Being that we are in the week of celebrating Jesus risen from the grave, I thought I’d share an Easter Sunday sermon that my Dad, Jerry Trammell, preached on April 11, 2004.
THE LIVING CHRIST IN US
Romans 8:5-11 NLT – (5) Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. (6) If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. (7) For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. (8) That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. (9) But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you (and remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all). (10) Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God. (11) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as He raised Christ from the dead, He will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.
Now these verses of Scripture that I used this morning, other than verse 11 of my text, may seem like rather unusual passages of Scripture to preach on Easter Sunday morning. For Easter Sunday is the day that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and other verses of Scripture, other than verse 11 do not deal with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
However, brothers and sisters, I believe that they indirectly do. For that spirit that comes to abide within our lives when we got saved is that same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. And if that Spirit dwell in us, one day that same Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies so that we also shall rise to meet the Lord.
Notice verse 11 from the NLT – The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as He raised Christ from the dead, He will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.
But friend, I believe that this verse of Scripture, not only refers to the time of our physical resurrection wherein we rise to meet the Lord in the air. But I also believe the text as a whole let’s us know that the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead is the same Spirit that imparted new life in us when we got saved.
For a few moments, I want to preach to you from the subject of, “The Living Christ In Us.”
I’ve stated it before, but I want to do so again, when you got saved you received the Spirit of Christ.
This must not be mistaken as the baptism in the Holy Spirit as some denominations believe who believe that you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when you get saved. Because friend you don’t.
But when you get saved you receive the Spirit of Christ. Which in essence is the Holy Spirit representing Christ in your life. Remember what the Apostle Paul said to the Roman Church in my text: remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.
I’ve talked recently to you about what happens when we get saved. When we accept Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit representing Jesus Christ, comes into our lives, and is responsible for the work of regeneration in our lives, which results in the new birth experience.
This I believe is evidenced by what Jesus did and said in John 20:19-22 – On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus (the resurrected Christ) came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side (pierced hands and pierced side). The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Brothers and Sisters, in the beginning, God breathed into the nostrils of man and he became a living soul, as God gave physical life to man.
Here Jesus breathes on His disciples and says, receive the Holy Spirit.
What Jesus does here is similar to what happened in the beginning. Except this time, it is not physical life that was produced, it was brand new spiritual life that was breathed into the disciples.
I contend that this out breathing of the Lord into the disciples was not the baptism of the Holy Spirit as some would contend, for the outpouring of the Spirit did not occur until the Day of Pentecost, some 40 days after this occurence. But it was the resurrecting Spirit of the Lord Jesus that had raised Jesus from the grave that was breathed on those disciples. And it was this resurrecting Spirit that produced new spiritual life in the form of the born again experience in those disciples, when Jesus breathed on them. And not only them, but also to all others that have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior since then. And it is this same Spirit that will give life to our mortal bodies, and make them immortal when the Lord comes. For the Bible says, This mortal must put on immortality when the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Those that have died in Christ, the resurrecting power of the living Christ shall raise them from the dead to rise to meet the Lord in the air first.
Paul said For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For he said, the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
I thank God that the living resurrected Spirit of Christ dwells within us as believers that has made us into new creations in Christ Jesus, and that will one day enable us to rise to meet the Lord in the air when the Lord returns for His church.
Do you possess the Spirit of Christ this morning? Remember what my text said, those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.
Examine yourself and see whether or not the Spirit of Christ dwells within.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then the Spirit of Christ is not there. If you have never been born again, then the Spirit of Christ is not there, for it is this Spirit of Christ, which raised Jesus from the dead that produces the new birth experience that I had mentioned earlier.
If you have not invited the Lord into your heart, then I call on you today to do so. Repent of your sins and call upon His name and you shall be saved. And when that happens the Spirit of Christ will come and take abode in your life, and will make you a new creation. Then you will be ready when the Lord comes, to rise and meet Him in the air.