For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. — I Corinthians 15:3-4
July 4 is Independence Day — and, may I say, my birthday. Across the USA, people will celebrate the tremendous freedom we enjoy (and hopefully, my birthday). Truly, we are blessed!
We who know Jesus Christ as our savior have another kind of freedom to celebrate. We are free from the bondage of our sin and death.
First Corinthians 15:1-4 gives a concise picture of the freedoms we have in Christ. First, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” He died for one reason: to pay the penalty necessary for our sins. He took our place. Because of His death, we are made free from the death penalty of sin and stand righteous before God. This is our justification.
Second, “that He was buried.” Romans 6 tells us that through faith, we died and were buried with Him and now are dead to the power of sin over us. Sin no longer has dominion over us, so we can choose to live righteous, holy lives. We are free from sin’s control over us! This is our sanctification.
Third, “that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” His death alone could not save us. It was the resurrection that showed God’s acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice, and that gives power unto salvation.
In Colossians 3:1, we read that we are risen with Christ. His resurrection guarantees a future for us in heaven, where we will be free from the presence of sin. This is our glorification.
From the moment when I truly believed, I have been free from the penalty of sin and the present power of sin over me and guaranteed to one day be free from the presence of sin.
Now that’s cause for celebration — every day!
Also, everyone is invited to the United Ministerial Alliance’s Fifth Sunday Fellowship at 5 p.m. in the Liberty Prayer Chapel, 302 W. Memorial Drive in Hinesville.
Harn is the pastor of Victory Assembly of God and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.