I am going to be really hip and trendy with this message. Unlike many of you, this will be a new experience for me you are probably used to it. I am going to talk about the living dead.
No, it’s not the Twilight vampire stuff.
And, no, I am not talking about zombies.
Well, okay, maybe I am not that hip. The walking dead I am going to talk about are those millions of people who are walking through life without a relationship with Jesus Christ. While they are physically alive, they are spiritually dead. To me, that is the most frightening type of living dead because unless something happens they will be dead forever.
Vampires know they are dead. Zombies don’t seem to care. But those who are spiritually dead are totally clueless about their spiritual condition. THAT IS SCARY TO ME!
Vampires don’t exist (except at the IRS). And there are no zombies. But these walking dead are everywhere and that’s what I want to talk about today. But first, let me review:
Terms of Endearment:
Repentance – turning from sin and self to become a devoted follower of Christ
Restitution – making things right around you because you have been made right inside
Redemption – being bought back from sin and slavery by the blood of Jesus
Regeneration – being made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit
Just because you are alive doesn’t mean you’re not dead.
“ As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:1-10
I. The Exclamation of Regeneration, Vv. 1- 5
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved”
YOUR NATURAL STATE:
“dead in your trespasses and sins”, V. 1“darkness”, V. 2
“disobedient”, V. 2b
“dominated by desires”, V. 3
“deserving of wrath”, V. 3b
YOUR NEW STATE:
“alive with Christ”, V. 5
Here are some Scriptures that talk about being REGENERATED or BORN AGAIN:
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:1-3
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” I Corinthians 15:22
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins” Colossians 2:13
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” I Peter 3:18
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Corinthians 5:17
II. The Explanation of Regeneration, Vv. 6-9
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Nicodemus was a dead man walking and had no idea. He must have known something was wrong because he DID come to Jesus with a searching heart.
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:1-16
REGENERATION IS BEING BORN AGAIN!
III. The Expression of Regeneration, V. 10
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Regenerated people do good works – godly works!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:1-11
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “ For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter .”Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39
Nicodemus was a walking dead man. Are you?
Nicodemus needed to be born again. So do you.
Nicodemus was trusting in religion not relationship? Are you?
You’re not alive until God says you’re alive!
It is time to come alive in Christ. Have you been born again? Will you?