1 John 3:7-10: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
The normal holiday expressions are most familiar to all of us: Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. Even people who have no interest in spiritual things extend the greetings.
I’m not sure that “Happy” is the best Easter Greeting. Perhaps “Blessed” or even “Joyful” might help our focus to be more Christ oriented. Here is the key: Those who take the greatest delight in Easter are those who understand the seriousness of sin and have been cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ shed from Calvary’s cross. Calvary is an appropriate picture of what God thinks about sin. The horror of sin is recognized in two ways:
By the price that Jesus paid to meet the demands of our holy God in order for us to have our sins forgiven and in order to gain entrance into Heaven. So many people fail to understand the wrath of our holy God, Who hates sin. Most people will totally ignore His wrath or the fact of a real place called Hell. Instead, if they acknowledge God at all, they consider Him to be loving, gracious, merciful, a God who would never send anyone to hell. They ignore that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that the soul that sinneth shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). If God failed to punish sin, He would be a liar which is impossible since He cannot sin. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began (Titus 1:2).
By the price that is paid when people sin. Sin has consequences temporally and eternally. Sin affects our lives now physically, emotionally and spiritually. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:8). This is so clearly seen in our society today. There are many diseases that are the direct result of man’s sin. There is so much emotional hurt, guilt and depression because of sin. Emotionally and spiritually, it is as though their conscience has been seared with a hot iron (I Timothy 4:2).
People are tempted to sin by way of some suggestion. If they hold on to the suggestion it becomes a desire. If they fail to deal with it at this level it becomes an intent which then leads to an act of sin. Satan will do his best to see to it that the act is pleasant which then leads to the memory. The memory then takes it to the suggestion and the cycle begins all over again. Often the conscience will bother the sinner until the sin becomes a pattern and soon they literally put their conscience to death.
Easter is very special because our sin has been dealt with at Calvary’s cross. No, that doesn’t mean we will never again sin, but when we do, again, because of the cross, we can confess our sin and repent of it to remain in a right relationship with our Lord (I John 1:9). As Christians, if we continue in our sin, we will suffer some of the same consequences as the unsaved. The one difference if we are truly born again, is that we will not be kept out of heaven. However, if we continue in our sin, it may be an indication that we have never truly been born again. Again, the seriousness of sin should have caused Easter to be a very precious holiday to those who are in Christ.
Before The Cross and Faith in After repentance and faith
Jesus Christ. We were: in Jesus Christ. We are:
Dead to God Alive to God
Bondage to Satan Free in Christ
We can praise God that our sin was dealt with at Calvary’s cross and that our eternal position was affirmed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I trust that your Easter was truly “Happy.” The more your focus is on Christ, the greater will be your fellowship with Him. The greater your fellowship with Him, the greater will be your strength in the midst of the cares of this world.
Daily, turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
Written by retired Pastor, George Stiekes