Sunday, April 23, 2017, was one of those days when a pastor rejoices in watching the Spirit of God move upon His people. Due to the mighty work of God during all three morning worship celebrations at Connection Point Church, time would not allow me to finish preaching the prepared sermon. As promised to the congregation, below is the sermon outline with the fill-in the blank answers for the worship guide that was given to the congregation. Praise Jesus!
Series: “Reclaimed” part 1
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Reclaimed defined = “To rescue from an undesirable state…” Merriam-Webster.com
Key Passage: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-5, NASB
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.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.
- Jesus came, died and arose from the grave so He could give you a NEW NAME. – vs. 3-5
Shortly after the baptism of Jesus, a disciple of John the Baptist named Andrew went and retrieved his brother Simon and took him to meet Jesus. John 1: 42 records the first conversation Jesus had with Simon. Notice what Jesus said in this passage; “Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’” – (Cephas – Aramaic and Peter is Greek)
Jesus gave Simon a new name. This is vital. Peter means “Rock.” However, at the time Jesus called Simon a rock, he was anything but rock-like. Notice some of the differences Simon’s character at the time he met Christ, from the man he would become.
Simon – Undisciplined, unstable, impulsive, fearful
Peter – Rock = unchanging, dependable, stable
- Jesus sees who you HAVE BEEN, who you ARE NOW, and who you CAN BECOME.
This same Peter – 30 years later would write about this when he wrote:
who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:1 Peter 1:2, NASB
Jesus saw a “Peter” inside of Simon! The powerful message of the Gospel is that when we allow the resurrected Christ take control of our lives, He sees who we can become in Him.
Notice this powerful moment in Peter’s life. It came the night of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas. Peter had emotionally responded to the events of the evening and he told Jesus that he would never deny HIm. To this, Jesus let Peter know that He is aware that he would not only deny Him three times before the rooster crowed the next morning, but that He also knew that Peter would return and that this experience would help transform him into the rock He planned for him to be!
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” –Luke 22:31-32, NASB
- Jesus’ RESURRECTION makes all the difference. -vs. 5
Why is the resurrection of Christ so important? Because our hope is not in a religion, creed, or social gathering but in a risen, living Savior who empowers us by His Spirit, His Word and His body of followers.
After Peter denied the Lord, he went away broken. The Bible records to us how Jesus sent word to Peter after His resurrection to let him know that He loved him and that Peter could have a rock solid faith.
Look at this powerful message from an angel to the women at the tomb on the first Easter morning.
“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee…’” – Mark 16:7, NASB
The men walking to Emmaus who met Jesus after His resurrection told the other believers…- “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” – Luke 24:34, NASB
Then in John 21 we read of the life-changing conversation that the risen Jesus had with Peter.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” – John 21: 7, 18-19, NIV
- Jesus will reclaim the identity of all who surrender completely to Him. – vs. 1-2
This is what Peter learned. After Peter saw the risen Lord, he was never the same. He truly became a rock with a solid, steadfast faith. The man who denied his Lord before the cross, never denied Him again after the resurrection! In fact, tradition says that Peter would be crucified upside down in Rome because he would not deny the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in our main passage,
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. – 1 Corinthians 15: 1-2, NASB
Jesus reclaims the identity of anyone who receives Him as LORD.
- You become a New CREATION.
The Gospel is the Good News that the resurrected Jesus came, died for you and arose from the dead to offer you eternal life. However, simply believing in the reality of Jesus, His life, death and resurrection isn’t enough. Even the devil believes that. This message of hope and redemption must be personally received! A person must accept that Jesus alone is they way of salvation and receive the Lord Jesus as their God and King, trusting He alone can, will, and has forgiven their sin.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB
- You receive a Rock-Solid CONVICTION.
Once you have received Christ as LORD, now you STAND upon that truth. A Christian isn’t perfect, nor faultless just look at Peter. We all fall down, but as a follower of Jesus we don’t stay down- we get back up! Like Peter, we know that our redemption comes from Christ alone and that He is at work, sanctifying us by the work of His Holy Spirit.
On the day of Pentecost about fifty days after Jesus was crucified, the same Peter who denied Christ in front of three people, stood up to a crowd of thousands and preached! What an amazing transformation.
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. – Acts 2: 14, NASB
- You experience a True CONVERSION.
The passage from 1 Corinthians 15 gives us the process – the Gospel is preached, received, you stand upon that truth with conviction and then you are saved – converted.
Look at the change in Peter’s heart as he shares with the crippled man outside the Temple.
But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” – Acts 3: 6, NASB
- You declare a Steadfast CONFESSION.
Jesus can transform any life that commits to Him and that transformation becomes a great witness to His redeeming power. Notice how the change in Peter and John amazed the religious leaders who just a couple months earlier watched these same disciples flee when they arrested Jesus.
Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13, NASB