Anticipating New Life




Sunday 04/01/18 

Series: Resurrection Sunday 2018

Message – Anticipating New Life

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Anticipating New Life

1.Not expected

1st thing that I think is remarkable is that the resurrection was not expected – by anyone! This is remarkable since multiple times Jesus had told them it would take place. They simply did not remember He had foretold it, and the disciples…when they were told didn’t believe it and some even remained a little sceptical even after seeing the Lord Himself.

2.Quick to believe

The 2nd thing that I found remarkable is how somethings… which are disadvantages in one vein turn out to be advantages in another. Notice…that while they did not anticipate a resurrection any more than the disciples did, at least the women believed even before seeing the Lord on the testimony of an angel! One reason why we are told women are not to teach is because they are more easily led into error by believing something too quickly without consideration of all the evidence. In this case, it worked to their advantage! Notice…that it was mostly the women who stuck around in Jerusalem to be there at His crucifixion…it was the women who in their love for Him sought to attend to His body…which leads me to the

3.Only easily believed by those who love simply & fully

3rd thing I found interesting. It was to the women that Jesus appeared. Like the shepherds being chosen by God as the heralds for His birth – women were chosen to be His heralds at His resurrection. One reason for this speaks to our last point. God has a solid history of hiding in plain sight… so that seeing people will see but not perceive. People who are going to actually see and respond to Christ will do so from the heart… the birthplace of faith.

In fact, not only He, but also the angels dodged all the men. Only the women were visited and told to tell the men what they saw and to wait in Galilee. Now that the women were not in any real danger from the Pharisees may have helped them not be afraid and therefore to stick around…there is more to it than that. Their love for Him inclined their hearts towards belief. Notice what convinced Mary…just hearing Him say her name.

Both genders have much to learn from the other!

4.A calculated decision of devotion not impulsive decision of emotion

The fourth and final thing which astounded me is the emotional detachment there is in the narratives of His resurrection. Other than the incident with Mary, it is marked more by simple facts than anything else. You would think this to be a place in the Gospels were they are building to a grand ending…a finale’ which they clearly intended to move people to belief! So why not build this event up and use emotional devices to draw their audience into a commitment of belief? Well I believe the reason is because, emotions are NOT faith.

I am afraid that many messages are being taught today across the globe which were specifically structured to tug on the emotions and illicit a response….and it will! Undoubtedly services all over the world will produce an “experience” which seems transcendent but will before week’s end fade into obscurity since it was little more than emotional hype.

When you read the accounts of the apostles in their testimony of Christ…including and especially Paul’s they are largely dispassionate testimonies. Is this because these men lacked passion? NO! But their account needed to rely upon fact and the stirring of the Spirit…not the emotional appeal to the flesh.

Acts 26:1-5; 24-28,  “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself:  (2) “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews,  (3) especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently. (4) “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.  (5) They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee….Act 26:24-28 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”  (25) But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. (26) For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. (27) King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”  (28) Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

In fact this word “persuade” is used often in reference to the intentions and results of Paul’s ministry. In Antioch and Pisidia it is said that Paul and Barnabas spoke to them and persuaded them to continue in the Grace of God. In Acts 18 it is said that Paul continued in the synagogue every Sabbath until he was kicked out and then continued in the house of Justus next door to the synagogue where he converted Crispus who was ruler of the synagogue and continued for a year and a half teaching and persuading them. Acts 19 says that Paul went on to Ephesus and throughout Asia persuading people through his teaching and reasoning concerning the gospel.

Now…why is this pertinent to Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus?

Let’s apply our points…

1.Not expected

Turn to 1Cor. 15:1-58,

I believe that one of the reasons why the resurrection of Christ as has such a small impact on the 21st century church is because our belief is based more upon emotions that temporarily stir us than upon facts which permanently persuade us.

“(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,  (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  (3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  (4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,  (5)  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  (6) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  (7) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

Notice that he is reasoning with facts and pointing to things they could confirm as historically true and dependable!

(8)  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.  (9) For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  (10) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  (11) Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  (12)  Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  (13)  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.  (14) And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  (15) Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. (16)  For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  (17) And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  (18) Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  (20)  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  (21) For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  

Paul then began to argue for the necessity and nature of our physical and future resurrection…ending with this statement

“(45)  And so it is written, “THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  (46) However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. (47) The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.  (48) As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. (49) And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”

Romans 6

1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2  Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
3  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7  For he who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9  knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
10  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11  Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

1Peter 1:

“3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8  whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9  receiving the end of your faith-the salvation of your souls.”

2.Quick to believe

This point doesn’t need much attention. This pass year we have covered this a lot. People who are slow to believe are often to preoccupied with protecting their own heart to see with spiritual eyes and perceived truths worthy of belief. Doubt and unbelief are products of a self-centered and self- focused heart.

  1. Are to cautious and afraid to be wrong or played the fool.
  2. So focused on their troubles and concerns to lift their eyes and allow the possibility for help. “ if I stop struggling I will drowned.”

Which leads us to our third point…


3.Only easily believed by those who love simply & fully

Play was perhaps know greater example of this in that of Mary who’s believe was predicate only of the sound of His familiar voice.

  • 7 demos
  • Forgiven much love much

4.A calculated decision of devotion not impulsive decision of emotion

As I have told you many times the gospel has been cheap and so much and this generation that any man believe he made come to Christ and still continue as he has always been and still reef the benefits of having come. Paul and the early apostles never taught this delusion but it fact pressed upon the hearers that life in Christ depended upon dying with Christ.

Luke 14:

“25  Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,
26  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
27  And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28  For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-
29  lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
30  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
31  Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32  Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.
33  So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
34  “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?
35  It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 


I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!