Did Christ Die in Vain?
I. Most, if not all, of us put hard work into various projects, be it a project at work, the raising of children, or implementing a favorite hobby.
A. After hours of hard work, it is devastating to find it destroyed or never used.
B. I remembered being asked to add a particular feature to a system. The senior executive of the area was going to demonstrate the feature to a large customer the next morning.
1. I spent the entire night, not only implementing the feature, but testing every which way I could to make sure it would not break during demonstration.
2. I even wrote scripts for the executive so he would not be required to type much and cause a problem by an accidental mistype.
3. I went home exhausted at 4am in the morning after leaving detailed notes concerning what I did.
4. When I returned after several hours of sleep, I asked how the demonstration went.
5. The response? “Oh, I didn’t show it to the customer because I didn’t know if I could trust it.”
6. It was about that time that I stopped doing extra work for that boss.
C. Jesus did the most marvelous thing for mankind by taking on the sins of the world and willingly died on the cross for us.
1. But we as ignorant and ungrateful men can show just as much rudeness as my old boss if we change the work of Christ
II. Christ died in vain if we can be saved by the Law of Moses - Galatians 2:21
A. If it was possible to be saved by following the Law of Moses, then what need would there have been for God to come in the form of man to die for man’s sins?
1. The very Law stated that everyone was condemned - Romans 3:10-12
2. Therefore the very Law people desire to save them holds them under the condemnation of death - Romans 3:19-20
3. It was necessary to condemn because the law could not save - Galatians 3:21-22
B. When a man desires to bind a portion of the Law, he declares the work of Christ to be useless - Galatians 5:2-4
1. The example is circumcision, though other portions of the law could be used.
2. Circumcision is part of a law we know could not save because that law stated it left men in sin.
3. If we require something for salvation from something that could not save, then Jesus’s efforts to bring salvation was useless.
4. His work to replace a flawed law would have been unnecessary - Hebrews 7:18-19; 8:6-7, 13
C. For the faithful Christian, Christ’s effort on our behalf was not useless
1. The life offered in Christ is more glorious than the ministry of death - II Corinthians 3:7-8
2. Christian canceled the debt of the Law - Colossians 2:13-14
III. Christ died in vain if the shedding of blood did not take away sin
A. Christ’s shed blood allowed him to enter heaven and obtain salvation for us - Hebrews 9:11-14
B. To establish a new covenant required the shedding of blood - Hebrews 9:16-20
C. Because the Old Law could not save and the new brought salvation, salvation could not occur without the shedding of blood to establish the covenant - Hebrews 9:22
1. Such removal of sin could not have been done with the blood of animals - Hebrews 10:4
2. Only in the blood of Christ do we have salvation - Ephesians 1:7
3. It took something most precious to buy our soul’s salvation - I Peter 1:18-19
IV. Christ died in vain if there is no resurrection - I Corinthians 15:12-14
A. Think about the consequences of a belief that when we die that is the end.
B. To what then are we striving?
C. If there was no resurrection, the declaration of Jesus as the Son of God is then a lie - I Corinthians 15:15-16
1. Romans 1:4 - The resurrection is critical to the testimony of who Jesus was.
2. This is why Muslims declare that Jesus did not die on the cross, let alone was resurrected from the dead. They do not want evidence that Jesus was God.
D. If God did not raise Jesus, then sin remains in the world and we remain in sin - I Corinthians 15:17-19
V. Christ died in vain if the church is unnecessary
A. If one could be saved without being a part of the church, then Christ died in vain.
B. All who are baptized have put on Christ and are in Christ - Galatians 3:26-27
1. Those who are saved are added to the church - Acts 2:47
C. Christ purchased the church with his blood - Acts 20:28
1. He died to cleanse the church - Ephesians 5:25-27
D. There are so many who claim that they don’t need some organized religion to be saved.
1. It would be true if they are talking about some man-made organized religion
2. But Christ did organize a religion and died for it
3. Do we make his work useless?
VI. Christ died in vain if you are lost
A. Not in vain for those who have accepted his gift of salvation
B. But if you remain in your sins, then for you, personally, Christ’s effort to bring salvation to you was useless.
C. Jesus Christ died that you might be saved, will you ignore that mighty work?