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Sermon Title: "Risen with Christ: The Call to Authentic Living."

Today, we embark on a journey towards the heart of our faith—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event is not merely a pillar of our beliefs but a beacon illuminating how we should live. In light of His resurrection, we are invited to shed our old selves and our secrets and sins and embrace a life of transparency and truth.

The Scriptures are clear about the danger of concealing our sins. Psalm 32:1-5, John 3:19-21, and Ephesians 5:8-17 paint a vivid picture of the joy found in confession and the darkness that comes with hiding our wrongdoings. Yet, many of us, perhaps without even realizing it, attempt to hide our sins through actions contrary to the life to which we have been called.

First, leading a "double life" by having separate sets of friends or acquaintances to hide our actions is a betrayal of the light we've been called to live in. Matthew 5:13-16 and Romans 12:9 urge us to be salt and light, to hate what is evil and cling to what is good, not to compartmentalize our lives into segments that never meet.

Second, lying to cover up our sins only entangles us further. Proverbs 12:22 tells us that the Lord detests lying lips but delights in trustworthy people. Colossians 3:9-10 reminds us to put off the old self with its practices and to embrace the new self, renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Third, attempting to appear as though we are living God's way while harboring sin in our hearts is a grave mistake. Mark 7:20-23 warns us that what comes from inside defiles us. Our outward appearances might fool others, but they cannot fool God.

Fourth, acting indignant or surprised when confronted with our inconsistencies only reveals a heart not yet fully surrendered to God's transforming work. James 1:22-24 challenges us not to listen to the word and deceive ourselves merely but to do what it says.

Last, being contentious and causing divisions among believers directly contradicting the unity Christ prayed for His church. Ephesians 4:1-3 encourages us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received, being completely humble and gentle, patient, and bearing with one another in love.

Beloved, the resurrection of Jesus Christ calls us to a life of authenticity. He rose, conquering death and sin so that we could no longer live under deceit and division. In Him, we find the strength to confess our sins to one another and to live in the light (James 5:16).

Let us remember that our identity is found in the risen Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin but children of light. This means shedding the layers of deception, the masks we wear, and the walls we build to hide our true selves. It means living in such a way that our lives are an open book, reflecting the grace, truth, and love of Jesus Christ.

In closing, let us seek the Lord's strength to live authentically, embracing the truth that sets us free. May we rise with Christ, leaving behind the grave clothes of deceit and stepping into the light of His truth. Let our lives be a testament to His power to transform and redeem.

Let us pray...

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