I wanted to talk about how His resurrection impacts our actions, and how we can live Easter every day.  So, in today’s episode I’ll go over the transformative power of the resurrection, how we put faith into action, and overcoming challenges with hope.

References to Bible Verses:

Romans 6:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 10:30-37; John 8:1-11; Galatians 5:22-23; Matthew 5:44; Micah 6:8; Philippians 4:13; John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:3

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Transcript

Welcome back, listeners. My name is Jason, and I am your host. Easter is coming soon, and it's a big deal for us Christians. It's when we celebrate and glorify the resurrection of Christ. I mean, I love Easter. It's a passionate, wonderful holiday, but it does come with some mixed emotions, because in order to celebrate Christ's resurrection, we also have to acknowledge how he was crucified.

Last year, I published episode 23, What Does Easter Mean to Me? And I do recommend you give it a listen. That being said, this year, I wanted to talk more about how his resurrection impacts our actions and how we can live Easter every day. So in today's episode, I will go over the transformative power of the resurrection, how we put faith into action in overcoming challenges with hope.

This will be a fairly short episode, but keep listening, my friends, because it's filled with biblical truths and great ideas for keeping the principles of the resurrection in your heart long after we celebrate Easter.

In Romans 6:4-5, the Apostle Paul wrote, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father. We, too, may live a new life, for if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His."

The resurrection of Christ wasn't just some spectacle or a stunt. It is our gateway to transformation. For some denominations, baptism is necessary for salvation, yet others, it is an outward symbol of an inward faith. Now there are different methods for performing baptisms as well, at least four different methods that I found including aspersion, affusion, immersion, and submersion.

So, Aspersion is the act of sprinkling the person with water, usually holy water. And sometimes this is used as an alternative for an immersion or subversion experience. Affusion is when the water is poured onto the head of the person being baptized. Now, immersions seemed to have a few variations, but basically it is a partial or complete immersion into water, like dipping your head into the water, or most of your body. And submersion is a form of immersion, but the whole body goes under water.

Now, regardless of how you view the necessity or method of baptism, it's important to reflect on what Paul is telling us here. When we agree to be baptized, the intent is to symbolize being buried as Christ was buried and being resurrected as Christ was resurrected. Now not literal physical death for us, but it does represent a death of our old life and being resurrected into a new life that is sanctified by Christ. Now, I prefer full submersion baptism because you lay down into the water and rise from the water. It's a more pronounced symbol of our old lives being buried and rising into our new lives.

Baptism is one way to illustrate the transformative power of Christ's resurrection. It's a way for us to remember what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old has gone, the new is here." This is a promise for everyone, and it doesn't matter your class, race, nationality, language, educational level, none of that. Anyone and everyone can become a new creation through Jesus Christ.

Jesus changes those who come to him by faith. We're not just forgiven of our sins, though that is a big part of it. We are completely changed into a new creation. This is the principle of regeneration. This doesn't make us perfect. We are still sinners, but we are changed. And we are continually changing and growing as we continue our faith journey.

So what is this new creation? Does it mean that we turn over a new leaf? Maybe we finally get our act together. Eh, perhaps those things happen, but that's not really the way this should be viewed. As a new creation, it means God does something in us, which is described in Ephesians 4:22-24, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to remain new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

This new creation is a gift from God that is received through faith. And living as a new creation is something God works in us using our will and our choices. So we have to be willing to first receive the gift of becoming a new creation. And then we have to choose to live the life of a new creation. So Christ's resurrection didn't just repair our fellowship with the Father.

We are made new in that resurrection to become a new creation through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ. And this is all summarized in Colossians 3:1-4, "Since then, you have been raised with Christ. Set your hearts on things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

This is the foundation of practical Christian living with the understanding that Christian living is rooted in theological truth. We know that Jesus was raised from the dead and because of this, our identification in him has become real, and there are a few things we should consider doing in our new life that Christ did in His Christ, left the tomb. And so should we, because we don't live there anymore. Spiritual death is no longer a concern. Christ spent his remaining time being with and ministering his disciples, and we should live our lives to be with and in service to each other. Christ lived in supernatural power with the ability to do the impossible, and we should live with the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit, knowing that Christ can do the impossible in our lives, if he so chooses. And finally, Christ looked forward to living in heaven. And we should recognize that our citizenship is in heaven as well, thanks to his work.

Now, if you're starting to understand the transformative power of the resurrection, now is the time to put that faith into action. Understand that Easter isn't just a story, it is a historical event. It's not the finale, it's the grand opening act that marks the beginning of a new chapter in humanity's journey. And you and I are invited to participate. Putting this faith into action is rooted in Christ's commandment to love that we find in Matthew 22:37-39, "And Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself."

Now, I've mentioned before that loving your neighbor is wanting them to experience the blessings that God intended for them. But I feel like this puts a passive spin on it. You know, if we just hope for their blessings, that's enough, right? Loving others is something we have to do actively. It's showing kindness to a stranger, offering forgiveness when the other person doesn't deserve it, and standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Examples of this include the widow giving her last two coins in Mark 12:41-44, the Samaritan tending to the wound of the traveler in Luke 10:30-37, and the woman caught in adultery being shown compassion in John 8:1-11, just to name a few. Now, Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. These are tools that should be used when navigating our daily lives.

As you know, loving others isn't always easy. It demands we overcome prejudice, speak truth, and stand up for what's right, even when it's unpopular. And there are those who will not reciprocate, and they may even taunt and persecute us for having faith in Jesus. And for those who are reminded of Matthew 5:44, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This is very hard for us because we want to hurt others when they hurt us. And while this isn't easy, it is a core principle that denies the enemy his fruits in lieu of compassion. The unfortunate consequence of embracing Christianity and his resurrection is that we are asked to live by the commandments of Christ and a standard of moral behavior that the secular world does not.

Faith is not a spectator sport. Having faith means we roll away the stone of apathy and indifference to step into the light. It means that we have to actively work to build a world that reflects the love and hope embodied in Christ's sacrifice. It means we actively work to build a world that is more compassionate, and it's often the smallest acts that can have the greatest impact. You and I are expected to represent Christ in this world, and live out His message of hope and transformation, one action at a time.

But loving each other is key. And Micah 6:8 goes on to teach us a bit more about how we should behave, "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

You know, sometimes we look at God's Word as some mystery, but He has shown us what is good and what is required of us. To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Doing justly means we act fairly towards others. Treat them as we wish to be treated. The golden rule, right? Love mercy means we don't just show mercy, but we love to show mercy. And we give others the same mercy that we have been given by God. And of course, the last of these is to walk humbly with your God. Meaning we remember who He is, and we act humbly before Him. Let Christ's resurrection be a reminder for how we should live our lives every day and spread his love to others through your actions.

From here Let's talk about challenges, life will punch us in the face sometimes. We may face betrayal, hate, loss, illness and The list goes on. The enemy likes to put obstacles in our way and it's easy to start feeling discouraged and lose sight of his light remember that even in our deepest valleys our darkest seasons, the resurrection of Christ offers a beacon of hope. It serves as a reminder that not even death can extinguish the flame of God's love. Philippians 4:13 declares, "I can do all things through him who gives me strength." This is a testament to the power of faith that can carry us well beyond our limitations.

Jesus faced his own challenges. He saw betrayal, suffering, and ultimately death on the cross. Yet he overcame and emerged victorious, and in doing so, he offers us the strength to do the same. In John 14:1, Jesus told his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me." And this is a message for you and me as well. We can't avoid troubles and challenges, but with Christ in our heart, there's no room for troubles there.

I want you to consider the people throughout history who drew on the hope that comes from Christ's resurrection to overcome what seemed like impossible odds. Take, for example, Harriet Tubman, who was an American abolitionist and social activist born into slavery in 1822. She managed to escape from Dorchester County, Maryland, and fled to Philadelphia, where she was able to live as a free woman.

However, once she escaped slavery, she made some 13 missions, which resulted in the rescue of at least 70 enslaved men and women, including her family and her friends. And she went on to live 91 blessed years. And she tied her Christian faith to all of her remarkable achievements.

Maybe you've heard of Florence Nightingale. She was born into a wealthy family, but she felt she was called by God to be a nurse, despite her family's protests. At age 34, she set off with 38 women to save thousands of lives during the Crimean War, where British soldiers were dying of malnutrition and disease. And before that, no woman had ever been allowed at the front lines.

There is story after story of people who did the impossible because God called them forward and rooted firmly in faith, they answered that call. They overcame adversity, racism, social barriers, and so much more because Christ was in their hearts. And there was no room for troubles.

This all boils down to one word, hope. Christ's sacrifice was an act of pure love and his resurrection is our hope. Because he overcame death, we now have a path to eternal life. 1 Peter 1:3 reads, "Praise be to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

When Peter considered God's salvation, his first and immediate response was simply to praise him. Everything good from God begins with mercy. Spurgeon wrote, "No other attribute could have helped us had mercy been refused. As we are by nature, justice condemns us, holiness frowns upon us, power crushes us, truth confirms the threatening of the law, and wrath fulfills it. It is from the mercy of our God that all our hopes begin."

Now I mentioned earlier that when we accept Christ we become a new creation, but to add to that, we are born again into a living hope because we have eternal life and a Savior who has conquered death. No inheritance on earth can begin to come close to what Christ has offered us. Worldly hope fades away over time, but the hope Christ brought us is imperishable. Understand that hope doesn't negate challenges, but it does empower us to face them. So when you feel troubled, when the devil lays a challenge before you, reach out and take hold of Christ's love and his hope, and let him lead you to the other side. Let the hope his resurrection brought into this world be your guide.

Jason: That's where I'll end today's episode. If you've enjoyed it, visit me at https://myministrymission.com/support to find ways to help support my show, from sending me a tip to just making sure you share my podcast with your friends and family.

Next week, I hope to release another Unveiling Revelation episode with my amazing friend and co host Laura. So definitely come back for that. Until next time, remember to read your Bible, be sure to love each other, and may the Lord bless you and keep you. God bless and happy Easter.