WHO ARE YOU?

Many are trying to attack the thinking which produces that sort of mental gobbledygook, but I am not so sure that is the answer our children and grandchildren need in this hour.

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The Who, a rock band formed in 1964, released the quintessential question of existential angst—“Who Are You”—in 1978.

Before that time, the question was easy to answer—I am the child of my parents and I am what I do. We have been told in the decades since, however, that we are not defined by what we do.

As a result, the angst has only increased as the question continues to haunt each generation since.

Who am I?

It is not an easy question to answer in the face of the philosophy of the world today. The past two decades—which began in the year 2000 (for those of you who might not realize)—have brought about a greater confusion than ever before.

A young person today may conclude, “A doctor made a decision that I was a boy when I was born, but I don’t feel like that is the truth.”

The only possible outcome of something like that is a greater angst than was prevalent in 1978.

Many are trying to attack the thinking which produces that sort of mental gobbledygook, but I am not so sure that is the answer our children and grandchildren need in this hour.

What is needed more than anything else right now is a constant bombardment and repetition of the truth. We need to be able to speak the truth of who we are and who are our children are.

What is that truth?

Of course, in the realm of gender-confusion, there is no real problem—except for that which we may allow our children to hear and absorb from other authorities in their life. We can easily tell them what gender they are.

But, what about the existential reality of “Who am I?”

If it is not about what you do, then what?

I find it fascinating that our modern musical artists are grappling with this.

NEEDTOBREATHE, a Christian rock group has released a partial answer in their hit song, “Who Am I?” For them, they cannot understand why God loves them in spite of their screw-ups.

Sometimes my bad decisions
Define my false suspicions

Casting Crowns, another Christian group has taken the question and answered it from a different angle—“I am yours.” We all belong to the Father.

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
You've told me who I am
I am Yours

Jessica Andrews, a country singer, takes us back to the reality of our understanding before all the strange philosophies began to cloud our understanding.

Messed up, screwed up or standing up, she knows who she is, and we can all adapt her position.

So when I make big mistake
When I fall flat on my face
I know I'll be alright
Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowin'
I will be just fine
'Cause nothin' changes who I am
I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am
I'm a saint and I'm a sinner
I'm a loser, I'm a winner
I'm am steady and unstable
I am young but I'm able

She’s a granddaughter, the spitting image of her father, and her momma loves her.

So, forget trying to tangle with the gobbledygook of the modern mush-brain.

You are a child of God, made in His image and you are loved by Him.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

The resurrection of Jesus is the focal point of the Christian faith. Many in the course of history have tried to disprove the fact of Jesus being raised from the dead. If the resurrection did not happen as told, then our faith is useless and we are fools.

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This is Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate the arrival of the rabbit who lays eggs.

While that may be somewhat funny, or even sacrilegeous to some, we need to realize that even as Christmas has its imaginative fables and characters, so also does Easter.

There is nothing wrong with those, but let us not forget the real reason those stories came to be.

Easter Sunday is the day Christians celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the focal point of the Christian faith, as Paul writes in our Scripture Lesson today.

And if our hope in Christ is only for this life,
we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
1Co 15:19

Paul was handling arguments against the resurrection, as there were some who doubted its veracity then—just as there are now those who doubt.

He pointed to the fact of people giving their lives for the resurrection when he made this statement.

Obviously, if there is nothing beyond this life, then our hope and belief is ridiculous.

Many have tried to prove that the Christian claims have no basis.

In the 1700’s there were two young intellectuals who were both lawyers and both rejected the claims of Christ.

One day in a conversation they concluded that Christianity stood on two foundations: the resurrection of Jesus and the conversion of the apostle Paul.

Should these two stories be disproved, the rest of Christianity would fall with them.

One agreed to write a book disproving Jesus’ resurrection and the other agreed to write a book disproving that Paul was converted by hearing a voice from heaven.

No problem, they thought. But when they got together to share their progress reports, they each had to confess that the evidence was winning them over to the other side.

In fact, when it was all over, there were two books: Lord Lyttleton’s The Conversion of St. Paul and Gilbert West’s book, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, arguing that the resurrection is a fact of history.

This is also what happened to Josh McDowell who wrote “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” He set out to disprove Christianity, but instead became convinced of its reality. His book still ranks in the top 25 all time for Christian books.

Our faith is built upon the fact of the resurrection of Jesus which we celebrate today.

As Paul said, if it were only in this life that we had hope, we would be the greatest of fools.

However, because the resurrection is a fact of history, our faith because of it has powerful effects.

The resurrection does impact this life and also our life beyond this physical plane.

The resurrection declares that Christ’s sacrifice was accepted

(Jesus), who was delivered up for our trespasses
and raised for our justification.
Rom 4:25

Notice how His death and resurrection are linked together. Both were necessary.

His death was caused by us, but His resurrection affects us and is the basis for our justification.

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men,
so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
Rom 5:18

We have spoken before about the fact that His one act of righteousness has the same effect as Adam’s one sin

The effect of Adam’s sin extended to the entire human race.

The effect of Jesus’ one act of righteousness also extends to the entire human race.

The effect of Adam’s sin was not something potential, depending on our choice. We did not choose to be in Adam and to suffer his results.

The effect of Jesus’ one act of righteousness is also not something only potentially waiting for man’s choice.

Right now, though, we want to focus on the word “justification.” What is justification?
JUSTIFICATION
the act of God declaring men free from guilt and acceptable to him

Because of Jesus, God has declared us free from the guilt of our sin and made us acceptable in His sight.

If there were no resurrection, being born again would not be possible.

Being born again is a result of the resurrection.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:3

The resurrection makes the new birth possible. Death cannot give life. The cross secured atonement, but it takes a living Savior to apply salvation.

Our new birth is dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus.

Our being made free from the guilt of our sin is dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus.

Our being able to stand freely before the Father is dependent on the resurrection of Jesus.

Otherwise,

…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 1Co 15:17

Yes, the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb is a marvelous thing.

It was scary for those who first encountered it.

However, as the word of this miracle spread throughout the land and down through the ages, His resurrection has become the cornerstone of our faith.

And as we mark this event today, it is a cause for great joy among all God’s people.

And that is why we call it a celebration.

Today we celebrate the fact of a risen savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.