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Bible Lessons and Devotionals For Easter Week…

Easter Promo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings Of Christ

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Video  http://youtu.be/je1FlxVv5gA

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance Of The Resurrection

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-iq

Video http://youtu.be/9Nqrtwb2q-I

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

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Video http://youtu.be/Jj26nfVrpgo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings Of Christ On The Cross

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Video http://youtu.be/4o7gisGPQPI

Bible Lessons and Devotionals for Easter Week…

Easter Promo

 

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-hO

Video  http://youtu.be/je1FlxVv5gA

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance Of The Resurrection

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-iq

Video http://youtu.be/9Nqrtwb2q-I

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-ih

Video http://youtu.be/Jj26nfVrpgo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings Of Christ On The Cross

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-i7

Video http://youtu.be/4o7gisGPQPI

Why I Believe In Jesus Christ…. Adrian Rogers

Bible Lessons and Devotionals for Easter Week…

Easter Promo

 

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-hO

Video  http://youtu.be/je1FlxVv5gA

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance Of The Resurrection

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-iq

Video http://youtu.be/9Nqrtwb2q-I

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-ih

Video http://youtu.be/Jj26nfVrpgo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings Of Christ On The Cross

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-i7

Video http://youtu.be/4o7gisGPQPI

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:33-34

1 Cor 15:33-34 – Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Are we concerned about the influence of others in our lives?  Paul addresses the Corinthians reminding them of the need to guard against the effects of ungodly relationships on the lives of Christians.  Satan is the “great deceiver”.  This is one of the ways he attempts to deceive us.   According to Paul, as Christians, we are to “wake up” and be sure our lives are being lived in harmony to God’s will, not being influenced by the ungodly.

Why is godliness an important aspect of the Christian’s life?  There are many people around us who do not have the Lord in their lives.  They do not see their need of Him, nor do they understand who He is and what He does for us.  The lost one’s only hope is to see Christ in us and come to an understanding of Him through our lives.

According to Paul, for a Christian to minimize the importance of living a godly life is a shameful attitude.  Are we seeking to live our lives for the Lord today?

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:29-32

1 Cor 15:29-32  (29) Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (30) And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?(31) I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. (32) If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.

Paul continues his argument to prove the existence of the resurrection and the eternal afterlife..

To understand what Paul meant in these verses we must understand several points in the context of Paul’s questions:

  1. Remember,  one aspect of baptism is that it is a public profession of Jesus’ death,      burial and resurrection. Three of the main results of baptism are:
    1. It benefits the spiritually dead (lost mankind) by presenting a witness of the work of Christ. (vs 29)
    2. It reaps eternal rewards for the Christian by obeying Christ and associating themselves with Christ and His work. (verses 30-32)
    3. An unintended result was to bring persecution upon the Christian. In the days of Paul, when they associated themselves with Christ (by baptism) they were, literally, taking their life in their own hands.  (verses 30-32).

By putting the above information together, it leads us to a proper understanding of Paul’s statements. Paul is saying this…

Verse 29 – If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why would Christians be putting their lives on the line (at their baptism) for the benefit of those who are spiritually dead?  If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why be concerned about the lost’s spiritual condition? Why sacrifice the Christian’s safety to give the lost a witness of Christ’s work through baptism?

Verse 30 & 31 – If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why would Christians be willing to risk their lives (at their baptism) to obey their Lord? How can Christians rejoice in the midst of persecution if it were not for the hope of a resurrection and afterlife?

Verse 32 – If there is no resurrection, instead of willingly making sacrifices for their God and the lost around them, why doesn’t the Christian “live it up”? What advantage is there to serving God in this life, if we will not be blessed with rewards and an eternal home?

Summary of our text for today…. When A Christian is willing to suffer persecution for being a gospel witness, it proves that there will be a future resurrection of both lost and saved.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:27-28

1 Cor 15:27-28  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Why does Christ possess authority over all? Because God the Father has given to Him that exalted position. (1 Pet 3:22, Phil 2:9-11)  Why was Christ placed in that position?  It is due to His obedient, self-sacrificial death on the cross (Heb 10:12)  Notice, when the Bible says that Christ is placed over all, it is speaking of all the creation of God.  Paul, here, makes it plain that Christ does not hold authority over God the Father.

Although Christ possesses all authority, all things are not yet “subdued” (to be obedient and submissive) under Him.  Rebellion still exists in this world.  Although the Christ is “Lord over all”, there are those who are not willingly in submission to His rule in their life.

There is coming a day, throughout eternity, when the Lord will not only possess authority, but His authority will be completely, perfectly submitted to by all creation. For those who are saved, this perfect submission will take place in His presence on the New Heaven and New Earth.  For those who are lost, they will be in perfect submission to His will, facing eternal separation and punishment in the Lake of Fire.

One of the outstanding characteristics of those truly saved is the willful submission to the authority of Christ over us.  Although our submission is not perfect, due to our sinful flesh, we still actively seek to please the Lord with our lives.  The mark of one who has never received the grace of God in their life is a “no care” attitude about the Lord’s desires for their lives.

Do we care about what the Lord desires for our lives? Are we consistently seeking to do what is pleasing to Him? Our eternal destiny can be revealed to each of us by our honest answer to this questions.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:24-26

1 Cor 15:24-26  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Paul now moves our attention from the resurrection of Christ (at His first coming) to the final resurrection of both believers and the lost (at His second coming).

At the second coming of Christ, His position as Sovereign Lord over all will be revealed. One of the ways His sovereignty will be made known is by the final resurrection.  The final resurrection will prove that He holds the authority over both spiritual and physical death.

Christ won the victory over death at His first coming.  His crucifixion and His resurrection are the basis for that victory.  But at the final resurrection, He will clearly display His victory over death.  This will take place in two ways:

  1. When the believer’s body will be raised, glorified and enter eternal existence with God, the world will acknowledge He is Victor over both spiritual and physical death.
  2. Likewise, when those who have not trusted in Him will be resurrected and consigned    to eternal existence in the Lake of Fire will also prove He has won the victory over death.

As we think about our coming resurrection and the blessings connected to it, let’s also keep in mind that it is only because He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords that we can receive these future blessings!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:20-23

1 Cor 15:20-23 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Paul uses two examples (firstfruits and death) to help us understand that the resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of our future resurrection.

When Paul describes Christ as the “firstfruits” he is teaching us that Christ’s resurrection is the first of many to come. In the OT, the Israelites were required to give the first portion of their crops back to the Lord.  They then could keep the remaining portion of the harvest that followed.  Just as the firstfruits of the harvest was the first part of the harvest, so too the resurrection of Christ .  His resurrection took place first, with more resurrections (all believers) to follow at His second coming.

Paul also uses the fall of mankind to explain our assurance of a future resurrection.  Here, Paul explains that the action of one affects many.  When Adam fell, his fall brought spiritual and physical death upon all of mankind.  So, too, the resurrection of Christ.  Christ’s resurrection and everything it implies (satisfaction of the sin debt of His people, the successful accomplishment of the Father’s will etc etc) brings about the believer’s spiritual quickening (receipt of life) and future resurrection, glorification and eternity with the Lord.

How wonderful it is to know that because He arose we can be absolutely certain we will arise to eternity with Him!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:16-19

1Co 15:16-19  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Paul continues to give us a list of the consequences of denying the existence of the physical resurrection of the dead…

  1. If there is no resurrection of the dead; then Christ is not risen from the dead.
  2. If Christ be not risen from the dead; then our faith is vain (worthless) and we are under the bondage of our sins, facing eternal punishment.
  3. If mankind is still under sin’s bondage and punishment then those who have died in Christ are perished (to be destroyed with no hope of deliverance).
  4. If our hope of salvation in Christ only applies to this temporal world then as Christians, we are more miserable than anyone else in this world.

Why, as Christians, do we set apart one day a week to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection? Every Sunday, when we gather together to worship our Lord, we are celebrating His life, His work and His resurrection which is the foundation of all of our future hopes and beliefs.  Christ’s resurrection makes certain our future with Him.

Let’s thank our Lord for the truth of His resurrection and for the blessing of assurance of our salvation past, present and future.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:12-15

1Co 15:12-15  Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  (13)  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  (14)  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  (15)  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

One of the popular teachers of the day were the Sadducees.  They denied the existence of life after death and all other related teachings such as resurrection of the body, and eternal rewards etc etc.  Apparently this doctrine had slipped into the Corinth church.

Paul, in opposition to this false teaching reminds the Corinth church of the importance of the doctrine of the resurrection.  He makes the argument that if there is no life after death, followed by a bodily resurrection then, logically, there would be great repercussions to our entire belief system.  Here is Paul’s reasoning:

  1. If there is no resurrection of the dead; then Christ is not risen from the dead.
  2. If Christ be not risen from the dead; then the gospel that we preach is worthless.
  3. If the gospel we preach is worthless; then our faith in Christ and His work is worthless and we are liars.

Let’s thank our Lord that His resurrection IS THE TRUTH!  Our faith is not vain, we are speaking the truth!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:9-11

1 Cor 15: 9-11  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  Therefore, whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul tells us of the nature of his revolt against God (and the people of God) which took place before his salvation.   He was guilty of committing the murder of God’s people (Acts 8:1, 9:1-19, 22:4, 22:20).  These outward acts of rebellion were a display of his heart’s hatred against God.

In spite of Paul’s pre-salvation hateful actions of murder, he was still used greatly by the Lord.  How could this be?  Paul plainly declares that it was an act of God’s grace!  It was entirely of God’s grace that brought Paul to Christ, changed Paul’s rebellious heart, forgave Paul of his sin, and equipped Paul for servant-hood.

If you are like me, we look back at our lives with regret knowing that, in many cases, we have horribly failed our Lord by rebelliously going apart from His desires for us.  In some cases, we may feel as if we have totally ruined our lives and disqualified ourselves from future service for Him. If this takes place… just take a moment to think of Paul and the supremacy of God’s grace!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:3-8

1Co 15:3-8  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

The gospel is the “good news” about the Messiah and what He has done for us.  Paul gives us a listing of the very basics of the gospel message:

  1. The gospel is a message originating with God and handed down to mankind.
  2. It includes a three-fold  fulfillment of OT prophecies and teachings: Christ’s death, burial and  resurrection.
  3. The gospel message also  includes the unquestionable proof of its reliability found in its many,  varied eye-witnesses.

Paul says this message was “delivered” to the Corinthian church members.  The Greek term translated “delivered” is an interesting word.  It combines at least two ideas.  It involves “handing over” and “entrusting for safekeeping”.  In other words… it was “handed” it to them for their personal salvation, as well as “entrusted” to them to minister to others.

As we relate the gospel message to others, let’s be sure we relate it a clear, concise and caring way.  Not only are we affecting the lives of those to whom we are speaking; but, following their salvation, we are also affecting the lives of all with whom they may share the message.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:1-2

1 Cor 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

This morning we are beginning a new devotion series from the “resurrection chapter” of the Bible … 1 Cor 15:

In vs 1-2, Paul emphasizes the gospel’s entrance into to the lives of the Christians in the Corinthian church.  First of all, it was PROCLAIMED to them. Next, it was ACCEPTED as truth by them.  And thirdly, it became the FOUNDATION upon which they stood.

It is this same gospel message that brought them into a saving relationship with Christ.  Their salvation experience was proved to be genuine if they consistently lived their life reflecting its importance and ratifying it in the eyes of others.

To make our calling and election sure (2 Pet 1:10), each of us should ask ourselves this question….  If we were on trial, accused of being Christians, would there be enough evidence to convict us?

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Crucified – A Good Friday Devotion

SIH STSTA ICONIn many of the nations of the world, we find capital punishment being exercised for many differing offenses.   Some nations practice capital punishment against only the most heinous of crimes, for others, executions take place for many varying offenses like smuggling, unlawful possession of firearms or drugs, armed robbery etc.  For a more complete list of capital offenses in the various countries of the world click on this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_nation

The methods of capital punishment also vary among the nations as well.   These methods include: Lethal injection, electric chair, gas chamber, single person shooting, firing squad, hanging, beheading, guillotine, stoning and use of the garrote.

In Bible times, crucifixion was one of the most common methods of capital punishment used in theRoman Empire.  Crucifixion is no longer used officially by any government for the purpose of capital punishment.  However, symbolic and ritualistic crucifixions continue to take place in many countries throughout the world.

The Biblical teachings on capital punishment and physical crucifixions will have to wait for another time and place, for today’s blog entry I would like us to concentrate on the meaning of “being crucified with Christ”.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Gal 2:20 (KJV)

20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 5:24 (KJV)

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Gal 6:14 (KJV)

14) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Rom 6:6 (KJV)

6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

THE STUDY:

Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered a horrible crucifixion at the hands of the Roman government and Jewish religious leaders.  In a sense, we are all guilty of placing Christ on the cross; we are guilty of committing the sins for which He was crucified:

1Cor 15:3-4 (KJV)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:…

It was because of our sins that He would have to die on the cross, taking the punishment of our sins upon Himself so that we might be saved:

Gal 3:13 (KJV)

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

1Pet 3:18 (KJV)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

But the results of Christ’s crucifixion do not end on the cross.  We are told throughout the New Testament scriptures that we, as Christians, share in the experience of the crucifixion. Let’s begin our study by looking at Gal 2:20 (KJV):

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

The term “crucified” relates to us the idea death and its results.   When Christ was crucified, His physical life was laid aside (death). The results of His death was that His body was left in the tomb, while His spirit entered heaven for three days and three nights; this entailed separation, ie  separation of His spirit from His body, and also the separation of both His body and spirit from this world).

In the above verse, we find that Christians are described as being “crucified with Christ”.  In other words, just as Christ was literally put to death and then experienced separation, so to we, as Christians, are put to death and separated in three ways:

1.  We no longer live to fulfill our sinful, fleshly desires.  Although we still commit sin, but we no longer are enslaved by our fleshly desires.  A separation has been formed between us and our desires  We now strive to obey our Lord in everything that we do fighting against our desires and striving to live lives of holiness.  Gal 5:24 (KJV)  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

2.  We are no longer alive to the affects of the sinful world around us.  Many are the temptations and sins that are placed before us in this sinful world.  Not only do we no longer serve our fleshly desires, we no longer serve the sinful world around us.  We are no longer “alive” to these temptations, but we now are counted as dead, separated from them. Gal 6:14 (KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

3.  Our “old man” is also put to death through the workings of Christ on the cross. Our “old man” is a phrase used to describe our old sin nature and the resulting sinful lifestyle.  Our past habits and practices have been changed.  We were slaves to our sinful lifestyle but now have become the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is also described in God’s Word as becoming a “new creature in Christ”  (2 Cor 5:17).  Rom 6:6 (KJV) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

In our Gal 2:20 text, the verse continues on…. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:…”

Here the phrase “nevertheless I live…” is teaching us that just as the death of Christ on the cross resulted in His resurrection and new physical life on earth; so too, our sharing in His crucifixion results in our new life in Him.  Although we are counted as dead to our sinful desires, the sinful world and our “old man” ; we are made spiritually alive. This spiritual life is accompanied by the indwelling of the Savior, in the person of the Holy Spirit.

Our text closes by stating… and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

This newly received spiritual life, and the accompanying change in lifestyle, is based upon faith in Christ.  How does a person share in the crucifixion of Christ? Through faith.  How does a Christian live a new life of submission to Christ? Through faith.  This same Christ in whom we trust, is the same Christ that loved us before the world began.  Based upon His love, He came to the earth and died on the cross so that we might be saved.

If you see that your sin has caused the Lord grief and pain;  if you abhor the sin that is in your life and you are willing to turn from that sin; come to Christ in faith, trusting in Him to forgive your every sin, and make your future with Him secure.

Matt 11:28-30 (KJV)

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Easter Week Devotion: The Importance of the Resurrection

SIH STSTA ICONThe resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of many miraculous aspects to our Lord’s life on earth during His first coming. From His virgin birth to His ascension following His crucifixion, death and resurrection; the life of Christ was filled with miraculous events indeed.

The life of Christ on earth is undoubtedly the most important series of events to ever take place in world history. Among the many events that took place during His first coming, the resurrection of Christ is of utmost importance.

Why is the resurrection so important? The Word of God gives us a clear answer to this question…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Cor 15:12-23 (KJV)

12) Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

14) And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.

15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21) For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

THE STUDY:

In 1Cor 15:12-20, we read of the importance of the resurrection. The Apostle Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gave us several reasons why the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ took place and what it should mean to those of us who have trusted in Christ as our Savior…

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

12) Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

There were some professing believers in the Church at Corinth who believed the resurrection of the dead was impossible. Paul here, is arguing that is there was no such thing as resurrection then Christ’s resurrection must be a fallacy as well.

Paul then begins to explain to them the horrible results of a denial of Christ’s resurrection.

14) And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.

Result #1 – The preaching of the gospel of Christ is empty and worthless.

Result #2 – Placing our trust in Christ as our Savior is empty and worthless as well

15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

Result #3 – It makes those who proclaimed the gospel of Christ liars

16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Result #4 – Everyone is still in their sin. In other words, they owe the penalty of their sin, they are still dominated by their sin, and have no promise of future deliverance from the presence of sin.

18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

Result #5 – Believers who had passed away, were not enjoying eternity with the Lord, but instead were brought to ruin, just as those who were non believers.

19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Result #6 – If Christ is not risen (and therefore all the above 5 results are true) then believers are the most miserable of all mankind. We had hope that Christ would deliver us from sin’s punishment eternally. However, when eternity comes we will be enter into eternal damnation and ruin.

20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Paul then assures the Corinth Church, and all of us, that the resurrection of Christ did take place. His resurrection is the first fruits. (The first fruits of a harvest were the first portion of the crop that was harvested and given back to God; then the remaining harvest of the field was taken).

In other words, the resurrection of Christ was the first resurrection of the dead resulting in a glorified body. Christ’s resurrection will be followed by the resurrection of the saved at His coming. In this sense, Christ was the first fruits of all believers who have passed away.

21) For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

Paul now explains the 2 great impacts of the resurrection for Christ, His work, and His followers.

Impact #1 – The resurrection proves that Christ has gotten the victory over sin and death.

Sin entered the world at the hands of Adam… as sin was passed to all mankind through Adam, so too, the passage of death. Sin’s result, both spiritual and physical death, is now a part of all mankind.

Christ, based upon the payment that He made on the cross, has defeated both sin and death. What proof do we have that this is so? It is His resurrection. When Christ walked out of the tomb it was absolute proof He had obtained victory over death. The only possible way death could be rendered powerless was by rendering sin powerless as well.

22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Impact #2 – Because Christ arose from the dead, believers can rest assured they, too, have spiritual life and an assurance of a physical resurrection and glorified body (at His second coming).

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

For those of us who are saved… His resurrection is our assurance of our salvation and eternal future with Him… let us praise and honor our Lord for the display of His defeat over sin and death.

For those who have yet to be saved…

This account as written in God’s Word is the only trustworthy and reliable account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This resurrection is absolute proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be, The Savior of the World who has brought salvation to His people….

Matt 1:21 (KJV) – And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Such a miraculous event is bound to work up doubts in any of our minds. As we have seen, even His followers, in the early hours of that Sunday morning had many doubts about what had actually taken place. But thanks be to our Lord for He had allowed MANY witnesses to see Him following His resurrection. Many witnesses saw Him to prove beyond doubt that He had arisen and His work of redemption on the cross has been brought to completion…

1Cor 15:4-8 (KJV)

4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

5) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7) After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

8) And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Christ’s resurrection is the assurance He gives us that He is victor over sin and death. Do you recognize you have sinned against Almighty God? Do you see that you owe Him a debt of sin that you can never pay? Are you willing to forsake your sin and turn to Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, you can share in His victory over sin and death.

Turn from your sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come before Him realizing that He alone can save you from your sins. Believe that He died upon the cross bearing your sin. And then rest in the knowledge that He arose from the dead, to prove all of this is true.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Otherwise, you can contact a Biblke based church, they will be glad to answer any of your questions about salvation that you may have. Or, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email, it will be my privilege to answer any questions you may have about salvation and the work of Christ.

May the Lord bless you with His salvation.

——————————————————————————————————————————

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

SIH STSTA ICONThe resurrection of Christ and the witnesses to that resurrection hold a key place within the Word of God. Both of these subjects are a part of the gospel message, the good news of Jesus and what He has done for His people…

1Cor 15:1-8 (KJV) –

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

In this study we will be looking at the details of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the witnesses to that resurrection.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matt 28:1-8 (KJV)

In the end of the sabbath, … And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Mark 16:1-8 (KJV)

And when the sabbath was past… And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid.

Luke 24:1-12 (KJV)

Now upon the first [day] of the week,… Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

John 20:1-10 (KJV)

The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early,… Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

THE STUDY:

The resurrection account in chronological order…

The Stone Rolled From The Door By An Angel of the Lord

Matt 28: 2-4 – And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men].

Mary Magdalene and “the other” Mary and Salome come to the sepulchre, look in and find it empty

Matt 28:1- In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre

Mark 16:1-3 – And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first [day] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Luke 24:1-3 – Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

John 20:1- The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

At seeing the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene runs to tell other disciples leaving the other Mary and Salome behind.

John 20:2- Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

The Angel of the Lord appears to the remaining women, after they enter the tomb, and give them instructions.

Matt 28:4-6- And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Mark 16:4-7- And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Luke 24:4-8 – And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down [their] faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words,

Peter and John leave Mary Magdalene and leave for the tomb.

John 20:3- Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple,

Before Peter and John’s arrival, the women (the other Mary and Salome) obey the angel and find the Peter and John and the other disciples telling them what had taken place.

Matt 28:8- And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Mark 16:8- And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid.

Luke 24:9-11- And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Peter and John arrive at the tomb

Luke 24:12- Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

John 20:6-9- So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, [and looking in], saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Peter and John leave the tomb

John 20:10 – Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

What a confusing, joyful, and terrifying morning this must have been for the followers of Christ… so many questions and so few answers. There are a few very significant verses that help us to understand in the state of mind of the followers of Christ following all the excitement of this blessed Sunday morning…

Matt 28:8, Mark 16:8 – The Women: “fear”, “afraid”

Matt 28:8 – The Women: “great joy”

Mark 16:8 – The Women: “trembled”

Mark 16:8 – The Women: “amazed”

Luke 24:12 – Peter: “wondering”

John 20:8 – John: “believed”

Please take special note of John’s reaction… in the midst of such an exciting, extraordinary joyous and fearful event… the Bible simply says that John “and he saw, and believed”. What faith! Oh that we all could be as the Apostle John!

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

As we look at this account of that wondrous Sunday morning let us all, on a dialy basis, be thankful for the resurrection of our Lord. It is by this resurrection we can rest assured that His Word is true, His Work of redemption is complete, and that He is truly the Son of God, King of King and Lord of Lords!

For those who have yet to be saved…

This account as written in God’s Word is the only trustworthy and reliable account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This resurrection is absolute proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be, The Savior of the World who has brought salvation to His people….

Matt 1:21 (KJV) – And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Such a miraculous event is bound to work up doubts in any of our minds. As we have seen, even His followers, in the early hours of that Sunday morning had many doubts about what had actually taken place. But thanks be to our Lord for He had allowed MANY witnesses to see Him following His resurrection. Many witnesses saw Him to prove beyond doubt that He had arisen and His work of redemption on the cross has been brought to completion…

1Cor 15:4-8 (KJV) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Turn from your sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come before Him realizing that He alone can save you from your sins. Believe that He died upon the cross bearing your sin. And then rest in the knowledge that He arose from the dead, to prove all of this is true.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Otherwise, you can contact a Biblke based church, they will be glad to answer any of your questions about salvation that you may have. Or, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email, it will be my privilege to answer any questions you may have about salvation and the work of Christ.

May the Lord bless you with His salvation.

———————————————————————–

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

———————————————————————————-


Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings of Christ On The Cross

SIH STSTA ICONAs we think about the glorious resurrection of Christ, it is very important that we also recall His suffering and His death that led to His burial and later resurrection. The gospel message is a message that includes all three His death, burial, resurrection and its proofs. (1 Cor 15:1-9).


As our Lord was being crucified, He uttered 7 sayings that teach us a summary of His accomplishments while on the cross. These seven sayings, when taken in the context of His crucifixion, reveal to us a loving, sinless, sovereign God who was willing to give all for the sake of those He loved…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 23:34 (KJV)

34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Luke 23:43 (KJV)

43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

John 19:26-27 (KJV)

26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

Matt 27:46 (KJV)

46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

John 19:28 (KJV)

28) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 19:30 (KJV)

30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Luke 23:46 (KJV)

46) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Matt 27:50 (KJV)

50) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

THE STUDY:

The Voice Of Forgiveness…. Luke 23:34 (KJV)Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Here, we find our Lord making a plea motivated by His love for those who were mocking, physically abusing and murdering Him.

Not only was His love on display as He uttered these words, but also the purpose of His death on the cross is being revealed as well. One of the great motives that drove the Son of God to submission to the sufferings of the cross was FORGIVENESS. You see, without a substitutionary sacrifice being made on the cross, God cannot forgive the sins of His people. Christ was issuing his plea for forgiveness in view of His coming death on the cross. He was determined to finish the work that His Father had given Him to do.

The Voice Of Promise …. Luke 23:43 (KJV) – 43)And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Here, we see the Lord’s promise to one of the thieves that was being crucified with Him. His promise was that very soon both He and the thief would be together in heaven. Following the death of Christ, His spirit would ascend to heaven while His body would remain in the grave for three days and three nights. Because the thief had placed His faith in Jesus as the sinless Messiah (Luke 23:39-42) he, too, would experience heaven with Jesus.

The Voice of Responsibility – John 19:26-27 (KJV)When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

In New Testament times, following the death of the father, the oldest male son was normally given the responsibility to care and provide for his widowed mother. Following the death of Joseph, Mary’s care had become the responsibility of Christ. As Christ was hanging on the cross, with death only hours away, Christ made sure that His mother would be taken care of. He looked to His closest friend, John, to take that responsibility upon himself.

Not only was Christ faithful in His responsibility to His mother, Mary. He was also faithful to the responsibility that His Heavenly Father had placed upon Him. In John 17:1-10, we find Christ praying to the Father before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. In this prayer, Christ makes the statement… “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Christ, by making this statement, was proclaiming His determination to follow the will of His Father even to His death on the cross.

The Voice of Separation – Matt 27:46 (KJV)And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The phrase “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” – is a Hebrew phrase quoted from Psalm 22:1. This phrase in the Psalm was uttered by King David during a time of great distress in his life. As he was praying to God for aid, there appeared to be no response. This does not break David’s faith, but by the end of the Psalm, David recognizes God’s ability to intervene and deliver him IF it is God’s will for David’s life.

Likewise with Christ, as He is hanging on the cross it seemed as if God the Father was refusing to come to His aid. But just as with David, Christ is determined to follow His Father’s will for his life even to the death.

Also, it is very important to recognize when Christ uttered these words. According to the Matthew account, Christ uttered these words immediately after a three hour period of darkness (Matt 27:45). This period of darkness is thought, by many, to be the time frame when Christ had the sins of His people placed upon Him as He paid the price for these sins.

If this is the case, then as Christ proclaimed “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me”, He is perhaps, speaking of the loss of communion with the Father as He bare the sins of His people upon Himself. Our sins, when placed upon Christ, would have caused a rupture of communion that Christ had experienced with the Father. The Father cannot look upon sin, nor can he have communion with those who have sin in their life.

The Voice of Humanity – John 19:28 (KJV) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

As Christ hung on the cross, He experienced the human fleshly desire of thirst. This helps us to understand that, although Christ was God, He was also truly of human flesh and would suffer as any human would suffer. I have heard of those who try to minimize the sufferings of Christ on the cross by saying that “Because Jesus was God, He did not feel the pain and distress a human being would feel.” THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. He, as a human being with a fleshly body experienced the need for water, food, rest and while on the cross most certainly felt pain and suffering just as any other human being.

The Voice of Completion – John 19:30 (KJV) – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The word for “finish” here in Greek means to “to complete. To fulfill, to execute a command” In other words, as His death was drawing near, so to was the fulfill of His Father’s will for His life. He had fulfilled God’s will perfectly by paying the sin debt for His Father’s people. Out of a heart of love for His Father and His people, He had perfectly followed His Father’s will for His life. (Philp 2:5-11)

The Voice of Security – Luke 23:46 (KJV) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Commend” in Greek means “to deposit to another’s trust”. As the Lord took His final breaths, He handed His spirit over to His Father knowing that His Father would secure His entrance into heaven.

Also, please note the Jesus was in control of His own death. He handed over His spirit to the Father, He was the one that gave up His own spirit (ghost). He had the power to lay down His life and to raise it again. (John 10:17-18)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been given the Lord’s saving grace…

We are told in Philippians 2:5-11- “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“

We, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, are to strive to think as He thought. We are to share the same mindset as He displayed in His seven sayings. Our goal should be to possess a mindset that has a…

  1. Willingness to forgive and pray for the salvation of those who have wronged us.

  2. Willingness to speak to others about our Lord and share with them the gospel message.
  3. Willingness to accept the responsibility for service in the areas to which we are called of God to serve.

  4. Willingness to be honest about the sin that is in our life; the communion we are lacking because of that sin; and deal with that sin through confession and repentance.
  5. Willingness to recognize the weakness of our sinful flesh, and seek to guard against Satan working in those areas of our life.

  6. Willingness to follow the Lord to completion of our appointed ministry. Motivated by a recognition of all He has done for us…even if we are called upon to give our life for Him.
  7. Willingness to trust the Lord with our future eternity. We can do this by keeping our eyes on His promises of heaven and future rewards, using these precious promises as a motivation to continue to serve Him.

For those who have yet to be given His saving grace…

After reading of the Lord’s attitude towards those who abused and mistreated Him to the ultimate degree, you can rest assured that the Lord will accept anyone who turns from their sin and comes to Him in faith…

John 6:37-38All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

By turning from sin to submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find forgiveness, peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. May the Lord use His Word to bring you to a saving knowledge of Him.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Also, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email for any further questions you may have.

May the Lord bless you.

—————————————————————————————

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings of Christ

SIH STSTA ICONChrist, and His sufferings on the cross, is a core theme of the Bible (John 1:45, John 5:39, Rev 19:10) .

Throughout the Old Testament the sufferings and death of Christ are presented through the sacrifices of the ceremonial law (Heb 10:10-18), as well as many Messianic prophecies looking ahead to His death (Isa 53:1-9, Luke 24:44 Acts 26:22-23).

In the New Testament, all four books of the gospels (Matthew – John) present the teachings of Christ concerning His upcoming sufferings (John 2:18-21, Matt 16:21, Matt 20:17-19 etc). These same books, then, present the historical account of His arrest, sufferings and death (Matt 26:-27:, Mark 14:-15:, Luke 22:-23:, John 18:-19:). In other New Testament writings, Christ’s sufferings are further explained, emphasized and recounted as the basis of salvation from mankind’s sin (1 Cor 15:1-11, Rom 4:24-25, 1 Pet 3:18 etc).


Let’s see, in detail, what the sufferings of Christ entailed…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Heb 2:9-10 (KJV)

9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

10) For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

THE STUDY:

The sufferings of Christ can be categorized as three basic types: Psychological, Physical and Spiritual:

The Psychological Sufferings of Christ (the mocking and humiliation that He experienced)

1 The robe placed upon Him the reed in His hand, bowing to Him… all of this was mocking His Kingship (Matt        27:28-29)

2 Spiting upon Him … mocking His choosing to not defend Himself (Matt 27:30)

3 Putting Him on public display and allowing the public to decide His fate, thus exercising authority              over Him… mocking Him as Creator and Authority Holder over all mankind (John 19:5-16)

4 He was forced to carry His own cross… humiliating Him in the eyes of all the citizens watching (John         19:17)

5 He was crucified with two thieves, one on either side… the sinless Son of God publically being                      displayed as a heinous criminal. (Mark 15:27-28)

6 The plaque placed above Him on the cross… mocking His Kingship (John 19:19-22)

7 While on the cross …the mocking of His claim to be God (Matt 27:39-44, Luke 23:35- 37)

8 The casting of lots for His garments… humiliating Him by taking His possessions and then publically, selfishly profiting from them. The attitude of the soldiers (selfishness at the expense of others) was in direct contradiction to Christ’s attitude of self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. (Mark 15:24)

The Physical Sufferings of Christ (the abuse upon His physical body)

1 Sweating great drops of blood, extreme physical agony (Luke 22:44)

2 Placing upon Him the crown of thorns (Mark 15:17)

3 Striking Him with the reed (Matt 27:30)

4 Scourging Him (a whip with bones and metal bits tied to its ends. These would tear out chunks of flesh        with each strike. Many times, scourging would result in physical death.) (John 19:1)

5 His beard was plucked according to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa 50:6)

6 He was struck by soldier’s hands (John 19:3)

7 The crucifixion (Mark 15:25) –

Nailed to cross through the wrists and feet to cross (causing burning pain and paralysis of hands and bleeding in both wrists and feet) During the course of hanging on the cross the shoulders, elbows and wrists become dislocated. The breathing becomes difficult and as time progresses almost impossible.  His CO2 blood levels increase and the heart beats faster to rid the CO2 from the blood. Due to increased difficulty in breathing the heart races faster and faster resulting in heart failure and filling of the lungs with liquid. Eventually a gradual suffocation takes the life of the victim.

(For a much more detailed information on the physical effects of crucifixion please see this article written by Dr Mark Eastman http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/113/)

The Spiritual Sufferings of Christ (His separation from God the Father)

My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me” (Matt 27:46)

As Christ bore the sin of His people upon Himself, He was placed in a state of separation from His Father who can not look upon, nor stand in the presence of, sin (Isa 59:1-2, Prov 15:29, Ezek 39:24, 1 John 1:5-7).

This is the reason for the preceding period of darkness (symbolizing mankind’s wickedness and separation from God)… and Christ’s declaration that God had “forsaken” Him. (Isa 53:5-6,10-11, Gal 3:13, 1 Pet 2:21-25)

I believe this was the greatest suffering that Christ experienced on the cross.

The sufferings of Christ can never be fully described nor understood; they are beyond human mental conception. His sufferings go beyond anything ever experienced by man.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been given God’s gracious salvation from sin …

1Sam 12:24 – “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great [things] he hath done for you.”

By remembering His great sacrifice on our behalf it should also remind us of the great privilege we have to “love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” Deut 11:13.

For those who have yet to be given His saving grace…

What Christ has done for His people is a sacrifice that cannot be duplicated by man. Christ, the very Creator of the world, came to the earth, humbled Himself and became obedient unto the death of the cross. (Phil 2:5-11) Why did He do this? So that He could save His people from the penalty, power and presence of sin. (Matt 1:21)

He willingly took the punishment of His people’s sins upon Himself, so that they would be delivered from the dominion of sin in their lives. (2 Cor 5:16-21, Gal 3:13) By willfully forsaking your sin and turning to Christ (“repentance”) and trusting Him as your Savior and your Lord, you too, can experience His forgiveness, His abiding presence and His eternal security for your life. (Acts 20:21, Mark 1:15, John 3:15-18)

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Also, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email for any further questions you may have.

May the Lord bless you.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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