Risen Christ in Our Hearts and Souls
Risen Christ in our hearts and souls is essential for being Christian.
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
5 April 2015
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
2 Corinthians 5:17
Risen Christ in our hearts and souls is essential for being Christian.
For if the risen Christ in not spiritually in our hearts and souls, and in the way we live, He is not evident in our lives or in the eyes of God.
This kind of living faith is more than simply believing; it is a life changing experience that makes us new beings in our risen Christ, and this is what makes Jesus Lord of our lives.
Note what we are told in James 2:19-20…
19. You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
20. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
James is expressing the difference between simply believing, and having a risen Christ in our hearts and souls.
This is also what Jesus was telling us about in Luke 6:46-49…
46. “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
47. “Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like:
This is the same kind of faith and works that James wrote about, and why it is essential for the risen Christ to be in our hearts and souls; we must act upon Jesus’ words.
Jesus goes on and gives us another example of the person who has the risen Christ in them, as opposed to those who don’t…
48. he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
49. “But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
So as we look at the story of the risen Christ, we need to weigh in our heart and soul whether or not He truly resides in us.
We need to honestly consider how we reacted when we encountered the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as related in Mark 16:1-8…
1. And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
The women were following the Hebrew tradition in the world around them.
This is not part of their spiritual journey, for if it was, they would have known that Jesus had already risen and that there would be no body to anoint.
2. And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
This is also part of their worldly way of thinking; they had not yet come to the realization that Jesus had already risen.
4. And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.
5. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.
We’re not used to seeing angels either, so we can understand their amazement.
Then the angel explains the truth to them.
6. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.
This is the point where we also should have the risen Christ in our hearts and souls.
Do we have this belief and faith so that the risen Christ is part of everything we are and do?
So the angel tells them what to do.
7. “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.’ ”
8. And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
This expresses the problem that most people have; they didn’t yet have the risen Christ in their hearts and souls, which is evident by the fear in their lives.
For if the risen Christ was in their hearts and souls, they would have also been filled to overflowing with God’s heavenly love, and this love would have overcome all of their fear, and they would be rejoicing at the good news, and would have gone and told everyone they could.
This love and faith with works is where we should also be.
And in this state of being, we should be living as the peacemaking children of God that Jesus called us to be, and as these children of God we should be actively helping to free creation (humans, animals, and the environment) from its present corruption.
One of the easiest ways to tell whether or not we have the risen Christ is by looking at what is on our plates; if they contain the remains of a once living being, then we probably don’t have the risen Christ in our heart and soul, for there is no evidence of our having a changed life in the heavenly will of God.
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Paul writes about the good news of the risen Christ and his role as a Christian leader.
1. Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2. by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4. and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5. and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep [died];
7. then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
8. and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
9. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
We have all done some ungodly things before Jesus entered our lives, but it is what we do afterwards that shows God and those around us that we have indeed truly repented and are living a changed life.
This is what happened to Paul.
10. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
Paul is describing having the risen Christ in his heart and soul.
11. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
And we hope that all of us truly believe, too, and that we also have the risen Christ with us, for this is what our celebration of this Resurrection Day is all about.
It is not about dyeing Easter eggs, for that is being immoral and cruel to chickens.
It is not about eating milk chocolate bunny rabbits, for that is being immoral and cruel to cows.
It is not about having the roasted dead body of some animal on your table, for that is immoral and cruel to those animals.
For, we cannot be immoral and cruel if the risen Christ is in our hearts and souls.
This is also what Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 5:17…
17. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
This is the way true children of God, who are living in the heavenly will of God, show themselves to be here on earth.
They are living examples of the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven, just as Jesus taught us to pray for.
These are the people that are helping to free creation from its present corruption.
These are the people who show the world around them this Resurrection Day, and every day, that the risen Christ is in their hearts and souls.
And we hope and pray that this is the way that all who hear or read these words are now living their own lives.
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