Pastor Steve Williams and Pastor Shane Ham : Ain’t No Grave

Easter 2019 · 50:26 · Recorded April 21, 2019

Ain’t No Grave

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 (NLT) What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1. We’re bound by the pains of our past.

1 John 2:1-2 (NLT) We have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

Get a grasp on God’s infinite forgiveness.

Isaiah 1:18 (TEV) The LORD says, “Now, let’s settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.”

2. We’re held back by the pressures of our present.

Mark 4:19 (TEV) “The worries about this life, the love for riches, and all other kinds of desires crowd in and choke the message, and they don’t bear fruit.”

Freely receive God’s empowering presence!

Romans 8: 2, 9-10 (MSG) A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death…If God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms.

3. We’re locked up by our fear of a foreboding future.

John 20:19 (NLT) That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.

Rest securely on God’s unshakable character!

Psalm 18:30 (TLB) What a God he is! How perfect in every way! All his promises prove true. He is a shield for everyone who hides behind him.

Romans 8:11 (MSG) It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

Hebrews 2:14-15 (CEV) We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.

John 5:28-29 (NCV) “A time is coming when all who are dead and in their graves will hear his voice. Then they will come out of their graves.”

Make your way in the way he’ll make for you.

  • What’s your most fun Easter memory as a child? When did Easter become more than bunnies, chocolates, and colored eggs for you?

  • When thinking about Jesus being raised from the dead, what questions would you like to have answered? What questions have you found answered because of Jesus’ resurrection?

  • This message identifies several kinds of “graves.” What graves have you identified in your own life that have threatened to “bury” you? Which of the verses from this message spoke to you most directly? Which verses do you think would be worth memorizing and calling to mind this week with regard to your “grave?”

  • Read John 20:19. If you had been in the room with the disciples and witnessed Jesus sudden presence and greeting of “Peace be with you,” what would your thoughts and feelings have been?

  • When we consider God’s forgiveness, what qualifications or “fine print” do we seem to put in the way of feeling totally forgiven? Why?

  • When have you relied on a promise of God and found his character to be true? Which of his promises are you relying on, or need to rely on at this time? How can your group pray for you about this?

  • Elementary Parents, today your child learned about a champion. Ask them who the champion is. (Jesus) Ask why we can have hope. (Jesus is alive) Jesus came because he loves us. Because Jesus is the Champion over death and sin, we can have hope, not just for our days here on earth, we have the most beautiful hope for our eternity with him.