SermonRising Above Evil
An all-creatures Bible Message

Rising Above Evil

A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
16 April 2017 Resurrection Day
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Luke 24:1-11
John 8:23-25
Colossians 3:1-4
James 1:12-15

Rising above evil is what happened on Resurrection Day when Jesus rose from the dead; He rose above the evil that put Him to death on the cross, as well as the evil that is upon this earth.
Jesus’ rising above evil also brings us the hope that one day we will also rise above the evil and corrupt ways of this world as we enter heaven.
All rising above evil depends upon our being truly born again, which is evidenced by our living in the heavenly will of God and helping to end the corruption of this creation, which should be a natural result of being a child of God.
Rising above evil is also rising above the evil intent of the devil who tries to convince us that our faith is wrong.
Think about rising above evil as we look at what we are told about the first Resurrection Day in Luke 24:1-11…

1. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.

Typically this would be done by the women, but we also need to remember that if they had the faith that Jesus would indeed rise from the dead, they wouldn’t be bringing spices to anoint Jesus’ body; instead they would have come to see the risen Jesus.
The devil and his evil intent gave these women doubts about their faith, just as he has done with most people; however, by faith, we are to be rising above evil.

2. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3. but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Even this did not convince the women to trust in what Jesus had told them.

4. And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel;
5. and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead?

In a way, fear is really the opposite of love, and the fear exhibited by the women is a result of the evil doubt place in them by the devil.
The angel said to them…

6. "He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,
7. saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
8. And they remembered His words,

And hopefully they were rising above evil in the form of the evil doubt that the devil had placed before them as a stumbling block.

9. and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

They are doing this on faith.

10. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.
11. And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.

And hopefully we can also see the evil doubt that the devil has inserted into the lives of even the apostles.
We need to be rising above evil.
The earliest Bible manuscripts end this passage of Scripture here; but later manuscripts added another verse that says that Peter went to the tomb, and we need to remember that the earliest, the ones closest to the actual event, believed that Peter was one of the eleven.
In John 8:23-25, Jesus talks a little about rising above evil…

23. And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.

Being from below is living where evil abounds, but being from above is rising above evil, for evil is in the world.
And when Jesus said that He was not of this world, He was plainly saying that He was from heaven, a place that has no evil.

24. "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins." 

Jesus is telling the people then, and us today, that if we don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and our Lord and Savior, we will die in our sins, for we would fail to be able to be rising above evil, for the power to do so is in our belief and faith in Jesus.

25. And so they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "What have I been saying to you from the beginning?”

We hope we all see the doubt in their question, “Who are You?”
Such doubt is evidence of a lack of faith, particularly since the people had been living and listening to Him in person, unlike us today who must rely mostly on our faith.
Now, let’s take a look at Colossians 3:1-4, and see what Paul tells us about rising above evil.

1. If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Being raised up with Christ is rising above evil.
And we are to constantly be seeking the heavenly will of God in our lives here on earth so that we have the faith and strength to avoid the schemes of the devil.
This is what Paul reminds us about next…

2. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Paul is telling us that if we are truly born again that we have repented and died to our sins and have spiritually risen above earthly corruption and sins, for we are then living in the heavenly will and realm of God, where Jesus is.

4. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

If we are vigilant and remain conscious if the fact that we are rising above evil, we will indeed be with Jesus in heaven, and other people here on earth, will see the heavenly will of God in us, and hopefully repent of their own evil ways.
In James 1:12-15, we see similar spiritual references to rising above evil.

12. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

While here on earth, we are all tempted by the devil and the people who live in the corrupt ways of this earth, and some of the people may be our friends and neighbors.
We can still be friendly with these other people, just as Jesus was with the people in His days upon this earth, and like Jesus, we must not join in their sins; we must always be rising about evil, and it is this way of living that gives us the crown of life.

13. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

This is further confirmation that all the temptation we face every day in this world is from the devil and his minions.

14. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

This is the constant problem that we need to be aware of; and if we are and don’t give in, but are constantly rising above evil, we will overcome the devil and the evil ways in this earthly abode.

15. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Unfortunately, this is what is happening with most people here on earth; they are heading for destruction.
Jesus didn’t come to earth and die on the cross that we would be destroyed with the rest of the earth.
Jesus came and rose from the dead that like Him, we would be rising above evil and join Him in heaven where there is no longer any pain or suffering or death.
This is the real Resurrection Day message.
And we should instinctively know that Easter eggs and milk chocolate bunnies have nothing to do with Resurrection Day, for they bring pain and suffering and death to billions of animals every year; they are part of the corrupt ways of this world.
We are not to be a part of this.
We are to be rising above evil.
We are to be living in the heavenly will of God.
We can do it.

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