Written by Pastor Brett E. Castle
This sermon was originally used on Easter Sunday April 8th, 2012 during our Morning Services.
1) We come to this time and place on this Lord's Day to celebrate the most important event in the history of mankind.
a) Do we really believe the resurrection of Jesus the Christ is something more than a one day celebration of eggs, bunnies, and new clothes for this truth, promise? This reality is life changing, and impacts eternity.
b) We are here today on this Lord's Day to celebrate Hope, that is lived out in everyday life, and reaches into forever.
2) We are not here just for an Easter Celebration; we are here to celebrate the power of the resurrection of Christ.
a) Jesus is not on the cross. He is not still in the grave. He is alive and again one with the Father.
c) In verse 4 of this chapter Paul talks about what he calls "confidence in the flesh", as the path to death.
I) On Resurrection Sunday we see that all "the stuff", and "things" worked for in the flesh are walking the pathway of loss.
1) My beloved church we are in this place of worship to celebrate the power of the One True God of the Bible, and the free gift He won on Calvary's Cross, and offers to us who will but call upon His name.
a) Hear the truth and let it set your heart, mind, spirit, and life free, we are not here to celebrate a day, but a way of life.
b) Paul was very, very religious, but found no peace, or real purpose in living rules and laws without knowing God personally.
2) All the gains in a false religion based on man's works, Paul counted as garbage when he found the Living Lord & Savior Jesus the Christ.
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss [a]in view of the surpassing value of [b]knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, [c]for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
a) We often forget Paul lost all his material things that he'd worked for all his life when he accepted Christ on the Damascus Road recorded in Acts 26:24. It cost Paul much to come to Jesus.
b) On this great day we too must see that all we have to give up to follow Christ is nothing but the trash of the world.
c) Paul's own "treasure" in the flesh brought glory to him personally, but did not bring glory to God, and true peace and meaning to this life and the next.
[Paul found the true power of the ressurection]
II) It often costs for people to come to Christ, but we are here this Lord's Day to celebrate the wonderful gains we found in accepting and living Christ Jesus.
a) Our man Paul lost his religion and his reputation, but he gained a personal relationship with God in Christ both in this life and the next.
b) But also all he gained the Christian religion and with it the power of the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit and all it brings into living.
2) Please hear the Word this Easter Sunday, Christ did not change who Paul was, just "WHO's" he was.
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
a) When Paul trusted & accepted Christ as Lord & Savior, he lost his own self-rightousness, and gained the rightousness of Christ and all that power brought into this life and the after-life to come.
b) The message of Easter is "I'm not working to go to Heaven, I'm working because I'm going to Heaven" and the desire to bring God's glory to Earth until I am with Christ in eternity!
III) When we become Christians it is not the end for us, but only the beginning.
1) The joy & power Paul found in coming to Christ was so thrilling that Paul counted all other things nothing but garbage in comparison. No wonder he had joy that was above all other thing and circumstances.
a) The power we see Paul gain in Christ is the ability to look at life though the eyes of the Father, by the Son, in the Power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.
b) It is not just the Day of Easter but the life way Easter point to in the Living Christ that we are here to celebrate this Easter Sunday.