Archive of Daily Bible Lessons
March 15-21, 2004
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3.15.04 The Resurrection Is Essential to the Gospel of Grace
3.16.04 Resurrection Victory by the Grace of God
3.17.04 Resurrection Victory for Effective Christian Living
3.18.04 The Resurrection Related to Sanctification
3.19.04 The Resurrection and Justification
3.20.04 More on the Resurrection and Justification
3.21.04 The Resurrection and Sanctification

Bible Lesson for 3.15.04
The Resurrection Is Essential to the Gospel of Grace

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and our faith is also vain . . . And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins . . . But now Christ is risen from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:14,17,20)

The early church persistently proclaimed the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was not an option for them; neither is it an option for you. The grace of God that is available in the gospel for both justification and sanctification requires a risen Lord. The resurrection is essential to the gospel, which is the new covenant of grace.

The Spirit of God emphasized this strongly, as He inspired Paul to write:
If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and our faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15.14)

  • If Jesus has not been raised from the dead, then preaching the Gospel is foolishness.
  • If Jesus is still in a tomb, His salvation mission ended in failure, not victory.
  • Jesus is the object of your faith. If He is not alive, your trusting in Him would be fruitless.

Jesus frequently taught of His death and resurrection...

The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. (Luke 9:22)

Furthermore, Paul wrote: If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

  • The gospel of forgiveness of sins includes the resurrection. I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you . . . that Christ died for your sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4)
  • Faith is only as effective as its object. If your Lord is not resurrected, it is useless to place your confidence in Him.
  • If you are trusting in a dead Savior to forgive you and set you free, you are still guilty and bound.

However, your Lord is NOT in an ancient tomb. But now Christ is risen from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15.20)

Lord Jesus rose victorious over sin and death, bringing *imputed righteousness* to ALL who believe. To help you better understand what *imputed righteousness* means, God uses the example of how He rewarded His servant Abraham's faith...

  • Abraham had faith in all the promises that God made to him -- Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Romans 4.20-21)
  • Because of Abraham's faith, God {in effect} wrote "Eternally RIGHTEOUS!" in the heavenly record of Abraham's life -- And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Romans 4.22)
  • God promises that YOUR faith in Him has produced the same glorious results as did Abraham's faith. Namely, God has written "Eternally RIGHTEOUS!" in the heavenly record of YOUR life -- Now it was not written for Abraham's sake alone that it {righteousness} was imputed to him, but also for us. It {righteousness} shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4.23-25)

Thus, ALL of the grace blessings of the Savior's resurrection are yours forever, by faith. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace. (Romans 4:16)

Dear Father, I rejoice in the resurrection victory of Jesus, my Lord! I praise You, Jesus, as my risen, living Savior. What a mighty salvation You have secured through Your victory over sin and death. Glory be to Your name for providing it all by grace through faith. Teach me to trust in You more and more, in Your holy name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.16.04
Resurrection Victory by the Grace of God

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)

First Corinthians 15 is THE great resurrection chapter of the scriptures. In verse 56, you see two of the enormous problems that the resurrection of Jesus Christ overcomes...

  • "The sting of death is sin
  • The strength of sin is the law"

Problem #1 {Sin}- The sting that brings physical and spiritual death to the family of mankind is sin. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Adam sinned and immediately died spiritually. Eventually, he died physically. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). We ALL sinned in Adam, our leader. Also, you personally walked in sin and spiritual death until you came to Christ.

Problem #2 {Law}- The strength that sin exerts over lives is the law. "Now you know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19). By your own strength, there is no way that you can remove the guilt of sin which God's law holds powerfully over you. The righteous power of the law holds you fully accountable before the Lord.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ validates His sacrifice for sin, removing sin's sting.
"O Death, where is your sting?" (First Corinthians 15:55).

  • Eternal life replaces sin's sting for all who believe in the Lord Jesus. "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus your Lord" (Romans 6:23).
  • Such victorious grace stirs gratitude in the hearts of the redeemed. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through your Lord Jesus Christ."

Notice the language of grace used to describe that which is provided through the resurrection. "The gift of God is eternal life . . . thanks be to God, who gives us the victory."

  • These two terms ("gift" and "gives") are the language of grace.
  • Eternal life comes to you as a gift, an undeserved generosity from God.
  • The victory that you receive through the resurrection is established through Jesus Christ. Then, this victory is given to you, not earned or achieved by you.
  • Thereafter, your Lord guides you daily in His resurrection victory of grace. "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14).
O Righteous Father, I confess that I sinned against You, just as Adam did. Lord, I struggled under the spiritual deadness that sin brought. Your holy law, O God, rightly locked me under guilt and condemnation. I could do nothing myself to bring relief. Then, You gave me eternal life, as I trusted in Your Son. By Your grace, You gave me victory. Thank You, Thank You! Now, Lord, please lead me in that victory, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.17.04
Resurrection Victory for Effective Christian Living

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ brings spiritual victory over sin and death to all who believe in Him. "But thanks be to God, who gives you the victory through your Lord Jesus Christ."

As you allow the Lord to be your guide through each day, He "leads you in triumph in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14). When this process is unfolding, an effective Christian life is developing, by the grace of God at work in you.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast." It is the will of God that your life be marked by steadfastness (constancy and stability).

  • God Himself will rejoice when your Christian walk manifests steadfastness and order: "rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ" (Colossians 2:5).
  • It is God's will for your life that you are to be "rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith" (verse 7).

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be . . . immovable." Your heavenly Father also wants you to be "immovable" (firmly persistent, unable to be swayed).

  • Apostle Paul was a good example of being immovable. Although he faced many threatening difficulties, he proclaimed "But none of these things move me" (Acts 20:24).
  • In the letter to the saints at Ephesus, God warns you of a significant threat to your spiritual persistency. Namely, He puts you on alert to avoid false doctrines as well as doctrinal fads so "that you should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14).

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be . . . always abounding in the work of the Lord."

  • Your Lord wants you to be abundantly laboring with Him. This is one of the purposes of Jesus' redemptive work for you: "Who gave Himself for you, that He might redeem you from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).
  • Living by grace will produce abounding good works in your life. The glorious fact is that such labors are actually the Lord at work in and through you: "always abounding in the work of the Lord."
  • As the Lord sustains His work with you, you can grow in a certainty that this kind of laboring will be effective: "knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Note the key word that indicates the basis for all of these desirable traits: "Therefore."

  • The word "therefore" refers back to the resurrection victory provided by the Lord Jesus.
  • In light of this victorious work of Christ on your behalf, you are to firmly and fervently TRUST in Him who gave His life to save you.
  • As you put your trust in your resurrected Lord, you will experience the daily growth of Spirit power -- steadfastness, immovability, joyous good works -- in your walk with God. Amen
Dear Lord, I long to walk in spiritual stability. I yearn for a life that cannot be swayed. I want to abundantly labor with You. Therefore, Lord, I place my confidence in the reality of Your resurrection victory. Work in me by Your grace, I pray, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.18.04
The Resurrection Related to Sanctification

{Jesus said...} I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. (John 11:25-26)

When Jesus proclaimed, "I am the resurrection and the life," He was standing at the tomb of Lazarus.

  • Martha, one of the sisters of Lazarus, was talking with Jesus. She had hoped that Jesus would have arrived earlier. Why? Because she knew that Jesus could have prevented this death. "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died" (John 11:21).
  • Even now, with her brother in the tomb, Martha realizes that Jesus could yet intervene. "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You" (verse 22).
  • Jesus comforts Martha by assuring her that Lazarus will be resurrected. "Your brother will rise again" (verse 23).
  • Martha assumes that Jesus is referring to the final resurrection of the saints. "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (verse 24).

At this point, Jesus offers one of those glorious "I am" revelations. "I AM the resurrection and the life." Then, He added two wonderful applications...

  • First, faith in Him can even bring the dead to life, like Lazarus. "He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live."
  • Second, faith in him can ensure eternal life to those who are yet alive. "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."

Think again of the implications connected with Jesus' basic statement. "I AM the resurrection and the life." Martha desired an immediate resurrection for her brother. She wanted him to live once again. Jesus revealed that He Himself was what Martha desired for her brother. The Lord Jesus Christ IS "the resurrection and the life!!!"

Jesus provides resurrection and life, because in His very person He is resurrection life.

  • Jesus is the resurrection that you need from your deadness, whether physical or spiritual. "I AM the resurrection."
  • Jesus is the life that you need, if you are to live as God intended. "I AM . . . the life."

Knowing Christ by faith makes you a partaker of what He Himself is: "the resurrection and the life." This is vital to see, because your Christian life is a resurrection life. Such a life can only be found in a resurrected Lord, and it can only be developed by following your resurrected Lord.

Jesus, I bow down before You as my resurrected Lord. Apart from You, I would only know spiritual deadness as a fallen descendant of Adam. In You I have a spiritual resurrection to new life. Now, I want to walk with You daily to see that new, resurrected life more fully developed in me. Lord Jesus, lead me, I pray, into more life, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.19.04
The Resurrection and Justification

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

You have a myriad of reasons to bless your great God, to speak of Him with grateful praises. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

  • Your heavenly Father has mercifully showered you with so many blessings that you rightly desire Him to be honored and blessed. "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You" (Psalm 86:5).
  • Based on your Heavenly Father's great love, He sent His Son to pay for your debt of sin. Through faith in His name, you have received forgiveness and new life. Day by day He is present with you and is working in and through your life. How blessed you are!

In today's Bible verse, God's merciful heart toward you is focused on a magnificent matter: "who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope."

  • The Lord's mercy has provided you with a Savior, whereby He can righteously hold back the awful judgment that you rightly deserve.
  • Receiving God the Son as your personal Lord and Savior resulted in God causing you to be *born-again*. God has "begotten you again."
  • Physically speaking, every human being is born of earthly parents. Physical life will, one day, end in physical death. EveryBODY dies.
  • You, however, have believed on the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior. For this reason, you have been BORN-AGAIN by God's Spirit. This is a SPIRITUAL birth which will never end in death. You have been born-again to ETERNAL life!
  • Being born-again is one of the heavenly realities that relate to *justification* -- the judicial act of God by which He pardons all your sins. Because you are IN Jesus, God declares you to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Rom 5:1-10).

Your new birth is also "to a living hope." When you were born into the Lord's family, real *hope* became available to you everafter. Biblical hope is about absolute certainty concerning the future. It is about guaranteed expectations for time and eternity. These are vital needs for every person. Otherwise, people flounder in hopelessness and despair, or they march along in vain fantasies and imaginations.

The unique hope the Lord provides for you is
*living hope* -- a hope that pulsates with resurrection life. "God has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." This hope is permeated with the Lord's resurrection.

The Resurrection Hope you have in Jesus Christ is sufficient to raise you from any agonizing deadness, whether in your aching heart or in your threatening circumstances. Halleluyah!

Lord God of mercy, I praise You for Your abundant mercy toward me. I thank You for new birth. I am especially grateful for living hope. I now ask You to work in the dead aspects of my life. Lord, You know what areas of my heart are lifeless. You see the circumstances that are killing me. Raise my heart to new vitality. Lift me above circumstantial living, through the reality of the resurrection of Your Son, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.20.04
More on the Resurrection and Justification

You were buried with Jesus in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses . . . He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. (Colossians 2:12-13)

These truth-packed verses unfold the role of the resurrection as you started out with God through justification, when He declared you righteous in Christ. In this initial work of the Lord on your behalf, you were "buried with Him in baptism."

  • The word "baptism" in Colossians 2.12 does NOT refer to water baptism. Instead, it refers to your identification with Christ at the exact time that He was crucified, and died, and buried, and resurrected.
  • When you first believed on the Lord Jesus, God joined you to Him, made you one with Him, identified you with Him. "We have been united together in the likeness of His death" (Romans 6:5).
  • Because you trusted in Jesus Christ, God now regards you as having *legally* died on the cross with Him. Thus, you are accounted as having paid the full death penalty for your sins. Why? Because you were *legally* IN Jesus when He paid for those sins. That's why.

Water baptism bears testimony to this truth, but it does not produce this reality. Identification with Christ makes this your spiritual history before God. In God's sight, your old life was crucified and buried.

Through faith in Christ and your identification with Him, you were also raised from the tomb with Jesus. "You also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."

  • Just as Christ's death became your death through identification, so also His resurrection became your resurrection. "For if you have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly you also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection" (Romans 6:5).
  • In God's sight, you were raised to a new life in Christ. "You were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so you also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

Colossians 2.13 offers another aspect of your need for a personal spiritual resurrection. "And you, being dead in your trespasses . . . He has made alive together with Him."

  • Before you were justified through faith in Christ, you were not only guilty and condemned, you were spiritually dead. You had no *true life* in you. You could not relate to God or interact with Him.
  • For you to start out with God in justification, the Lord had to raise you with Christ from your spiritual deadness.
O Glorious Lord, what a good reminder this is of the desperate condition I was in when You justified me. I was not merely needy; I was spiritually dead. I thank You for burying that old life with Jesus in His tomb. I praise You for raising me with Christ to a new life. I rejoice in the radical nature of Your saving grace. Lord, by the power of the resurrection, lead me in the reality of newness of life, in Jesus name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.21.04
The Resurrection and Sanctification

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward you who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:18-20)

Just as the resurrection had an essential role in your starting out with God (in justification), it also plays an irreplaceable part in your going on with God (in sanctification). In the new covenant of grace, the resurrection is involved from start to finish in your Christian life.

Today's scripture passage is from one of the great prayers in all of the Bible. This portion of that prayer begins by asking God to give you spiritual insight:
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened."

  • What the Lord addresses in this prayer determines whether you will live by God's power or by your own human weakness. God desires to give you heavenly insight on this vital matter.
  • Further, God intends for this spiritual enlightenment to lead you into a personal walk concerning this reality: "that you may know." The issue of this prayer is to become a part of your daily experience.

God wants you to experience the proper power source for living the Christian life: "that you may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward you who believe."

  • Now that you have been justified (declared righteous) through faith in Christ, you are not supposed to face each day by depending on your own meager, inadequate resources.
  • You have been born again by the Spirit of God! Therefore, it is God's will that you shall live this new life by the power of Christ IN you.

The aspect of God's power in view here is resurrection power: "according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead." Think of the mighty power of God that was at work to bring Jesus from a crucified Savior to a victorious risen Lord. This is the power that your God wants to unleash upon you day by day.

As great as this display of power was in raising Jesus, even more is available to you:
"and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places."

  • This mighty divine power that brought forth Jesus from the dead, also raised Him to the right hand of the Father in the heaven realm.
  • Surely, this power is infinitely sufficient to lift you out of any deadening situation of your mind or your surroundings.
Dear God of resurrection power, too many days and years have passed without me turning to You for this mighty power. Too often I have lived by a power that came from me will power, emotional power, mental power. I repent for relying upon such feeble resources. Lord, by Your grace I see that heavenly resurrection power is to be my supply, so I look to You now for this work in me, in Your mighty name, Amen.

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