Before his death, my father-in-law asked me to officiate his funeral. I was honored by his request, but found myself nervous because his funeral would be my first.
Well, the time had come for my family to head back home. Last weekend we made the long trek in our minivan. On Saturday, the funeral was held.
My prayer is that I was able to comfort family and friends as we grieved our loss. I also pray that I glorified God as I gave my funeral sermon. For those interested, below is my outline:
A. As I stand here today, remembering my father-in-law, I am confronted with the reality of death. What should we think about death?
B. Death is not the way it is supposed to be. When God was creating this world and all that is in it, he said it was “good.” When he created the pinnacle of creation, human beings, he said it was “very good.” But something happened. In Adam, we turned from God and rebelled against Him, leading us to be separated from Him and to face death. Death is all too real for us today, but God offers us comfort. Death need not be the end. In God’s Word, we see two truths to help us as we face the reality of death.
II. First Truth: We Have Hope, vv. 15-17
A. God’s Gift Has Come, vv. 15-16
1. The Grace of Jesus Christ is Abundant, v. 15. It abounds to many. Our God is a generous God, and he loves to lavish us with his grace. What comfort we can find in Him!
2. The Grace of Jesus Christ Brings Justification, v. 16. While we deserve condemnation for our rebellion and separation from God, we can be justified! Even though we are guilty, God’s gift is that we can be accepted by Him as righteous!
B. Receiving God’s Gift Gives Life, v. 17. Here we have the contrast of death and life. We all face death, but it must not reign over us. When we receive God’s grace, when we turn from our rejection of God and embrace His Son and what He did for us, then life will reign through us in Jesus Christ.
III. Second Truth: Our Hope is Eternal Life in Christ, vv. 18-21
A. We are Righteous in Christ, vv. 18-19. Imagine being righteous in Christ, no longer being separated from God. What a wonderful and beautiful thing it will be to spend eternity with Him! Heaven with God awaits us in Christ!
B. Christ’s Righteousness Overcomes Death, vv. 20-21. As we’ve already seen, we can have eternal life. And then there is no reason to fear death, because we have eternal life. We will never be separated from God!
A. What is God’s Word showing us today? Death is real, but it has been defeated! As the last book of the Bible promises, God will “wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
B. The casket does not need to be the end of our story. In Christ, our bodies will be raised from the grave as we reign victorious over death. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-57) May we all look forward to that day.
Labels: Personal Ministry