5 Truths Held Up By The Resurrection Of Christ
Brody Holloway | Christian School Retreat
Find your identity in Christ. He will set your life on the right trajectory. You’ll be good—no matter what happens. Determining who Christ is will determine who we are. In this session, Brody walks through 1 Peter 1 and discusses 5 truths about us held up by the resurrection of Jesus. You need to anchor yourself to something bigger than this world.
As Christians, we place our faith in the resurrection of Jesus. He called us to be born again and gave us a new identity. Whatever worldly thing you put your hope in will not remain stable. Christ is unchanging and we can trust in the power of His Resurrection.
- 1 Peter 1
- Ephesians 1
- Philippians 2
- Isaiah 6
- Luke 7
- Hebrews 1
Read the Full Transcript:
I’m gonna just take a few minutes, and this is our last night with y’all, and the last time we’ll see a lot of you ever. It’s such a crazy thing, ’cause so many students that come here to different programs, they start coming, maybe when they’re in seventh grade or eighth grade or something like that. And we get Trinity kids for one week, not even a whole week, one time in your life, and then you’re gone, and most of you we don’t see you again. And so we wanna be faithful to the Lord, ’cause he’s called us to this ministry, and the ministry is to equip and help get young people ready to face whatever is next. If you’re here and you’re an eighth-grader, that looks a lot different than if you’re here and you’re getting ready to walk out into the world and get really confronted with a lot of things. And so I wanna talk tonight from First Peter 1 about five… There are five things in the passage that I wanna look at, that if our identity is anchored properly in Christ, then it’s gonna set a trajectory for your life that’s gonna make you successful.
I don’t mean successful financially, I don’t mean you won’t get sick, I don’t mean you won’t have tribulation, hardship, trouble, it will set a trajectory of your life where if these five things are intact, then no matter what happens in life, you’re gonna be good, you’ll be straight. Your spouse dies, your kid dies, your mom dies, you lose a friend like y’all just did recently. And those you go through those types of situations and you realize, I better have myself anchored to something that’s bigger than this situation, because if you’re not tethered or anchored to something bigger than what a situation that life throws at you might be, then that situation will destroy you or consume you, or you’ll begin to look for some functional savior. So I want you to think about the phrase functional savior, people look for saviors in different areas in life and in the world, some people look to relationship, some people look to substance, some people look to… Like if you’re too heavy, you look to the next diet or fitness plan, that’s your functional savior, if you’ve got anxiety or depression and you can’t get victory over that, you may become chemically dependent on something that becomes your functional savior.
A lot of people do this in relationships, guy/girl relationships, where that person becomes sort of like your… It’s like this Messiah complex, where this person provides stability for me. For me, it was sports, and that was the big thing. I told y’all I was a college athlete, and that was an idol for me, which is what we’re talking about in the skit. A picture of people taking Jesus and making him an accessory to their life. So Jesus is this accessory, and as I’m doing what is a big deal to me and what’s important to me, I’ll put Jesus in his place, and he can be a part of my life, but only wherever I relegate him to. And so what we wanna do is we wanna understand who Christ is if we’re in Christ, determining who Christ is is what’s gonna determine who we are. And so screwing down and tightening down my identity in Christ, and so the other night, we talked a lot about… We walked through a ton of just practical life stuff, didn’t we? You’re going into the world. I gave y’all…
It was like the illustration where they say it’s like trying to get a drink out of a fire hose or just straying major volumes of stuff that we spend a whole school year going through. And so tonight I wanna slow way down and actually lay some simple truths in front of you that you can easily grab a hold of, and if you’re serious about your walk with the Lord, if you’re serious about true joy and hope in life, then these Biblical truths are gonna matter for you. First Peter 1, starting verse 3, it says, “Bless 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.” Okay we’ll stop right there. And I want you to look, you guys that are note-takers or you’re Bible markers, right in the middle of that verse that we are… Towards the end of that verse is the word resurrection, the thing that is going to separate you from everybody you meet in life who’s not a Christian, is the resurrection of Jesus. What you do with the resurrection of Jesus…
So which side of the resurrection do you land on? So there are a lot of good people in the world, there are a lot of moral people in the world, there are a lot of people in a lot of other faiths. There are people that have no faith that claim agnosticism or atheism or secularism, secular humanism, things like that, and particularly if you go to a state or secular university, you’re gonna run into this big time, but everybody’s got a faith system because everybody believes in something, everybody. Everybody lives by faith. And so what happens is, people will say to us, “Well you’re a Christian, you’re a person of faith.” Well, I would say “You’re an atheist, you’re a person of faith,” We’re hardwired to believe in something, it’s the theme… It’s the underlying theme in every major film that’s ever produced, the main point, the turning point of the film is when faith is restored. Last night I watched the movie Masterminds. Did anybody see that movie? Total slapstick stupidity, but it’s based on a true story, so that makes it okay.
And it’s this goofy… It’s got Zach Galifianakis who… That dude always makes me laugh, but there’s this point in this stupid foolish movie where you go “Okay, faith is restored right here, there’s something to believe in here.” And so it’s the line that is toed in every story or movie, or if you’re into a series like The Walking Dead, eight seasons later, there’s faith, we’re holding on to hope, and every season there’s some other thing we’re grasping for, your favorite movie, your favorite series, whatever. And as Christians, we place our faith in the resurrection of Jesus. That’s what distinguishes us from every other belief system in the world. And here’s the thing about the resurrection of Jesus, if there was a man who was God and He laid His life down and died and then he took his life back up again and lives… And then the Bible goes on to tell us in Ephesians 1 and Philippians 2, God has now highly exalted Him, where He’s in this enthroned position above everything.
Colossians 1 says, “He holds everything in place.” Hebrews 1 says, “He upholds creation by the word of His power.” It says, “He’s greater than the angels.” Isaiah 6 says, “Angels cover their faces and hover around Him, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy… ‘” And the Bible teaches us that Christ is enthroned. It’s important for you and I to understand where Jesus currently is. Physically, we know He’s all present. We know He’s everywhere. David says, “If I descend to the depths of hell, you’re there. If I ascend to the heights of Heaven, you’re there.” But in terms of our understanding of place in time where Jesus is right now is that He is enthroned in glory, holding all things together, we have to either accept that or reject it, there’s no middle ground. So if you say you’re a Christian and you accept the resurrection of Christ, then you must accept the exaltation of Christ, because the Bible teaches us that the death of Jesus leads to the resurrection of Jesus leads to the exaltation of Jesus. And what happens is, Christians love to get to the resurrection part…
‘Cause we love that, that’s the punch line at the end of the movie, that’s the final chapter of the story. But it’s not the final chapter, because the Bible tells us, “Therefore God has highly exalted Him” in Philippians 2. In Ephesians 1, it says, “Because of the resurrection, God has exalted Him and put all things under Him.” And so the resurrection of Jesus gives us hope to a certain degree, and that hope is, I don’t have to pay for my sin, I don’t have to go to hell, I don’t have to face the condemnation that awaits those who reject Christ. But that hope is incomplete, if Jesus just rose from the dead, and then is hanging out there in space somewhere. Because if he rose… ‘Cause Lazarus rose from the dead. There’s a story of a widow who had a son who died and Jesus raised him back to life in Luke Chapter 7, that kid rose from the dead. But those people rose to die again, none of them rose and ascended and are enthroned in glory. So the resurrection of Jesus leads us to the exaltation of Jesus, and in that exaltation, Paul says in Philippians 2, “That at the name of Jesus in that exaltation, every knee is gonna bow… “
I want you to just stop and think hard about this. Think hard about this. This week Carolina and Duke played last weekend. So you grow up in North Carolina, the Carolina-Duke rivalry is insanity. It’s insanity. Probably growing up in Florida, I would imagine Florida-Florida State maybe. Is that the big one in football? I don’t know where Miami comes into play, or do they? Probably the big one is Florida-Florida State. So in North Carolina, Duke and Carolina. Families divide over this. Fistfights happen at cook-outs and tailgate parties. Okay, so Carolina, they played at the Dean Dome this past weekend, and Michael Jordan walks out and everybody’s cheering. Did y’all hear what he said? He said, “The ceiling is the roof.” And it became the social media joke over the next couple of days, people are like, “What does the ceiling is the roof even mean? He’s like, “The ceiling is the roof.” And all the Carolina fans were like… They’re screaming and cheering.
Because in North Carolina, Michael Jordan is just this far short of deity. I’m not even kidding. He’s like a demigod, and so it blows my mind to think that someone like Michael Jordan, who when I was… Back in the day when I was growing up and I was playing ball and I was in college, and right on into adulthood, he was like the man. And now he’s like this chubby middle-aged dude, right now LeBron’s the dude or Curry’s the dude or whatever. But there’s gonna be a point where people who have these heights of glory in this life, that’s gonna go away, and a lot of these guys deal with depression and addiction and stuff like that, because they’re up here and it’s like they’re worshipped practically, and then they’re not, and then they’re off the scene. But the throne of Christ, the Bible tells us in Hebrews 1 “His throne is a throne that will never end.” So there’s not gonna be a point where people are like, “Let’s bring Jesus out. Remember back in the day, he was the man.” No, he still is.
And one thing that’s critical for us to understand is, we don’t make him the man. It’s not like, I’m gonna make Jesus Lord of this or that. No, Christ is Lord and we accept it or reject it. And whether we accept it or reject it, there will come a time where every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to glory of God the father. Jordan’s gonna do it, LeBron’s gonna do it. Katy Perry’s gonna do it. Donald Trump’s gonna do it. Vladimir Putin’s gonna do it. His last name is Putin. Don’t take that guy seriously. Your mom’s gonna do it, your dad is gonna do it, you’re gonna do it, I’m gonna do it. My kids are gonna like… Everyone is gonna stand before the throne of Christ, kneel before the throne of Christ, face down before the throne of Christ and confess him as Lord. Every other God, every other religious leader, this is gonna be a reality.
And the reason is, God has bestowed this authority on Him because He rose from the dead, the resurrection of Jesus is not just a neat quaint Sunday school lesson that we learn as children and then like the rest of our lives, “Yeah I believe in the resurrection of Jesus.” It’s the thing that leads to the thing that changes history and holds all of time eternity in place. And so the resurrection of Jesus at the center of this verse is gonna then hold up five truths, these five truths that I want you to get tonight. Because the resurrection of Jesus is everything because it leads to the exaltation of Christ. In his resurrection, He poisoned and killed death, He poisoned and killed sin, and He destroyed the grave. Jonathan Edward’s painted a picture like this in the 1700s, he said “When Christ goes into the grave, literally what happens is He poisons death and He poisons the grave and it spits him back out, He’s victorious.” So the resurrection of Jesus is a resurrection of conquest and victory.
So these five things are those things that are given to us as a result of Christ’s authority. You have to see Jesus this way. Then you have to accept it or reject it. There’s no middle ground. That’s what I want you to see tonight. And if these five things are intact in your life, you’re gonna be fine, but if these five things are not intact in your life, it’s getting ready to get real for y’all in a way that you’re not gonna be able to handle. And it might be next year or five years down the road, 10 years down the road, 20 years down the road life’s gonna get a hold of you, turn you upside down, and ruin you. But if these five things are intact you’re good to go, you’re good to go. Here are the five things. Number one is He caused us to be born again, meaning He gives us an identity, here’s who you are now. Y’all know I’ve got two adopted kids, and they don’t look like me at all. No, we don’t have the same skin color. They come from another continent, they come from a tribe of people that don’t keep records.
We’re talking about this today, I was talking about this with a couple of my friends. We’re driving up the road. We’re finalizing that adoption, it’s been going on for almost four years now, we’re finalizing that adoption, and when it is complete, these two little people who were born in East Africa in a tribe that doesn’t keep documentation, will have birth certificates that say they were born… Same birth certificates that my other kids have, a North Carolina birth certificate that says they were born in Cherokee County, North Carolina, in Murphy Medical Center Hospital. And it’ll have my last name on that birth certificate. Why? Because they have a new identity, and when Christ saves you, when you become a Christian, the Bible says you’re born again and adoption is another word that is used in scripture to describe what that relationship… To describe or define that relationship, but whether it’s new birth or adoption, the picture is a new identity.
The Bible says in Romans Chapter 8, That Jesus is “the firstborn among many brethren.” Like we’re a brotherhood, and it says that we are co-heirs with Christ, we’re heirs to this eternal gift and kingdom. So we get a new identity, we get… Through new birth we get an identity and if we don’t… And so that’s the first one, and if we don’t get that right, then we’re gonna look for our identity in other things and places and other relationships, and y’all see this all around you all the time. Look at what people are trying to find their identity in. People my age are trying to find their identity in money, in wealth, and success, and the way the world measures success, if I can live in the right neighborhood, if I can make enough money, if my… People start to do this, if my kids can be successful enough than that validates me.
And what people do is they look to whatever arena they’re pursuing life in to validate them and give them their identity, but when the girl you’re with or the dude with no longer validates you, that relationship will end or become really unstable, or when the money that you’re hoping is gonna give you joy and peace and hope and confidence when it doesn’t provide that it destabilizes. So whatever you put your hope in, it’s gonna destabilize. So if your identity is rooted in Christ, that is a stable unmoving, Christ is the un-caused cause, he is the unchanging God. So when we attach ourselves to Him and we’re born into Christ, we have now been attached to something that will never change. So when my life is down here, Christ is the same, when my life is up here Christ is the same, and I’m in Christ, going through whatever I go through. And so what that identity leads to is the second thing, which is, he says, “Born again to a living hope,” second thing is hope. People need hope, man.
People live without hope don’t live much at all. If you don’t have hope, and if you ever meet people that are in the 40s and 50s and 60s and life has just treated them so bad… In fact, I was in the state of Florida probably within the last year, and I was preaching at a student event and I went… I had a couple of hours and I went to one of these big… Y’all know we’re country here, and so when I come to somewhere like where y’all live, I like to get out and see the sights and show me this big shopping mall, this huge complex. And I see this dude walk and he’s got a backpack on, it’s obvious that he’s homeless or he’s walking across the country or something. ‘Cause there’s like cool backpacking, and there’s like, everything I own in this world is in this backpack. There’s homeless backpacking. So pull over, I start talking to this dude. I love to pick up hitchhikers. It’s one of my favorite things to do, I don’t recommend it, but I love to pick up hitchhikers.
And so I don’t recommend it for you, don’t go tell your mom “Yeah, the speaker at camp said pick up hitchhikers, it’s a great ministry opportunity.” It is a great ministry opportunity for me, ’cause I’m packing and I can take care of myself. Okay, so I have faith and a Glock. Okay, so I’m driving down, I pick this dude up, I’m like, “Hey dude where you going?” He said, [0:17:31.3] ____. He was high, man, he was high as a kite, and I was like, “Where are you going?” He’s… There’s crazy, and then there’s like talking to yourself walking around in circles in a Walmart parking lot crazy, and he was that kind of crazy. So I’m like, “I’m gonna chill, I’m gonna let this guy do his thing.” So I leave. Well, I see him the next morning in the same spot. So I pull up there, I’m like, “Man, what’s going on?” And he’s like, “Yeah, man, I was here all night,” and he’s now he’s starting to come down and we’re talking, so I give this guy a ride.
We’re talking… I’ve had this conversation with so many people driving this dude down the road, I’m gonna give him a ride to the interstate, which is about 20 miles away, he’s gonna start thumbing. He’s trying to get to Montana. He left Montana with his girlfriend, they hitchhiked to Florida ’cause she had a connection, something they had had a split up, and he’s trying to get back, ’cause he’s got nowhere to go and he’s broke. And I’m like, “What makes you tick in life? Where’s your hope? What are you hoping for? What do you hope tomorrow’s gonna bring for you? What do you hope next week is gonna bring for you?” And we hear a story like that and we meet somebody like that, and I think, “Man, I’m not in that boat.” But you know what? The human condition is the same, it’s just packaged differently. The Fortune 500 corporate dude that’s making six figures times six, he’s a millionaire, and he’s hoping for something, but that something is not providing the satisfaction that he needs, he’s no different than the dude walking around the Walmart parking lot with the backpack on, he just may be less hungry.
But what we get through the new birth is a living hope, which means that hope doesn’t fade or go away or die, like the light of that hope never burns out, and Christ provides that. And it comes through the resurrection. Nothing, I’m telling you nothing else will provide that hope for you, a person won’t do it, an endeavor, a sport, an academic pursuit, a job, certain financial existence, none of that will provide that hope for you but Jesus will. So we get identity and a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s keep going. That’s two of them. Number three, verse 4, “To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading kept in Heaven for you.” So we get an inheritance, we get… Y’all know what an inheritance is? It’s something that’s being handed down to me, and typically when we think of an inheritance, we think of something that is gonna be given to us when the person who’s leaving it dies, when the person that’s leaving it dies. But if you can imagine the inheritance that we have in Christ is something that’s happening now, and something that’s awaiting us on the other side of this life.
So we get the joy that comes with knowing Christ now, and then we get this great awesome hope of one day being with him. But what happens a lot of times is people profess faith in Jesus so they can have hope of an inheritance eternally, which means… “Well, I believe just enough in God to think that there’s probably a heaven and a hell, and I wanna go to heaven, not hell, so I’ll grab a hold of that inheritance.” And that may… And that’s part of the inheritance, but man God’s giving us good stuff now, like right now. Last year, I came into a couple of thousand bucks. Well I got five kids, so I get the family together I’m like, “Hey, got $2000.” They’re eyeballs get this big, the teenagers are like, “Okay. That’s pretty good.” I mean, they have a realistic understanding of money and it’s not like you’re not rich, like the 11-year-old’s like… She grabs her cheeks she’s like, “We’re rich.” And I’m like, “Okay. Not exactly. But we’re gonna do something cool.” And so we loaded up the seven of us and we said, “Let’s see how far this $2000 will take us.”
When we played for about four days, we got in the car started driving me, man we did stuff we would never do otherwise, and we blew 2000… I was like “When we run out of money, we’re gonna make sure we got enough to fill the tank up and we’re gonna drive home.” and that’s what we did. Okay, so I could have taken that $2000, put it in a neat little savings account, and that have been probably good parenting. I could have put it in a Roth IRA, I don’t even know what that is. I could put in a college savings fund that would have been good, I need to do those things, I’m doing those things the best I can, or I could invest in an inheritance that I get to enjoy with them. So we went and we made memories that long after I’m gone, they’ll tell the story of that trip. So what God does is he gives us an inheritance that, yeah, there’s a future aspect, there’s security that waits for us eternally, but he’s saying “Right now, I wanna give this to you, I wanna enjoy life with you, and I wanna give you an inheritance that’s… “
Listen how He describes it, He says, “It’s imperishable, undefiled and unfading.” Nothing will take it away. Nothing will damage it. Nothing… What God’s given you nobody can rob you of that thing, that new birth, that identity, nobody can take that away from you. Nobody. So you get this inheritance. I don’t have… I didn’t have any wealthy family members, so my dad’s dead and both my granddads have gone on and none of them left me anything like valuable in terms of money. But my granddad on my mom’s side I was closest with him, even closer than with my dad ’cause my folks split. So my granddad on my mom’s side was my hero, he was an Omaha Beach D-Day vet, and he was the dude that I looked up to and just… And he taught me how to work, he taught… We rebuilt the engine on my first truck and he got it running and help me get it running, and that was my first vehicle. And he was that guy, and he left me three things, he left me two bayonets. You know what a bayonet is? It’s this knife thing that you fix on the end of a rifle that he took off of a couple of fellows from the opposing…
Y’all track what I’m saying? From the bad guys or the enemy or whatever. And he brought those home ’cause you could do stuff like that back then, and I’ve got those. You’re like that’s morbid. No that’s really sweet. I’ve got this thing that my granddad gave me, that’s worth zero dollars, you take it to like a surplus store and get 10 or 15 bucks maybe, I don’t know. And then he left me a rifle that his father built the stock to. He was a woodworker and he built the stock to his rifle, I told y’all the other night, I’m a gun guy. So this thing is beautiful, it’s made out of a wood that’s specific to the mountains here, and it’s got this really cool ingrained like layering… It almost looks like tiger stripes, it’s called curly maple, and it’s beautiful. Well, it’s not worth anything. The gun itself, ’cause nobody knew who that guy was, but that inheritance is like… That’s all I got, but I’m cool with that because it means so much. You know what I’m saying?
You think if someone’s given you a name-sake gift or something, that was maybe a piece of jewelry that was your grandmother’s or something like that. I did a wedding for a couple recently, and the engagement ring that he gave her when they got engaged was his grandmother’s engagement ring. That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. And so what we have in Christ is this living inheritance that has a value that you can’t put a dollar amount on. ‘Cause somebody might say, “What would you take for that old rifle?” I won’t take anything for it. I won’t take anything for it, it’s not for sale, because it is one thing that links me and connects me to the relationship that I had with my granddad. So what we have in our inheritance in Christ is all these things that come to us as benefits of a relationship with Jesus, and there’s no price tag on it, but what happens is people buy into the world’s lies and they sell out that inheritance for the thing… It’s like the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, and they go chase after the thing that the world’s offering, but we have this inheritance that we can enjoy now.
So that’s the third thing. Fourth thing, verse 5, “Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Being guarded. So here’s it… Here’s what it is. Number four, we have security in Christ. If it’s not now, the day is going to come in your life where insecurity is gonna ravage you. It’s gonna be a breakup, it’s gonna be the job you don’t get, it’s gonna be the scholarship you lose, it’s gonna be something that’s gonna destabilize your life and insecurity will drive you to look for a functional savior like we talked about earlier. But what we have in Christ is this eternal guarding of our hearts, so if I’m in a relationship with Jesus, it’s the safest place I can be, no matter what’s going on. Think about the disciples in the boat with Jesus when the storm’s going on and they’re freaking out, y’all remember that story? And they’re like, hey, they’re waking him up they’re like, “How can you sleep?” And he’s like, “Oh, the wind. Yeah, I made that. It’s cool.”
And the wind stops, and they realized the safest place you could be in the middle of that hurricane is in the boat with Jesus, the boss of the hurricane. So the safest place you can be in the middle of whatever storm you go through in life is in the boat with Jesus, ’cause He’s the Lord of that storm. And in the middle of that storm, you’re gonna think, this world is chaotic, there is no God, there’s nobody that loves me, there is no hope. And what you realize is, no, the world is chaotic, the world is broken and what Jesus did is entered into the brokenness to ransom for himself a people to bring us out of the brokenness. See, Jesus has felt the weight of the sin of the world in a way that no other human has ever felt it, He’s felt the weight of it. And He says, “When you’re in me, you’re guarded, so you don’t feel the weight of this.” One of our favorite games to play, I think I told y’all I’ve got a little… My youngest little boy he’s four, his name’s Mo, and he’s teeny-tiny, and he’s crazy, and we have crazy wrestling matches. And I’m old enough… I got friends my age that have grandkids Mo’s age so I’m like an old man to have a… I’m like Abraham to have a kid this age.
So we’re wrestling and we throw… We have brutal wrestle matches in my living floor, and the rule is we wrestle till somebody cries, and even if somebody bleeds we’ll keep wrestling as long as nobody’s crying, but if somebody cries we’re like “That’s it, we’re done.” And it’s not like it’s okay, we’ll stop now. It’s like you’re crying. You just ruined it for everybody. So that if you’re a Holloway, you gotta be tough. So that’s the way we do things, so I’m like, “Way to go, the game’s over, we got a crier.” We shame you out of crying when you get boo-boos, that’s just how it is in my tribe. Okay, and so we do this game where we’re wrestling and Mo gets underneath me, and I get on top of Mo and we’re like, “Everybody pile on Mo.” Well everybody’s piling on me. And I’ll get two or three kids on top of me, and I got kids y’all’s size and y’all’s age, and I’m like, “Okay, I’m holding everybody up.” Then Mo’s under there, and I’m like, “Push up Mo.” And he’ll push up and we’ll do this, and I’m like, “Mo’s doing push-ups with everybody on him.”
And we’re doing this, but what’s happening is Mo is under the weight, but he’s in the security and protection of his father, so he’s not really holding that weight. But it could get pretty claustrophobic once in a while I’ll let him feel a little bit of it. He’s like, ” [0:29:13.6] ____” and here we go. So when you’re in Christ, when life starts doing this thing to you where it’s piling up on you, you know what I’m saying, and you’re gonna feel like it’s crushing you, some of you already experienced this. Like for instance, if you were sexually, emotionally or physically abused sometime in the last 18 years, then you’ve already felt this, and there are people in this room that had that happen. Or maybe it was something as simple as a break-up that you think is the end of the world, and you know what, it’s not, Jesus is better. But you get under the weight of whatever that thing is and you feel like it’s gonna crush you, and what you’ve got to understand is Christ is the one holding the weight of the world up.
But when you’re in Christ, you feel the effects of that. So we’re guarded through faith for salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. The last one, number five. “In this, you rejoice though now for a little while, if necessary you’ve been grieved by various trials.” And he goes on and talks about the fact that your faith is gonna be tested, so you get joy no matter what, joy. And if you wanna get like into semantics, you could say joy and happiness are two different things, but what we’re talking about is not just momentary fleeting happiness. ‘Cause Paul say this in Romans 8-18, “For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed in Christ Jesus.” The glory that’s gonna be revealed to me in Christ Jesus is what produces joy. So no matter what life looks like, I have hope, I have joy, I have hope, I have joy. And people put their joint all kinds of things, and we have joy at big levels and little levels all the time. All the time, I was talking to a group of students recently about… A group of students from Atlanta, and I was talking about the Super Bowl, I don’t know if you watched the Super Bowl, but I watched.
It in the first half it was very joyful if you’re Atlanta Falcons fan, there’s a lot of Rise Up fist pumps going on. And then third quarter you’re like, “Okay, I’m still happy.” And if you watch the game in the fourth quarter, your joy was fleeting, like it’s gone, and I feel like a lot of people, if you could take that sort of little microcosm, like what happens in a game like that where you’re emotionally involved and it’s good and then your team loses and you’re like, oh, you’re deflated, take that and now just multiply that to really important things, and that’s what life is gonna do for you. It’s gonna give you highs and lows that absolutely bottom you out, and if you’re not attached and tethered to something that is greater than the source that is robbing you of your joy, then that thing will rob you of your joy. But if your life is not about you, and if you’re attached to something bigger and greater and more eternally significant, then your joy cannot be stolen, this is when you read testimonies of persecuted Christians and martyrs and people that live in horrible circumstances and they have joy in the Lord because the joy in the Lord is my strength.
These five things are critical. Now, here’s what will happen. There are gonna be… If you are the most faithful Christian, there are gonna be times where one of these five things is out of whack. Sometimes maybe two of them are out of whack and you’re struggling and you have… Struggling, fighting for joy right now. “Okay. I know who I am, I know my inheritance. I know I’m in Christ, I know my identity. I know he’s got me, but man, I’ll just be honest, I’m in a dark place.” And then you go to a place like that, and if the four are still intact, you’re gonna be fine, because Christ is gonna carry through those seasons. I’m gonna tell you an illustration, there’s four basic rules to gun safety, so the four rules are… Let me see if I can get these right. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded, even if it’s not. So you don’t… Treat it like it’s loaded, so you know you don’t do this. Okay, treat it like it’s loaded.
So the second rule is, so then keep it pointed in a safe place, so here or here, but you don’t muzzle somebody, you don’t point it at somebody, because the second rule is, don’t point the gun at someone you’re not… Or something you’re not willing to destroy. So okay, it’s empty, but I’m still not gonna point it at anything I’m not willing to destroy. But it doesn’t have bullets in it, it doesn’t matter. Second rule is, don’t point it. If you went up and shot at the shotgun range this week or shot the rifle you know everything’s pointed down range. Third rule is when you do get ready to fire, know your target and know what’s beyond your target. So I’m like, “Okay, I wanna shoot that milk jug,” but I didn’t realize that there’s the neighbor’s cat behind the milk jug. This didn’t happen, okay, I’m saying, but if that happened, then I’d be like, oh, I shut the milk jug, I was perfectly willing to destroy it. I forgot to check behind the milk jug, so I hit what was on the other side. So know your target and what’s beyond your target.
And the fourth thing is keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Okay, so if I follow those four rules, I’m good. Now, here’s what happens, if I accidentally break one of those rules, but only one of them, there’s a good chance nothing bad is gonna happen. So I accidentally swing the gun and point it at people, that’s bad, but if I’m not breaking the other rules, nobody’s gonna get shot. Specifically, ’cause my finger’s not on the trigger, even if the gun’s loaded. You with me? Or if I fire the gun, but that’s the only rule I break because I’m not pointing it at someone, then nobody’s gonna get hurt. I did this one time in my kitchen, we’d been shooting me and my son, we clean… After we go to the range, we go to our little shop, we got a barn and a shop, we clean everything, we leave the ammunition outside, we go in, there’s no… Not allowed to have any bullets in there when you’re cleaning the gun that way there’s no chance of it.
I came in the house that night and I’m on the phone and I’m in a heavy conversation, my kids are all in bed… Everywhere, my wife’s sitting at the kitchen table. And I take this gun apart and I’m like, I’ll just do this at the kitchen table. I’m doing it and talking on the phone, and at some point I put a magazine into the gun, and I’ll chamber the round, and so the type of gun that we were shooting, you have to take it apart, you have to press the trigger and dry fire it. Dry fire it means you pull the trigger with now bullet in it. So I need to take the gun apart, I’m confused in the cycle here, I forgot I’d already cleaned it. So I walk over to the kitchen window and I point it at a window that on the other side of that window is a mountain, and I pull the trigger pow the gun goes off, it was awful.
It was terrible. My wife is like… She was on the phone with some lady, she’s like, boom, “Oh Brody just shot… ” And she hung up on the lady, and I was like, “Okay, I know you’re freaking out, but please call her back like right now.” Okay, so she called her, she’s like, “Oh, he didn’t shoot me, he shot the window.” And so I tell you that story for this reason, there are gonna be times where you’re gonna struggle in one of these five areas, like if you didn’t have a good relationship with your daddy growing up, you’re gonna struggle with the identity one. I know, ’cause my dad, when he was there, he wasn’t there, and then he just wasn’t there, you know what I’m saying? Like when he was there, he wasn’t there, and then he did some damage, and then he wasn’t there.
BH: But the damage was still there, you know what I’m saying, some of you feel that. Okay, so that’s gonna create some identity struggles in your life, it’s called a sucking daddy wound in your chest and it hurts, and if you don’t have it then you can’t really fully appreciate how difficult it is. So that’s gonna create… So let’s say you’re having a moment of instability in terms of your identity in Christ, ’cause you’re trying to see God as a Father, but you’re not really getting it because you don’t… You didn’t have a good earthly example, then in that moment, these other four things intact are gonna catch me and hold me up and send the bullet out the window instead of in a dangerous direction. Make sense? So these five things are critical, and all five of these things are held up by the resurrection of Jesus, so the more you press into the Gospel… Paul says this to the Corinthians, First Corinthians 15.
He says, “I would remind you, brothers, of the Gospel I preached to you.” Past tense, if you’re a Christian, you’ve been saved by the power of the Gospel, that’s past tense. It’s something that happened. “I remind you brothers, of the Gospel I preached to you.” Past tense. “And in which you now stand.” Present tense, So the Gospel is as important for me today as it was the day I accepted Jesus, which for me was as a 19-year-old, so the Gospel is as important for me today as it was when I was 19. Which I preached to you in which you now stand, that’s present tense, so the Gospel is past, present, and he says, “And in which you are being saved.” which is a future perfect… If you go into the Greek, it’s a future perfect. It means like this, there’s a starting point, but no ending point. You remember in geometry, you gotta go back to what maybe 10th grade.
Do you have to take geometry, everybody? Do you remember what a ray is? There’s a dot, it’s a starting point, and then there’s a line on the paper, and what’s it got on the end of the line, an arrow, which means this is an infinite. A ray is… Here’s the starting point, right here. And then it never ends. Okay, that’s the way the Gospel works in your life. There was a starting point. Nobody was born Christian. It’s not… Christianity is not a cultural identity, it’s not something you inherit, you were not born Christian, you were born into sin, and you went from death to life through the power of the resurrection of Jesus. So there’s a starting point, I would remind you of the Gospel that was preached to you, in which you received, past tense, in which you now stand that’s somewhere on the line… At any point in my life, I’m somewhere on the line and in which you are being saved, and that’s the arrow that carries us straight into eternity, which gets into that inheritance we talked about.
So the Gospel is what is gonna carry me, and in times where one of these five things is not doing, my joy has been robbed… Maybe like the loss of a loved one, whatever, I’m just gonna tell you, man, it really messes with you. But these things can all be kept intact by the power of the Gospel, and what I’m telling you tonight y’all I’m never gonna see y’all again, most likely, maybe some of you’ll swing back through here, maybe some of you can work here for a summer. It’d be awesome. Most of you, we’re not gonna see again, you’re not gonna remember my name, if you even remember it right now, it doesn’t matter. One of my favorite quotes is from a Moravian missionary in the 1800s named Count Zinzendorf said, “Preach the Gospel, die and be forgotten.” I don’t care if you don’t remember my name, but the Gospel that we’re proclaiming to you, that you’ve had proclaimed to you, hopefully over the last few years, will carry you into that eternal place called Heaven but will carry you through life so that you don’t die hoping that you got it right, but you rest in the identity you have in Christ. Now go back, you can even take this and go back to what we talked about on Monday night and put all these principles in play. You pursue those things in life in the context of who you are in Christ, you’re gonna be alright. You’re gonna be game-changers, you’re gonna be impact players on the global scale in your community, in your church, in your family, you’re gonna be good daddies, good mamas, you’re gonna raise families and you’re gonna make an impact that’s gonna matter 150 years from now, or you’re not. And that rests on you right now at this critical, pivotal point in your lives. If you can… You don’t have to know a ton of truth, if you just know a few hard truths rooted in the Gospel, but you know them really well you’re gonna be fine for the course of your life and you’re gonna make an impact that’s gonna outlive you for generations. That’s what I believe.
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