Grace Reformed Network Conference

Grace Group Lesson 04/03/2024

GRC Grace Group 04/03/2024

Encouraging Certainties That Flow From the Resurrection

Review from Sunday's sermon: Three Encouraging Certainties that Flow from the Resurrection

1 – The Forgiveness of Sin

1Cor. 15:12 ¶ Now, if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Cor. 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
1Cor. 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
1Cor. 15:15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
1Cor. 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
1Cor. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
1Cor. 15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
1Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Paul points us to the miracle of Jesus's resurrection as the reason we have forgiveness for our sins. Here is the most important fact of the resurrection we need to understand and remember: If Jesus died in our place for our crimes and did not rise from the dead, he deserved to die himself as a criminal before God. His death would make him a liar and a thief, stealing our hope and faith. He would have proved not to be God in the flesh but an imposter who tricked thousands into believing him. His life is our daily proof we have forgiveness forever. We will never be held accountable for our sins, for Jesus was held in that place.

QUESTION: How does Christ's resurrection encourage your faith concerning your forgiveness?  

2 – The Freedom from Death

1Cor. 15:50 ¶ I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1Cor. 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Cor. 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
1Cor. 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1Cor. 15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
             "Death is swallowed up in victory."
1Cor. 15:55     "O death, where is your victory?
                        O death, where is your sting?"
1Cor. 15:56 ¶ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
1Cor. 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cor. 15:58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

I love this passage from Paul. We are free from our death. As a caterpillar sheds its outer body to live as a butterfly, Paul says that when we die, we are leaving behind mortality. After the death of our mortal bodies, we take on our new immortal bodies that will never perish. Death is not our final state but purely the process of transferring to our new state and home.

1Th. 4:13 ¶ But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
1Th. 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

The sting of death is lost on us because we don't suffer under its penalty anymore. We grieve because we have lost the ones that we love, but we do not mourn in the same way because we know what to expect.

QUESTION: How do these passages encourage your faith while facing the future of our death?

3 – The Filling of the Spirit 

1Cor. 15:58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Paul connects the hope we have in the resurrection to our motivation for our work in the Kingdom. It is important to see the contrast between doing this work in our own strength and the power given to us in the resurrection.

Rom. 8:9 ¶ You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Rom. 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom. 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

This truth is sometimes complicated when allowing our brains to embrace it fully. A power that lives inside you raised a man from death. Paul helps us understand how this power works out of us:

Phil. 2:12 ¶ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Phil. 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

By faith, we see the reality of our new position in Christ. We are forgiven, set free from the fear of death, and his power lives in us. Therefore, we can boldly proclaim these truths to ourselves and others in his strength, not our own. We fight the good fight of faith because we know he lives in us, he is transforming us, and he will finally move us into our immortal bodies. We tear down the lies of the world that try to discourage us and get us to look to our strength. We trust in the power of the gospel, not our works. We believe in the power of the resurrection, not our righteousness. We love others because our King has graciously loved us.
QUESTION: Why do we struggle to trust in the Spirit's power in our lives to obey?
QUESTION: How has this lesson encouraged you or challenged your faith?  
QUESTION: What are you must challenge within your faith and trust in the Lord?

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