In the Light or In the Tomb?

From Mark Noblin
Kisumu, Kenya

God blessed me doubly this Resurrection Day, first with the opportunity to preach at King Jesus Celebration Center in Kisumu Kenya and second with the perfect African illustrations to support the message of freedom in Jesus.
Celebrating Ken's Graduation

I challenged the brethren whether as believers they had emerged with Jesus from the tomb sealed with a stone and guarded by soldiers. Or, had they accepted Jesus’ payment for their sins on the cross only to remain in bondage and fear in the tomb, fearful to step out into the light and past the soldiers (Satan’s demons who wish to deny them abundant life on earth even though their place in heaven is secure.)

While attending a glorious celebration in a rural Kenya homestead on Saturday for Ken Mollo, a Rock graduate, one of the speakers spoke a shocking truth. He said many Kenya families would not dare carry on such a celebration for fear evil spirits or curses brought on by a witch doctor motivated by the jealousy of others would kill them for celebrating in such a way.

Ken’s family is strong Christian stock, but can you imagine even believers would fail to celebrate and give God the glory for such a victory for family and community as a son getting a law degree? These people who would hide from God’s blessings are still in the tomb, cowering in fear rather than proclaiming their victory in Jesus and stepping into the light.

They day before, a successful Rock businessman shared a testimony of confronting evil in his retail business.  A devil worshiper owns the property and previous tenants had been chased away by evil spirits. However, when Rock businessman Daniel Mwangi faced them, he claimed his store for Jesus and the mysterious snake which terrified his workers by appearing and disappearing left for good.
These stories colored the freedom in Jesus message. For the sermon notes, read on.

King Jesus Resurrection Sunday 2012
Friday we commemorated the unimaginable love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who suffered shame, insults, excruciating pain and finally death on a cross to pay for our sins.
His act of love for us should be remembered at every moment of every day, not just at Easter time.

Jesus’ lifeless body was wrapped in burial clothes, put into a dark tomb, sealed with a stone and guarded by soldiers.

If that had been the end of the story we would not be here today. For today we celebrate His victory – which as Believers is our victory – over death and Satan. He emerged alive from the tomb to resume His rightful place in heaven at the right hand of the Father. And there He sits today until He returns to earth to usher in a new heaven and a new earth. The Bible tells us that at this moment He is our advocate and intercessor before the Father. He lives in us – and us in Him. By His resurrection, He has given us His power on earth.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:14  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Praise God He is risen. He is risen indeed. Let me hear it from you.

If Jesus had not risen and His bones remained in that tomb, we would have remembered Him as a remarkable teacher and martyr, but not the Son of God who as part of the Trinity is God Himself. He would have lacked the ultimate victory.
My question to you today is: Have you emerged from the tomb with Jesus? Are you living in victory with Him? I see many Believers today who accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for their sins. This has secured their place in heaven. Yet they are not living in victory. They have not emerged from the tomb to walk confidently in the light. They have not claimed the resurrected power of Jesus which is available to them.

Many of us live in bondage and fear. Just as the soldiers attempted to guard the tomb of Jesus to deny Him victory, the devil’s demons guard our doorway to victory here and now. Instead of walking into the light and claiming the eternal abundant life which God intends to begin at the moment of salvation, many of us are cowering in the tomb – deceived, discouraged, fearful and feeling powerless. Though we are believers, we are in bondage – or restrained – from embracing the best that God has for us.
Brothers and Sisters, how can this be? It is because many of us have fallen into Satan’s trap. He wants to hide who we really are in Jesus and make us believe lies about ourselves. He wants to keep the stone blocking the entry to victory on earth and abundant life so our testimony for Jesus on this earth will be diminished. Today we will expose the devil and his lies. Today you can begin the abundant and joyful eternal life by believing the truth of who the Bible says you are instead of the self-defeating lies that Satan is whispering, and sometimes shouting, in your ears.

Let's begin by looking at what the Bible says who you are as a believer in Jesus.

Who I Am In Jesus

I am accepted.

John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am Jesus’ friend.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Cor 6:17 I am united with the Lord and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Cor 6:20 I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.
1 Cor 12:27 I am a member of Jesus’ body.
Eph 1:1 I am a saint.
Eph 2:18 I have direct access to God.
Col 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Col 2:10 I am complete in Jesus.

I am secure.

Rom 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Rom 8:28 I am assured that all things work together for the good.
Rom 8:31-34 I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Rom 8:35-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Cor 1:21-22 I am established, anointed and sealed by God.
Phil 1:6 I know the work God has begun in me will be perfected.
Phil 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
Col 3:3 I am hidden with Jesus in God.
2 Tim 1:7 I have not fear but a spirit of power, love and soundness.
Heb 4:16 I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant.

Matt 5:13-14 I am the salt and light of the earth.
John 15:1-5 I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Jesus.
1 Cor 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Cor 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Cor 6:1 I am God’s coworker. (See 1 Cor 3:9)
Eph 2:6 I am seated with Jesus in the heavenly realm.
Eph 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Eph 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Jesus who strengthens me.
Who Satan Is

Former angelic “model of perfection.” Ezekiel 28:11

Corrupted by pride, mutinied in heaven and cast down to earth by God. Ezekiel 28:17

Leader of an army of angels turned demons who followed him. Revelation 12:7-9

Prince of this world. John 12:31, John 14:30, John 16:11

Crafty. Genesis 3:1

Master distorter. Genesis 3-1

Tempter. Matthew 4:3, Genesis 3:4-5

Constant accuser of the brethren. Revelation 12:10

Father of lies. John 8:44

Thief, murderer, destroyer. John 10:10

Defeated by Jesus on the cross.* Colossians 2:15

Destined to be cast away to eternal torment in a lake of burning sulfur. Revelation 20:10

*The question arises, “If Satan is defeated, how does he continue to wreak so much havoc in the world?” The answer is his only weapon against Jesus followers is lying and deception. We have a choice to believe who the Bible says we are (our identity in Jesus) or who Satan accuses us of being. We have the choice to place our trust in the truth of Jesus and His word or in the world. So the only power Satan exercises over Jesus followers is the power we grant him by trusting in anyone or anything other than the one true God of the Bible.

Truth Frees

The truth is a person.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
The Truth (Jesus) brings freedom.
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
And, as if for emphasis, Jesus added, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Free to live the abundant life Jesus promised.
Free from guilt and shame.

Free from the slavery of sin.
Free to find your acceptance, security and significance in Jesus alone.
Jesus gives those who trust in Him freedom through His sacrificial death on the cross. The Son of God lived a perfect life to be a faultless sacrifice for the payment of our sin penalty to a just and holy God. When we believe in Jesus, God clothes us in the Savior’s righteousness and welcomes us into His eternal family.
Joyful Living
Joyful living begins with trusting Jesus, the perfect Son of God, as your Savior through His substitutionary death on the cross. He paid for your sins to satisfy a holy and just God.
That gains you entrance to heaven, but it does not assure you a joyful life on earth until you fully understand and embrace your acceptance, security and significance in Jesus.

Without appreciating your identity in Jesus, you will be vulnerable to Satan’s attempt to lure you into seeking acceptance, security and significance in the world. Satan cannot rob you of your salvation, but without a firm footing in who the Bible says you are, he can diminish your peace and effectiveness as a disciple of Jesus.
Being regularly in the Word of God is key to living in victory. Prayer is vital. Also, it is essential to make every thought captive to Jesus.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) This allows us to dodge the beguiling attacks of Satan through various temptations and attempts to destroy relationships.
Always turn to God through His Word and prayer. Trust Him in all circumstances. There will be suffering and disappointment on this earth. Realize He is God and you are not. You are responsible for the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Find your satisfaction by giving Him your best as an act of love and then leaving the results to Him.

Be Alert
 The Bible says Christians are aliens in this world (1 Peter 2:11). It as if we are soldiers dropped behind enemy lines. Any soldier in enemy territory would not last long if he did not keep alert, with his defenses up and his weapon ready.
God has provided us with the armor and the weapon. Our weapon is the Word of God, also called Jesus in John 1:1. Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). It is the truth of Jesus that defeats Satan and his demons every time.

Our battles with the enemy should not be power encounters, but truth encounters. Just as Jesus rebuffed the devil’s temptations with Scripture in the wilderness (Luke Chapter 4); so are we to defeat the defanged liar with the truth of Jesus. It is the truth, not shouting or emotion, for which Satan has no counter-attack. We speak it; he flees.

This is another reason it is so important to understand our
true identity in Jesus. Those who do not know the truth cannot call upon it. And believers interceding for non-believers provide at best temporary respite from attacks of the evil one upon the unsaved. (Matthew 12:45)

Ephesians 6:10-18 describes our armor this way:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

The Bible says as believers we are joint heirs with Jesus. Come out of the tomb today into the light through the power of Jesus, the Truth, to begin enjoying your inheritance!