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Jesus is alive!

Each New Testament Book, directly or indirectly, attests His glorious Resurrection!

Here we shall examine the evidence!

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

LESSON 1, THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW:

Matthew 16:21 interestingly records these words of Jesus: "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."

According to these inspired words, Jesus waited until quite late in His Ministry to reveal to the Disciples the fact of His coming Death!

But, why?

The "context" of Jesus' statement provides the answer.

This conversation had just occurred: "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."  Matthew 16:13-17

It was not until the Disciples clearly knew WHO Jesus was ... that He was willing to reveal to them the specifics of His upcoming Death!

Again, why?

Because just a plain death on a cross could save no one!

On average that happened dozens of times a day in the Roman Empire!

Jesus' Death, to be powerfully effective in the saving of lost souls, cleansing them from sin, had to be unique!

And it was!

Jesus was (and still is) the very Son of God!  In fact, He is God The Son!

That's what Peter proclaimed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!"

That also means Jesus was sinless!  God cannot sin!

It then provides unlimited vicarious power to His Death, the power that can save the lost!

Jesus' deity also invests Him with Authority!  His promises must come to fruition!  God cannot lie!

And, Jesus being God, He also is eternal!  Living in Heaven, He can certainly assure us that one day He will return ... to catch us away unto Himself!

Jesus is God!

Not until the Disciples know this fact can the impending Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection have the Meaning they must!

For you see, they are the heart of the Gospel!

Jesus is God the Son!

Jesus died for you!

He arose from the Grave!

He has power to save!

As we near Easter, do remember that the Resurrection must be linked to the Godhood of the Saviour!

A living Saviour!

Eternally so!

Also notice this. Our Text answers some fundamental questions about Jesus Life, Death and Resurrection. 

"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."

            When?  From the time of Peter's great confession!

            Where?  Jerusalem, outside the city!

            What?  Jesus must be "killed!"

            Why?  In order that He be "raised again!"

            Who?  That is, "Who cares?"  Sinners who need a Saviour!

Thank God for the Gospel!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, THE GOSPEL OF MARK:

Only Mark words it exactly like this.  He is talking about the resurrected Jesus. He once appeared to two Believers as they journeyed away from Jerusalem. It was late on the very day of Jesus' Resurrection, that first Sunday!

"After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country." Mark 16:12

Mark's short one verse account takes Luke a whole paragraph to explain, Luke 24:13-32.

Yet in some ways Mark says more!

Both Gospels make it plain that the two disciples walking away from Jerusalem did not at first recognize our Lord. Luke even says: "But their eyes were holden that they should not know him." (Luke 24:16)  The verb "holden" ("krateo") means "overpowered!"

How so?

Back to Mark: "He appeared in another form."

I must confess ignorance here.

The verb "appeared" ("phaneroo") here, which is passive, means that Jesus was made known ... or even made visible!  This is apparently something the Father did for the Son, hence the passive voice. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus appeared!

But ... "in another form!"

These words, "heteros morphe," are so interesting!

One means "another of a different kind!" That's heteros.

The second, "external appearance." That's morphe. 

The Resurrection Body of Jesus, while being one of flesh and bones, yet had a "different" quality about it too!  Jesus taught: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Luke 24:39

But, He could enter locked doors ... ascend to Heaven itself ... eat food ... and still work miracles, all in that new and glorious Body!

Maybe ... and notice that I say just maybe ... He could also appear in different forms!  Perhaps that's why the two Believers on the way to Emmaus did not at first recognize Him!

Who can limit a resurrected Saviour?

My point today is this: Jesus is alive!

And, in whatever form He chose, He could appear to those who believed and needed His Counsel or Encouragement!

Then again, He could appear as a resurrected and ascended Lord to an old sinner ... on the road to Damascus too!

Just ask Paul!

And ..."this same Jesus" ... is coming again some day!

In whatever form He chooses, we shall be glad!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, THE GOSPEL OF LUKE:

The enemies of the Gospel are constantly attacking the Resurrection of Jesus. Often they say the Disciples "plotted" certain events to simply make it look like Jesus arose from the grave!

In other words, He's still dead!

But there is a problem with that argument.

Had Jesus' Followers been "planning" His Resurrection, they would have responded to it much differently than they did!

In Luke 24:11, having just heard from several women that Jesus was "alive," risen from the dead, we are told of the Disciples: "They believed not!"

Here's the whole verse: "And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not."

They just were not yet prepared to accept the Resurrection as a fact!

Far from "acting" like it was a "sure" thing, they responded with hesitancy and doubt!

Even later, when Jesus stood in their very presence, they "were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit." Luke 24:37

Next, after being shown Jesus' pierced hands and feet, still "they yet believed not for joy, and wondered." Luke 24:41

This does not sound like a "plot" to me!

It rather appears that the Disciples were among the last of Christ's closest followers to believe!

Even after the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb!

And after Mary Magdalene!

After the other women!

After the two who traveled to Emmaus!

But, praise the Lord, finally they did ... believe!

Here's how Luke describes the moment they "saw" the Light, Resurrection Light!  "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." Luke 24:46

What a beautifully logical Book the Bible is!

Such sequences of events as I have just described were once called by a godly preacher "the undesigned coincidences of Scripture!"

Yes, the Bible "proves" the Bible ... when allowed to do so!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN:

Concerning the Resurrection of Jesus, The Beloved John writes: "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. 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. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 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." John 20:1-8

My emphasis today is found in that last verse. When that "other disciple," whom many believe to have been John himself, entered the empty tomb ... he "saw" certain things ... then believed!

Only the fourth Gospel relates this incident.

What did he see?

The burial clothes of Jesus!

Linen cloths, likely cut into long strips, which were wrapped again and again around the body of Jesus. "Wound" around the Lord according to John 19:40. Cloths that had been saturated with the burial spices (an hundred pound weight according to John 19:39), thereby becoming sticky and somewhat hardened as the myrrh and aloes dried.

What John saw was this.  The cloths had not been unwound and thrown into a corner!  They remained in place, still wrapped, right where the Lord lay!  His Body arose right through them! They remained undisturbed! And even the head napkin was carefully wrapped and placed in a separate location!  No doubt these men had seen Jesus wrap napkins before!  They knew His manner of doing so!

Jesus had a glorified Body, one that slipped through the "cocoon-like" burial clothes ... through the sealed grave ... and later through locked doors!  (The angel rolled away the stone so people could see in ... not so Jesus could get out!)

And our Lord did not leave in a hurry either!  No rush!  He took time to tidy the place, no head cloths dropped haphazardly!  But neatly folded, as Jesus always did apparently!

Having see such "evidence, " John ... believed!

I'm telling you, Jesus is alive!

Just as He promised!

I believe too!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE BOOK OF ACTS:

If any New Testament Book surveys the preaching of the early Believers, this one does. I mean the Book of Acts.

Let me show you some examples.  As these are listed, notice the frequent references to the Resurrection of Jesus! These men couldn't preach without mentioning our Living Lord!

1. If one considers Luke's treatise to be a sermon within itself, Acts 1:3 is the first statement of Jesus' Resurrection. Of Jesus Luke says: "To whom also He shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God."

2. Then comes Peter's first sermon in Acts. Listen to him talk about Jesus: "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." Acts 2:24

3. Peter preached also in Acts 3. About Jesus again, he boldly says to the Jewish leaders: "And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses." Acts 3:15

4. Then in Acts 4 Peter, after healing a lame man, preaches to the Sanhedrin itself: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole." Acts 4:10

5. And in Acts 5, to the very face of the Jewish High Priest, Peter proclaimed: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Acts 5:30

6. Even the dying Stephen saw the Resurrected Jesus, standing at the Father's Right Hand! "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Acts 7:55-56

7. Now listen to Peter preach to Cornelius. His Subject: Jesus ... "Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly." Acts 10:40

8. And we are just now getting to Paul! Shortly after his salvation experience, he is preaching too! His first recorded sermon is in Pisidian Antioch and he says: "But God raised him from the dead." Acts 13:30

9. Then study Luke's synopsis of Paul's Thessalonians preaching: "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ." Acts 17:2-3

10. Even in Athens ... Jesus is described as having been  "raised from the dead!" Acts 17:31

As you can see, Acts is "loaded" with Resurrection Truth!

The early Church just could not have existed without the undergirding power of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!

Praise the Lord, the living Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS:

The Book of Romans is certainly one of the greatest Letters ever written.

Concerning the Resurrection of Jesus, it contains much critical information.

That is ... information on how to apply Jesus' Resurrection in our individual lives.

But, at least to this Preacher, the verse that must be emphasized today is Romans 10:9. 

Talk about importance!

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9

Romans is the Book Paul wrote to particularly explain God's plan of salvation anyway.

It has more than one "how to be saved" verse!

But, to me, this is the most powerful!

The verb "confess" is "homologeo" and just means "to say the same thing" as God does about an issue!

Agree with God ... about Jesus!

Agree out loud!

With your mouth!

That's just because the mouth is the audible indicator of what's in the heart!

Say the same thing God does about Jesus!

"And behold a Voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him." Matthew 17:5

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

The verb "believe" is "pisteuo" and means to be persuaded! To think to be true! To place confidence in Someone! To trust!  To accept as fact!

Paul said to an already convicted Philippian jailer: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31

Notice in Romans 10:9 that God raised Jesus from the dead! "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

The Bible expresses Jesus' Resurrection in three ways.

God the Father raised Him!

God the Son did too! "No man taketh it (Life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:18) That "power to take His Life again" is speaking of the Resurrection.

And the Holy Spirit: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Paul said this in Romans 8:11.

The verb "raised" ("egeiro") is in the aorist "tense." It is an event that has occurred in the past.  It will not happen again!  Jesus will never die again ... nor need to be raised again!  He is now alive eternally!

"From" the dead ("ek") means "out of" the dead!

Jesus entered the realm of death ... and conquered it, having returned to live evermore! That's why Paul writes: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1st Corinthians 15:55-57

How important is the Resurrection?

Belief in it is essential to one's salvation!

Believe it ... and "thou shalt be saved!"

The verb is "sozo" and was used in Paul's day in several different ways.

It meant to win on the battlefield!

Jesus did ... at the Cross ... defeat the devil!

It means to save a life down at the hospital!

Doctor Jesus did that too!

He saved and healed us spiritually from a terminal malady, sin!

"Sozo" also meant to reconcile two fighting parties!

Jesus, by His Blood, brought me a sinner into harmony with God, the Holy Righteous One!

Peace now exists in my heart!

Believe on Jesus and His Resurrection from the dead ... God will save you!

He said so in Romans 10:9.

One more time ... "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Praise the Lord for a Living Saviour!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, FIRST CORINTHIANS AND THE RESURRECTION:

In his First Epistle to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul clearly reveals the fundamental importance of the Resurrection of Jesus.

For him it is essential to the Christian faith.

Chapter fifteen presents the apex of his reasoning.

He first defines the Gospel, showing that it must include the Resurrection as a central ingredient.

See what I mean: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel ... 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." 1st Corinthians 15:1, 3-4

Then Paul, proving Jesus' Resurrection, begins to name some of the Believers who saw Jesus ... after His Resurrection!  Eyewitnesses! There are hundreds of them!

"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." 1st Corinthians 15:5-8

Next Paul tells us several vital aspects of our faith that depend upon the Resurrection.

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 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. 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."  1st Corinthians 15:14-19

With no Resurrection ... everything meaningful in the Christian faith vanishes!

Then Paul "personalizes" the Resurrection of Jesus. He reminds us that some day we too will be raised! That is, our dead bodies will be called forth from the graves in which they were buried.

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1st Corinthians 15:51-55

Because Jesus lives, we shall live also! These are our Lord's very words, spoken in John 14:19. "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also."

Yet again, because of the Resurrection of Christ, we can rejoice and thank God forevermore! "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1st Corinthians 15:57) Now remember, this verse is based on Resurrection Truth!

Then, finally, what is the result of Jesus' Resurrection? What should it produce in our lives as Christians?  Paul answers, "Therefore ...."  This conjunction provides sequential fruit to Jesus' Resurrection. Because He was raised from the grave, we can be ...."

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1st Corinthians 15:58

Yes!

Our very stability and faithfulness as servants of the Lord depend upon Jesus' vital and eternal Ministry, upon His intercession on our behalf.

We should be faithful, rock-solid and persistent ... because Jesus is alive!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, SECOND CORINTHIANS:

The Apostle Paul just can not preach without mentioning the Resurrection of Jesus!

He does so in 2nd Corinthians 4:14. "Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus."

He That raised up Jesus is God The Father!

The first "raised up" verb is an aorist.  That means its action is complete! This is a finished event!  Jesus has been completely raised from the dead!

The second "raised up" verb is formed in the future tense.  God some day will raise our dead bodies from the grave ... because of Jesus' Body being raised from the grave!

We shall be given new bodies, glorified bodies, bodies like unto Jesus' Body on that glorious day!

And all this is done "by" Jesus ... the preposition here being "dia." It means "through" or "by means of." It indicates that Jesus is the channel through which our future resurrection will come!

Of course do understand that while our dead bodies rest in the tomb, our spirits are in the presence of Jesus, resting joyfully!

Like Paul says, also in 2nd Corinthians, we shall be "absent from the body, and present with the Lord."

Truly, because Jesus lives ... we shall live also!

Again, it's just like He said! "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." John 14:19

Amen!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, GALATIANS AND THE RESURRECTION:

Galatians was perhaps Paul's most difficult Epistle to write.

The Churches in that area had allowed certain individuals into their midst who questioned the Grace of God.

"Another Gospel" was being preached!

Paul had to correct these serious errors immediately!

Therefore the whole Epistle has within it a tone of rebuke and reproof.

Paul does not write them as a friend, but as a teacher.

That being the case, he must establish his authority in Christ Jesus.

Not in this whole Book does he "thank" the Galatians for anything!

Instead, in order for his necessarily authoritarian manner to show, Paul had to dispense with a lot of his usual personal comments.

That's why he opens the Epistle as he does.

"Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia." Galatians 1:1-2

Look!

In the first sentence, the very first sentence, we find Paul referring to the Resurrection of Jesus!

Why so soon?

If Jesus is alive, and He is, then Paul speaks with the authority and power of a resurrected Lord!

His opening argument here develops something like this:

1. Jesus was raised from the dead!

2. That same Jesus saved Paul and called him to be an Apostle.

3. As an Apostle Paul is warning the Galatians not be be removed from the Gospel of the Grace of God!

The way I read it, the whole premise of Galatians rests upon the fact that Jesus is alive, raised from the grave!

This is an example of Jesus' Resurrection being used doctrinally.

But then again in Galatians, in chapter two, Paul insists upon the Resurrection of our Saviour!

"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." Galatians 2:20

If Jesus lives in Paul, and He does, then the Resurrection is a fact!

A fact that provides Paul with his very motivation for life!

Here now the Resurrection is being viewed, not just doctrinally, but practically!

Not only in the classroom, but in the living room ... Jesus lives!

And Paul could never quit talking about that fact!

Hallelujah!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, EPHESIANS:

This month many will think of the Resurrection, the Resurrection of Jesus.

But for far too many of us, even Christians I mean, the Resurrection is some far-removed fact of history.

But Preacher Bagwell, it happened over two thousand years ago!

Yet I respond, Our Saviour is still alive today!

Alive and sitting at the Right Hand of God the Father! Jesus is interceding on our behalf and serving as our Great High Priest!

Furthermore, He in reality is living within us too!

Christ, through His Holy Spirit, indwells each Believer!

Additionally, He empowers us to victoriously fight the devil, remain faithful in service and worship Him all our days!

Paul the Apostle even says something more specific.

While he is praying for the Ephesian Christians, he asks the Lord to help them know several things, spiritual things. "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints ..." What glorious things to know!

But there is one more thing Paul longs for us to realize!

That is ... "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, ...." Ephesians 1:18-20

Paul wants us to be aware that God's power to us is mighty!

That preposition "to" is spelled "eis" and means "into" or "on" or "among!"

The noun "mighty" is "ischus" and refers to sheer power, brute strength! It often even refers to physical force! It also implies endowed power! Given power! Granted us by an almighty and gracious God!

But, Paul, what other way can you describe the Power that's available to us Christians?

The Power that rests "in" us?

Here it is: "according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead."

The very same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead ... is available to YOU my dear Christian friend!

Is within you!

Right now!

Amazing!

This is one of the greatest statements in all the Bible I believe. Especially when it comes to living a godly successful Christian life!

We do not have to fail all the time!

We do not have to stay discouraged!

We do not have to dabble with sin all along either!

The POWER of God, "exceeding" power, is ours by a grant from God the Father!

"Exceeding" is our word "hyperbole."  It means over and above all we could have thought!

Yes, the Resurrection of Jesus is indeed not just a one-time historical fact. It is a daily truth to be experienced and lived!

No wonder Paul elsewhere said: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Now let us all live day by day, even hour by hour, drawing on that inexhaustible Source of Power!

May the sweet Name of the Lord be praised!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11, PAUL'S EPISTLE OF PHILIPPIANS AND THE RESURRECTION:

Even after being saved for years, Paul still wrote about his passionate goal for life!

"That I may know Him."  Philippians 3:10

Paul wanted to know Jesus better and better!

The verb "know," which is "ginosko," here means to be aware of someone, or even to understand them! To perceive that person! To learn of him!

The verb is in the active voice here too.

Paul plans to put some effort and initiative into "knowing" Jesus!

But .... watch the next phrase:

"That I may know Him, and the power of His Resurrection!"

The great Apostle wants to know Jesus ... as the Resurrected Jesus!

He wants to have knowledge of our Lord in all His Power!

Resurrection Power!

Power, as one would suspect, is the noun "dunamis." This word usually expressed "inherent" power. That's power that is "within" a person!  Deposited there! Built-in power!

And of course Jesus possessed such Power!

He said: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18

Paul wanted to live in the light of that Power!

It was the longing of his heart!

Even from a Roman jail cell, where he was writing the sweet Epistle to the Philippians!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today, two thousand years later, that same Jesus is alive and at the Right Hand of God!

His Power is still something we can know!

This month, Easter month, let's seek to know Him ... and the Power of His Resurrection!

To know Him more personally than ever!

He is pleased with such desires!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, COLOSSIANS:

Last night I preached on "Loving Jesus."

That's what saved people do!

They adore and honor and worship their Lord, Jesus Christ the Son of God!

Paul the Apostle, in Colossians 3:1, says to us: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."

Then he immediately adds: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

First notice that Paul clearly asserts that Jesus is "risen!"

And we are risen with Him too!

Not only were we once "lost" but now are "found!"

Not only were we once "blind," but now see!

We were also "dead," but now are risen with Christ, alive in Him!

And if we are alive in Christ, the risen Christ, we must consequently be interested in things "above," where Christ is right now.

The verb "seek" ("zeteo" in Greek) also means "to desire" or "to crave!"

To "set one's affection" ("phroneo") means to lets one's mind dwell upon something! To think about it! To carefully regard it!

Where Jesus is ... our minds and hearts must be too!

And, since Jesus lives, is raised from the dead, is interceding at the Right Hand of God the Father ... our longings and aspirations must dwell there with him also!

Again let's read our verses for today: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:1-2

Jesus taught us: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21

And Jesus, the risen Jesus, is our Treasure!

Then Paul elsewhere adds this tremendous fact. Christ is raised from the grave ... and ascended to heaven ... "and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:7

We are spiritually and positionally already with Jesus ... in Heaven, sitting with Him right now!

What a thought!

Only Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, could have identified and written such glorious truth!

Folks, today, let's allow our minds to dwell in Heaven!

Ponder the glories of our Saviour, the resurrected Jesus!

To Him be all the glory!

Amen!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13, THE THESSALONIAN EPISTLES:

Paul masterfully combines two great doctrines of the Faith in 1st Thessalonians 1:10.

He, writing to this beloved Macedonian Church, reminded them how they had ... "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."

The two doctrines I have in mind include both the Resurrection of Jesus ... "Whom God raised from the dead" ... and the Second Coming ... "waiting for His Son from Heaven!"

Paul the Apostle, still relatively young in the Faith, is nonetheless strong in his convictions about our Living Lord! Jesus is raised from the dead! Raised by God the Father! Paul just said so!

Now let's remember that Paul himself saw and heard Jesus, the resurrected and ascended Jesus, the day he was saved ... on the road to Damascus. He is absolutely assured of the fact of Jesus' return from the grave!

But Paul believes that the Resurrection, which also demands the bodily Ascension of Jesus to Heaven, is a prerequisite for another great event. That is, the Second Coming!

Jesus is alive!

And ... He is coming back again!

How could it be any other way?

Yes!

Jesus ... coming again to "catch away" His saints!

Then, seven years later, coming again to earth literally, riding a white horse of victory!

To interrupt Armageddon!

To "save" Israel!

To inaugurate His Millennial Kingdom!

To rule and reign!

To bring Glory to God!

Yes!

Listen to me today!

If there is no Resurrection, there can be no Second Coming!

And that is precisely Paul's emphasis here in His Thessalonian Epistles!

What linkage!

Resurrection and Revelation!

Praise the dear Lord!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14, THE EPISTLES TO TIMOTHY:

Often in the New Testament any "second" book in a series, like Second Timothy or Second Corinthians or Second John or Second Thessalonians, will contain bold and corrective preaching.

By that I mean the author will be setting right some error, either doctrinal or behavioral, that had surfaced in the local church there.

Such is the case in Paul's correspondence to Timothy the young Preacher.

A couple of men, Hymenaeus and Philetus by name, had nearly destroyed the faith of some of the younger Believers!

Let's read Paul's warning. "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some." 2nd Timothy 2:16-18

I have highlighted their heresy by putting it in bold capitalized type.

As Paul wrote his letters to Timothy, somewhere around 65 or 66 or even 67 AD, Jesus had been raised from the dead for three decades!

But Jesus' Resurrection guarantees the saved man's resurrection! Or the saved woman's! I mean the resurrection of their bodies from the grave some day! That is, their being "raptured" into the presence of Jesus! I mean ... should they have already died before His coming in the air!

These two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus, have wrongly taught the church that such events (the Rapture and the subsequent resurrection from their graves of millions of saints) had already occurred!

That, if taught, would not only be wrong! It would also be very confusing!

Here's what I am saying today: the Resurrection was so important to Paul and the Church Timothy pastored (likely at Ephesus) that the Apostle had to correct such false teaching!

The Resurrection of Jesus ... and its many derivative blessings ... must be taught and defended at all costs!

Jesus is coming again!

At the Rapture!

Then He will catch away all His saints, both dead (in body only) and living, and take them with Him to Glory!

Yes, every Book Paul writes mentions and emphasizes the Resurrection one way or another!

This great doctrine is critical to our faith!

In fact, Paul can't even mention the Gospel without alluding to the Resurrection! They are twin doctrines!

Watch. "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." Paul can't even testify without inserting the Resurrection of Jesus! Even in Timothy! I have just quoted for you 2nd Timothy 2:8.

Thank God for the Resurrection!

It is the theological "glue" that holds the Bible together!

Jesus, He lives!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15, TITUS AND PHILEMON:

Now we today come to an anomaly in Paul's New Testament corpus, his body of literature.

Neither Titus or Philemon mention the Resurrection.

Not at all!

Unless I've missed something.

But ... both these little Epistles were written by a man who believed in the Resurrected Jesus!

Be assured of this!

I was thinking about this as I drove yesterday.

WHY did Paul so believe in the Resurrection?

Here's what the Lord showed me I believe.

Paul never doubted the living Jesus because ...

            Of what he saw!

            Of what he heard!

            Of what he felt!

Let me explain.

In Acts 9 he saw the Lord, the resurrected Lord! He never got over the impact of such an event!

In 2nd Corinthians 12 he tells us about going to Heaven, the place called paradise, the third heaven! And when he got there ... "he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." He head unspeakable things ... from the resurrected Jesus!

Finally in Corinth, at a particularly discouraging time, Luke reports: "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."

What assurance he must have felt ... from the resurrected Jesus!

Additionally, in the midst of a treacherous storm at sea, when all seemed lost, God did this for Paul. "For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee."

He felt secure ... because (again) of the resurrected Jesus!

Yes, Paul knew Jesus' Resurrection to be a fact!

He had seen Him, heard Him and felt His Presence!

He was so secure in the fact of the living Jesus, he did not have to mention the Resurrection per se in every note he wrote!

Suffice it to say ... Jesus lived ... in Paul!

In Galatians 2:20 he says it all: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ...."

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16, THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS AND JESUS' RESURRECTION:

Look at this two verse Text!

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

This beautiful blessing is located in Hebrews 13:20-21.

I am referencing it today because of its validation of Jesus' Resurrection from the dead.

Our Text here is at the end of the Epistle of Hebrews.

Paul means it as his great benediction.

Note that he calls our Lord "the God of peace." Paul usually mentions the name of God that best fits his hearers' needs at any given moment. These Hebrew Christians had been suffering for their faith. Many of them were upset and in turmoil. They needed comfort! They needed peace! And God, the God of Peace, was there to supply such a Peace!

Jesus promised: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

The verb "brought again" translates "anago." This means "to lead" ("ago") "up" ("ana")!  God the Father led Jesus up from the grave! As far as the Epistle to the Hebrews is concerned ... it's an undoubted fact! Jesus is alive!

Then we are given further information.

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Jesus is renamed as "That great Shepherd of the sheep." In John 10:11 Jesus is the Good Shepherd Who died for us! In Hebrews 13:20 here Jesus is the Great Shepherd Who was raised again for us! And in 1st Peter 5:8 Jesus is the Chief Shepherd Who is coming again for us!

But the vehicle of the Resurrection is ... the Blood of our Lord!

Look ... "through the Blood of the everlasting covenant!" The preposition "through" here is spelled "en" in Greek. It, in the dative case, means "by, before, in, near or on!" Somehow the Blood is absolutely critical to the Resurrection!

And do notice that the Blood has not lost its power, nor will it ever do so! It is part of the "everlasting" covenant! The "ageless" covenant literally! This is telling us that our salvation is eternal! God will never fail to keep His Word, His saving promise!

Then, according to verse 21, it is this living Jesus, this Blood shedding Saviour, Who has the Power to make us "perfect!" The word "katartizo" means restored or mended or properly fitted or framed or perfectly joined together! All of this is possible because of the Resurrection!

God is further able to work in us that which is "wellpleasing" to Himself! The term "euarestos" means acceptable or proper or satisfying! Again, because of the Resurrection! Jesus lives! We can be molded therefore into the kind of Believer that pleases our Father in Heaven!

And this is all done "through" Jesus Christ!  "Dia" means Jesus is the channel by which these blessing flow from heaven to us on earth!  He is the conduit, the means of such grace!

And to this living Jesus, this shepherding Jesus, this redeeming Jesus, this victorious and powerful Jesus ... be all glory for ever and ever!

The Resurrection in Hebrews is the foundation for all our future joy and delight ... plus the basis of our eternal worship of the Saviour, our dear Lord Jesus Christ!

And nothing could be said after that but ...

"AMEN!"

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 17, THE EPISTLE OF JAMES:

The Book of James, as far as I can discern, contains no direct reference to the Resurrection of Jesus.

In fact, James does not specifically mention Jesus a lot. Perhaps his best "quote" concerning Him is "the Lord of Glory," found in James 2:1. Come to think of it, that expression alone implies the Resurrection!

But I have realized something.

Although James does not pointedly speak of the Resurrection, his very Christian life is a product of that Resurrection!

Let me show you what I mean.

This James, one of several in the New Testament, is almost surely the "half" brother of Jesus. They of course did not have the same father, Jesus being Virgin born! But they did have the same mother, Mary.

Proof?

"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him." Mark 6:3

Our James here would have been that "brother" of Jesus.

But he was not saved, at least during Jesus' lifetime!

Speaking of His direct family, John wrote: "For neither did his brethren believe in him." John 7:5

When, then, did James get saved?

I think Scripture hints that it was after the Resurrection of Jesus!

The glorified resurrected Lord made it a point to go see James ... revealing Himself to him as the living Son of God!

Paul lists several of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances. "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" 1st Corinthians 15:3-8

Notice the strange insertion of "James" here! That's probably the half brother we are discussing!

After that event, James begins to appear in the Bible as a believer in Christ!

James got saved when He saw Jesus ... after Calvary, the resurrected Jesus!

Therefore, returning to my main point today ... without a living Jesus, we would have had no Epistle of James at all!

In that sense, every verse in James is a direct product of the Resurrection!

Talk about a Book being permeated with a Truth!

Resurrection Truth!

Glory to God!

Jesus lives!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 18, THE EPISTLES OF PETER:

Peter just plainly says that our "hope" as Christians depends upon the Resurrection of Jesus!

The Apostle writes: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."  1st Peter 1:3-5

Our hope, here called a "lively" or living hope, is predicated upon Jesus' lively or living Ministry at God the Father's Right Hand!

Our future life in Heaven, our very inheritance, rests upon the foundation of Jesus being raised from the grave!

And our security too, its permanence, is founded upon the living Lord!

And this is how Peter begins his first Epistle!

If Jesus is still dead ... we have no hope and no heavenly future and no rewards and no security!

Then near the end of 1st Peter's opening chapter, we read about Jesus Who is called the Lamb of God. Among other things Peter says of our Lord: "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." 1st Peter 1:20-21

God raised Jesus from the dead!

To Peter it's just a matter of fact!

And then shortly thereafter Peter adds another critical piece of information to our Resurrection theology. He tells us: "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." 1st Peter 3:18

The Resurrection of Jesus was effected by the Power of the Holy Spirit!

"Quickened" ("zoopoieo" means "to make" ... "alive") by the Holy Ghost of God!

The Triune Godhead was involved in Jesus Death, Burial and Resurrection!

We indeed have a full salvation!

And just to "indirectly" prove Peter's belief on the subject: "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1st Peter 5:4

The "Chief Shepherd" is Jesus of course.

If He is coming again ... one may safely assume He is alive!

The Return of our Lord demands His earlier Resurrection from the dead!

Peter is a proponent of the Resurrection of Jesus!

Yes!

Remember also, he saw the Lord in His glorified Body!

He knows whereof he speaks!

In fact, basing this conclusion on the Book of Acts as well as the Epistles of Peter, this dear Apostle could not quit talking about the Resurrection!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 19, THE three short EPISTLES OF JOHN:

The Epistles of John are strangely lacking in Resurrection evidence!

This fact certainly does not indicate any weakness in the "Priority of the Resurrection" argument however.

John himself, the beloved Disciple, was a strong defender of Resurrection Truth.

His Gospel, all 21 chapters, and his Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation with its 22 chapters ... both declare Jesus risen and alive again and again!

It's just that his Epistles have a slightly different emphasis.

All of which is good, really!

Through these three little New Testament Books we get to see John's peripheral view of the Resurrection!

As he combats Gnosticism in 1st John and faithlessness in 2nd John and power politics in 3rd John ... the Apostle also uplifts a powerful and living Saviour!

Look!

1st John 3:2 says: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." It would be hard for Jesus to "appear" if He were not alive, wouldn't it?

And 1st John 5:7: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." The Word, according to John, is Jesus! Now, look where He is!  In Heaven!  He must then have been raised from the dead and subsequently ascended to Heaven!

Then, in its ninth verse 2nd John thunders: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." The doctrine of Christ includes the great fact of His Resurrection!  Otherwise there would have been no doctrine at all!

And the 3rd Epistle, while admittedly more focused on other issues, has John saying unto Gaius: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." What Truth? The Truth about Jesus! Can anyone reading here even faintly imagine such Truth not including the Resurrection of Jesus?  Apart from His being raised from the dead there is no truth in the Gospel!

Amen!

Yes!

Even in John's little Letters there is evidence, repeated evidence, of a living Saviour!

Praise the dear Lord!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 20, THE EPISTLE OF JUDE:

The little Epistle of Jude is one of the New Testament's shorter Books.

With only twenty five total verses, it can not focus on any one subject for long!

For example, does Jude mention the Resurrection of Jesus?

Not directly.

But he certainly implies it!

The Jesus Whom Jude has learned to love and trust is a living Saviour!

Read with me his last two verses. "Now unto Him That is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."  Verses 24-25

Examine this two verse Text and you will not find the word "resurrection" at all! It's just not here!

But you will find a living Lord!

Who could "keep us from falling" but the resurrected Jesus? The Lord Who is alive for evermore!  Who has all power!

And Who could possibly "present us faultless" except a Great High Priest Who is familiar with the Power of the Blood of the lamb? A living High Priest named Jesus!

And to Whom could all "glory and majesty and dominion and power" be ascribed but to the crucified, buried, risen and ascended King of Kings and Lord of Lords?  Jesus, the Lord of Life!

Yes, Jude the Book is really built upon the resurrected Lord and His ministry!

And Jude the man was too!

This Easter weekend let's ask the Lord to make His Resurrection more meaningful and powerful in our lives than ever before!

Truly, we can do nothing without Him!

Jesus lives!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 21, THE BOOK OF REVELATION:

Even the Book of Revelation talks about the Resurrection of Jesus!

My favorite verse concerning Jesus and His victory over death is Revelation 1:18. Our Lord there says: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

It is plain to see that Jesus, having once been dead, is now alive for ever!

Revelation 1:5 also confirms this great  Resurrection truth. It speaks of ... "Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth."

And when talking to the Church at Smyrna Jesus identified Himself as ... "the First and the Last, Which was dead, and is alive." Revelation 2:8

Additionally, most of what occurs in the Book of Revelation just could not happen without a living Saviour!

There would be no glorious Lord on the Throne!

No One able to open the seven sealed book!

No One to judge the saints and bestow crowns upon His faithful followers!

No Bridegroom to claim the Bride!

No rider of the majestic white horse!

No Victor at Armageddon!

No King to occupy David's Throne!

No Destroyer of Satan's power!

No Judge at the great white throne!

No Light for the heavenly city!

No eternal bliss and joy for the Believers in Christ Jesus!

But ...

Jesus lives!

Therefore ... the Book of Revelation stands as written!

True!

True in every aspect!

Including this verse in its last paragraph: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17

Praise the Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

TRULY THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS IS CENTRAL TO THE TEACHING OF THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT!

 

 

 

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