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The Resurrection of The Son Of God ~ Romans 1:1-4!

Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson! Intro: In an interview in 2012, Woody Allen was asked, Mr. Allen, do you truly believe that happiness in life is impossible? ! He answered, This is my perspective and has always been my perspective on life. I have a very grim, pessimistic view of it. I always have since I was a little boy. I do feel thats its a grim, painful, nightmarish, meaningless experience and that the only way that you can be happy is if you tell yourself some lies and deceive yourself.!

Allen encapsulates existentialist despair. He understands clearly that if there is no God, then life is like having a gun held to your head that will go off in 5 minutes.! I actually appreciate people like Woody Allen, and nd him to beironicallyrefreshing. Why is that? Because he has thought deeply about life, more so that a lot of people. While I disagree with his conclusions, I still nd him intriguing.!

! He also said, My relationship with death remains the same. Im strongly against it.! !
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Allen comes very close to articulating a Christian view of things, ie., death is our enemy. It will touch ! everyone of our lives. Its not a question of if the sting of death will be felt, but ! when. We ought to be ! against death because it is against us. ! ! E.g. 1: The city of Calgary is reeling from the murder of 5 U of C students.!!

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E.g. 2: A few weeks ago, I was speaking with an elderly gentlemen who was going to a funeral, and he said with a note of soberness, At my age, you go to a lot more funerals of friends than weddings.! Do you believe that death is the end (as Woody Allen does), or that its just the beginning? !

Today, we have gathered on Easter Sunday, known in many circles as Resurrection Sunday. Its a day when Christians around the world celebrate the victory of Jesus over death when he came back to life three days after he was crucied. ! Exploring: You will learn that one of the central beliefs of Christianity is that death doesnt have the last word. This is the case not because we would like it to be or because its merely wishful thinking, but its because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.!

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Christian: You will be strengthened in your trust in Jesus, not only because Jesus rose from the dead conquering death, but also what that fact means about Jesus, and for us and how we live now.!

The Resurrection of the Son of God ~ Romans 1:1-4! ! ! 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, ! 1. Paul was a former religious extremist who oversaw the arrest and execution of the early Christians.! ! Paul made it his lifes mission to extinguish this movement of followers, and so he violently persecuted ! ! them, pursuing them even to death (Acts 7). He testied that he tried to destroy the church (Gal.1:13).! 2. And then, he met the resurrected Lord Jesus himself (Acts 9). Why are you persecuting me? ~ Jesus. Paul was converted on the spot. And Jesus commissioned him to be his ambassador. Apostle.!

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Gal. 1:23 They [the churches of Judea] only were hearing it said, He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. And they gloried God because of me.! 3. The conversion of Paul the Pharisee is one of the strongest evidences Jesus did rise from the dead.!

! Paul became the second most influential person of Christianity next to Jesus Christ; he wrote
13 books of the New Testament, testified before kings of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Author & popular speaker Josh McDowell was once making this point to a group of university students when someone said, Its possible to be so against something that you actually end up being for it. To which McDowell replied, Then you better watch out, or you might just become a Christian!!

.set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son,! 1. The Gospel = the Good News. The Good News presupposed that there is Bad News:! Ecclesiastes 7:20, Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. ! Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death.! Former NYC Mayor, Bloomberg: I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven Im not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. Its not even close.! 2. The Gospelconcerning his Son. Gods Good News is about Jesus. ! Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.! Acts 10:43, To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sins through his name.!

4 who was descended from David according to the esh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. ! 1. descended from David! 2 Sam. 7, God promises to King David a Son who will be king, and God himself will establish for him a kingdom forever, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son (vs. 14). ! 2. declared to be the Son of God in power! To the Jewish mind, this was a universally recognized title of the Messiah (cf. Ps. 2:7-8). ! To the Roman mind, this was a challenge to Caesar. ! NT Wright, Fancy writing like this to Rome of all places, the greatest city of the world at the time, the home of the most powerful man in the world, the Caesar, whose ofcial titles included, son of god, whose birthday was hailed as good news, and who claimed the allegiance, loyalty, of the greatest empire the world had ever seen! But Paul knew exactly what he was doing. Jesus is the true king, the worlds rightful Lord, and it is vital that the Christians in Rome know this and live by it. ! And I might add, die by it. Because declaring such a message could actually get one killed. And if death is the nal word, and if Caesar holds the power of death, then Caesar gets the nal word.

But if Jesus gets the nal word, then the power of death in the hands of tyrants and dictators is broken.! Summary: The historical fact of the resurrection of the Son of God ! is the good-est news the world could ever hope to hear. !

! Application:! ! 1. Believe the Good News.! ! Not fake good news: ! Woody Allen, I think at best the universe is indifferentso we create a fake world for

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But real good news: Kenneth Samples (7 Truths That Changed The World) called the resurrection of Jesus Christianitys most dangerous idea. The idea that Jesus truly did rise form the dead is indeed the most dangerous idea on Earth, for it tells us that not all men stay dead. Given the inevitability of death, this truth is the greatest news that mortal human beings could ever hope to hear. Jesus Christ our Lord.! Romans 10:9, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.!

ourselves, and we exist within that fake worlda world that, in fact, means nothing at all, when you step back. Its meaningless. But its important that we create some sense of meaning, because no perceptible meaning exists for anybody.

! 2. Join the revolution!! ! ! ! !

Acts 17:6-8, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here alsoand they are acting against all the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.! J. Pelikan, If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not nothing else matters.

Collect for Easter Sunday:! Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ" overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:" Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lords resurrection," may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit." through Jesus Christ our Lord, " who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit," one God, now and for ever. Amen.