COURS 2     

                                         LESSON 5

 

   RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

 

          BUILD YOUR LIFE ON THE FOUNDATION

               OF THE PURE WORD OF GOD.

                 THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In one of our previous studies we saw that water baptism is connected with the

burying of our old nature and the resurrec­tion to a new nature.

See Romans 6:3-5

This brings us to the next section of our foundations "the resurrection".

 "... laying a foundation of repen­tance from dead works and of faith in God with

instruction about clean­sing  and of laying on of hands,

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD and eternal punishment." Hebrews 6:1b-2.

 

BORN AGAIN

 

The first phase of the resurrection is being born again.

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God the Father has made us to be

born again from among the dead and to a living hope. See 1 Peter 1:3

Through conversion and faith in Jesus Christ we receive forgi­veness of sins

and are released from the power of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom

of God. "He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred

us to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption,

the forgiveness of sins."  Colossians 1:13,14.

 

WHERE DOES THE NEW BIRTH TAKE PLACE?

 

The beginning of the new birth is difficult to define. John compares it to the

wind. "The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it,

but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes to; so is everyone

who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8 So is the work of God in man's heart.

It is an invisible, incomprehensible process.

The new birth is God's work in response to our obedient faith. (So therefore

it has nothing to do with our own righteous­ness). " But when the goodness and

the loving kindness of God (and) our Saviour appea­red, he saved us,

not because of right­eous deeds which we had done ourselves, but by virtue of

his own mercy by the washing of rebirth and renewal in the Holy Spirit whom he

richly poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Saviour so that we might be

justified BY HIS GRACE and become heirs in accordance with the hope of eternal

life. This saying is sure."  Titus 3:4-8a

 

HOW DOES THE NEW BIRTH HAPPEN?

 

The natural man is born of perishable seed by the will of a man. See John 1:13.

Our spiritual birth happens differently. Through preaching the word of Christ

falls like seed into our inner man and fertili­zes our spirit there, as a result of

which the new life is born. This seed brings forth life that is eternal - living

and enduring. " You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of

imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God". 1 Peter 1:23.

 " Of his own will he brought us forth BY THE WORD OF TRUTH..." James 1:18.

We MUST be spiritually born. It is a condition of entry into the Kingdom of God.

" Jesus answered him: Truly, truly I say to you UNLESS a man is born again he

cannot see the Kingdom of God.

................Jesus answered: Truly, truly I say to you UNLESS a man be born

OF WATER AND SPIRIT, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." John 3:3,5.

 (Read John 3:1-9)

 

Just like an unborn baby does not exist in the (visible) world, so the un-reborn

do not exist in the Kingdom of God. After the new birth we have become God's

children: " But to all who received Him, who believed in His name,

He gave power to become children of God; who were born not of blood, nor of the

will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of GOD". John 1:12,13.

We are therefore a new creation: " For we are His workmanship, created in

Christ Jesus...." Eph 2:10.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has passed away,

look the new has come." 2 Cor 5:17. " He has delivered us from the dominion of

darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have

redemp­tion, the forgiveness of sins." Col 1:13,14. So we transfer, we go over

from DEATH to LIFE, from the realm of darkness (the place where we were bound

by our sins) TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

 

CONSTANT RENEWAL

 

Being born again does not stop at the beginning of the new life, but it goes

further into the renewing of the whole man.

We enter into a PROCESS OF GROWTH in which our inner man is

RENEWED FROM DAY TO DAY. " So we do not lose heart.

Though our outer nature is wasting away, yet our inner nature is being

renewed day by day." 2 Cor 4:16.

This renewal begins in our thinking and will have an effect on our life.

Our new life shall be a process of

laying off the old man and putting on the new man. "Do not be conformed to this

world, but be transfor­med by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what

is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom 12:2

" But you did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and

were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus,

to PUT OFF YOUR OLD NATURE which belongs to your former way of life and is

corrupt through perishable lusts, and BE CONSTANTLY RENEWED in the spirit of

your mind ( having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude) and

PUT ON THE NEW NATURE (the regenerate self) created in God's image (Godlike)

in true righteousness and holiness" Eph 4:20-24. Put to death therefore whatever

belongs to your earthly nature: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and

cove­tousness, which is nothing other than IDOLATRY. On account of these the

wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived

(before your conversion). But now you must rid yourselves of all these things:

anger, rage , malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Do not lie to one another, since you have PUT OFF THE OLD NATURE WITH ITS

PRACTICES and have PUT ON THE NEW NATURE (Godly nature) which is being

RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE IN THE IMAGE OF ITS CREA­TOR." Col 3:5-12

 

We cannot do this of ourselves, but the same power (of God's Holy Spirit) which

raised Jesus from the dead works on in us, as we consciously open ourselves

to it and believe in it. " If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is

living in you, He who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal

bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." Rom 8:11. Read also Eph 4:20-24.

In this way we can be transformed into the image of Christ until we finally reflect

His glory perfectly.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

And we, who with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord's glory, are being

transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the

Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Cor 3:17,18. Read also 2 Thess 1:11,12 When Jesus

returns we shall not only see Him, but He will be seen in us! "When Christ who is

your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Col 3:4.

"...we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as

He is." 1.John 3:2.

This is beyond our human understanding, and yet it is a promi­se to which we

can look forward with longing. " For we are  citizens of a heavenly kingdom

and we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." Phil 3:20

 

RESURRECTION

 

Without the resurrection the Christian faith would be empty.

We would be without a future. "If there is no resurrection from the dead, then

Christ has not risen. And if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is empty

and your faith is also empty." 1.Cor.15:13,14. The RESURRECTION affects the

inner man as well as the outer man. Beginning with the "spiritual' rebirth it

ends with the "physical" revitalising at Christ's return.

For the believer the resurrection has ALREADY begun, but there will also be a

final resurrection in a literal and physical sense.

 " Truly, truly I tell you the hour is coming and is very close, when the dead shall

hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen to it shall live....

Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in the grave

shall hear his voice, and they shall come out; those who have done good to the

resurrection to life, those who have done evil to the resurrection to judgement."

John 5:25,28,29.

 

Our fellowship with Christ now is a guarantee of the resurrec­tion soon.

Read John 11:25,26. The body we receive at the resurrection is of another kind

than the body we have here on earth. There are earthly and heavenly bodies.

Read and study 1.Cor.15:35-49.

We shall soon bear the image of the heavenly (man)! See Phil 3:20,21.

"And just as we have borne the image (of the man) of dust, so shall we and so

let us also bear the image (of the Man) of heaven." 1.Cor.15:49.

 

FINAL JUDGEMENT

 

God's judgement already covers the world. "Jesus said; I have come into the world

for judgement..." John 9:39. That judgement divides good and evil from one

another. Read Heb 4:12,13.

There is also a FINAL JUDGEMENT. The resurrection will occur before this.

" Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when ALL who are in the grave

shall hear his voice, and they shall come out..." John 5:28,29. (" ALL " includes

also those who have been cremated. No exceptions are made). Man will not appear

before the judgement seat as a soul without a "body".

He will appear there as a complete man - with spirit, soul and body.

" For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may

receive what is due to him for the things done in the body,

whether good or bad." 2.Cor. 5:10.

(A life without God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ will be judged most

severely, as this is the cause of all unrighte­ousness in man).

In Acts it is clearly stated that God's judgement is ready to fall over all the world.

" In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people

everywhere to re­pent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with

justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men

BY RAISING HIM FROM THE DEAD." Acts 17:30,31. This applies to Christians too.

No-one is exempted from the final judgement. Read Rom.14:10-12.

" It is appointed to man once to die, and after that comes the judgement.

" Heb 9:37.

" If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones,

wood hay or straw (in other words earthly, material things) his work will be

shown for what it is, becau­se the Day will bring it to light.

It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's

work." ! Cor 3:12,13.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The resurrection of the dead is one of the most important pillars on which

the Christian faith is built. The resurrecti­on begins with the new birth.

Our new man has to grow up from that point.

This is a process of laying off and putting on. In the end we shall receive a new

glorified body when Jesus Christ returns. And in that glorified body we shall

appear before the judgement seat of God for the final judgement.

Read Revelation 20:11-15

 

Questions:

 

1.  Is the following often used argument correct? Surely you can live a good,

     upright life without God? Rom 3:10-12, Isa 53:6 

                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                      

2.  What influences us if we are apart from God, and what characterises our life?

     Eph 2:1,2; 4:17,18

                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  

3.  The fruit of our old life is death. How and by whom can we be freed from this

     situation? Col 2:13,14; Eph 2:4-6                                                                  

                                                                                                                        

4.  Will all Christians have died when Christ comes back? 1 Cor 15:51                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                        

5.  What happens to our bodies when Jesus Christ comes back? Phil 3:20,21                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                        

 

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