for this entire sermon series. It comes from 2 Corinthians chapter 1. Says this, for this, as surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been yes and no. Verse 19, for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim among you, was not yes and no, but in him, it is always yes. For all the promises of God find their yes in Him.

2 Corinthians 1:19-20

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

All of God's promises find their yes, find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ whom we are here to celebrate today. Now listen, there are many reasons why God is great, but not least of all is because God keeps His promises. And today on this Easter Sunday we are celebrating that Jesus is alive. And because of that, we have God's yes and amen to the promise of grace. We're gonna talk about that here this morning. The promise of grace is most clearly shown in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And to see that, we're gonna see that fulfillment as it's described in the book of Romans chapter six. So if you have your Bibles, would you please go ahead and turn there now.

If you are using the Bibles we provided that's on page 1199 but we'll be in Romans chapter 6 here this morning and on this Easter on this Resurrection Sunday.

I want you to know that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just a theological tenant of the Christian faith it's not even a deeply held belief for Christians the resurrection of Jesus Christ is first and foremost a historical event it's something that actually happened and the Bible says that this historical event makes or breaks the Christian faith. Now with as much certainty as we can have about any historical date, because the ancients kept different records and kept track of time differently, as best as we can say about any historical date, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this historical event, in all likelihood, April 5 in the year 33 AD. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pinnacle event of all four Gospels. It's the focus woven throughout the New Testament. Everything hinges on whether or not Jesus Christ literally, physically rose from the dead.

First Corinthians chapter 15 says this, it says, if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins, meaning if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then we have no faith

and we have no hope. But if he did, then that changes everything. Every single thing. Our faith hinges upon whether or not Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And we are here to tell this most certainly happens. Because He is risen. My friends, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a guarantee that the promises of God are true and the promises of God find their fulfillment in Christ. And the resurrection is what gives our passage such hope here today. So we're going to read God's Word, Romans chapter 6. And here on this Resurrection Sunday, I would ask that you would please stand for the reading of God's Word. Would you hear God's Word, the letter to the Romans, chapter 6, verses 5 to 14.

Romans 6:5-14

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Amen, this is God's holy word. Let's pray and we'll continue. Father, we come before you, we're thankful for the opportunity to gather here in the company of saints and friends to celebrate the most important event in all of history, when your son rose from the dead, triumphing over Satan, sin, and death. We thank you for the promises that you've made in Christ, and how in Him your promises are always yes. We thank you for the promise of the Holy Spirit, and we ask, oh Holy Spirit,

that you be with us here and now to receive your truth that is both timely and timeless. And we pray these things in the name of the resurrected Savior. It's in Jesus' name we pray, and everyone said amen and amen.

You may have a seat. So church and friends who are gathered here, if I could give you just one idea to take home today, it would be this. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God's yes and amen to the promise of grace. Yes is a statement of affirmation. Amen is a word that basically means truly. So when we say yes and amen, what we are saying is that this is both beautiful and this is true. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God's yes and amen to the promise of grace. And so with that, let me give you an idea how the rest of the morning is going to be structured. We're gonna look at three things here this morning.We're gonna look at how the promise of grace is revealed in our resurrected life, our eternal life, and then we'll look at how it's revealed in our new life.

The Promise of Grace is revealed in...

  1. Our Resurrected Life

  2. Our Eternal Life

  3. Our New Life

So as we talk about grace, though, let's just take a step back and make sure that we know what we're actually talking about. And what's helpful is not just to have a definition, but maybe to hold it in contrast with some of its counterparts to find out exactly what grace is. Now, if you were here with us on Palm Sunday or Good Friday, you would have heard us begin to talk about that. But let me just quickly recap here as we look at what mercy, justice, and grace is. Now, mercy, mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

"Mercy is not getting what we do deserve."

Like when you are speeding and a cop pulls you over and lets you off with a warning instead of a ticket, he or she is being merciful, not giving you what you do deserve. Now this is in contrast to justice. Now let's talk about justice. Let's give it an important definition. Justice is getting what you do deserve.

"Justice is getting what you do deserve."

Let's put it like this. Like when you're speeding and you get pulled over and the officer actually gives you a ticket. That's justice. Justice was happening. Justice is getting what you do deserve. But grace, but grace, oh, grace. There's a reason we call it amazing grace because grace is getting what you do not deserve.

"Grace is getting what you do not deserve."

For instance, like. Like when you're speeding and you get pulled over and you get a ticket, rather than your insurance cost going up, they go down. That's a very crass way to understand grace, that you are getting something that you do not deserve. And when it comes to the Christian faith, what's beautiful about the Christian faith is that we see all three, mercy, justice, and grace. All of those promises find their fulfillment in Jesus. So let's look at grace as revealed in point number one.

1. The Promise of Grace is revealed in our Resurrected Life.

Now there's a church in our area with a similar name to that, Resurrection Life Church. They've got a great name for a church because that is the Christian life. As Christians, we live a resurrection life. We are resurrected. When we become Christians, when we place our faith in Jesus, that means we embrace what he's done for us. This means that we go from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive in him. Go back to your passage. Keep your Bibles open here today. Romans chapter six, look at verses five, six and seven. Paul writes to the Romans and he says this, he says, for if we have been united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with Jesus in order that our body of sin, the life we live now, might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Now let me unpack this. I know that's a thick statement there. Now we often, I think when we talk in church world, we often talk about how modern day religious people can feel like the Pharisees of the Bible. Remember those Pharisees in the Bible, those religious teachers who were hypocrites, who thought they knew better than everyone else, condescending, always looked down on other people. A lot of times we say, that's how modern day religious people are. Modern day religious people are like the Pharisees. They thought they knew better than everyone else. Now, I'm gonna flip that today. I'm going to say, actually, I think the world and the culture at large, in many ways, are like the Pharisees. Hypocrites and think they know better than everyone else. Here's not for you think I'm being judgmental.

Here, follow me on this. You see, what happened was Jesus told some amazing teachings. Jesus told some amazing parables that made you think so much deeper. He calls you to think deeper about these things. And when he would share these things, the Pharisees, they just couldn't get it. It just never clicked for them. They couldn't think like Jesus was teaching. Now, when you read the Bible, Jesus was always throwing people off their guard. He was always saying something and then making them think deeper about it. This is why Jesus' teaching was amazing. This is why he's the greatest teacher there ever was.

He would say things like this to the Pharisees. He would say this.

He would say, You are slaves to sin. And the Pharisees would be like, We're not slaves. Nobody owns us. Nobody tells us what to do. We're not slaves to anybody. And Jesus would be like, You're missing something here, guys. What I mean is that you're enslaved to sin, not because someone else tells you what to do, but because your sin tells you what to do and you obey it because it's your master. You're enslaved to sin. It's like that with this teaching here in Romans. When Paul writes to the Romans and he says that you are dead in your sin and you need to have a pulse. I enjoy my life. And like Jesus, what we have to do is we have to help them to understand what is deeper, what actually is going on here. Like, you think you're alive because you have a body and you have a pulse? Scripture tells us that your spirit is dead because you've given it to sin.

And sin is like a grave. Sin is a tomb that entraps us even if we are still breathing and have a pulse. This is a hard one for people. I'm telling you now, this is a hard one for our culture because people, people love their sin. Very few people will actually put it like that. Not many people will say, yes, I love my sin. Because they don't see it. Most people won't say that though, because they don't see it like that. Rather, it's like this. What happens is, is people love their life apart from God. And they love their life where God doesn't play a role. And what this means is, to love your life apart from God more than you love your life with God. That's what we're talking about.

Or to put it another way, it's like this. When we say people love their sin, here's Here's why this is so sad. Because they see God as that thing that stands in the way between where they are and the life that they love and the life that they want to enjoy. They see God as an obstacle. And in here we expose something about human nature, I'd say especially in our American culture, is that we have so confused the difference between enjoyment and fulfillment.

I will tell you right now, I can personally attest to you, sin can be enjoying for a while. Sin can bring enjoyment for a while, but what you don't understand about sin is that it always takes more than it gives. And it's a poison that slowly rots us from the inside. Oh sure, it tastes sweet for a moment, but over a life it hollows us out until there's nothing left for us and we have no fulfillment. We have no fulfillments versus life in God where we have not just happiness, we get that, but we get joy. And through that we have true fulfillments because faith will always bring us more than what we give to it.

That's the difference between faith and sin, but our world loves their sin. They love their life apart from God because it tastes sweet for the moment, but they don't have the eternal perspective like God does. And like God gives to his followers to see this won't last. It's only going to lead somewhere dark and I think there's something about the human nature that in our heart of hearts we actually know this. We just never will realize it because we love our sin. Sin brings enjoyment for a time but can never bring fulfillment. That's what faith in Jesus brings. That's what Christ brings us.

I love what scripture says here in verse 5. It says, if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We were dead, but now we are resurrected. But listen here, we didn't just return to life. That's called resuscitation. We've been resurrected. And with that, the resurrection life that we have, the Bible says that in this resurrection life, we will no longer be enslaved to sin because the death of Jesus has freed us from that.

So here's how it works. Resurrection life is not a return to a life where we just continue to sin. Resurrection life is the start of a life free from sin. That's the difference between resuscitation and resurrection. Is that people who are resuscitated, they are brought back from death, their heart may start again, but they will return to their life of sin and they will still die. But for those who have been resurrected spiritually, though we die, yet shall we live. We live forever, which leads to our second point. Our eternal life.

2. The Promise of Grace is revealed in our Eternal Life.

Go to verses 8, 9, and 10 and 11. Here we go. Verse 8, Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again. Death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died, he died to sin once for all. But the life he lives, he lives to God in Jesus Christ. I'm fully aware that for many people, probably many people who can hear my voice right now, this is the only Sunday you'll find yourself in church all year long. So I want you to hear something from me. Your life actually does mean something. You are not a cosmic accident. Your life has purpose, has value, it has meaning. You are created in the image of God. All of this actually means something. This is all actually going somewhere.

I know the world and the world out there wants to tell us that we're just around until the eventual extinction of the human race or the eventual exhaustion of all the heat in the universe, but I'm here to tell you, history has a bookend. This is all leading somewhere, this is all leading to a grand culmination, and your life means something, and it really means something in the long run, but you need to know, you need to realize that now, that your life starts now, hear me. We have not been resuscitated to a life that will just end again. For those who believe in Jesus, we've been resurrected spiritually to a life that will never end.

As we get to be with Christ and get to be with God again, to be a Christian means to have eternal life here and now. As our verse says in verse eight, as our passage says in verse eight, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we'll also live with him. We place our faith in Jesus, it's like we're crucifying our old self just as Christ was actually crucified. But as he was resurrected, our crucified self gives way to a new spiritual resurrected life that will never end. But hear me, that doesn't start when you die. It starts the moment you believe. So let me just jump to the end right now and say to you, call on the name of Jesus Christ. Find the love of God. Find salvation in Jesus' name. Be brought back into a relationship with God that brings you fulfillment that only He can bring. To be a Christian means to have eternal life here and now. Christians, in Christ we will never die.

We get to be brought back to God forever. This is called grace. We don't have to face an eternal death in hell, separated from God, which our sins most certainly deserve. If you're here Good Friday, we talked about that. It's a simple equation, my friends. When we sin against an eternally holy God, the way we pay for those sins is through an eternal punishment. It's a simple equation. To sin against an eternally holy God means we pay for those sins eternally. But we don't have to because of what Christ has done. He has stood in the gap, paid the penalty for our sin, and we place our faith with Him and not only do we get eternal life, we get brought back to God. This is resurrection life. This is eternal life, which can be summed up in number three, our new life.

3. The Promise of Grace is revealed in our New Life.

Since we have this resurrected and eternal life, we need to ask ourselves, how then shall we live? What's our response? What is to be a Christian life from here on out?

Where our passage tells us, here's what it says, verse 12, it says, let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions and our past is continues. But here's what we do now. We present ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life. We live before God as people who have been saved as people who have been brought from death to life. That's how we live. Now the letter to Romans here is a saying you've been made new, so don't live like the old. You've been made new, so don't live like the world. That's the old way. We have a new way in Jesus.

We need to live like people made new. Who here has ever drawn on a whiteboard, on a dry, erased whiteboard? Let me see, let me see. I don't care how old you are, it's always fun. If you ever stop into my office at some point during the week, you're gonna see, most times you're gonna see my whiteboard is covered in jots and notes, because that's how I think about sermons and writing and stuff. Every now and again my kids will come and erase something and write me a note, and I can't get mad at them for that. But here's the thing. I think when we think about salvation, I think some people conceptually think about it in terms of a whiteboard. Here's what I mean.

I think here's what many people think salvation is. That when we are born, we're born with a clean whiteboard. A clean slate. And so what happens is that we've got this red marker. And throughout our life, what happens is that every time we sin, that gets written on our whiteboard. And throughout our lives, this whiteboard becomes covered in all these red sins. And I think what people often think is that, well, salvation is like Jesus walking into the room and taking the eraser and he wipes the board clean and there it is clean and that's salvation. We get a clean slate. Let me tell you that is a very, very shallow way to understand salvation.

Let me explain how, using this analogy, let me explain how this really goes. Number one, you're not born with a clean slate. All of us are born into sin. All of us are born with that red pen in our hand, ready to sin. I mean, this is why most babies' first word is no to their parents instead of yes. But let's just play it out. You got this whiteboard, and throughout your life, you're writing, you go through your life, and every time you sin, it gets written on that whiteboard. And for those who place their faith in Jesus, it's not as though Jesus walks into the room and wipes the whiteboard clean. No, no, no, no. It's like Jesus walks into that room, he takes that whiteboard off the wall, he breaks it over his knee, he chucks it out the window, he grabs your hand and he walks you outside and into the sun and he welcomes you not just as a sinless person, but as a son or daughter in the kingdom of God. Yeah, amen. Salvation is more than a clean slate. It's a new identity.

Meaning the gospel doesn't through the gospel. God doesn't just see us as sinless, though he does. God doesn't just see us as righteous, though he does. God sees us as a son or daughter in his kingdom. And this is why we obey our father. Verse 14 says, sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law, but under grace. Here's what we mean. We're not under the law. We don't live trying to obey God's law to earn God's love or earn salvation. We're not under that. There are many a man with calloused hands because of a life of hard work, them trying to earn their way to heaven who are in hell right now. You are not saved by your good works. You are not saved by obeying the law. You could never obey the law perfectly enough to earn your way into heaven. We are not under the law, we are under grace.

We are under the fact that God saves us though he does not have to. We are saved by grace, we are given salvation though we have not earned it. It is something we receive by placing our faith, by placing our lives in the loving trust of our faithful Savior. Knowing what He's done for us is better than what we could ever do for ourselves. Our loving Father has said yes and amen to the promise of grace, giving us what we do not deserve, and this is seen most powerfully in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The question I want to ask a couple groups of people in here, for you Christians, have you gotten off course? Have you forgotten the truths revealed to you?

Have you forgotten the grace that God's extended to you? Have you gotten off course? Brother or sister, come home. Return, return to your Father. Return to your Father through faith in Jesus empowered by the Spirit. Do not delay. Do it now.

But for those of you who do not have faith in Jesus, maybe you've heard this your entire life, maybe you've heard this for the very first time, my prayer for you right now is that you are open to the Spirit moving in your hearts, calling you to repent, to reject your sin and place your faith in the one who loves you infinitely more than anyone else possibly ever could. Place your faith in the one who can save you from the pit of hell. Place your faith in the one who can save you from yourself. Place your faith in Jesus.

Jesus Christ gave up his life for us, taking our punishment on the cross so that we could be made new. This happened. This was fulfilled on the resurrection that happened on Sunday, April 5th, in the year 33 AD, the day that changed everything, the promise of God was made sure for all who would place their faith in God.

We started the sermon by talking about how God sometimes makes us wait. God sometimes says no. But I'm telling you now, there's one thing that God is not making you wait for. There is something that God is calling you to right now, and that's salvation. He does not make you wait for that. He calls you now as your loving Father, calling you back home. So reject, repent of your sin that Christ has already paid the penalty for, and embrace the love of God that's only found in Jesus Christ. If it's time for you, Christian, to return home, if it's time for you, lost sinner, to place your faith in Jesus and be found as a son or daughter in the Kingdom of God, I'm going to tell you right now, after the service, join us in the prayer room.

But even before we do that, we're going to respond through worship. And here's what I'm going to say to you. Salvation. If God's our Father and He looks upon us as children, He's going to make it as simple, as simple as for a child to understand. We simply place our faith, we place our trust, we place our life in God's hand, handing it over to Him, placing our faith in Him, in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, makes us new. And it's that simple. And that starts an eternal life, not when you die, it starts now, that we no longer live under the law, but we live under grace. And this is good news.

And so, if you are a Christian who has held this belief for one day or for 80 years, as we close up today, we're going to sing an old hymn in an old way. My prayer for you, brother or sister, is that you would sing of your faith in ways that shows the rest of the world that you believe that Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. We are going to respond in prayer. If it's time for you to come home and place your faith in Jesus, we'll gather here after the service, but I think the proper, the most immediate response is to worship. Amen? Amen. So let's stand and do that now. Would you please bow your head and let's pray.

Father, we come before you here and now in the presence of our church family or new friends, asking God that you, by the power and presence of your spirit, you'd speak to our hearts, calling us, reminding us of what Christ has done for us, that he has triumphed over Satan, our sin, and death itself, and extends to us new life. It's an offer of grace, giving us what we don't deserve. And so, Father, I pray, as we sing these words of this old hymn, I pray, Father, we'd sing them because they're true, because we love these words, because they mean something. And so, Father, we pray that by the power and presence of the Spirit, you'd be with us now as we sing how amazing grace is. It's in Jesus' name we pray. And everyone said, amen.

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