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April 4, 2021 12:01 am
Welcome to this Times Square church 2021 Easter special God, would you help us to learn what it means to be part of the resurrected body of Christ. Would you give us the hearts to embrace one another again and appreciate one another. This is Easter.
This is the lesson of God may be learned. Love it may relive that Carter Conley from Times Square church in New York City. Opening with a special prayer for this Easter season. We are living in very uncertain times in the world today, and Carter believes now is the time that the body of Christ needs to unite begin to work together as Christ called us to do. We need vision and understanding from God to know how we should fit in this age let's join Carter now with the resurrected body of Christ. I like to start today by reading the words of the apostle Paul in first Corinthians chapter 12 firstly verses 4 to 14 and in verses 20 and 21 and it speaking about the church of Jesus Christ of which you have trusted him for the forgiveness of your sins. The Bible says that you received the Spirit of God and you are now grafted in your part of the family of God, but it also makes you the dwelling place of God, which is really the definition of the body of Christ on the earth. Here's what Paul says about this body, beginning in verse four, first Corinthians chapter 12 there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. There are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all, but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all 41 is given the word of wisdom through the spirit to another the word of knowledge through the same spirit to another faith by the same spirit to another gifts of healings by the same spirit to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one in the same spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body with the Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member, but many in verse 20 says. But now, indeed, there are many members, yet one body in the eye cannot say to the hand. I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet. I have no need of you know, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead and showed himself to the people of that time.
Now he undoubtedly was empowered by an one with the spirit of God and others.
There's really no debating that there's no argument about it.
He was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit from the dead. He was now living again after having suffered on the cross and then three days in the grave. Now he's alive again so it brings to mind a question that I used to ask myself many, many years ago. Question is, why then after being raised from the dead did he choose to appear in human form. In a way that left people, at least initially, questioning who it was they were talking to could easily have come out of the grave in a glorified body he could come out and recognizable as the man that he had been walked among the people for 33 years, but for whatever reason, and maybe there's a reason. Maybe there's a teaching this today. It appears in the New Testament that when he was raised from the dead. Time and again people didn't recognize him physically as to who he was. They recognize them by the spirit but not by appearance, so I want to just leave that thought and let's build on that foundation. Now in this particular instance the question is, what was he trying to teach us in the deeper question is, did the people then understand the lesson and do we understand it today as the body of Christ. Now in the Gospel of John, chapter 20 and beginning in verse 11 we see his very first appearance after he was raised from the dead. In verse 11, Mrs. Mary stood outside the tomb, weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb and she saw two angels in white sitting one at the head and the other at the feet were the body of Jesus had lain.
Then they said to her, woman, why are you weeping, she said to them, because it taken away my Lord and I do not know where they laid him once it said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there and did not know that it was Jesus much he loved them. Obviously with all of her heart. She was very, very familiar with him in his physical human form that he had taken on in 33 years he had walked on this earth, she would've seen him on the cross and now he's raised from the dead and she doesn't recognize him. Verse 15 said Jesus said to her, woman, why are you weeping whom are you seeking this word gets really interesting.
It says she's supposing him to be the gardener said to him, sir.
If you carried him away, tell me where you've laid him and I will take him away. Jesus said to her, Mary, she turned to him and said Redbone which is to say, teacher, so the interesting thing in all of this is.
He was always teaching everyone something. So in this particular case, what is what is he teaching her. Why did you not appear to this woman who just loved him with all of her heart. This is the very very first appearing of Jesus Christ after the resurrection, and so we look at this and then we go on to John chapter 21 so firstly he appears as a gardener in John chapter 21 his disciples of gone fishing again and they spent all night fishing. They caught nothing and some of his voice calls to them from the shore and they said you have any food and they said no and course gives an instruction to cast the net on the right side of the boat and there there. Suddenly, the net is filled with fish, and the Scripture tells us that John shouts out it's it's the Lord. Simon Peter jumps out of the boat is is so excited he literally swims destroy doesn't wait for the other.
Stephen get there and then. Now the lesson gets interesting. It starts in verse nine of chapter on chapter 21 then as soon as they turned the land they saw fire of coals there and fish laid on it and bread. Jesus said to them, bring some of the fish which you have just caught Simon Peter went up and write the net to land full of large fish, 153. And although there were so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, need breakfast. Yet none of the disciples dared ask him who are you, knowing that it was the Lord. So here we have again this situation where he's appeared again after he is risen from the dead and they don't physically recognize they just know in their spirit that this is the Lord Jesus Christ. They were interacting with. So the first time he appears as a gardener to marry the second time he appears as a cook to his disciples, I mean it's just absolutely incredible because I think about this is the risen Christ. Don't you think you would come with the chariot and angels and glory and glowing, and when we do church plays about the resurrection of Jesus Christ is think about it as I was preparing this it is, there's always the music plays in the end, and there's a rumbling and he comes out of the tomb, and they bring out the smoke machine and the whole thing becomes out in this glory and glowing will is not the way the applicant is a gardener and then he appears there is disciples as a cook.
This is absolutely an incredible. I want to backtrack a little bit and go to the gospel of Luke chapter 24. It's just about some men who are on the road heading away from Jerusalem discouraged and down and depressed in the chapter 24 Luke beginning in verse 13 it says not, behold, two of them were traveling the same day to a village called Emmaus which was 7 miles from Jerusalem and the talk together of all these things which you have now so the that the crucifixion of Christ had happened, and the you know the whole of the society was in a kind of a religious upheaval there discussing at their down the and so it was while he conversed in reason the Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him.
And then of course it goes on and he has a conversation with him.
He opens the Scriptures up. He begins to explain what the Old Testament said about the Messiah and what his ministry was going to be and what was going to accomplish yet they still didn't know him. He still just a traveler. In verse 28 says then they drew near to the village where they were going and he indicated that he would've gone farther and I love that because he will never force himself on us. He will open the Scriptures to us, but never never be such a gentleman. He won't force himself on us to believe he gives us the opportunity to to seek him. You remember as Jeremiah said you you search for me and you find me when you search for me with all of your heart and soul here. These men they constrained them and signal abide with us forwards towards evening and the day is far spent, I think might be time for us to pray that prayer again in this generations ago and it's getting dark. You gotta come to us again.
You got it.
You gotta teach us again. You gotta show us things about you and about ourselves again that maybe we haven't considered in the Scripture says he went into stay with them now tend to pass. He sat at the table with them that he took bread, and blessed and broke it and gave it to them than their eyes were opened and they knew him and he vanished from their side. I love that passage of Scripture.
It is, I don't know what he said that he say this is my body which is broken for you. I just know that when he when he broke the bread, suddenly their eyes were opened and they were given an understanding of who he was and what he had accomplished in a in a great great measure what it meant for their lives as a Scripture tells us that they turned around they were walking, actually away from the place of victory in their walk into another place with the turnaround went back and they went back with a report and they said we have seen the Lord. We've seen impersonally. So this is where I I find it so interesting that he appears first as a gardener, then he appears as a cook that he appears as a traveler know that's that's that's the risen Christ were talking about here in the point. I think that he was trying to teach the people of his generation and out of our generation is that he was going to have a body on the earth of people that were just very different from each other.
They were not all have the same office they would not all be doing the same thing and I will rubberstamp it all.
Don't look the same.
We might call it like Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal, this would be just men and primitive of different races language and cultures and values he was going to inhabit a body on the earth of gardeners and cooks and track floors and salesman than anything and everything that's become his church in our generation, very different from each other but all empowered by his Holy Spirit. The third person of God for his divine purpose on the earth. That's why we are called the church of Jesus Christ you're listening to Carter Conlin with his Easter message titled the resurrected body of Christ. Now, here again is Carter Conlin now for too long we have allowed ourselves to be divided. Remember our opening Scripture in first Corinthians chapter 12 Paul said now indeed there are many members, yet one body in the eye cannot say to the hand. I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet. I have no need of you in my opinion, for what it's worth, is it we been guilty of this. Over the years and it's brought great weakness into the testimony of Christ because we looked at weed the gardener said to the cook I don't need you and the cook said to the traveler I'd teach you in the trafficker said to the gardener. I don't need you were all part of the body of Jesus Christ. Remember the opening Scripture there different gifts, but the same Spirit, their differences of ministry, but the same Lord. The diversities of activities but it's the same God who works all in all, the manifestation of the Spirit is given the each one for the profit of also another it's a God's Holy Spirit is on every person who has genuinely come to Christ from whatever background or or whatever terms they have to attend and given to us for the sake of profiting each other and the kingdom of God. There are all kinds of gifts that work in the body is one in chapter 12 verse 12 this is the body is one that has many members, all the members of that body, being many, are one body, and so also is Christ by one Spirit were all baptized into one body, whether Greeks or Jews or slaves or free, would been all made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member, but many and we have for way too long allowed ourselves to be divided non-I'm talking about division based on distinctives just different ways of looking at things different ways of doing things are nothing but the essence of the cross are believing for our salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
But once we have come to the cross country come to Christ his way through confessed our sin, then we are given the spirit of God and we become part of God's dwelling place on the earth become part of his body and then Scripture just tells us that Jesus himself said a house divided against itself cannot stand. And we have allowed ourselves over the last I think it's a peacetime extravagance have always called to allow ourselves to be divided, we've allowed ourselves to be divided and we find ourselves now in a generation where a flood of ungodliness is coming into our cultures coming into our society it swallowing up the minds of our children and our youth. It's threatening to destroy the ask the very fabric of the country as we know it and we find ourselves as the people of God as the body of Christ. Instead of having the impact on the culture that we should have. We find ourselves rather powerless to change this or to stand against this onslaught of hell that's come against this nation at this time and so we have to stand back and see God what is it that we have done that is brought this incredible weakness. Now there's obvious things.
A lot of the people of God are living a mixture that's for sure in the living half in the kingdom of God and half in this world and in that's a division of sorts, or causes us not to be able to stand but I'm speaking now about the real genuine body of Christ. One of the reasons in my heart that I believe that we have finders ourselves in such a weakened position today is that we have allowed ourselves to be divided on distinctives on this practice is just the salesman.
As I said doesn't like the garden of the cook doesn't like the traveler and we've we've all gotten opinions about how we feel. The church should look at who's in and who's out and we become divided and as such we find that we are unable to stand against this onslaught of darkness in our time. But the Scripture tells us that when the enemy comes in like a flood the spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against it. That means is that there's a banner in a sense a flag may call it that was put in a high place where the those who belong to God can can gather again and and is it possible in our time that the Lord is saying you are my church and you have been divided too long and I'm calling you to one place where you start to recognize and appreciate one another and start to understand that none of us can do this alone. We need each other every every Christian person who is trusted in Christ for the salvation you can no longer say to the hand. I don't need you because maybe the hand speaks in tongues, and you don't may be maybe the hand likes the worship of flags and you just like to be quiet and sentencing from a hymnbook we've allowed ourselves to be divided over things that in eternity really don't matter. What matters is that we are the people of God where the dwelling place of God's Holy Spirit.
We are commissioned to allow him to represent himself through us on the earth and we are given the knowledge that, in the unity there is power and so it's time I think to put away childish things. I think it's time considering the our living into to rally again to that banner that God is raising on the hill one more time and the banner that I believe is that the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus calling us back to the cross and sing your my people. No matter what you look like and I are chosen to indwell you and you got to understand that if you remain divided, you're not going to have the power to stand against the darkness of this time, my brother, my sister, I need you and you need me whether or not we have a few things we do differently if we're over the bloodline if if we have trusted in Christ for our salvation. We can't afford to be divided any longer. We can afford to thumb our nose at people at choose to do things differently than we do. We are the body of Jesus Christ and God help us if we can't get beyond our divisions at this time. What a sad indictment that would be if we let this whole generation perish because we choose division over unity which is weakness over strength.
We choose to stand against and since the word of God and we will withhold a torrent transposition that says I don't need you because you're not like me. I said that is the hand saying to that to the I don't need you because I do different things and you do or did I see things differently than you do with the way you see them. I said that is Psalm 133 David the great, great, great Christ type and King of Israel hears the words he said, behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
You know you and I have got to get to the point where we disagree with God, and to say this is a good thing Jesus was trying to teach us when he rose from the dead, that the gardener, the cook and the traveler are all him his head in his sick all the gardener is isn't encouraging woman who's lost hard in his full sow the cook's is helping feed and give direction to people who were fishing all night and catching nothing in the travelers walking alongside two guys that are just really discouraged because the dreams seem to have fallen through their fingers and we just we fail to recognize what were like the cook saying you don't know that's not the way you do it you don't you will travel beside people you cook them biscuits and fish in the gardener say no you don't need to cook anything or travel by anybody stand in the garden and wait for them to come to you in and you see how foolish all these divisions in the side of God may look you know what he was teaching us is what I think really obvious because he never appeared in recognizable form. He just said I would have a body. This body is going to come together as one in the earth, and there's going to be something really pleasant about people coming together in unity and that unity being based on the cross of Jesus Christ goes on in Psalm 133 verse two and he says it's like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron running down to the edge of his garments. There's an anointing there. There's an anointing to comfort. There's an anointing to provide for the hungry. There's an anointing to unravel in the sense that the confusion in people's minds is the traveling away from the presence of God. There's an anointing when we choose to recognize and appreciate and love and honor one another is an anointing when we come down in a sense from our lofty place and take on the form of a servant and identify with the rest of the body all around us, we become in the sense as Christ was to us. That is to us. There is this incredible anointing old God, would you help us again as the people of God to come back together. He goes on in Psalm 133 verse three and David says it's like the dew of Herman descending upon the mountains of Zion for there the Lord commanded the blessing life evermore. In other words, when when brethren dwell together in unity. It's like this dew that descended upon the mountains and it it's it satisfies thirst.
Would you agree with me today that we are living in a really thirsty society.
Our children are fainting for hunger at the top of every street people are looking for hope in a way forward. This societies around us are becoming bitterly divided on ethnic and racial, and social and linguistic lines and there are powers of darkness soloing this division in our societies all around us, but when God's people come together it's it's a proof in the sense that there's a better way to go that something else can be considered. It's it's a do the comes down upon the mountains and begins to satisfy the thirst of every hungry soul, we remain divided 11 in the church of Jesus Christ. We point out the window or out the door and said I don't need you.
You don't need me. You're different than I am not like you. What makes this any different from the raging society in our streets all around us. We are exactly the same except there were just adding nice clothes in the Bible and the Lotta Christian language to it but really at heart were not much different than those that are dividing in our streets today and and literally cursing one another, but it's in this place of unity that David concluded.
Psalm 133 blessing for there the Lord commanded the blessing life ever more. This is the place where God says if you will walk together as my people manifestation of my spirit is given to you for a divine purpose and that purpose is to command life purpose is to bring life into every place you go into every conversation you're involved in into every room you enter.
God says if you will do it my way. I will command life again. I want you to hear that sentence one more time for those that are hearing my voice today God says if you will do this my way.
If you will acknowledge the body of Christ. I will command life through you one more time.
It's time for you and I again to sit at the table with Christ.
Let the bread be broken. Let our pride be broken. Let our divisions be broken. Let us be broken from one another and for our generation and if we will do this than just like the men on the road to Emmaus. Our eyes will be opened.
Our hearts burn again for the truth of God that he is willing to give to us and we will go running back to our brother and our brothers and sisters in Christ of every persuasion say I have seen the Lord God has spoken to my heart.
This is a good day. What we thought was a defeat is actually become victory above and beyond everything that I say to you today. I say again, it's time to pray. Thanks for joining us today listening to an Easter message from Times Square church with Carter, titled the resurrected body of Christ. For more information about Times Square church.
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