OF THE BIBLE
A Bible Workbook
written by Samuel A. Matthews
A special THANKS is given to Cynthia, my wife,
for her patient skillful editing
International Standard Book Number:
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
To God be the Glory
Permission is granted to copy and/or modify this material to meet your needs
This book has been written for every creature in every nation. It is DEDICATED to all who are seeking a better understanding of the JESUS of the Bible. Knowing who He is (God in the flesh), will allow you to come to Him. Jesus said, They shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath _______ of the Father, cometh unto me (John 6:45).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page 2 PREFACE AND PRAYER
Page 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page 4 INTRODUCTION
Pages 5-10 I. JESUS: THE SON OF GOD
Pages 11-16 II. JESUS: SET APART
Pages 17-24 III. JESUS: CLAIMED TO BE GOD
Pages 25-31 IV. JESUS: PROVED HIMSELF TO THE APOSTLES
Pages 32-39 V. JESUS: THE WAY TO THE FATHER
Pages 40-44 VI. JESUS: SAVES FROM DEATH
Pages 45-52 VII. JESUS: DIED FOR SINNERS
Pages 53-56 VIII. JESUS: BURIED FOR SINNERS
Pages 57-65 IX. JESUS: RAISED FOR SINNERS
Pages 66-68 X. JESUS: SAVES THE BORN AGAIN
Pages 69-71 XI. JESUS: GIVES NEW LIFE
Pages 72-78 XII. JESUS: BUILT HIS CHURCH
Pages 79-83 XIII. JESUS: HIGH PRIEST OVER HIS CHURCH
Pages 84-95 XIV. JESUS: COMING THE SECOND TIME
Pages 96-99 XV. JESUS: THE FINAL JUDGE OF MANKIND
Pages 100-102 ANSWERS
Pages 103-117 CHRONOLOGICAL HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS
Loved ones, this book deals with the most important event in human history. It is an event planned even before the creation of the world. It is the keeping of a promise made to _______ many years in the past (Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 22:18; Galatians 3:16). It is the fulfillment of a host of prophecies regarding the Messiah or, as referred to in the Greek text, the Christ. He would come to build and establish His kingdom or _______ (Matthew 16:18-19; cf. Colossians 1:12-14). It is the beginning of a new relationship between God and man. The event is the coming of the Son of the Living God, the Savior of the world, the JESUS of the Bible.
Who is this Christ, this Messiah? His name is JESUS. His symbolic name, Emmanuel, meaning God _______ us (Matthew 1:23), signifies His deity. He is man, but God as well. He is God - the God of Creation - but man as well. He is God Himself in human flesh (cf. John 1:1, 14). God, who has previously made Himself known through a nation and a law, has now revealed Himself in the most personal way possible - in the form of a man, Jesus, the Son of God (cf. Philippians 2:5-8).
Since Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, it is important that you give your life wholly to Him. Your relationship with Jesus the Christ is the most important matter you will ever be concerned with. The Bible says, He that _______ on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the _______ of God abideth on him (John 3:36). Your relationship with Jesus is more important than marriage; more important than having children; more important than graduating from high school or college; more important than landing a good job. Jesus is the most important person you will ever know.
It would be a mistake to think you could ever be good enough to go to Heaven on our own. Salvation is by _______ through faith, NOT by works of merit (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is promised to believers, not achievers. If you want to go to Heaven, you have got to go through Jesus. It is clear that through obedience to His gospel, we may be made citizens of His spiritual kingdom - His church body - over which He is _______ (Colossians 1:18). Then, by continuing to live faithfully as His body, we will one day spend eternity with the Godhead.
I. JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD
The King James Version of Gods Holy Word, the Bible, says, And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name _______. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the _______ of God (Luke 1:30-35).
Loved ones, as we get into this first lesson, please consider this Someone said to us: Water baptism for salvation I don't think so sounds like false doctrine. We are saved by the blood of Jesus only for the remission of sins - Hebrews 9:22. Our answer: What you or anyone else thinks is really NOT important. The Bible is Right, even when what you think is incorrect, Yea, let _______ be true, but every man a liar (Romans 3:4). You are correct that souls are saved by the blood of Jesus for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). The question is WHEN does Christ's blood save the believer by forgiving his or her sins? The Bible answers: When they repent, and are _______ by being immersed in water (Acts 2:38; 22:16; cf. Revelation 1:5; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). Salvation is in _______ with all other spiritual blessings (2 Timothy 2:10; Ephesians 1:3), such as redemption and eternal life (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 5:11). The Bible says we are _______ into Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4) to be born again (John 3:3-7) into a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17). So yes, the Bible plainly teaches that water baptism is essential for salvation in Christ. It would be false doctrine to teach otherwise.
Dear friends, the greatest person who has ever lived and the central character of the Bible is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The message of the Old Testament is that Jesus is coming. The message of the Gospels (Matthew Mark, Luke and John) is that Jesus has come. The message of the New Testament letters and prophecies is that He is coming again. His comings are the most important events in the history of man.
The entire Bible tells about Jesus. The Old Testament reveals Him as the Word and Angel of the Lord. It has many prophecies of His coming. The first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell of His birth, His ministry, His death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection from the dead. The remaining New Testament books tell about His ascension back to the Father, the church He built, and His future second coming to judge the world. Our lifetime here on earth is a preparation for the second coming of Christ. Are you ready?
PROPHECIES OF JESUS Jesus died for the sins of mankind. God had planned this before the _______ of the world (1 Peter 1:18-20). Genesis 3:15 is the first prophecy of the death of Jesus for sins: And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent, called the devil] and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed [Jesus Christ]; He [Jesus] shall bruise your [the devils] head, And you [the devil] shall bruise His [Jesus] heel (Genesis 3:15). Jesus is the seed of woman. He bruised the head of Satan through His death, burial and His resurrection as a sacrifice for sins (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There are hundreds of other prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. We can find these prophecies fulfilled in the New Testament.
HIS BIRTH When we consider the humanity of Christ, we are taught that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (cf. Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-8). Jesus had a human mother named _______, who was a virgin (Matthew 1:18, 23; cf. Isaiah 7:14). Christ was conceived in Mary miraculously. She conceived Him by the Holy Spirit - i.e., Jesus had no biological father (cf. Matthew 1:18‑25). This was according to what an angel had told Mary (see above text). The stories of the visit of the shepherds, the visit of the wise men, the trip into Egypt to escape King Herod are known by many (incidentally, the Bible does not say how many wise men there were also, they visited Jesus in a _______, NOT at the manger Matthew 2:11). The details of this part of Christs life can be found in Matthew 2 and Luke 1 & 2. The Bible does not tell us much about the early years of Jesus life. It does tell us that Jesus _______ in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:52).
HIS NATURE Our Lord is a most unique individual. He is the only person of two complete natures. Jesus was the Son of God. He was also the son of Mary. Therefore, He was both divine and human (He is God; He is man). Jesus was made (born) of a _______ as all children are born (Galatians 4:4), and the Lord developed as other human beings do. While our Lord, the Word, was always God (cf. John 1:1-4), at a specific time He also became human. John wrote, "The _______ was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). In fact, His humanity is so closely connected with the divine plan, that to deny His incarnation is heresy (cf. 1 John 4:1‑3). Additionally, certain names given to Christ stress His human nature - e.g., Jesus of Nazareth, a _______ approved of God (Acts 2:22); Son of _______ (Luke 19:10); and "... the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
It was necessary for the Lord to become a man for our redemption. Since He was human, He was tempted in every way as we are: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points _______ like as we are, yet without _______ (Hebrews 4:15). As an intermediary between God and man, He was able to offer the sacrifice for sin on behalf of humanity; that sacrifice was His own _______ shed in His _______ on the cross (Hebrews 9:12‑14, 26; 2:9, 14). On the basis of His humanity, He serves in Gods divine arrangement as the sympathetic mediator and high priest, "seeing he ever liveth to make _______ for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is touched by our infirmities, and He is able to comfort the tried (cf. Hebrews 2:18). Having taken on human nature, Christ now has His glorious _______ (Philippians 3:20‑21), and when he shall appear, we shall be _______ him (1 John 3:1‑3).
As we address Jesus as "Christ our Lord, the Son of God we also recognize that He was no mere man. As "Lord," we acknowledge His divine authority. He is God's anointed ("Christ" means "anointed"). As the Word, He was _______ God, and was God, before time was (John 1:1). He had equal _______ with the Father before the world was (John 17:5; Philippians 2:5‑6; cf. Colossians 2:9). We must pray daily for our Jewish and Muslim friends. They have rejected Jesus Christ as the Son of God. If they are not taught to repent of that error, one sad day they will be eternally lost (cf. John 8:24; 12:48; 14:6).
Since Jesus is a divine person, divine names are ascribed to Him ‑ God (John 1:1); Son of God (John 5:25); Lord Jesus (Acts 4:33); the First and the Last (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:17); the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13). As Deity, Jesus is worthy of _______ (cf. Matthew 4:10; John 5:23; cf. Revelation 5:8; 22:8-9;). Divine attributes and offices properly describe the Lord as _______ (1 John 1:2; cf. John 1:1; 8:58;); as immutable i.e., unchangeable (Hebrews 13:8); as all‑powerful (Revelation 1:8); as all‑knowing (John 16:30; Colossians 2:3); as Creator (Colossians 1:16-17); as author of life (John 1:4); and, as _______ of the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1; Acts 17:31).
THE MINISTRY OF JESUS At the age of about 30, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The purpose of John's baptizing people was for the _______ of sins" (Mark 1:4), so when Jesus (who had no sins Hebrews 4:15) came to him, he refused to baptize Him. Jesus said that John should baptize Him "to _______ all righteousness" (Matthew 3:13-15). Since all of Gods commandments are _______ (Psalm 119:172), Jesus requested baptism to obey and do the Fathers will. John then baptized Him. After His baptism, Jesus went into the desert. He was subject to normal human sinless infirmities of the flesh - i.e., hunger, weariness, etc. (Matthew 4:2; John 4:6). At the end of forty days, Satan came and tempted Him. Jesus defeated the temptations of the old devil by quoting the written _______ of God (Matthew 4:1-11; cf. Psalm 119:11). Then Jesus began preaching about His coming church: "The time is fulfilled, and the _______ of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15; cf. Matthew 16:18-19).
Jesus taught in parables. Parables are stories taught to illustrate truth. They are well known stories of the earth to teach the truths of heaven. You can read some of these parables in Matthew 13 and Luke 15. As Jesus knew He was soon to leave earth and go back to heaven, He picked out certain men (the 12 apostles) to carry on His work. Their names can be learned in Matthew chapter 10. Later the 12 apostles were miraculously baptized and all _______ with the Holy Ghost [Spirit] (Acts 2:4). This Holy Spirit baptism gave them the power and help to do the work Jesus had planned for them (cf. Acts 1:5-8).
Before His death, Jesus announced to the apostles His plan to _______ HIS church or kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19). The word church, as used in the Bible, does NOT mean a building, but an assembled group or body of people (cf. Acts 8:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:27). Once the church (kingdom) was established it would never be _______ (Daniel 2:44). Some today do not think that being a member of the church of Christ is important, but the church Jesus started and that is still on the earth is of great importance. In fact, Jesus died and purchased the church with His own _______ (Acts 20:28). He is, therefore, the head and Savior of the body, which is the _______ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23). It is one and the same thing to speak of obeying Christ for salvation (Hebrews 5:9), and being _______ to the Lord's church (Acts 2:47).
Having built and purchased the church, Jesus is its ONLY head (cf. Colossians 1:18). The church cannot decide its membership requirements. It cannot implement will‑worship (Colossians 2:23). It should NOT reorganize itself according to human wisdom (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31). Its mission of evangelism is decided already (Matthew 28:19-20). One cannot honor the Lord as a person while disregarding His teaching, or following the _______ of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). We must abide in the _______ of Christ if we desire to have the Father and be saved (2 John 9).
HIS MIRACLES Jesus performed many miracles. His miracles proved that God had sent Him. He healed _______that were sick and cast out many _______ or evil spirits (Mark 1:34). He restored sight to the blind (Mark 10:46-52), fed the hungry (Mark 6:34-44), and raised the dead (Luke 7:11-16; John 11). Some people do not know why He did this. The miracles were done so that people might _______ that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:30-31; cf. Acts 2:22). Today, some people claim to have the power that Jesus had. The truth is that men today do not have power like Jesus had; else they would do what He did! Compare the following differences:
Jesus healings and the 1st century church People were cured immediately; Cures were visible to all; Everyone was cured; Faith rarely required; Complete cures.
Fake healers of today Cures often takes days; Cures often are of sicknesses none can see; Only some are cured; Faith always required; Partial cures.
THE DEATH OF JESUS Jesus preached for about three years, and during that time the religious leaders of Israel became jealous and wanted to kill Him. Then the time came for Him to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. He had tried to prepare His disciples for His death: From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto _______, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (Matthew 16:21). He therefore went to Jerusalem to attend the feast of the Passover.
Jesus ate the Passover with His apostles. On that occasion He also began the Lords Supper (Matthew 26:20-29). Then He went into the Garden of Gethsemane where He _______ the same words three times (vs. 36-44). About midnight, Judas (the apostle who betrayed Jesus), and the soldiers came to arrest the Lord. Jesus was taken before the high priest (vs. 47-68). Later, He was condemned by the Jewish Council. They sent Him to Pilate, the governor, for sentence. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent. He wanted to free Him, but feared he might displease the people. Therefore, he had Jesus beaten and crucified (Mark 14 & 15).
Crucifixion was a slow, painful death. Jesus was nailed to the cross. He hung on the cross while people mocked and insulted Him. After about six hours, He willingly gave up His Spirit He died. Two of Jesus disciples took His body down from the cross. On Friday evening, they buried the body of Jesus (John 19).
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS Our Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, came to this earth to die for our sins. This He did in unity of plan and purpose with God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:23). Early on Sunday morning, the first day of the week, Jesus arose from the dead (Luke 24). The Apostle Paul wrote years later about the resurrection of Jesus: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ _______ for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was _______, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Christs death, burial and resurrection is the way by which mankind can be _______ to God, thereby removing the enmity caused by sin (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:20). He is the substitution for sinners like us; we really deserved the punishment (cf. Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24). He is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the _______ except through Him (John 14:6)! Our Lord Jesus Christ established the WAY for us to benefit from His redemptive acts. For every person who conforms to the will of God, by obeying Christ (Hebrews 5:9), Jesus provides the ransom, or purchase price (His blood), to buy that one back from sin (Matthew 26:28). He is the means by which one can have _______ through faith in his blood; i.e. - the forgiveness of sins (Romans 3:25; cf. 1 John 2:2). Jesus has power even over death. He will one day raise from the dead those who believe in and obey Him. Jesus Christ died for you. He was raised for you. You can have Gods _______ of eternal life only in Him (cf. Romans 6:23).
A MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION Now that you have briefly studied the life of Jesus, do you _______ that Jesus is the Son of God? (John 8:24). If your answer is yes, we beg you to accepted the grace of God (Christ as your Savior) by obeying the _______ through faith (cf. Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Faith includes your repentance of sins, confession of the Lord Jesus, and baptism by immersion in water as has been revealed in this lesson. Today can be your day of _______ (2 Corinthians 6:2)! The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
II. JESUS IS SET APART
The Bible says, And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name _______: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
Loved ones, what do the words "Jesus Christ" mean to you? For many people today, the words "Jesus Christ" are most frequently used as swear words. People use them in order to vent their anger or frustration. To some people, the words "Jesus Christ" are an embarrassment. To mention His name at a party or at work is a sure conversation-stopper. If you mention His name, people may accuse you of being a religious fanatic. Why does bringing up the name "Jesus" make so many people uncomfortable? If Jesus had been a bad man, or had been a mass murderer or a Don Juan, we could understand the negative reaction that some people have towards Him. However, Jesus was nothing of the kind. He was the most dynamic, attractive and genuinely good human being who has ever lived.
No one has made a larger impact upon our world than Jesus. One man said: "Jesus was the greatest religious genius that ever lived. His beauty is eternal, and his reign shall never end. Jesus is in every respect unique, and nothing can be compared with him. All history is incomprehensible without Jesus Christ." More than anyone else, Jesus has powerfully impacted this world; but even greater than that, Jesus Christ can make an eternal impact upon your life if you will come to know Him.
WHO IS JESUS? The Jesus who meets us in the pages of the four Gospels is different from the picture many have of Him. When we observe the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), we see Jesus as one full of love and compassion, and He demonstrates His love for mankind time and time again. However, we also notice Jesus is NOT just the childrens storybook Jesus gentle, meek and mild. Some people feel Jesus was the kind of person who never stood up against the things that were contrary to the will of God. But when we look in the Bible, we see a man who not only took time to nurture, love and welcome the little _______ to come unto Him (Mark 10:14), but He also was a man who made a whip out of cords and casted out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the _______, and the seats of them that sold doves (Matthew 21:12).
We see Jesus as a man who stood up against the false teachings of the religious leaders of His day. We see a man who loved people so much that He confronted their sin to help them have a better relationship with God. By His love and grace He once told an adulteress woman to "go, and _______ no more" (John 8:11). There is no doubt that Jesus was _______ and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29), however, He was also very direct and stood up for the truth. Likewise, Jesus is NOT the miserable holy man who never laughs. He is NOT the fearsome judge who watches to see if we are enjoying ourselves and then tells us to stop. He is NOT the long-hair blue-eyed white man of the media; nor is He the lifeless figure in the church building stained-glass window. Jesus, our God, is radiantly alive and loves each and every one of us (John 15:11-14; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:10).
There is a great deal we would like to know about Jesus that we are simply not told. Except in symbolic language (Revelation 1:12-16), we do not even know what He looked like. He was a Palestinian Jew, and as such the color of His skin would be olive and His eyes brown. Palestinian Jews had black hair and kept it carefully groomed. They valued a full beard. They wore a sleeveless undergarment with a girdle, the customary cloak and sandals, and carried a staff on journeys. That is all we can guess about His appearance with confidence.
His mother tongue was Aramaic, a dialect of Hebrew, which He would have spoken with a northern accent common to Galilee where He was brought up. But He could speak Greek and was thoroughly at home in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus is the Savior who rescues mankind from sin. The Bible says, Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and _______ of sins (Acts 5:31). At one time we all were drowning in our sins. We were dying of a serious illness called sin. But on one glories day Jesus rescued us from our sins.
Many great rescue attempts have been completed successfully during the history of the USA and the world. However, none can compare to the greatest rescue of all the saving of mankind by God. Mankind found itself lost in life, held hostage by evil, helpless and hopeless. Jesus risked Himself even gave His life to rescue mankind. His is the greatest of all acts. If someone ever asks you, "Who Is Jesus Christ," tell them that Jesus is the Son of the living God who came to rescue mankind from their sins. The Holy Spirit tells us that Jesus "gave _______ for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world " (Galatians 1:4). Jesus is the Great Rescuer!
WHAT MAKES JESUS SO GREAT and set apart from other spiritual leaders?
1. Jesus teachings set Him apart. No one in the history of the world has paralleled to the quality, the power and the authority of the teaching of Jesus. Nobody has been able to show any evil contained within it. Nobody has been able to show any good that is not contained within it. Nobody has been able to surpass it. In the Bible, people were amazed with Jesus teaching. "Never man _______ like this man said the officers who had been sent to arrest Jesus (John 7:46). "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having _______, and not as the scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29). Back in the first century, the people were astonished and amazed with His teaching, and people with Godly wisdom are still amazed today.
2. Jesus lifestyle sets Him apart. Jesus teaching, the highest ever given, was backed up by a flawless character. In fact, Jesus lifestyle was so flawless, that His disciples were convinced that He was without sin and moral flaw. They wrote about His spectacular lifestyle: "Who did no _______, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not " (1 Peter 2:22-23). He "was in all points _______ like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus practiced what He preached. He not only taught people to love their enemies He did it. During His crucifixion, Jesus looked at His enemies and said, "Father, _______ them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). He not only claimed that the highest thing a man could do for his friends was to _______ down His life (John 15:13) He did it (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
3. Jesus fulfillment of prophecy sets Him apart. The Bible records more than three hundred prophecies that Jesus fulfilled!
4. Jesus miracles set Him apart. In the New Testament, we are given a brief record of about 35 different miracles Jesus performed. He did things like change water into wine, calm a storm, raise the dead, and cure people of their diseases. Why did Jesus and His disciples heal people? ANSWER: To confirm His Word. "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and _______ the word with signs following. Amen" (Mark 16:20). Jesus healed out of compassion. On one occasion, Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he _______ their sick (Matthew 14:14). Jesus is still healing people today. Whatever disease you may be struggling with; don't give up; Jesus can heal you. He said, "Have _______ in God I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye _______, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them (Mark 11:22-24).
5. Jesus claims set Him apart. Jesus is different from other spiritual leaders such as Buddha, Mohammed and Confucius, because Jesus claimed to be God and these other teachers did not. Jesus claims were identifying Him as more than just a prophet or teacher. He claimed to be the _______ to the Father (John 14:6). He made claims to Deity. "I and my Father are _______" (John 10:30). "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the _______was God" (John 1:1). "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over _______, God blessed for ever. Amen" (Romans 9:5). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great _______ and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). Jesus is theos: God! Since Jesus is God, we can put all of our trust and faith in Him whom the Father hast _______ (John 17:3).
6. Jesus care for the sick set Him apart. On one occasion the Lord touched a man with _______ and made Him clean (Matthew 8:3). By Him touching a man with leprosy, would be like us touching a person with AIDS. How many of you purposely and knowingly have reached out and touched or hugged a person who had AIDS? Jesus reached out to the sick, dying and the diseased ridden people. How long has it been since you have visited, hugged and encouraged someone who is ill? What kind of sacrifices do you make to reach out to those who are in need and afflicted with illnesses?
7. Jesus life of love set Him apart. Jesus' whole life and ministry were bathed in love tireless, outgoing unselfish love. He loved His friends. He loved them even though at times they disappointed Him (like the time they couldn't stay awake and keep watch while Jesus _______ in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42). He loved them even though at times they denied even knowing Him (like _______ did three times Luke 22:34, 61). Despite His friends lack of perfection and devotion, Jesus loved them with every fiber of His being. John 13:1 says Jesus "loved his own which were in the world, he _______ them unto the end.
How much love and devotion do you extend to your friends? Do you love them despite their shortcomings? Are you loyal to them? Do you treasure them the way Jesus treasured His friends? His example should inspire us to shower more love upon our friends. His example should invigorate us to get out of our seats and spread our love to those in need.
Jesus loved the unlovable and taught His disciples to do the same. He said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your _______, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the _______ of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore _______, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:43-48).
The one sentence that glows from this passage is the one that says, "For if ye love them which love you, what _______ have ye?" (v. 46). You see, it is easy to love those who love you back, but the Lord is telling us that we are to love those who do not love us back. We are to love even our enemies. If we are going to follow the word of God, we have a choice to make. Are we going to love or hate our enemies? Even though Jesus endured many blows from His enemies, He never stopped loving them. He chose to love the unlovable and we must do the same if we truly desire to be His disciples.
The love Jesus taught, the love He exhibited, was to be the supreme hallmark of His disciples. He said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have _______ one to another" (John 13:34-35). Tragically, we as His followers have fallen short of such love. Yet, it is never too late to start christening ourselves with His characteristic of love. Jesus actually did love with the highest love of all. He loved, NOT some of the time but all of the time; NOT some people but all people.
8. Jesus life of obedience set Him apart. John 8:29 sums up the obedient life of Jesus. Jesus said, " for I do always those things that _______ him." Jesus left the comfort of heaven to come to earth to fulfill His Father's will. Jesus is the Lord of lords, the King of kings, and the Savior of the world (cf. Revelation 17:14; 1 John 4:14). Even so, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became _______ unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8). He came to earth as a servant although He had every right to come as a sovereign. Every day that He suffered while walking on this earth, learned He _______ (Hebrew 5:8). He submitted to the will of His Father, and He gave His Father the very best He had to offer. Jesus died on the cross NOT only to save mankind from their sins, but He died to please His Father. He loved His Father so much that He was willing to go to the cross in order to glorify Him. He said, "My meat is to do the _______ of him that sent me, and to finish his work" (John 4:34).
We wonder how many of you reading these words are giving your hearts and lives to the will and purpose of God? How many of you are giving your total allegiance and obedience to the true and living God? That is what Jesus was and is like. How many of you are taking up your cross and following Jesus' example of servanthood and obedience? Today, we should all make a covenant before our God and before our brothers and sisters in Christ, that pledges to set our own wills aside and press on to do the will of our Father. We need to start devoting our full attention to fulfilling the desires of God and stop devoting our full attention to fulfilling our own wants and needs. Our objective should read: "Our meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work!"
Friends, the eight things discussed above are some of what makes Jesus so great and set apart from other spiritual leaders. When we sort through the Gospels, we marvel at the life that Jesus led. He was loving and He was obedient. We would like to encourage you to read through the Gospels and discover for yourself what Jesus was like. When you do, we promise that you will admire, appreciate and love Him more and more. As we said earlier, Jesus is the great rescuer, and He can rescue you from your sins and give you eternal life. Simply confess your belief that He is Lord, the Son of God, repent of your sins, and be immersed in water (baptized) for the _______ of your sins (Acts 2:38).
Jesus can also rescue you from other things as well. He can rescue you from your burdens, your illnesses, your depression, your anger and sadness. Whatever you are struggling with, He can help. He is reaching out to you with the words: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you _______. 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" (Matthew 11:28-30). Friends, the great rescuer is here for you. If you would like to come to Him on His terms only, please visit a congregation of the churches of _______ (Romans 16:16) and allow them to assist you in your obedience. The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
III. JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD
The Bible says, Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and _______ into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:36).
Loved ones, more than two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus Christ set foot on our planet. Our world has never been the same since. People are still asking, Who was this One who changed the way we think about God and about ourselves? Jesus made radical claims about His identity, but He also presented Himself as a compassionate, humble servant with a mission to _______ lost souls from sin (Luke 19:9-10). Jesus was a mystery to those who saw and heard Him. To the masses He was the great physician, They brought unto Him all _______ people and he _______ them all (Matthew 4:24; cf. 12:15). To the down and outcast He brought hope. To His enemies, He was an imposter. To His followers, He was the promised Messiah.
At the core of the Christian faith is the belief that God came to earth in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who saw and wrote about Jesus called Him the Creator of the universe (John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2). The Bible declares Him to be fully man and fully _______ (John 1:1-2, 14; Philippians 2:6-8). Here, then, is the man from Nazareth, who claimed that His origin was from _______ (John 3:13; 6:38; 8:23), and that the Father (none other than God Himself) loveth His _______ (John 3:35). The Gospel tells us that our Creator has become our Redeemer; we are redeemed with the precious _______ of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19; cf. Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7). Because this conviction is the central theme of the Gospel, denying the deity of Jesus Christ places a dagger into the heart of the Christian message.
QUESTION: Did Jesus ever really claim to be God as Christians believe, or is that a teaching that evolved over time? The Bible reveals God as the sole Creator of the universe. He is infinite, eternal, all powerful, all-knowing, personal, righteous, loving, just and holy. He created mankind in His _______ (Genesis 1:26-27), for His _______ and pleasure (Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 4:11). According to the Bible, God made us to have an eternal relationship with Himself (cf. John 17:3; Luke 18:28-30). When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush 1500 years before Christ, He strongly reaffirmed that He is the ONLY God who exists. God told Moses His name is Yahweh, I AM (most of us are more familiar with the English translation, Jehovah or LORD). Since that time, the foundational Scripture (Shema) for Judaism has been: Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is _______ LORD; and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with _______ thine heart, and with _______ thy soul, and with _______ thy might (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
It is in this world of monotheistic belief that Jesus entered into, ministered in, and began making claims that astounded all who heard them. Here, in the form of a living, breathing human being, is the one who satisfies and fulfills all the symbols and prophecies of Genesis through Malachi. Jesus is the central theme of the Hebrew Scriptures. As we move from the Old Testament to the New, we find that one person, Jesus of Nazareth, is the focal point of both Testaments. But the fact that Christians believe Jesus is God as well as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies doesnt mean that He claimed to be God. The question we must ask is: did Jesus equate Himself with Yahweh, the ONE true God who spoke with Moses at the burning bush?
To find out, lets look at the names Jesus used for Himself, and what those names meant to His Jewish audience. Who did they think Jesus was claiming to be? When Jesus began His ministry, His miracles and radical teaching immediately drew huge crowds, creating a frenzy of excitement. As His popularity swelled with the masses, the Jewish leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes) began to see Jesus as a threat; therefore, they began looking for ways to trap Him.
One day Jesus was debating some Pharisees at the Temple, when suddenly He told them He was the _______ of the world (John 8:12). It is almost bizarre to picture this scene, where a traveling carpenter from the lowlands of Galilee tells these PhDs in religion that He is the light of the world? Believing Yahweh to be the light of the world, they replied indignantly: Thou bearest record of thyself; thy _______ is not true (v. 13). Jesus then told them that, 2,000 years earlier, Abraham had foreseen Him. Their response was incredulous: Thou are not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? (vs. 56-57). Then Jesus shocked them even more with words no ordinary man would dare to say: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I _______ (v. 58).
Out of the blue, this maverick carpenter with no degree in religion claimed to have always existed. Furthermore, He had used the I AM title, the sacred Name of God, for Himself! These religious experts lived and breathed the Old Testament Scriptures declaring Yahweh alone as God. They knew the Scripture spoken through Isaiah: I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no _______ (Isaiah 43:10-11). Its easy to understand the rage of those who realized Jesus was speaking of Himself as God. Since the penalty for blasphemy was death by stoning, the Jewish leaders angrily picked up stones to _______ at and kill Jesus (John 8:59). At that point Jesus could have said, Wait! You misunderstood me I am not Yahweh. But Jesus didnt alter His statement, even at the risk of being killed.
Some may argue that this was an isolated instance, and Jesus never meant to use Gods holy name for Himself. But Jesus also used I AM for Himself on several other occasions. Imagine their reaction upon hearing Jesus other radical claims:
I am the _______ bread which came down from Heaven (John 6:51).
I am the light of the world (John 8:12).
I am the _______ (John 10:9).
I am the _______ shepherd (John 10:11).
I am the _______, and the life (John 11:25).
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man _______ unto the Father, but by _______ (John 14:6).
I am the true _______ (John 15:1).
I am the _______ and Omega (Revelation 1:8).
If these claims were NOT from God Himself, Jesus would have been deemed a lunatic. But what made Jesus credible to those who heard Him were the creative, compassionate miracles He performed, such as opening the eyes of a _______ man (John 9:1, 6-7). Furthermore, they were astounded by His doctrine (the wisdom and knowledge of God), For he taught them as one having _______ (Matthew 7:28-29; cf. Romans 11:33).
Jesus called Himself the Son of man and the Son of God on several occasions. Lets examine the meaning of those names. Over eighty times in the New Testament Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of _______ (Matthew 8:20; etc.; cf. Isaiah 7:14). So what did Jesus mean by Son of man, and what did it mean to His Jewish audience? The name, Son of man, referred to Jesus role as Savior-King, fulfilling the messianic prophecy of Isaiah chapter Fifty-Three. Isaiah 53 is the most comprehensive prophetic passage of the coming Messiah, and clearly depicts Him as the suffering Savior. Isaiah had also referred to the Messiah as Mighty God, Everlasting Father, _______ of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), indicating that the Messiah would be both man and God.
In context, it seems clear that Jesus was referring to Himself as the fulfillment of Daniels prophecy about the Son of man. Daniel prophesied that the Son of man would be given authority over mankind and receive worship: I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the _______ of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should _______ him (Daniel 7:13-14). This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus ascended to the Fathers _______ hand after dying for our sins, being buried, and resurrected on the third day (Mark 16:19; cf. Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). So who is this Son of man, and why is He being worshiped when God alone is to be worshiped? Both His claim to be the I AM, and His claim to be the Son of man point to His deity.
As revealed in our above text, Jesus also claimed to be the Son of _______ (John 10:36). This title doesnt mean Jesus is Gods biological Son. Nor does it imply inferiority any more than a human son is inferior in essence to his father. A son shares his fathers DNA, and although he is different, they are both equal as men. Scholars say that the term Son of God in the original languages refers to likeness, or of the same order. Jesus meant by it that He has divine essence, or in 21st century terms, the DNA of God. The son of a man is a man. The son of an ape is an ape. The son of a dog is a dog. The son of a shark is a shark. And so the Son of God is God. Son of God is a divine title.
Jesus continually referred to His Father as God. In John 17:3, Jesus refers to His Father as the only _______ God. However, in the same context, Jesus speaks about the _______ He and His Father shared before the world began (v. 5). How could Jesus have existed eternally with the Father unless He and His Father shared the same divine essence? When, therefore, the Bible proclaims Jesus as the Son of God, the statement is meant as an assertion of His distinct personal deity. Jesus use of the names, I AM, Son of man, and Son of God, all point to the fact that He was claiming equality with God. Certainly thats the way the Jewish leaders understood Him.
If Jesus was truly claiming to be God, did He make it known in other ways besides the names He choose? In order to find out, we need to examine Jesus actions during His three-year ministry. Did He speak and act with the authority of God? Or did He simply speak FOR God like Moses and other prophets?
In the Jewish religion, forgiveness of sin was reserved for God alone. Forgiveness is always personal; someone else cannot do the forgiving for the person offended, especially if the Person offended is God. But on several occasions Jesus acted as if He was God by forgiving sinners. His jaw-dropping claim to forgive sins had never been done by any prophet in the past. It infuriated the Jewish religious leaders who witnessed Jesus forgive the sins of a man with palsy. Mark records the instance: Jesus said to the sick of the palsy, Son, thy _______ be forgiven thee. The scribes who heard Him said, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can _______ sins but God only? (Mark 2:5-7). Thats just the point; how could Jesus forgive sin? No man has the right or authority to speak for God when it comes to forgiveness of sins.
Imagine the stunned reactions of all those who heard Jesus. Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear: God, to the Jewish mind, meant the Being outside the world, who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. When you have grasped that, you will see that the claims of Jesus were, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.
Those who listened to Jesus, observed His moral perfection and saw Him perform miracles, wondered if He was the long-promised Christ or Messiah (cf. John 12:34). Finally, His opponents surrounded Him at the Temple, asking: How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the _______, tell us plainly (John 10:24). Jesus answered that the proof was what He did in the name of His Father. He compared His followers with sheep saying, I give unto them eternal life, and they shall _______ perish (v. 28). He then revealed to them that the Father is _______ than all (v. 29), and that His deeds were at the Fathers direction (v. 32). Jesus humility must have been disarming. But then He dropped a bombshell, telling them, I and my Father are _______ (v. 30).
What did Jesus mean by being one with God? Some argue that Jesus only meant He was in agreement with God. But if Jesus had meant that He was merely in agreement with God, why did the Jews respond by picking up _______ to kill him? (v. 31). Their understanding of Jesus claim to be one with His Father became clear in the follow-up conversation. Jesus then asked them, Many good works have I shewed you from my _______; for which of those works do ye stone me? They replied, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest _______ God (vs. 32-33).
As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His upcoming death on the cross and departure, Thomas wanted to know where He was going and the way there. Jesus answered Thomas: I am the way, the truth, and the life: _______ man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him (John 14:5-7). They were confused. Philip then speaks up, asking Jesus to shew us the Father. Jesus answers Philip with these shocking words: Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath _______ me hath seen the _______ (vs. 8-9). In effect Jesus was saying, Philip if you want to see the Father, look at me! In John 17:5, Jesus reveals that this oneness with His Father had existed in eternity past, before the _______was. According to Jesus, there has never been a time when He did not share Gods very glory and essence.
It wasnt just Jesus enemies who were astounded at His jaw-dropping words. Jesus friends and enemies were staggered again and again by what He said and did. He would be in the temple or walking down the road, seemingly like any other man, then turn and say something like, Before _______ was, I am (John 8:58). Or, very calmly, after being accused of blasphemy, He would say, The Son of man has power (authority) on earth to _______ sins (Luke 5:20-24). To the dead He might simply say, Come _______ (John 11:43), or, Arise (Luke 7:14-15); and they would obey. To the storms on the sea He would say, Peace, be _______ (Mark 4:39). With five barley loaves, and two small fishes, He open a restaurant on the mountain side and immediately fed _______ thousand men plus women and children (John 6:10; Matthew 14:21).
Nothing is more fundamental to the Hebrew Scriptures than the fact that God alone is to be worshiped. In fact, the first two of the sacred Ten Commandments said, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any _______ image Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (Exodus 20:3-5). The most terrible sin a Jew could commit was to either worship another creature as God, or to receive worship. So if Jesus is not God, why did He accept worship? It would be blasphemy for Him to receive worship. That is why the words of His disciple, Thomas, are so significant.
After Jesus resurrection, the other disciples told Thomas they had seen the Lord alive. The skeptical Thomas scoffed, telling them he would only believe if he could put his fingers on the nail wounds of Jesus hands and into His pierced side (John 20:19-25). Eight days later the disciples were all together in a locked room when Jesus suddenly appeared in front of them. Jesus said to Thomas, Reach hither thy _______, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side. Thomas needed no more proof. He instantly believed, exclaiming to Jesus: My _______ and my God (John 20:26-28). Thomas could have simply called Him, Lord. However, he further called Jesus God. If Jesus is not God, He certainly should have reprimanded Thomas right there. But instead of reprimanding Thomas for worshiping Him as God, Jesus commended him, saying: Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have _______ seen, and yet have believed (v. 29).
False teachers take part of Matthew 15:9 out of context (in vain they do _______ me) and use it to teach that Jesus forbade people to worship Him. However, the Jesus of the Bible did allow people to worship Him. Jesus accepted worship on several occasions recorded in the New Testament (Matthew 8:1-2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9, 17; Mark 5:6; John 9:38). In context of Jewish belief, Jesus acceptance of worship speaks volumes about His claim to divinity. The apostle Paul also tells us that the Father is pleased by our worship of Jesus. He tells the Philippians that at the name of Jesus every _______ should bow, whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why, in the end, every _______ should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11). Did God change His mind about allowing someone other than Himself to be worshiped? Why would God tell us in the Ten Commandments that we absolutely must NOT worship anyone other than Himself, and then mandate that we worship Jesus Christ?
The author of Hebrews gives us the answer to the question of why we are to worship Gods Son, Jesus: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high; being made so much _______ than the angels But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O _______ is for ever and ever (Hebrews 1:3-4, 8). We are told here that Jesus is far superior to all Gods angels. The reason is that angels are creations of God NOT God Himself. On the other hand, God the Father called His Son: GOD. So, God never changed His mind about our worshiping anything or anyone other than God. That is because the Jesus Christ of the Bible is fully God. But it wasnt until after Jesus ascended to heaven that His disciples fully understood. Before Jesus left earth, He told His apostles to go, teach and baptize the taught in the name of the Father, the _______, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), putting both the Holy Spirit and Himself on the same level of authority as the Father.
While John the apostle was in exile on the Island of Patmos, Jesus revealed to him in a vision the events that will occur in the last days. In the vision, John describes the following incredible scene: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every _______ shall see him, and they also which pierced him I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the _______, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:7-8).
So who is this Person who is called the Alpha and Omega, the Lord the Almighty? We are told that He was pierced. Jesus is the one who was _______ after He died on the cross (John 19:33-34). Then John sees Jesus on a throne, judging people from every nation: And I saw a great _______ throne, and him that sat on it And he said unto me I am Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the _______ (Revelation 20:11; 21:6). It is the Lord Jesus Christ who reigns from the great white throne. Jesus had already told His disciples that His word would be the final _______ of men (cf. John 12:48). Then, Jesus removes all doubt about whether or not He is God. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his _______, and he shall be my son (Revelation 21:7).
So, did Jesus claim to be God? He did so by calling Himself, I AM. He did so by calling Himself the Son of man. He did so by calling Himself the Son of God. He did so by forgiving sin. He did so by accepting worship. And He did so here in Revelation by saying, I will be his God. We can only conclude that the true identity of Jesus Christ is both God and man.
QUESTION: Why would God descend into His own creation to become one of us? In John 3:16 we are given the answer: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not _______, but have everlasting life. In other words, it was Gods great love for us that caused Jesus Christ to come to earth, become a man, and die for us on the cross. His death made it possible for our salvation as our sins are forgiven by His _______ (Matthew 26:28; cf. Acts 2:38). He then adds our saved soul to His _______ (Acts 2:47); the church of Christ (Matthew 16:18). His resurrection gives us assurance of eternal life with Him.
It is a staggering truth that our loving Creator wants to have a personal relationship with us that will last forever! Soon after being baptized into _______ (Galatians 3:27), you will discover that a personal relationship with Jesus gives your life meaning, purpose and joy that will surpass all your dreams. You will never regret that choice, but its a choice you must make for yourself. Have you made your choice? Today can be your day of _______ (2 Corinthians 6:2). The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
IV. JESUS PROVED HIMSELF TO THE APOSTLES
The Bible says, And with great power gave the apostles witness of the _______ of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33).
Loved ones, Jesus of Nazareth spent His first thirty years in relative obscurity, working as an unheralded carpenter in a small village of Galilee. But in the following three years He uttered words that astounded all who heard them, words that ultimately changed our world. He also performed feats no other person has, calming storms, healing diseases, restoring sight, and even raising the dead. Yet, the greatest difference between Jesus Christ and all other religious leaders is that, according to Christians, He claimed to be God. If this claim of His is false, the message of the Gospel loses all credibility. That message is that God loved us so much that He became a man to die for our sins, offering us eternal life with Himself. Thus, if Jesus is not God, then we have been lied to.
Some religions teach that Jesus was a created being. These attacks on the divinity of Christ raise the question of what happened more than 2000 years ago that caused the Christian faith to claim that its founder, Jesus Christ, is actually God. The evidence from the New Testament points strongly to the fact that Jesus did claim to be God. But were the eyewitnesses, who heard Jesus words and saw His miraculous deeds, convinced that He is equal in every way with His Father? Or did they think that Jesus was merely a higher created being or a great prophet like Moses? To sort out truth from fiction, we need to go back to the words of the apostles who were there when Jesus walked the earth, and wrote their testimonies of what they saw and heard.
Jesus had picked very ordinary men to be His followers. He spent three years with them, teaching them about Himself and explaining to them the deep truths of Gods Word. During those three years, Jesus performed numerous miracles, made audacious claims, and lived an absolutely righteous life. Later, these apostles wrote down many of Jesus words and deeds. These New Testament accounts have been called extremely reliable, far exceeding all other ancient historical documents for authenticity. Scholars have noted that the New Testament reveals an objectivity that makes the apostles accounts about Jesus totally believable. They honestly reported what they saw and heard. These men were hardly of the type that one would have chosen to remold the world. The Gospels realistically differentiate their characters, and honestly expose their faults.
When they first encountered Jesus, the apostles had no idea who He was. However, as they heard His profound words and saw Him restore sight to the blind and raise the dead, they may have recalled the prophecies indicating the Messiah would be God Himself (cf. Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2). But as they saw Him dying on the cross, Jesus appeared defeated and powerless. Any thoughts they might have had that Jesus was God undoubtedly vanished at the cross. However, three days after that traumatic event, the One, who had appeared impotent while hanging on the cross, miraculously appeared alive to His followers. And He had risen bodily. They saw Him, touched Him, ate with Him, and heard Him talk of His glorified position as the supreme authority in the universe. Simon Peter, who was one of the closest of Jesus disciples, wrote: For we have not followed cunningly devised _______, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved _______, in whom I am well pleased (2 Peter 1:16-17).
But does the fact that the apostles saw Gods glory and heard Gods voice through Jesus mean that they regarded Him as God? Well, no sooner had the life of Jesus ended in apparent failure and shame than the great body of Christians not an individual here and there, but the mass of the church passed over at once to the fixed belief that He was God. So, did the apostles and prophets who wrote the New Testament accounts really believe that Jesus is God, or did they regard Him as a created being? If they regarded Jesus as God, did they consider Him as the Creator of the universe, or something less? Those who deny Jesus deity (Jehovah Witnesss and others) say that the apostles taught that Jesus is Gods supreme creation, and that the Father alone is the eternal God. So, to clarify the apostles beliefs about Jesus, we will examine their words, asking three questions:
1. Did the apostles and early Christians worship and pray to Jesus as Lord?
2. Did the apostles teach that Jesus is the Creator written of in Genesis?
3. Did the apostles worship Jesus as preeminent in the universe?
After Jesus ascended, the apostles stunned both Jew and Roman by proclaiming Jesus as Lord (cf. Romans 14:8-9). Additionally, the apostles did the unthinkable and worshipped Jesus, even praying to Him as if He was God. Stephen prayed, calling upon God, and saying, _______ Jesus, receive my spirit as he was being stoned to death (Acts 7:59). Other believers, who even in the face of death, Daily in the temple, and in every house ceased not to teach and preach _______ ______ (Acts 5:42). The apostles, most of whom were martyred, passed on their knowledge of Jesus to the church in the pages of the New Testament.
In Genesis the God of the Bible is revealed as Creator of everything from the tiny atom to the magnitude of space with its billions of galaxies. Thus, it would have been heresy for a Jew to think an angel or any other created being was the Creator. Isaiah confirms that God (Yahweh) is the Creator: Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker I have _______ the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have _______ commanded saith the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 45:11-13).
So, did the apostles view Jesus as part of creation, or as the Creator? When Jesus disciples gazed at the stars on dark evenings, they most likely didnt even dream that the Creator of those stars might be in their very presence. Yet after His resurrection, they saw Jesus with new eyes. And before He left earth, Jesus continued to unfold mysteries to them about His identity. Recalling His Lords words, John begins his Gospel by revealing who Jesus is: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the _______ was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were _______ by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-4). Although scientists now believe the universe had a beginning from nothing, they cant tell us who was there to start it all. John reveals that before creation, the Word already existed and was with God.
So who or what is this pre-existent Word? Johns words clarify who he is talking about: the Word was God (John 1:1). As a Jew, John believed in one God. But John is talking about two entities here, God and the Word. The so-called Jehovah Witness group teach that Jesus was created. In their New World Bible translation, they erroneously translate this passage to mean the Word is a god rather than the God. John, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, tells us: the Word existed before creation; the Word is the Creator who created everything; the Word is God. Thus far John has told us that the Word is eternal, created everything, and is God. But he doesnt tell us whether the Word is a force or a person until verse 14. And the Word was made _______, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only _______ of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
John clearly refers here to Jesus. Furthermore, in his epistle he confirms it: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have _______ with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have _______, of the Word of life (1 John 1:1). John tells us that nothing exists that Jesus didnt make. If nothing existed apart from Him, it follows that Jesus couldnt have been a created being. And according to John, the Word (Jesus) is God.
Unlike John, the apostle Paul, (formerly Saul) was a bitter opponent and persecutor of Christians, until Jesus revealed Himself to him in a vision (cf. Acts 9:1-6). Years later, Paul reveals to the Colossians what he had learned of Jesus identity: Who is the _______ of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by _______ were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were _______ by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Colossians 1:15-17).
Paul reveals several important things in this passage: 1) Jesus is the exact image of God; 2) Jesus is the first-born of creation; 3) Jesus created everything; 4) Jesus is the reason for creation; 5) Jesus existed before everything; 6) Jesus holds creation together. What does exact image of God mean? To call Christ the image of God is to say that in Him the being and nature of God have been perfectly manifested; that in Him the invisible has become visible. Thus, God being visible in Christ coincides with Jesus own words to Philip, He that hath seen me hath _______ the Father (John 14:9).
In Colossians 1:15, the Greek word for firstborn (prototokos) means supreme rather than in the temporal sense of the first to be born. Paul is referring to Christs pre-existence and cosmic activity in creation, and denotes not only Jesus priority but also His primacy. What makes this clear is verse 16 which tells us that everything in the universe was created both through Jesus Christ, and also for Him. In verse 17 we see the eternal Christ sustaining creation. According to Paul, every atom, each DNA strand, and all the billions of galaxies are held together by the power of Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus is the One from whom everything originated, the One for whom it was created, and the One that holds it all together.
The New Testament book of Hebrews also reveals Jesus as the Creator of everything. Its opening passage reflects Pauls words to the Colossians: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his _______, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he _______ the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our _______, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3a).
Just as John and Paul reveal, the author of Hebrews tells us that prior to Jesus becoming a man, God created the universe through Him. Hebrews also reveals Jesus Christ as the one who sustains the universe. Verse 3 speaks of Jesus as the perfect imprint and very image of Gods nature. The Greek word here means that the Son is the effulgence, the out-raying of the glory of Gods glory. This statement, that Jesus is the express image of the infinite God, confirms that the apostles believed Jesus is fully God.
The author of Hebrews then goes on to tell us that Jesus is not only superior to the prophets, but He also is far above the angels. Being made so much better than the _______, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (Hebrews 1:4). No angel in heaven ever received such honor and affection as the Son has received from all eternity from His Father. As great and wonderful as angels are, they do not rival the Son. The Son of God is NOT an angel not even the highest archangel. Rather God says, Let all the angels of God _______ him (Hebrews 1:6). The Son of God is worthy of all the worship that the hosts of heaven can give not to mention ours.
The author of Hebrews then discloses the deity of Jesus: But unto the Son he (the Father) saith, Thy throne, O _______, is for ever and ever . (Hebrews 1:8). Later in Hebrews, we learn that Jesus Christ is the _______ yesterday, and to-day, and for ever (Hebrews 13:8), a clear statement of His Eternal Deity. A created being is NOT the same today as yesterday because there would have been a time when he didnt exist. It would be difficult to construe these passages in Hebrews to mean anything other than the fact that Jesus is the God spoken of in the Old Testament, who along with His Father and the Holy Spirit, created the universe. The apostles must have been appalled to learn that the One they had seen bleed and hang suspended on a Roman cross is the very One who created the tree it was made from as well as the men who nailed Him to it.
The early Christians were accused by the Romans of stealing glory from Caesar, and by the Jews of robbing glory from God (Yahweh). The Christian faith is criticized by some as being too Jesus focused. But is that what the apostles thought? Lets hear again from Paul as he writes to the Colossians about Jesus. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things _______ might have the preeminence. For it _______ the Father that in him should all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:18-19).
Paul writes that God is pleased to have Jesus as the preeminent person in the universe. But the Old Testament clearly teaches that God will never relinquish His preeminence to a created being (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Psalm 83:18; Proverbs 16:4). Isaiah speaks clearly of Gods (Yahwehs) preeminence. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is _______ else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto _______ every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (Isaiah 45:22-23).
But how can both Jesus and Yahweh be preeminent? There may be a clue in the early chapters of Genesis, where the Hebrew word used for God the Creator is plural (Elohim). And, when Isaiah states that God alone created everything, the Hebrew word for God (Yahweh) is also plural. Biblically speaking, there is more than enough evidence to conclude that the fundamental nature of God is portrayed by the Scriptures as a plural oneness.
Paul attributes to Jesus the same words of honor Isaiah attributes to Yahweh: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be _______ 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 _______, 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 _______ 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 (Philippians 2:6-11). This passage reveals that before Jesus became a man, He had the full rights of the Godhead. Paul also tells us, that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Over seven hundred years before Christ, God tells us through Isaiah that He alone is God, Lord, and Savior: I am he: before me there was no _______ formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is _______ saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11). We are also told in the Old Testament that Yahweh alone created the universe. That every knee shall bow to Him. That He is the Lord, the King of Israel. The Redeemer. The First and the Last. Daniel calls Him _______ of days (Daniel 7:9, 13-14, 22). Zechariah speaks of God as the _______ of Hosts, and the _______ over all the earth (1:3-4; 14:9).
But in the New Testament we hear John call Jesus Savior, The Alpha and Omega, The First and the Last, The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Paul tells us every knee will bow to Jesus. It is Jesus alone who the apostles tell us will judge our eternal destiny. Jesus is the preeminent Lord of the universe. The Christian faith makes sense only if Jesus is fully God. If Jesus had been no more than a very remarkable, godly man, the difficulties in believing what the New Testament tells us about His life and work would be truly mountainous. But if Jesus was the same person as the Eternal Word, the Fathers agent in creation, through whom also he made the _______ (Hebrews 1:2), it is no wonder if fresh acts of creative power marked His coming into this world, His life in it, and His exit from it. It is NOT strange that He, the Author of life (cf. Hebrews 5:9), should rise from the dead (cf. Romans 1:4). The incarnation of Jesus is in itself an unfathomable mystery, but it makes sense of everything else that the New Testament contains.
If Jesus is Yahweh, then the Christian message is that God Himself came to earth, allowed men to spit on Him, mock Him, and nail Him to a cross as a supreme sacrifice for our sin. Gods perfect justice could only be satisfied by God Himself as the payment for our sin and unrighteousness. No angel or created proxy would suffice. Such an act of condescension demonstrates the immensity of the Fathers love as well as the high value He places upon each of us. And this is exactly what the apostles taught and so fervently preached. In his parting words to the Ephesian elders, Paul encouraged them to feed the church of God, which he hath _______ with His own blood (Acts 20:28). Paul is echoing Zechariahs prophecy where God (Yahweh) says, In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem . and they shall look upon me whom they have _______, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son (Zechariah 12:8-10).
Zechariah reveals that the one pierced on the cross was none other than God, Himself. Thus, we see that Jesus Christ brings Old and New Testaments together like separate instruments harmonize to create a beautiful symphony. For, unless the resurrected Lord Jesus is God, the Christian faith loses its central theme (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20). But if Jesus is God, all other major Christian doctrines fit together like pieces of a puzzle. If Christ is divine, then the incarnation is the most important event in history. It is the hinge of history. It changes everything. If Christ is God, then when He died on the cross, heavens gate, closed by sin, opened up to us for the first time since Eden. No event in history could be more important to every person on earth than that. If Christ is God, then, since He is omnipotent and present right now, He can transform you and your life right now as nothing and no one else possibly can. If Christ is divine, He has a right to our entire lives, including our inner life and our thoughts.
The apostles made Jesus Lord of their lives, wrote of Him as the Creator, and worshipped Him as preeminent. These first hand eyewitnesses were absolutely convinced that God had visited planet earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, who will return as King of kings and Lord of lords, as well as our Eternal Judge. In his letter to Titus, Paul reveals Jesus identity, and Gods purpose for our lives: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great _______ and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-13). The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
V. JESUS IS THE WAY TO THE FATHER
The Bible says, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: _______ man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
Loved ones, lets begin this lesson with a question: Is Jesus the ONLY Way to God? With the Lords help, we will answer that question using the Bible as our evidence. Through our many years of life under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:3, 9, 14; 2:11, 17-23; 4:1, 3, 7, 15; 5:13, 18; 6:1, 12; 8:9, 15, 17; 9:3, 6, 9, 11), we have met good and honest people from all over the world who have been immersed in a religious culture offering many gods, and many paths to God. Many of them are struggling with the confusion of which religion, church, temple, etc., if any, is really true. Some are wondering about an afterlife, and asking, Is there any existence at death beyond our ashes? One high denominational church authority answered: That is a question you will be asking all your life, and you will never find a certain answer. That response should trouble us. If the church authority himself is without answers, how can the common worshiper ever know truth and the meaning of life? Without ultimate truth and hope for the future, life seems utterly meaningless.
Gospel preachers must take the time to share with others the claims of Jesus Christ. As per our above text, one of those claims states that Jesus is the Way to God, the _______ (John 14:6). This fact contradicts what most eastern world religions are teaching their adherents. They offer their followers no absolute truth or authoritative Word of God. Furthermore, no leader of those religions ever made a claim to Deity. The Christian faith is radically different. If Jesus Christ is Who He claims to be, then we have the authoritative Word of God Himself on the subject. If He is God, and there is no other Savior, then obviously He is the ONLY Way to the Father. No one can change this fact by a vote, or by anything else. Jesus, the Christ, was a man who was different from all others. Therefore, Lord willing, we will use this lesson to take a fresh look at Jesus, the Christ, and the background behind His claims.
For the first thirty years Jesus lived in relative obscurity as a _______ (Mark 6:3). Then at about age thirty, Jesus began walking the rocky slopes around the Sea of Galilee, teaching, performing miracles, and declaring Himself Lord and _______ (John 13:13-14; cf. Matthew 23:8-10). Eyewitnesses confirm that Jesus lived a righteous life. He healed the deaf, the blind and the lame. He calmed storms and restored the dead to life. He spoke about God with unflinching authority (cf. Matthew 7:28-29). Yet, Jesus never had a political agenda or desired personal power. On the contrary, He reached out to the poor, the undesirable and unloved. In spite of Jesus loving words and compassionate deeds, the claims He made about Himself infuriated the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus claimed He came from _______ (John 8:42; 16:27), and that the only path to the Father was through Him. His radical CLAIMS so incensed the unbelieving religious leaders that they ultimately led to His execution.
The debate about Jesus Christs claims didnt end in the first century after His death on a Roman cross. It continues today. At the center of the debate is the question: Is Jesus Christ really the only Way to God? That debate about whether Jesus is the only Way to God became front and center on a popular TV program during a discussion with Optra Wincey and several New Age luminaries. During the discussion, the lady host authoritatively asserted, It is wrong to think there is only one way . There are many ways to what you call God. When a woman in the audience stood up shouting: Jesus is the only Way, the host immediately shot back: There couldnt possibly be just one way . Jesus cant possibly be the only way to God.
Some accept the Christian faith as true because it satisfies their emotional needs. However, the Christian message needs to be believed because it is in truth, the _______ of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13), NOT just because it works or is good for you. The ONE Christian faith (Ephesians 4:5) is a statement, which if false, is of no importance, but if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important. Again we ask: Is the Christian and the Saviors claim that Jesus is the only Way to God, the Father, true? In order to find out, we need to answer the following four questions:
1. Did Jesus claim to be the only Way?
2. Did the Apostles say He is the only Way?
3. Do all religions point to God?
4. How do we know Jesus words are true?
1. Jesus certainly did claim to be the only Way. In the final days of His ministry, He took His twelve APOSTLES into an upper room, where He shared with them that after suffering for sin, He would depart out of this _______ unto the Father in heaven (John 13:1). Jesus assured them He would _______ a place for them in His Fathers house, and that they already knew the way there (John 14:1-4). Thomas, more inquisitive and analytical than the other disciples, tried to pin Jesus down. He wanted details: Exactly where was Jesus going, and what path did they need to take to follow him? (John 14:5). Jesus answered Thomas with a statement that must have totally shocked him. In our above text, Jesus saith unto him, I am the _______, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). Jesus didnt tell Thomas that he needed to follow a particular code of behavior, or list of rules. Jesus was pointing out to Thomas that there is only one way to the Father, and it is through Him [Jesus].
Can you imagine Thomas reaction? He must have wondered what Jesus meant. How could Jesus Himself be the Way to God, the Truth of God, as well as Life itself? All of the disciples must have been baffled at Jesus strange answer. Also, Jesus didnt tell Thomas that He [Jesus] is one of many ways, and that there is no ultimate truth. On the contrary, Jesus claimed that He alone is the truth. Speaking of eternal life, Jesus told Thomas that He [Jesus] is the life. Jesus was NOT speaking of eternal life as a mystical place, but a life forever with Him. Heaven is an eternal relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit and the Father in one body, the church (cf. Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:13-18; 4:4; Colossians 1:13).
In light of the obvious import of John 14:2-3, the Fathers house then existed. Jesus left the earth to go to the Fathers house. The place the Lord went to prepare is where He went when He went to Heaven; the Fathers house is in Heaven. There, we have a building of God, an _______ not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). Therefore, the Fathers house is NOT the church. The church is the Sons house (cf. Hebrews 3:2-6). When the Lord returns, the church Gods dear Sons kingdom (Colossians 1:13) will leave the earth and be _______ up to Gods eternal house prepared for us in Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:24).
The Bible says, These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might _______ thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:1-3). Lastly, Jesus told Thomas that the only Way to God is through Him [Jesus]. If Jesus wanted to make it clear that He is merely one way to God, He would have qualified His statement. But He didnt! Jesus claimed to be the only Way.
2. The Apostles also said Jesus is the only Way. Jesus spent three years teaching His followers about God, about Himself, and about His coming church kingdom (New Testament Christians). The inspired apostles and prophets later wrote down some of what Jesus did and taught in the pages of the New Testament (Acts 1:1-3; cf. Ephesians 3:1-4). All Christian beliefs are based upon these inspired writings (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 2:20-22; 3:2-6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 John 9-11). So did the apostles preach Jesus as the only Way to God? We will hear from three of them who wrote extensively about Jesus: Peter, John and Paul.
After Jesus had risen from the dead, Peters words about Jesus are clear: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other _______ under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Peter is saying that there is no other path to God than Jesus. No other person has the authority to save us. John also wrote about Jesus as the only Way to have eternal life: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his _______. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:11-12). John is saying that God is the one who grants eternal life. God has chosen Jesus as the Way to have eternal life. Those without Jesus dont have eternal life.
Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, writes to the Roman Christians: For the wages of sin is death; but the _______ of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). Paul is saying that sin is a barrier between us and God that leads to spiritual death. Eternal life is the free gift from God through Jesus Christ. These three apostles clearly say that Jesus is the only Way to God, the Father of His children (cf. John 8:44).
3. Loved ones, is it true that all religions lead to God? As we have already noticed, many believe that only ONE Way to God is too limiting, and those who believe such are intolerant. They think it is more understanding and loving to believe in many ways to the Creator. This idea that all religions lead to God is at the core of the New Age belief. Their teachers make statements like this: God has made different religions. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion. A truly religious man should think that other religions are also paths leading to the Truth. But friends, if Jesus is the only Way to God, then there cant logically be other ways as well. The New Age statements can only be right if Jesus is NOT the only Way to God. The same holds true for other man-made Satan inspired doctrines which claim they offer a path to God (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1-6). If they are true, Jesus words cant equally be true. But if Jesus is speaking truth (and the Bible shows He is), other ways to God are NOT true!
Teachers of truth must tell others about our loving Saviour who came to earth to die for them personally. When they hear about Jesus love for them, hope can begin stirring in their heart. When they begin comparing what Jesus said with what other spiritual leaders taught, they will discover that all religions are NOT the same. All religions do NOT point to the God of Heaven the God of the Bible. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not. Every religion at its core is exclusive. Thus, Jesus teaching about God and life is radically different from the others. Most other religions teach that the path to God lies in obeying a set of rules, submitting to certain rituals, or practicing a particular lifestyle NOT taught in the Bible. None of their doctrines can guarantee our eternal destiny, since they teach that it depends upon our performance. Although many things taught by them are good and noble ideas, none of them can satisfy mans hunger for meaning, or provide hope for life after death. Furthermore, none of them answers mans inner need for forgiveness, love and comfort during trials.
Jesus, on the other hand, taught that God loves us more than we can imagine (John 3:16). Although as sinners we deserve judgment, Jesus paid the penalty for us Himself (Romans 5:8-9). His death, burial and resurrection for our _______ made it possible for us to be saved, and to live forever with Him in new bodies (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 6:3-5; 1 John 3:1-3). Our only part is to put our faith personally in Him and what ONLY He did for us (John 8:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:14). Jesus also says: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and _______ 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 (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus promise gives hope to the world.
4. How are we to know that Jesus words are true? Is there any real evidence backing up Jesus claims? As one examines the Word of God, he will come to realize that two objective tests confirm Jesus claims. First, Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies written as much as 1500 years before His birth. Second, Jesus defeated death, something no other person, or religious leader has been able to do.
Lets briefly examine these two evidences. Throughout the Old Testament, references to a coming Messiah tell us about a man who would someday preach good tidings and proclaim _______ to the captives (Isaiah 61:1-2). However, this Messiah would need to die for our sins. More than 700 years before Jesus birth, Isaiah the prophet asked, Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord _______? (Isaiah 53:1). He then revealed that the Messiah would be:
Despised and _______ of men (v. 3)
A bearer of our griefs and sorrows; smitten of _______, and afflicted (v. 4)
Wounded for our transgressions, and _______ for our iniquities (vs. 5-6)
Brought as a _______ to the slaughter (v. 7)
In the grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His _______ (v. 9)
An offering for _______ (v. 10)
Each of these prophecies about the Messiah was fulfilled by Jesus Christ over 700 years later. Isaiah further told us that the Messiah had special credentials: For unto us a _______ is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty _______, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; cf. Isaiah 25:1: 40:9-11; Luke 2:11). Isaiah tells us here that the Messiahs credentials would be that of God Himself yet in some mysterious way, He would be born as a child. Altogether, nearly 300 different prophecies, with sixty-one different details about the Messiah, were precisely fulfilled by Jesus hundreds of years after they were written by Isaiah and other prophets. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm that these prophecies were written well before the birth of Christ.
The odds against one person fulfilling all of these prophecies are staggering. And there could have been no collusion, since they were written over a period of 500 years by men who didnt know each other. The spread itself defies natural explanation. Long before all converged in the person of Jesus Christ, His coming was envisioned, foreshadowed and described in detail. These fulfilled prophecies should convince the honest seeker that, as the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ was the Mighty _______ (Psalms 50:1; cf. Revelation 19:6) who came to die for us just as Isaiah had foretold hundreds of years earlier. If we can believe God for hundreds of prophecies, then it makes sense to believe Jesus claims about Himself.
Although Jesus fulfillment of prophecy was compelling evidence for the truth of His claims, is there any evidence for Jesus resurrection? Yes, for we read that Jesus was reported by many eyewitnesses to be alive. About 500 _______ saw Him at one setting (1 Corinthians 15:5-8), and His tomb remains empty today as it was 2,000+ years ago (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1-13). His followers were so convinced about His resurrection that they gave their lives proclaiming it as true (cf. Acts 7:59-60). Christians realized that if Jesus truly did rise from the dead, He would have answers about the path to God that no one else has been able to demonstrate.
Several skeptics have tried to prove that Jesus resurrection was a legend, or a hoax plotted by His followers. However, many of these same skeptics have become persuaded by the evidence that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. Most scholars who examine the evidence are convinced that something happened shortly after Jesus death that changed His apostles and ultimately history. It was their conviction in the risen Christ that launched the Christian faith. If the truth be told, the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history. Convinced by the historical evidence that in these last days God has _______ unto us by His Son Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3), and that He alone is the Way to the Father, has given the Son of God a name that is _______ every name (Philippians 2:9-10). It was Jesus victory over the grave that provided the grand impetus for the early church to tell the world that God had spoken, and indeed, had done so in a dramatic and incontrovertible manner (cf. John 20:30-31). The Holy Spirit said that Jesus was Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the _______ from the dead (Romans 1:4). All this transpired in history, and is open to the historians scrutiny.
Jesus is a living Savior who loves us, died for us, and because Jesus defeated death, we can believe His words about God, the WAY to God, and how to have eternal life. The ashes we leave behind after physical death are NOT the real us. Our real identity is eternal (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:7; James 2:26). Jesus death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), give us hope beyond the grave. That assurance is the hope and meaning many have been seeking (cf. Hebrews 11:1). They can now put their faith in Jesus as their personal living Saviour. Personally, I came to Jesus because I did not know which way to turn. I have remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn (cf. John 6:68). I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny (cf. Matthew 25:33-34, 46). I came amid the thunderous cries of a world that has three hundred and thirty million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive. Truth by definition excludes.
Dear friends, God is reaching out to you. In contrast to other religions, which are based upon mans performance in one form or another, the unique message of the Christian faith is that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, put on human skin (cf. Philippians 2:5-11). His purpose was to die for us on the cross so we could be forgiven of our sins through His blood, and have eternal life as His church kingdom (cf. Matthew 16:18-19). This message is radically different from all other religions. The thoughts and ways of God are _______ than mans ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Still, all other religions devise ways for us to try, but none are able to bridge the huge chasm between God and us. That means that God must come down to mans level. Since we are NOT capable of paying our own penalty for sin, God, the Son, humbled Himself and became a man to pay our debt. His death on the cross, as a sinless man, paid our sin debt in full. All we have to do is receive His grace for our lives by faith and obedience to His will (Matthew 7:21-23; Ephesians 2:8-10; Mark 16:16). He asked, And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do _______ the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).
As one reads the Gospel narratives about Jesus, it becomes evident that Jesus was always reaching out with compassion to those He was with. Only Jesus Christ can do that, since as God, He is NOT limited by time or space. As we seek God we will be rewarded to find Him when we _______ seek Him with our whole heart (Hebrews 11:6; cf. Psalm 119:2; Matthew 7:7-8; Acts 17:24-28). As we are looking for Him, we find out that He has also come searching for us (cf. Luke 19:10; John 4:23).
Who will be there for you and me in our hour of need? Who will be there for us in our final hour as we near death? Who can we trust with our future? Some religious authorities say we cant know. The TV hosts belief that there are many ways to God wont help us either. But Jesus conquered death and paved the way for us to live eternally with Him. Jesus alone promises to be with us now, and to be there for us when life ends. He who claimed to be, the way, the truth and the life, is the very one holding out His arms saying, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you _______ (Matthew 11:28). He invites you to do just that. Come to Jesus and today can be your day of _______ (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:2). The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
VI. JESUS SAVES FROM DEATH
The Bible says, For if by one man's offence _______ reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in _______ by one, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
Loved ones, this lesson is being sent forth to the Glory of God Who Created the World. The Bible says, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is _______ Lord (Deuteronomy 6:4). The ONE GOD has revealed Himself to us in nature, for the Heavens declare the _______ of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork (Psalm 19:1). But even more objectively, the ONE God speaks and has revealed Himself to us through His _______ (Hebrews 1:1-3), by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God created man in His own _______ (Genesis 1:27). He is the Provider of life and ALL GOOD THINGS, For in him we live, and move, and have our _______ (Acts 17:28; cf. James 1:17). He gives us an eternal spirit (Ecclesiastes 12:7), and allows us the FREEDOM to CHOOSE. Moses told the Jewish people, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore _______ life (Deuteronomy 30:19). GOD CREATED heaven, earth, sea and everything in them in _______ days (Exodus 20:11), and He "saw everything that He had _______, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). However, within this very good world sin reared its ugly head (Genesis 3).
Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. God gave them ONE COMMAND, saying that if they broke this law the penalty would be DEATH (Genesis 2:15-17). Death simply means separation. Humans are subject to spiritual and physical death. Physical death is separation of the temporal body from the eternal _______ (James 2:26). As in the case of Adam and Eve, their sin led to spiritual death, which is the separation of man from His Eternal Holy God (cf. Isaiah 59:2).
After being tempted by Satan (the devil), Adam and Eve sinned [disobeyed the CREATOR] (Genesis 3:1-6). Because they CHOSE to sin, they immediately died spiritually and were expelled from the tree of _______ in the garden (Genesis 3:22-24). Their bodies began to deteriorate, leading to physical death (cf. Genesis 5:5). Mankind fell from God's GRACE when death entered the world through the _______ of Adam (Romans 5:12). God's punishment did not mean He withdrew His LOVE from man (cf. Romans 8:35-39). Even before time began, and naturally before man sinned, God had plans that would allow man to inherit _______ LIFE (Titus 1:2).
By the days of Noah, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his _______ was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). God therefore sent a flood to destroy all men (2 Peter 2:5), saving only _______ souls, Noah and his family (1 Peter 3:20; Hebrews 11:7). Later, because Abraham (by faith) obeyed God, he was chosen to become the patriarch of Israel (Hebrews 11:8-10). In his _______, Christ JESUS (Galatians 3:16; Genesis 12:1-3, 7), all the families of the earth would be blessed. Laws, including the Ten Commandments, were given to Abrahams descendants (Deuteronomy 5). Though laws change (Hebrews 7:11-12), the punishment for sin remains the same DEATH separation (cf. Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:23).
The Old Testament has many lessons about men who failed to keep God's commandments. These stories were revealed as examples for us, upon whom the _______ of the world are come (1 Corinthians 10:11). Because of God's MERCY and LOVE, He repeatedly promised through the Old Testament prophets that a Saviour would come from among the descendants of Abraham through the loins of David (Acts 2:29-30). Through His blood, this Redeemer would provide _______ of man's sins (Matthew 26:28), thus allowing man to be _______ or returned to fellowship with God (Romans 5:10). As we continue to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), let us now speak plainly about this Savior who can SAVE man from DEATH.
The Bible says, When the fullness of time was come (during the days of the Roman Empire), God sent forth His _______, born of a virgin (Galatians 4:4), to save those who were lost (cf. Luke 2:11), that we might receive the adoption as _______ of God (Ephesians 1:5; cf. Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:1). Because God LOVED us (John 3:16), He sent His Son Jesus Christ, that we might _______ through Him (1 John 4:9). Jesus did not come to condemn the _______, but to be the SAVIOR of the world (John 3:17). He came to SAVE _______ (1 Timothy 1:15).
Before Jesus came in the flesh, God spoke to men in many ways (Hebrews 1:1-2). Today He speaks to us ONLY through His SON (John 14:24). The MESSAGE of Jesus can free us from sin and lead us back to God (2 Corinthians 5:18). Jesus claims to be: the _______ of the world (John 8:12), the _______to salvation (John 10:9), and the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE (John 14:6). Jesus says, "The _______ shall make you FREE" (John 8:32). He promises ETERNAL LIFE to those who believe in Him (John 11:25-26), love Him (John 14:15), and _______ His saying (John 8:51).
Jesus tells us that the MOST important commandments are to _______ the Lord thy God and _______ others (Matthew 22:36-40). However, Jesus also preached the necessity of FAITH (John 6:47); REPENTANCE (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3, 5); CONFESSION (Luke 12:8-9); WATER BAPTISM (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38); and the facts that HEAVEN awaits those who SERVE Him, and HELL awaits those who FAIL to serve Him (Matthew 25:31-46).
Our sins require _______ as punishment (Romans 6:23; cf. 1 Peter 2:24). Because of Gods GRACE and MERCY, Jesus offered His sinless life as the _______ (substitute) for ours (Matthew 20:28). God demonstrated His LOVE for us, in that "while we were yet sinners, _______ died for us" (Romans 5:8). The _______ of blood was required for us to have forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus, our friend (John 15:13-14), thus became our Savior by dying on the _______ (Philippians 2:8). He washes our sins away by His own _______ (Revelation 1:5). His DEATH for our sins satisfied God's requirement for our punishment, For as in _______ all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).
The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel is that on the _______ day after His death and burial, Jesus Christ AROSE from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and our _______ were forgiven in Him (Ephesians 1:7). After He arose from death, He was seen by many people (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). After 40 days, He ascended back to Heaven (Acts 1:3, 9-11). Jesus proved to us that by His power we, too, can CONQUER DEATH. Christ proved that He has authority over Satan who had the power of _______ (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus offers to RELEASE those who are slaves to the _______ of death (Hebrews 2:15). Fear, sin and death no longer have dominion over us (Romans 6:14), because the Son has provided us with a way of escape from the _______ of God (John 3:36).
In Acts chapter 2, when the apostle Peter preached the first Gospel sermon after the return of Jesus to Heaven, many who heard and believed were moved by the message and asked, "What shall we do?" They were told, "REPENT, and let EVERY one of you be _______ in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:37-38).
About three thousand gladly believed, repented and were baptized (Acts 2:41). At that point, these people were SAVED through faith by the _______ of God (Ephesians 2:8; cf. Mark 16:16), and added by the Lord to HIS _______, the body or church of Christ (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27). This church was built and purchased by the _______ of Christ (Acts 20:28; Matthew 16:18). Christ, as _______ of the church (Colossians 1:18), has ALL _______ or authority over it (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22).
Jesus has plainly instructed those who are in Christ about how His church is to WORSHIP God. We are to worship in spirit and in _______ (John 4:23-24). God does NOT command Christians to give a tithe. Jews were commanded to give a tithe (cf. Leviticus 27:30-32). Christians are commanded to give cheerfully whatever we purpose in our heart (2 Corinthians 6:6-8). As God prospers us, He expects us to give a bountiful offering in worship every Sunday, the _______ day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2); NOT the necessary Jewish tithe (or tenth) on Saturday, the sabbath. Our righteousness should _______ that of the Jewish leaders (cf. Matthew 5:20). The Jews were blessed physically as a nation of Gods people. They gave a tenth. Christians are also blessed physically; but additionally, we have been given all _______ blessings (cf. Ephesians 1:3). As we learn to appreciate the spiritual blessings we have in Christ, we will want to give more and more (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
By His authority, God desires His children to meet for worship every Sunday and remember Jesus by partaking of the Lords Supper (Acts 20:7). To help us layup treasures in Heaven, on that same day we are to cheerfully give from our generous heart a portion of the material blessings God has given to us (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Also, in our Sunday worship we are to pray (Acts 12:5), sing (Ephesians 5:19), and preach the _______ (2 Timothy 4:2). The apostles taught and preached the same thing that Jesus preached (cf. Galatians 1:11-12).
As we study the many New Testament examples of conversion to Christ and salvation from sin, all found in the Book of Acts, we learn that those who obeyed the commands of Jesus, did so by hearing and believing the Word, repenting of their sins, confessing Jesus to be the Son of God, and in every case, being baptized (immersed in water) to wash their sins away by the blood of Christ (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5). At the point of their baptism they were _______ (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21) by the grace of God through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
The same PROMISE of salvation is offered to you if you obey the SAME commands (Acts 2:38-39). When we respond in the same way to the same message, we are SAVED from SPIRITUAL DEATH, and the Lord ADDS us to the SAME body or church of Christ (Ephesians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27). When we REPENT, we die to our old sinful self (Romans 6:1-2; Galatians 5:24). When we are BAPTIZED, we are _______ in water (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12), just as Christ was buried in a tomb. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross in His death cleanses us from all sin when we are buried (baptized) with Him into His death (John 19:34; Matthew 26:28).
When we come up out of the water, we are born again into a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17; cf. 2 Timothy 2:11); FREED from the guilt of our past sins (Romans 6:5-7), just as Jesus was resurrected without the sins He bore on the cross. This is a SPIRITUAL REBIRTH (John 3:3-5). After we OBEY the Gospel, we must continue to live under the GUIDANCE of God (John 8:31-32; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 6:17). Only by following His word can we enjoy His FELLOWSHIP (1 John 1:5-7).
Friends, Jesus will return. He has promised that He WILL _______ again (John 14:3). At that time this earth will be _______ up (2 Peter 3:10). Then God will JUDGE every soul INDIVIDUALLY according to his or her _______ (Revelation 20:12-13). Neither man's opinions, nor mans doctrines or commandments will be what judges us in the end (cf. Matthew 15:8-9; John 12:48). ETERNAL punishment in HELL awaits those who do not know God and have not OBEYED the _______ of our Lord Jesus Christ when He returns (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Those who do not accept Christ as their substitute, by faith and obedience to His word, will have their SINS punished by ETERNAL DEATH (cf. James 1:15), forever SEPARATED from God (cf. Hebrews 10:29-31). The never ending JOYS of Heaven await those who do have their SINS washed away by the blood of Jesus, and who remained FAITHFUL to the LORD'S will (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 7:21; 24:13).
God's JUSTICE demands, if you SIN, you will _______ (Ezekiel 18:20; cf. Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23)! God's LOVE allows, if you BELIEVE and OBEY JESUS, you will LIVE (Hebrews 5:8-9)! God's WILL is revealed ONLY in the Bible. He has allowed us to CHOOSE the road we will follow. The _______ gate leads to the destruction of many; the strait gate leads to _______ for a few (Matthew 7:13-14). The Holy Spirit has given us clear WARNINGS about following our own will the end thereof are the ways of _______ (Proverbs 14:12). Jesus has given us exceeding _______ and precious PROMISES about following His will (cf. 2 Peter 1:4; Matthew 7:24-27). We again plead with you to CHOOSE _______ in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1; Romans 8:2). The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
VII. JESUS DIED FOR SINNERS
The Bible says, "And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they _______ him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst" (John 19:17-18).
Loved ones, the world of today (especially during the month of December) stresses the birth of Jesus. However, the Bible emphasizes His death. Truly the cross of Christ is the pivotal point in human history. A study of the events surrounding the crucifixion of the Savior will but magnify the importance of His death. The early Christians met each _______ day of the week to remember the Lord's death in the memorial of His Last Supper (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:26). When one considers the glorious life of perfection Jesus portrayed, it seems nothing short of tragedy that His life was violently taken from the earth. Why did the Son of God need to die? Why did He die? How did He die? What lessons do we learn from the Master's demise? With the help of the Holy Spirit, it shall be the purpose of this lesson to notice each of these points.
WHY DID JESUS NEED TO DIE? Was this cruel Roman execution necessary? Yes! Following the fall of the first pair, Jehovah warned the devil in the Garden of Eden that one day the seed of _______ would crush the power of evil (cf. Genesis 3:15). This promise was fulfilled when Christ (the seed of Mary) _______ for our sins, was buried, and then arose from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). These events took away sin, "the ______ of death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57), and removed the power of _______ that Satan had over mankind (Hebrews 2:14). Without the death of our Lord Jesus, we would be hopelessly in the power of the Evil one. The Bible says, "For the _______ of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus needed to die to save us from death. Several more dynamic reasons can be ascertained from the scriptures as to why Jesus needed to die.
Jesus needed to die and shed His blood so that man could have the _______ of sins (Matthew 26:28). In Hebrews 9:22 we learn of the necessity of "the _______ of blood" that our sins may be forgiven. That means there is no substitute for blood. We MUST have the blood that was shed for us. The Bible clearly teaches that man by himself could never be good enough to enjoy the favor and fellowship of a holy, sin-hating God (cf. Jeremiah 10:23). For this reason, preaching the cross is at the heart of Gods eternal message and purpose (1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-24; cf. 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 13:8). The cross will continue to be to each person either the _______ of stumbling (1 Peter 2:7-8) or the _______ of Ages (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 3:21).
The prophet Zechariah had foretold that a fountain would be opened for sin and for _______ (Zechariah 13:1). When the Roman soldier with a _______ pierced the gentle side of Jesus as He was hanging on the cross, that fountain was opened (cf. John 19:34). No wonder Paul would write, God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the _______ is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Galatians 6:14; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:2). Jesus said, For this is my blood of the _______ testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). The preposition for means in order to obtain remission of sins. The same use is seen in Acts 2:38, Repent, and be baptized for the _______ of sins. This shows that the blood of Jesus forgives a believers sins WHEN he repents and is baptized. Jesus "washed us from our sins in his own _______" (Revelation 1:5; cf. Acts 22:16). Christ was indeed the _______ of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Paul informs us that "Christ our _______ is sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). Through our Savior we are delivered from death. Up to the time of Golgotha the finest hour in Jewish history had been the Day of Atonement (you can read of this important annual occasion in Leviticus 16). Yearly, after offering a sacrifice for his _______ sins, and then for the people (cf. Hebrews 7:27; 9:24-25), the high priest would figuratively send the sins into the wilderness on the head of the scapegoat. However, not until our Redeemer died could anyone literally be forgiven (cf. Hebrews 9:15-17; 10:4). Jesus needed to die for the remission of sins.
Jesus needed to die so that we might be justified. In Romans 5:9, Paul says, being now _______ by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. The word justified means to be acquitted. It is a term that is used in a court of law when it is found that the accused is not guilty. When one is acquitted he is rendered guiltless; he is justified. In practical terms, justified means just as if Id never sinned. Jesus needed to die so we could be justified _______ by His grace that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).
In Ephesians 1:7, Paul writes, In whom we have _______ through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Peter said, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious _______ of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:18-19). How can those of us in Christ ever forget we have been _______ with a price? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; cf. Acts 20:28). We are His mind, muscle, money, time, tongue and talent because Jesus was slain, and hast _______ us to God by His blood (Revelation 5:9; cf. Ephesians 1:7).
Still the question may be asked, Why did Jesus NEED to die? Why was such a sacrifice necessary for our redemption, justification and forgiveness of sins? ANSWER: God being who He is; sin being what it is; man being the sinner that he is someone who is qualified had to do for man what he could NOT do for himself. God, the Lord of _______, is holy (Isaiah 6:3). Growing out of His holiness is His intense hatred of sin. The Bible says Jesus (God), hast loved righteousness, and _______ iniquity (Hebrew 1:9). God hates iniquity because He loves righteousness (cf. Psalm 119:172).
God, then, being who He is (a holy sin-hating God), and sin being what it is (spiritual leprosy, anarchy against God, the _______ of the law 1 John 3:4), and man being the sinner that he is (we have all sinned, and come _______ of the glory of God Romans 3:23); someone who was innocent and thus qualified had to act in mans stead. Because of the sinfulness of man, Christ Jesus needed to die to pay the price (death) for mans sins (cf. Romans 6:23). It is NOT by human attainment but by Divine atonement that we are saved. It is NOT by humanly achieving, but by obediently believing in the Christ and His cross that we have our forgiveness.
God saw the problem of man from before the foundation of the world. He had a plan that Bible writers call the _______ purpose (Ephesians 3:10-11). At the heart of that planned purpose was the cross. It is often difficult for finite minds to grasp infinite truths, even when those truths are revealed unto man (cf. Deuteronomy 29:29). Yet, we must understand that Jesus needed to die to fulfill God's Eternal Purpose. Jesus said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine _______ will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38). What was the Father's desire for the Son? In 1 Peter 1:18-19 we learn that it embraced the sacrifice of Jesus as the sin-offering for lost humanity. Notice that the lamb was without _______ and without _______. His sinless life was vital to His saving death (cf. Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). Jesus through His death, in effect, is saying, Man is not able to bear the punishment due for his sins, so Ill take it for him. The Lord, Jehovah, laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us _______ (Isaiah 53:4-6).
Jesus needed to die to reconcile man to God. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden mankind was separated from Jehovah (cf. Isaiah 59:1-2). The perfect harmony and beauty of the creature with the Creator had been broken. It took the death of Christ on the cross to _______ him (bring man back) to God (cf. Ephesians 2:16). Notice the comparison between a beautiful Messianic prophecy and a verified statement from the pen of Paul. Isaiah said, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Paul later said, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be _______ by his life" (Romans 5:8-10).
In Ephesians 2:12-17, Paul makes it clear that NOT only does the cross reconcile man to his Maker, but it is the cross of Christ that brings together the two great warring segments of humanity, Jews and Gentiles. In Ephesians 2:16, Paul writes, And that he might reconcile both (Jew and Gentile) unto God in one _______ (the church of Christ) by the cross (the blood), having slain the enmity thereby. Therefore, we conclude that Jesus needed to die because man was alienated (separated) from God and each other due to sin. It was heaven's eternal purpose that Christ's death should make it possible for reconciliation to be accomplished. Jesus Christ, the God-man, hangs suspended at Golgotha. He reaches up to the Father who in His holiness has been offended by the anarchy of man, and He reaches down to man, deeply marred and scarred by sin, and He brings the two together in His death bringing about reconciliation.
WHY DID JESUS DIE? We have noticed the necessity of Christ's life being taken from the earth. Now we will see why such a tragedy occurred. Under this point we shall discuss those forces that contributed to His death. It was a combination of at least five things. (1) The love of God. "But God commendeth his _______ toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). (2) The weakness of man. The betrayal by Judas, the denial by Peter, the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish nation. (3) The cowardice of Pilate. Even though he could find no fault with the man of Nazareth, Pilate condemned Him to death (cf. Matthew 27:17-26). Popularity meant more to him than principle.
(4) The humility of Jesus. The Son of God _______ himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8). In Gethsemane He prayed humbly to the Father: "Not my _______, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42). (5) Our desperate need of salvation. Certainly the major reason for Calvary was the despicable condition of mankind. "There (was) none _______, no, not one" (Romans 3:10). There was no hope apart from Christ Jesus (cf. Ephesians 2:12). He gave His life a _______ for many (Matthew 20:28). The Hebrew writer tells us that Christ tasted death for _______ man" (Hebrews 2:9). A very grateful apostle Paul stated that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save _______; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15). All of these things brought about the death of our Lord.
HOW DID OUR REDEEMER DIE? A careful Bible answer to this question will certainly add depth to our appreciation of the Savior. First of all, He died openly. As Paul said before King Agrippa, "this thing was not done in a _______" (Acts 26:26). Jesus was executed during the Jewish feast of Passover. Historians tell us that up to two million Hebrews may have been in or about the city of Jerusalem for such an occasion. Secondly, the Man of Galilee died in a noble manner. Not once did He allow the pettiness of others to divert the will of God. When asked, "Art thou the _______ of the Jews?" Jesus merely answered, "Thou sayest" (Matthew 27:11). So resplendent was He, even on the cross, that a Roman centurion, and they that were with him, stated: "Truly this was the _______ of God" (Matthew 27:54). In the third place, Jesus died vicariously, that is, on behalf of others. In 2 Corinthians 5:14 we learn that "one _______ for all." Peter tells us that our perfect Example bore our sins in his own body on the _______" (1 Peter 2:24). Jehovah made Him to be _______ for us, who knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Fourthly, our Savior died painfully. The Roman scourging received prior to the actual crucifixion was enough to kill some men. The heavy burden of the cross was additional agony. Usually, in the first century when one was nailed to the tree (crucified), he was laid on top of the crude cross while it lay on the ground. Spikes were driven sharply into the proper places of the criminal's hands and feet. Then suddenly in excruciating pain, the cross would be projected between heaven and earth. These terrible things were experienced by the greatest One who ever walked the sands of time. The throng mocked Him. Blood, from the wreath of thorns, flowed down His face. No wonder the hymn writer has touched our hearts with these words: "See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and blood flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and pity meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?"
Lastly, Jesus died alone. Peter had denied Him with a fervent speech; most of the other apostles forsook him, and _______ (Matthew 26:56). A few faithful _______ were nearby weeping (cf. Luke 23:27-28). Joseph of Arimathea and _______ would later prepare His body for burial (cf. John 19:38-40). Yet, for One who had done so much for mankind, the scene about the cross was very lonely. From the Roman tree the Redeemer cried, "My God, My God, why hast _______ forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). The Father looked away from the Son for a moment. In that glance we have hope of redemption. Praise God for His infinite love and Jesus for His willingness to offer His life that we might never die. A passage in 2 Corinthians 8:9 beautifully sums up this glorious result: "For ye know the _______ of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became _______, that ye through his poverty might be rich."
LESSONS WE LEARN FROM THE DEATH OF CHRIST. There are at least four great lessons we learn as a result of the cross. Each point is a fundamental one as regards religion in our day. In fact, were these truths understood and embraced by all, there would be no religious division. Notice carefully the results of the Lord's sacrifice at Calvary. First, in order to reconcile the Jew and Gentile, the law of Moses had to be _______ in His flesh (Ephesians 2:15-16). In Matthew 26:28 we read that the _______ Testament was ushered in through the blood of Christ. In Romans chapter seven we learn that those in the body of Christ are dead to the Ten Commandments; i.e., the law that said, "Thou shalt not _______" (vs. 4-7). Now we can be spiritually joined to Jesus who arose from the dead. The Bible says, For the law of the _______ of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (cf. Romans 8:1-3). Paul plainly declares in Galatians 2:21 that Christ died in _______ if righteousness comes by the Law.
In three distinct passages in Hebrews, we read that Christ is the mediator of a _______ covenant (Hebrews 8:6), the New Testament. His new covenant could NOT have been instituted until after His _______ (Hebrews 9:15-17; cf. 12:24). Therefore, at the cross our Savior took away the old (first) covenant; i.e., the law of Moses, including the 10 Commandments (cf. Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:13), and made a new covenant with spiritual Israel Christians (cf. Hebrews 8:8-12). By His blood, penitent obedient believers (Christians) are now living under the last will and New Testament of the Lord (cf. Matthew 26:28).
Comprehension of this scriptural thought will help answer the often asked question about the thief on the cross: Was the thief forgiven and saved without water baptism? The thief could have been baptized under Johns baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (cf. Mark 1:4). Even so, the thief lived and died before Jesus shed His blood of the new covenant; therefore, the thief was NOT subject to the water baptism of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16). He was only subject to the Old Testament law of Moses. Jesus also lived, kept without sin, and died under the law of Moses (cf. Hebrews 4:15).
While alive on earth, Jesus had the power or authority to _______ sins as He chose (cf. Matthew 9:6). The crucified robber above received this blessing (cf. Luke 23:39-43). When Christ died, His law for man was revealed in the New Testament. He commands us to preach Gods NEW will for all people (cf. Mark 16:15-16; cf. Matthews 7:21-23). We live after Jesus died for our sins, was buried and arose from the grave. All people today must obey the Gospel message if they desire salvation (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:16; 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Additionally, Jesus brought in a new high priesthood after the order of _______...For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a _______ also of the law (Hebrews 7:11-12). The Old law of Moses, given to the Jews only (Deuteronomy 5:1-21), has been changed. The New Testament of Christ is the law now spiritual binding upon all humans (cf. Hebrews 9:15-17; John 14:6). NOTE: These passages destroys forever all the false denominational teaching that people today are subject to the law of Moses, along with its priestly robes, instrumental music, sabbath keeping, incense burning, etc., etc.
In Matthew 28:19-20, after His resurrection, Jesus commanded His apostles to go and teach _______ nations. Once taught, they were to be baptized in the _______ (by the authority) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then they were to be taught to observe all things whatsoever was _______ by the Lord. The terms for pardon, sealed in His blood, must NOT be changed (cf. Luke 6:46). According to the words of the Savior all accountable beings must now believe the _______ (Mark 16:15-16), repent of their sins (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38), and be _______ (immersed) in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38 8:38; cf. 22:16). This arrangement will last till the _______ of the world (Matthew 28:18-20).
Secondly, we learn from the death of Christ that His church was established. In Matthew the sixteenth chapter and eighteenth verse, our Lord promised to _______ His church. Even "the gates of hell" would NOT prevail against this decree. The enemies of Jesus thought that by putting Jesus to death they would forever destroy His influence. But, up from the grave our Redeemer arose. He empowered the apostles to make the church a reality. On Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, the apostles preached a magnificent sermon based on the triumphant death and resurrection of the Son of God (Acts 2). That day the church was formally established and daily the Lord _______ the saved to it (Acts 2:41, 47). In Ephesians 1:20-23 we learn that Christ became the head over _______ things to the church, after His resurrection from the dead.
Third, the death and resurrection of Christ also gives us our hope of resurrection. At the raising of Lazarus from the dead the Master made a statement that thrills our very souls. However, it took His own resurrection to make it possible. Do you remember John 11:25? Jesus said, "I am the _______, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Paul tells us in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians that Christ is the _______ of those that slept, since He did arise from the dead (vs. 20, 23). John reports that when Jesus comes again, "all that are in the _______ shall hear his voice and shall come forth" (John 5:28-29). Brethren in the first century comforted one another with the hope of one day being raised to be with the Saviour (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). In the sixth chapter of the grand book of Hebrews we learn that Jesus became our forerunner into heaven by His resurrection (vs. 18-20). Thanks be unto God for such a precious hope (cf. Romans 7:25).
And finally, we learn of the spiritual beauty and significance of water baptism. A sincere study of the death of Christ will just naturally lead one to the subject of baptism. QUESTIONS: How do we contact the cross? How do we get into Christ and appropriate His blood? At what point are we cleansed by the power of His death? Look at Romans 6:1-4: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are _______ to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his _______? Therefore we are _______ with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in _______ of life.
In this passage we see that the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is vividly portrayed when a person becomes dead to sin, is buried with Christ by baptism into death, and subsequently raised up from the dead to walk in a new manner of life. The identical point is referred to in Colossians 2:12. Thus, Gospel baptism is neither foolish nor arbitrary. It is a necessary command of God for man that conveys the deepest spiritual meaning. The act of water baptism puts a person _______ Christ (Galatians 3:27) where salvation, forgiveness, eternal life and all other _______ blessings are found (Ephesians 1:3; cf. 2 Timothy 2:10; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 5:11). To argue that one might be saved before and without the ONE Bible _______ (cf. Ephesians 4:5) is to argue for salvation before and without the blood of Jesus Christ.
These are some of the grand lessons we learn as we meditate upon the death of our Lord for our sins. If we appropriate these blessings to our own lives, we shall never really die. To such ones the lake of fire; i.e. the second _______ (eternal punishment), hath no power (cf. Revelation 20:13-15). Friend, if you are still bearing the guilt of your sins if you are still separated from God (NOT reconciled) because of your sins if you are still refusing Gods terms for pardon if your sins have NOT been forgiven THEN, you are wasting the blood of Jesus the blood that was shed for you and for me. Purging and pardon, cleansing and clemency can be yours. But these blessings come only through the blood of Gods Dear Son. We are lovingly and humbly urging you to come to Jesus TODAY (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:2; James 4:13-14).
The song writers wrote, There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuels veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. Again, One day when heaven was filled with His praises. One day when sin was as black as could be. Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin. Dwelled among men, my Example is He. Living He loved me, Dying He saved me, Buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified, freely forever. One day Hes coming, O Glorious Day." The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
VIII. JESUS WAS BURIED FOR SINNERS
The Bible says, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ _______ for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was _______, and that he rose again the _______ day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Loved ones, the idea that there is a _______ in man that survives the death of his body reaches far back into antiquity (cf. James 2:26). The Egyptians, for example, in their religious ideology, believed in preserving the body as a future depository for the soul; hence, they utilized the process of embalming. Herodotus, the Greek historian, described in detail the Egyptian embalming process, even setting forth different price levels that could be utilized according to the prosperity of the deceased. The Israelites customarily did not practice embalming, but because of their connection with the Egyptians, the bodies of both Jacob and Joseph were _______ when they died (Genesis 50:1-2, 24-26). In Josephs case, the goal was for his remains to be taken back to Canaan eventually.
What is of interest to the Christian is the manner in which Jesus body was prepared for burial. Matthews account reads as follows: And when Joseph had taken the _______, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own _______ tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the _______, and departed (Matthew 27:59-60; cf. Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53). The apostle John supplements the synoptic accounts with the following information: And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a _______of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of _______: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also _______, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the _______, as the manner of the Jews is to _______ (John 19:38-40).
Myrrh was used as an embalming substance, while aloes was a sweet-smelling spice which was employed to counter the odor of putrefaction. As we noted earlier, normally the Jews did not practice embalming. They generally _______ the body (Acts 9:37; cf. Hebrews 10:22; Revelation 1:5; 7:14), anointed it, and buried it most often on the day of death. Finally, then, there are the records of both Mark and Luke, who state that early on the _______ day of the week (resurrection Sunday morning Luke 24:1) certain women came to the tomb with the intention to _______ the Lords body with spices (Mark 16:1).
Now what is the significance of these accounts to the New Testament student? First, let us suggest the following. These incidents reflect the fact that the disciples had not understood Davids prophecy in Psalm 16, namely that following His crucifixion, the Messiahs body would not experience corruption. For thou wilt not leave my _______ in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see _______ (Psalm 16:10; cf. Acts 2:24-27). There is no need to anoint with spices a body that is not subject to the deterioration process.
These actions also are indicative of the fact that when Christ expired upon the cross, the disciples believed He was dead permanently even though He had said He would be _______ again the third day (Matthew 16:21; cf. Matthew 12:40; John 2:18-21; 10:17-18). The women who came to the tomb with spices that Sunday morning is unmistakable evidence that they regarded the death of Jesus as real and final. They had no expectations of His resurrection. Significantly, nothing further is heard of their spices. They were not needed.
The foregoing facts provide evidence, therefore, that there was no plot between Jesus and His disciples to feign His death and then announce a phony resurrection. The facts simply do not support this slanderous theory. These incidents highlight the reality that when disciples subsequently began to proclaim that Jesus had been raised from the dead (cf. Acts 1:21-22; 2:22-24), it was NOT because they had anticipated the resurrection event because they did not expect that. Their boldness can only be accounted for on the basis of the actual resurrection of Christs body an event so credible to them that the reality of it turned their despair into a dynamic confession of the Christian faith.
For every cause there must be an adequate effect. What changed that hopeless, despairing, terrified group of men into a band who were ready to go out and win the world? What convinced them that what they thought was the end was really the new beginning? There could only have been one cause. Jesus had come back. The change in the disciples is explicable on no other grounds, except Christs death, burial and resurrection for mans sins.
Second, the Bible says, Buried with him in _______, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead (Colossians 2:12; cf. Romans 6:1-4). The Bible here teaches that baptism is a burial or immersion into Christ; NOT a sprinkling or pouring on of water. Matthew 3:16 describes Jesus coming straightway _______ of the water" difficult to do without being surrounded by the water first! Acts 8:38 says Philip and the eunuch went _______ both into the water, and he (Philip) _______ him (Gk. baptizo meaning immersed). All these passages are in keeping with other passages that describe the circumstances of baptism in terms of immersion.
The proper understanding of water baptism is that God requires us to put to death our old life of sin (repentance Romans 6:2). The baptism or burial into Christs _______ (vs. 3-4) is a way of marking that division between those abandoned evil ways and our new ways that are more obedient to God's will (cf. v. 5). If we want to be like Christ, we have to behave like Christ. We have put _______ Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27). New Testament baptism is an act of obedience required of those who desire to be united by faith to Christ's crucifixion. Having been _______ with Christ (Galatians 2:20), their body of _______ is now dead, and they must bury the old man of sin (cf. Romans 6:6-7).
Believing in Christ's sacrifice and resurrection must precede the "burial" that baptism signifies. Baptism is the template for all future Christian obedience. We were the servants of _______, but being made free from sin as Christians, we are to present our members as servants of _______ (Romans 6:16-18). Continuing to present your body as a slave of sin is a denial of your new birth and must be remedied with repentance (cf. Acts 8:18-22).
Today, if a sinner wants to receive the _______ through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57), the Scriptures are clear: in addition to confessing faith in Christ and repenting of his sins (John 8:24; Romans 10:9-10; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), he must be _______ to be saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). For people to reject the command to be immersed in water simply because they feel that baptism and eternal salvation are totally unrelated, is as wrong as it would have been for Moses (cf. Exodus 17:1-7), the Israelites (cf. Joshua 6:1-5), and Naaman (cf. 2 Kings 5:9-12) to reject Gods commands years ago (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9).
The truth of the matter is ones burial in water is not the illogical instruction some have made it out to be. Gods plan to save man, and the conditions upon which salvation is accepted (including baptism), were in the mind of God _______ the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God always has known of this plan which He _______ in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:11). To speak of baptism as some flippant, fly-by-night ritual insults the eternal plan of God.
In being buried in baptism we are united with Jesus in a likeness of His death; so also there is a likeness of His resurrection in our being raised from baptism to become a _______ creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are therefore, partakers with Him in death, and also in being raised to a new life. Jesus was buried and arose to a new life; we are buried with Him in baptism and arise to a new life. These verses show the act of baptism, and also its spiritual value.
It is in the act of baptism that the cross is actualized for the sinner, and brought to have individual significance. Every time a person becomes a Christian, a sinner dies (being buried with him in baptism), and is raised up a saint through the _______ of the operation of God, who hath raised Him [Jesus] from the dead (Colossians 2:12).
Truly, burial in baptism makes perfect sense when we take the time to focus on the One Who gave both His life for us, and the mode of baptism to begin our new life with Him (cf. Matthew 28:18-20). Similar to how Noahs new life, in a new world, began after having been transported from a world of sin by water (cf. 1 Peter 3:20-21), the sinner today is saved by water baptism into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). This submissive act ushers us out of the world and into a child/Father relationship with the God of Heaven who is So Good. We love you so.
IX. JESUS WAS RAISED FOR SINNERS
The Bible says, Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the _______ of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the _______ from the dead (Romans 1:3-4).
Loved ones, never was there a day like the day of the resurrection. Not ever before had there been such a marvelous happening, such a tremendously important occurrence. No man can completely appreciate the significance of this singular event. Actually, no man can fully describe it. It reaches from the Garden of Eden all the way to Heaven. It is involved in all that we do or don't do. It is the main event in every human performance, even those where its importance is not appreciated. This event is Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, rising from the grave on the third day after His planned death on the cross for our sins (cf. Luke 24:19-21; 44-48).
The New Testament writers treat the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, beautifully. These eye witnesses preached Jesus, but in such few words that we are left wondering about many things. By sharing the resurrection account with you, we hope that your faith will increase and that you will gain a better understanding of the events of the resurrection and how God's plan was executed perfectly.
So lets start our lesson with an illustration. What would you do if you were a high school football player whose coach sent in a play, which called for you to run the ball to your opponent's end zone and score for the other team? It has happened! With 7 seconds left in the game, Tishimingo High School was leading Falkner High School, 16-14. At stake was a birth in Mississippi's 1988 state class 1A playoffs. Tishimingo had the ball on Falkner's 40-yard line. All they had to do was run out the clock on the next play, and they would win the game by two points.
Coach David Herbert sent in a play to his son and the team's quarterback, Dave Herbert. The play called for a handoff to tailback Shane Hill and for him to run as fast as he could for the other teams end zone and score. "Your daddy must be crazy!" protested one of the tackles. So, while the argument went on in the team's huddle, a delay-of-game penalty was called on Tishimingo. Finally, the players submitted to the coachs instructions. The team lined up, the ball was handed off to the tailback, and he ran 55 yards in the "wrong" direction. He laid down in the opponent's end zone and waited for the clock to expire with practically everyone on the field and in the stadium bewildered.
The results were a two-point safety for Falkner. Score tied. Time expired. Was the coach crazy? Was he out of his mind for calling such a play? NO! You see, in order for his team to reach the playoffs, Tishimingo had to beat Falkner by 4 or more points. After thinking about the chances of going 40 yards on one play or kicking a field goal from that distance, he decided overtime was his best bet. What was the result of the coach's play? Tishimingo won in overtime, 22-16, on a third down, two-yard run by Shane Hill. Hill finished the game with minus 29 yards for the night. But his team won and went to the playoffs.
APPLICATION: When you think about it, this story sounds a bit like the cross. God became a man, was pushed around by His enemies, and was executed as a criminal by the Roman governor of Palestine. Satan appeared to have won. Jesus of Nazareth was dead. His disciples were scattered. On the surface, it seemed that God had suffered defeat. Or had He?
Three days later, Jesus ROSE from the dead. Over a period of 40 days, He showed Himself alive to hundreds of people. Then, about 50 days later, Peter explained that it had all been part of a divine strategy. He said to the Jews, Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and _______ of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain (Acts 2:23). In plainer words, the unbelieving Jews killed this man Jesus by handing Him over to lawless men (the Romans). They nailed Him to the cross. But God knew ahead of time that all this would occur; it was part of His plan which He made long ago.
Peter continued by citing other Old Testament predictions which had been fulfilled by the resurrection. Finally, he announced, "God hath made that same _______, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and _______" (Acts 2:36). There you have it! A game plan that looked to the entire world like craziness. One, which still mystifies disciples in our church-huddles and observers in the world-stadium alike. Yet, the Son executed His Father's call to perfection (cf. John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38-40; etc.). He died on the cross and was buried to take care of our sin problem. God raised Him from the dead. Through God's perfect plan, through God's perfect strategy, which looked foolish to the onlookers, we have become victorious - we have become winners.
Unfortunately, though, there are many people today who still will NOT believe in the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus. They think it is absurd to believe in something that farfetched. They try to explain that the resurrection never occurred and that Christians are all fools for believing it. Well, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, call us fools; for we certainly believe with all our heart in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "For the preaching of the _______ is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are _______ it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Without a doubt, Jesus was resurrected from the dead, yet many people do not believe in Jesus' resurrection. Therefore, we are going to examine Gods plan by looking at and drawing several lessons from the critics of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are several arguments used by unbelievers to support their position.
SOME CRITICS ARGUE that the RESURRECTION was a HOAX by suggesting that Jesus did not actually die on the cross. This theory (which is known as the swoon theory) teaches that Jesus only appeared dead but was revived later in the tomb. We do not buy this theory! Before Jesus was placed on the cross, the Bible says He was _______ (Matthew 27:26). That means He was flogged or whipped with leather throngs that contained jagged pieces of bone and lead. A medical doctor who has meticulously studied crucifixion from a medical perspective, describes the effects of a flogging. He said:
"The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across (a person's) shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises, which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally, the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.
Thus, before Jesus was even placed on the cross, He was half-dead from a human prospective. After He was almost whipped to death, Matthew explains that Jesus was then _______on a cross (Matthew 27:35). When Jesus was crucified, He was laid on two pieces of wood that were spread out to look like a cross. Then, the Roman legionnaire drove four wrought-iron nails through the proper place of the hands (wrists) and feet of Jesus. Death by crucifixion developed into one of the worlds most disgraceful and cruel methods of torture. Cicero called it "the most cruel and hideous of tortures. Josephus observed many crucifixions and called them "the most wretched deaths."
After Jesus was nailed to the _______ (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29), He spent 6 horrifying hours in the hot, blistering sun hanging on the cross until finally He bowed His head, gave out a loud cry, gave up His spirit, and died (cf. Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37). Knowing what Jesus went through, how could anyone say that He did not actually die? Jesus actually died on that cross and was buried in Joseph's Tomb. Further, Pilate made sure that Jesus was dead before he gave Jesus' body to _______ of Arimathea for burial (Mark 15:43-45). Friends and brethren, we can have rock solid faith that Jesus actually died on the cross.
SOME CRITICS ARGUE that the RESURRECTION was a HOAX by suggesting that someone stole the body of Jesus. Some say that the Roman or Jewish authorities removed the body. If that were the case, don't you think that on the day of Pentecost, when the church of Christ was established (Acts 2), the Roman or Jewish authorities would have produced the body of Jesus in order to disprove the claims of the Christian faith? Some say that Jesus' disciples stole the body. The question that we ask is how could they have accomplished this?
The Bible says that _______ had a guard to secure the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66). We must understand that a Roman guard was NOT a one, two, or three-man force. A Roman guard was a 4 to 16-man security force. The 16 men in a square of 4 on each side were supposed to be able to protect 36 yards against an entire battalion and hold it. Normally, what they did was this: 4 men were placed immediately in front of what they were to protect. The other 12 were asleep in a semi-circle in front of them with their heads pointing in. These guys were well trained and took their jobs seriously. In fact, Roman guards were immediately put to death if they ever left their night watch, or fell asleep while on watch. There is no way that Jesus' disciples stole His body away from the well-trained and well-alert Roman guards.
OTHER CRITICS ARGUE that the RESURRECTION was a HOAX by suggesting that the women went to the wrong tomb while it was dark, and that, seeing it empty they reported that Jesus had risen. QUESTION: If they went to the wrong tomb, why didn't the authorities go to the right tomb, produce the body of Jesus, and disprove the disciples' claim? Why did Peter later make the same so called "mistake" in broad daylight? The Bible says, "Then cometh Simon Peter and went into the _______, and seeth the linen clothes lie (John 20:6). How is it that both the women and Peter saw the empty grave clothes, if they were at the wrong tomb?
The reason why all of these theories are wrong and without merit, is because Jesus WAS resurrected from the dead. One thing is certain. It happened! Jesus was raised back to life from the dead. He is called the "_______ from the dead" (Colossians 1:18). To deny the resurrection of Jesus is to deny irrefutable truth. The Bible teaches that after Jesus was raised from the dead, He appeared to more than ______ hundred different people throughout a 40-day period (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). These were people who touched Him, handled Him, spoke with Him, ate with Him, communicated with Him for long periods of time. One such encounter took place over about a seven-mile walk from Jerusalem to _______ (Luke 24:13-35). These inspired teachings dismiss all the false theories of men. The only proper conclusion that we can come up with is that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Dear friend, we interrupt this lesson for a brief invitation do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead? Have you obeyed Him? If NOT, we urge you to delay no longer. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14). Come today and confess your faith in Jesus. Be buried and united with Him in His resurrection from the dead by being baptized today as a penitent believer. One day you will die physically, but death is NOT terminal - it is transient. Jesus will come again! Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the _______ shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of _______; and they that have done _______, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29).
Right now it is time to make THE right choice. Behold, now is the day of _______ (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you would like to be a part of God's winning team, then please come to Jesus and devote your life to the Lord. CHRISTIAN, if you have been weak and half-hearted in your service to God, then you should come and rededicate your life to Christ. NON-CHRISTIAN, if you are ready to give your life to Christ (cf. Galatians 2:20), then come right now. If anyone has any need, please contact or visit a congregation of the _______ of Christ near your home for assistance (Romans 16:16; Matthew 16:18-19).
NOW, back to our lesson. The resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, had an astounding effect on those 1st Century disciples who had understandably, been dispersed because of the blood-thirsty Sanhedrin which had, through the hands of wicked men, stripped, beaten and crucified the Saviour. Surely they wondered, How could it be? He was the one who would redeem them and restore the glory of the throne of David. He said He would He promised! Now, disappointed and depressed, they hover in back rooms and behind locked doors in fear of the same fate which their leader has met. Suddenly, the unexpected. The inexplicable. Resurrection! Only the resurrection can account for the dramatic change which took place in the apostles in the next little while.
Peter, who had just a few days before shrunk back in fear and denied Jesus, would now stand before the same Jewish Council which demanded the life of Jesus and say with the other apostles, We ought to obey God rather than _______" (Acts 5:29). Peter and the other apostles had earlier been arrested and warned not to teach in the name of Jesus. They were told they could no longer preach about Christs resurrection, yet they said, " we cannot but _______ the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). These men who had deserted Jesus at Calvarys cross, could now count it joy to suffer for their Lord. The Bible says, And they departed from the presence of the council, _______ that they were counted worthy to suffer _______ for his name (Acts 5:41).
These formerly reluctant disciples now boldly went everywhere preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The First Century Christians in Jerusalem were forced to leave their homes. They were scattered everywhere, but continued "_______ the word" (Acts 8:1, 4). They preached the message that the Lord Jesus was crucified for our sins, buried, and arisen from the dead. From that day till this, the same message has been preached, tearing down boundaries, destroying cultural differences, crossing over social distinctions and racial barriers. It is the liberating message of this or any other age. Resurrection!
The resurrection is connected to our faith. Paul said, "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your _______ is also vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). After telling these same Corinthians that he had decided to talk about only one subject, Jesus Christ, and _______ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2), he declares that "... My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the _______ of men, but in the _______ of God (1 Corinthians 2:3-5; cf. Romans 1:16).
The resurrection is connected to our hope. In his discourse on the resurrection, Paul said, And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins... If in this life only we have _______ in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:17, 19). Peter says, "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 _______ of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). The Hebrew writer calls hope "the anchor of the _______," that "which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even _____ (Hebrews 6:19-20). Make no mistake about it: the prime miracle is the miracle of the resurrection. Because it is true, then the virgin birth is true, the miracles of Jesus are true, the book of God is true, the plan for our salvation is true, hell and heaven are real places, and we can escape the one and enjoy the other all because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The resurrection is connected to our union with Jesus. While He was alive, He announced to His disciples, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come _______ unto you (John 14:28). His going away at that time signified His crucifixion. His coming again meant His resurrection. When He returned from the grave He said to His disciples, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and _______ all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe _______ things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the _______ of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20). His resurrection meant He would never again be separated from His faithful disciples.
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead sealed forever His union with His own (cf. 2 Timothy 2:19). Paul said that, "Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together _______Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up _______, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-6). We must emphasize that Jesus said "I am with you always," and Christians are "made alive (quickened) together with" Him, and that Christians "sit together" in heavenly places (the church Ephesians 1:3). This union that is caused by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead brings a power to Christians NOT available to others.
Paul was an outstanding young rabbinical student. He had a great future ahead of him as one of the scholars, leaders, and teachers among the Jews, but he gave it all up. He said, But what things were gain to me, those I counted _______ for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count _______ things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but _______, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3:3-8). Paul was an eyewitness of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and after seeing the risen Saviour he was never the same again. Jesus appeared to Paul (then called Saul) on the road to _______ (Acts 9:1-6). Paul said Jesus told him, "But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this _______, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the _______, unto whom now I send thee" (Acts 26:16-17).
Paul was never again the same man that persecuted the church of God. To the Philippians he continued And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by _______: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the _______ of the dead (Philippians 3:9-11).
Peter testified the same thing. We cannot forget his denial of even knowing Jesus during our Lord's trial, I do not _______ the man (Matthew 26:72). After the resurrection it was a different matter. Before some of the same people, Peter would boldly declare the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He would shout, " Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would _______ up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see _______. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses (Acts 2:29-32). When threatened with punishment, Peter again boldly affirmed his faith in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the Jews recognized something had changed. Luke reported, Now when they saw the _______ of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with _______ (Acts 4:13).
The resurrection made the difference in Peter. That same faith in the resurrection will have the same effect on everyone who will truly accept it. Those that are fully committed to the grand fact of all the ages, that Jesus is risen from the dead, can never be the same. Their lives will be filled with a radiant power that lifts them above the sordid world of sin and strife and elevates them to the exalted spiritual position of sitting with the Lord in the heavenly places. Coming into that exalted position is possible only by faith that obeys (cf. Romans 1:5; 16:26). They can never be after such faith what they were before. Since Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we can also be resurrected from spiritual death in order to live a NEW life here and now.
Have you ever seen the movie, "Dead Man Walking?" At the end of the movie, as Sean Pean was being transported to the electric chair, one of the guards yelled out, Dead Man Walking. These words should catch our attention. Even though he was still physically alive, the guard recognized him as a dead man. Ironically, the Bible teaches the same thing. You can be alive physically, but spiritually dead. The Bible says, "And you hath he quickened, who were _______ in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this _______, according to the _______ of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-2).
Many people are NOT aware of this, but unless lost souls believe in Jesus Christ; repent of their sins; confess faith in Jesus; are baptized for the forgiveness of sins; and are living faithful lives in Christ; they are spiritually dead. They are "dead men walking." However, the good news is that since Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we can be raised to a new life here and now. Penitent believers are told that in order to be united with Jesus in His resurrection, they must be baptized, in water, into the name of (by the authority of) the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, into a newness of life.
In Romans 6:3-4, the apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome said, Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his _______? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should _______ in newness of life. In First Peter 3:20-21, Peter shows how Noah and his family in the Ark were saved by _______. This story is a figure of how immersion in water doth also now _______ us by the _______ of Jesus Christ.
The good news is that we all can escape death. When we are baptized, meaning immersed in water, we are burying our dead sinful lives (Romans 6:2-5). The blood of Jesus washes those sins away (Revelation 1:5). When we come up out of the watery grave, we are given a new life; Born Again (John 3:3-7). Our sins are remitted or forgiven by the _______ of Jesus (Matthew 26:28). We are given the gift of Gods Holy Spirit eternal life (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:23). We are literally raised from the dead! Jesus came to give us _______; and that life more abundantly (John 10:10; cf. Romans 8:10).
If you would like a new life and new beginning, through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection for your sins, you can be raised from spiritual death today. The Bible says, And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also _____up us by his own power" (1 Corinthians 6:14). Jesus Christ has been risen from the dead with an eternal, resurrected body. He has conquered death. All of those who believe in Jesus and obey God's will, will someday also be raised from the dead with an eternal, resurrected body (cf. 1 John 3:1-3). Christ is the only hope of eternal life (cf. 1 John 5:11). Jesus said to Martha, I am the resurrection, and the _______: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall _______die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26).
Many people have a hard time believing that salvation is obtained by believing in a man who was convicted as a criminal and executed on a cross. But the truth is that Jesus died on the cross to take care of our sins, and was raised from the dead. The world thinks that we as Christians are running in the wrong direction headed for the wrong end zone. But we are running in the right direction. We are headed for the right end zone. Through God's perfect plan, through God's perfect strategy, which looks foolish to some people (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18), we have become victorious - we have become winners. God's wonderful game plan is for us to give our lives to His Son Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:3-5). Dear friend, do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead? Have you obeyed Him? If NOT, we urge you to delay no longer. The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
X. JESUS SAVES THE BORN AGAIN
The Bible says, Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot _______ the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot _______ into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye _______ be born again (John 3:3-7).
Loved ones, the words of _______ are from the Father (John 14:23-24). Therefore, the Father speaks to _______ by His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). God has given all things into the _______ of His Son Jesus (John 3:35). Additionally, God made Jesus to be head over all things to the _______ (Ephesians 1:22-23). Jesus has _______ over ALL flesh (John 17:2); and thus, He has ALL power (authority) in Heaven and in _______ (Matthew 28:18). This means Jesus has all authority over the church. By His authority, He commands mankind to be _______ ______ (John 3:3-7).
Have you been Born Again? What does it mean to be Born Again? Can you give a clear Bible answer to that question? You may have had a religious background by going to church pretty much all the years of your life. You may have read much of the Bible and competed well in several Bible quiz competitions; but now we are challenging you with this mind boggling question, Have you been born again, and if NOT, why not? For a few moments we want you to wander and consider why others have been born again; then, we want you to ask yourself, Why NOT me? Please read carefully as the Holy Spirit through the Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals the blessings for the soul that has been Born Again.
The apostle John wrote in our above text that you must ______ born again (v. 7) so you can see (v. 3) and enter into the _______ of God (v. 5). How then is one born again? Jesus answers that it is by being born of _______ and of the _______ (v. 5). The apostle Peter wrote, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the _______ of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (1 Peter 1:23). The apostle Paul made these passages clear when he wrote, For by one _______ are we all baptized into one _______ (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Again we ask, How then is one born again? In the passages above we see mention of the Spirit, the water, the word and the kingdom or body. We confidently argue that the following is here confirmed: (1) One must be begotten by the Spirit, and that such is effected by the word of God as the sacred message produces belief in a sincere heart. (2) Penitent faith, generated by the Gospel, will lead one to obey the New Testament command to be immersed in water (baptized), thus identifying with Jesus death, burial and resurrection from the dead for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5). (3). All who yield to this divine plan are translated into (become citizens of) the _______ of Gods Dear Son (Colossians 1:13), or members of His church body (Matthew 16:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:27). In other words, when one hears and believes the word of God (John 5:24), which is the _______ of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), his humble honest repentant heart will lead him to obey the Gospel by being baptized so that Jesus can add his saved soul to His church (Acts 2:41,47; Mark 16:16).
Being born again means that Jesus becomes your friend because you have done what He commanded you to do (cf. John 15:14). You come to know Him and His Father (cf. John 17:1-3; Hebrews 1:3). You receive the _______ of your sins by the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28). You receive the indwelling gift of the _______ _______ (Acts 2:38; Acts 5:32). You receive eternal _______, which is given only to those who obey our friend Christ Jesus (Hebrews 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:10). You receive eternal _______ in His Son (1 John 5:11), which is the _______ of God (Romans 6:23). You become a new _______ in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17); and thus, you walk in _______ of life (Romans 6:4).
Being Born Again is a spiritual blessing, and God is the source of all spiritual blessings. By grace He has placed all His spiritual blessings in heavenly places in _______ (Ephesians 1:3). In Ephesians 1:3-14 you will notice phrases like in Christ, in Him, or in Whom. In Christ is the sphere in which God blesses. He chose us in Him. He adopted us through Jesus Christ. Gods grace is given in the Beloved. Redemption is in Him. Forgiveness of sins is in Him. Salvation is in Christ. Gods purpose is in Him.
As God alone is the source of all spiritual blessings, so Christ is the only way to access them. The Lord Jesus said, If ye _______ not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24). Likewise, He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no _______ cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). Wherefore He is able also to _______ them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).
Gods Word reveals mans sinful condition. It is one in which the moral law of God, our Creator and Ruler, has been violated: For _______ have sinned (Romans 3:23). Ephesians 1:7 identifies salvation from sin as redemption by God the forgiveness of personal sins committed against God Himself. It is accomplished by the in-my-place-death of His Divine Son who came in the flesh Jesus Christ. Only the blood of Jesus averts Gods judicious wrath (Romans 5:8-9; cf. 1 John 2:1; 4:10).
Dear friends, God chooses, adopts, bestows His grace, redeems and forgives sins in Christ. Every spiritual blessing is found in Christ, and the only way to get into Christ is by faith believing in Christ (John 3:16) and doing what God requires (Matthew 7:21). Christ requires obedience (Matthew 7:24-25; Hebrews 5:9), and obedience necessitates _______ baptism for salvation (1 Peter 3:20-21). When you, the penitent believer, are baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, you access the blood of Christ through the grace of God. At that time, God will bless, forgive and save you just as He did for the Galatians and Romans (cf. Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:1-6). This is how everyone enters into Christ to be Born Again and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Wont you do that today while the blood is still rushing warm in your veins? The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
XI. JESUS GIVES NEW LIFE
The Bible says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are _______ away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Love ones, due to mankinds weakness and desire to enjoy the _______ of sin (Hebrews 11:25), none of us lives up to what God created us to be. There is none righteous, no, not one for all have sinned, and come _______ of the glory of God (Romans 3:10, 23). When we understand and acknowledge that fact, we are ready to respond to the reason Jesus came.
Hopefully, many of you reading these words have given your life to Christ. Maybe you have recently been born-again as a result of Gods grace, your faith and love for Jesus, and your obedience to His Holy Word, the Bible (John 3:3-7; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:3-7). Jesus gave _______ for our sins (Galatians 1:4; cf. Titus 2:14). As you grasp the high price Jesus paid to bless and have you as His child, your life will never be the same. Remember, He gave himself a _______ for all (1 Timothy 2:6).
As a Christian, you will still experience temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). A person is tempted when he is drawn away of his own _______, and enticed (James 1:12-15). Due to fear and unbelief, there may be times of doubt and failure (cf. Galatians 2:11-14). But God will never give up on you (cf. Psalm 37:25; Hebrews 13:5), and as you include Him in your life, you will experience His faithfulness and the power to live for Him. Like the apostle Paul you should say, I can do all things through _______ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). For my God shall _______ all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
If you have obeyed the Gospel and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of your sins and being baptized (immersed) in water for the _______ of your sins (Acts 2:38), you are in Christ and His child for all eternity (cf. Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 8:14-17). As His child, you are to live a new life in Christ (see above text). Jesus gave you Gods word and died to give you an _______ among all them which are sanctified (Acts 20:32; cf. Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:11-18; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Included in your inheritance are the below wonderful promises and growth principles (cf. Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Please study them with your Bible in hand and be encouraged.
Jesus enters your life to be with you _______, never to leave (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus _______ all your sins (Mark 2:5-12; Ephesians 1:7).
Jesus gives you _______ life in Him (cf. John 5:24-25; 1 John 5:11).
Jesus hears and answers your prayers when you _______ (1 John 5:14-15).
Jesus gives you power through the Holy Ghost when you believe and _______ the Gospel (Acts 5:32; Romans 1:16).
Jesus promises to dwell in your heart by _______ (Ephesians 3:16-17; cf. Acts 2:38).
Jesus and you will be _______ forever as you love and keep His commands (John 15:14; cf. John 14:15-24).
Jesus _______, Gods _______ and the _______ of the Holy Ghost will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Dear friends, the Love of God is NOT based on how good you are or how you feel. God loves us even if we dont feel His love. God loves us just the way we are. Living better lives and thinking deeper spiritual thoughts is right and good, but doing that will never make the Lord love us more than He already does. Dont confuse Gods love with the love you get from people. Love from people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with Gods love. He loves you right where you are.
You can trust Jesus to always be there for you. The Holy Spirit said, In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he _______ us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). If Jesus died for you and me, then what does that say about our self-worth? Jesus says, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his _______ for his friends (John 15:13). God loved us enough to die for us; there is no greater act of love.
As you consider what Jesus has done for you, you will want to make your life count for Him. The apostle Paul puts it this way: For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto _______, but unto him which died for them, and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Once you begin your new journey with Christ, He begins to change you into His _______, so that you can be the person He planned you to be (2 Corinthians 3:18). But dont expect immediate results; the Christian life is more like a marathon than a sprint. The best runners always spend hours in training. Training in the Christian life involves five basic areas:
1. Spend time studying _______ word (John 6:44-45; 2 Timothy 2:15).
2. Spend time in prayer with Him without _______ (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
3. Learn to obey Him by _______ (Hebrew 11:18; cf. Romans 1:5; 10:17; 16:26).
4. Worship Him in _______ and in truth with the saints (John 4:23-24; cf. Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Psalm 30:4; 89:7).
5. As you go, tell all the _______ about His love, grace, forgiveness and salvation (Mark 16:15-16; 2 Timothy 4:2).
The Bible says, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious _______: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:3-4). All these things are yours now, for you are in Jesus Christ. These are the beginnings of the blessings included in the gift of _______ (cf. Acts 4:12; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Philippians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). They comprise what it basically means when we use the expression, "I'm saved!" The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
XII. JESUS BUILT HIS CHURCH
The Bible says, But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the _______ of God, which is the _______ of the living God, the pillar and ground of the _______ (1 Timothy 3:15).
Loved ones, how do you view the church that _______ built (Matthew 16:17-19) and _______ with His own blood (Acts 20:28)? Like many people, do you think the church is a building with or without a steeple? Do you think God lives there; and thus, you dare not laugh or even smile while in the building for fear of being irreverent? Is your religion in the church building? Does it stay there when you leave? Friends, the building is only a structure. It is NOT the church.
It may be that you view the church as a social club; a place for parties, outings and programs. Some people go to church because of the entertainment and social benefits an active congregation provides (youth rallies, ballgames, retreats, pot-luck meals, etc.). These things are great, but the Christians religion must be based on more than entertainment. The church is NOT a social club.
The correct view of the church of Christ is a _______ or group of loving Christian servants (1 Corinthians 12:27; cf. John 13:34-35). People who view the church in this way are the ones who have _______ the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) to make their calling and _______ sure (2 Peter 1:10). They are seeking things _______ (Colossians 3:1-2) and craving for things to do for the Lord. They share in the joy of David when they read Psalms 122:1, "I was _______ when they said to me, Let us go into the _______ of the Lord. They love to worship God in _______ and in truth (John 4:24)!
Yes, these Christians get discouraged. Yes, they do sin. Of course, they love the entertaining activities. But these are the people who have built their lives on Jesus Christ and based their faith on the solid _______ (Matthew 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 10:4; cf. Galatians 2:20). These are the people who understand that their sins are continually forgiven by the _______ of Jesus (1 John 1:7). These are the people who realize that they are a part of Christs body, Now ye are the body of Christ, and _______ in particular (1 Corinthians 12:27). As such, this body (church) must work together to accomplish the best to the glory of God. The Holy Spirit says, Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all _______ the same thing, and that there be no _______ among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the _______ mind and in the same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10).
All people need to view the church as the body of Christ. The apostle Paul says God has put all things under Christs feet, "and gave him to be the _______ over all things to the church, Which is his _______, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:20-23). When we are saved we become Christians, and the Lord adds us to His _______ body (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:30). EVERY member of the body is important (READ 1 Corinthians 12:12-26). Whether we are a right arm or a little toe in the body does not matter. What matters is that we all work together to accomplish the best for the Lord. Use whatever talents you have been given. That is all God asks of you. Always remember, the CHURCH is the BODY OF CHRIST and every Christian is an important member.
The question now pending is one of utmost importance. What is YOUR relationship with the church of Christ? There are three possible answers to this question, but only one answer can apply to you. Which one will it be?
1. Are you an Active Member? Active members are involved in preaching the Gospel, teaching or aiding in Bible classes, leading singing or prayers, visiting the shut-ins, widows, orphans, prisoners or poor, mowing yards for the elderly, handing out tracts, and the list goes on and on. The most important active characteristic of these members is their love and deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. These Christians understand that just as the physical body needs food every day, the spiritual body needs nourishment as well. Therefore, they feed on the Word of God EVERY DAY by studying their Bibles (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15).
They know they are _______ of Jesus (John 15:12-14), and so they talk with Him EVERY DAY through prayer. A person who exercises or lifts weights on a regular basis will grow stronger. His muscles will get bigger. His body will be able to withstand more and more. This person will feel good about himself physically AND mentally. The same is true spiritually for the active member of the _______ of Christ (Romans 16:16), the body of Christ.
2. Are you a Dead Member? Can a person be dead and alive at the same time? All you have to do to answer this question is look around you. You will see people who are very much alive physically and yet entirely dead spiritually, dead in trespasses and _______ (Ephesians 2:1-3). These are the people who do not nourish their spiritual bodies on the Word of God. They do not talk with their best friend, Jesus, because they have NOT allowed Him to be their best friend. Usually money, leisure activities or popularity has become their best buddy. What a shame this is for a child of the _______! (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15).
Maybe you have heard of the term atrophy. This means "to waste away." If you ever have to wear a cast on your arm for about six weeks you will notice that the arm is much smaller and weaker than the other arm when the cast is removed. Why? Because you could not use the arm. It just hung by your side and the muscles in that arm were affected by atrophy.
Brethren, the same thing happens in the body of Christ. The dead members have to be dragged along by the active members; and therefore, less work can be done. It goes even one step further. Not only does a dead member deteriorate, but it becomes diseased by worldliness. It is a cancerous type of disease which spreads all over the healthy parts of the body and affects them.
Only one thing can be done for a dead member that, after much love and prayer, is NOT willing to "liven up"CUT IT OFF! Jesus says, I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he _______ away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit If a man _______ not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the _______, and they are burned (John 15:1-2, 6). Friends, you may attend every service and devotional and still be totally dead. It all goes back to what type of relationship you have with Jesus Christ. Are you a dead member of His body? Is your congregation having to drag you along?
3. Are you a Non-Member? Dear friend, Jesus will return to take His children home to the Father in Heaven. The Bible says, Then cometh the end, when he shall have _______ up the kingdom to God, even the Father (1 Corinthians 15:23-26). If you are NOT an active member or a dead member in Christs church kingdom, then there is only one other possibility. You are a Non-Member. Again, you may attend every worship service of the Lord's church and still never be a member of it. Some people partake of the Lord's Supper, contribute their money, and even go out and visit the sick, and yet they have never completed the will of God to become members of the Lords _______ or church (Matthew 16:18-19).
Jesus deals with this in Matthew 7:21-23. He said, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall _______ into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the _______ of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: _______ from me, ye that work iniquity.
Please realize there are certain commands that must be obeyed as one does Gods will. These commands of the Lord MUST be obeyed before receiving the hope of eternal _______ (Hebrews 5:9) as a member of the church of God. One must have FAITH in God. "But without _______ it is impossible to _______ him: for he that cometh to God must _______ that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). We cannot stop after obeying just this one command (though many people teach otherwise). Faith is important, but faith without _______ is dead (James 2:26). These works are the works of _______ (John 6:28-29), NOT our own works. They are works of obedience to Gods commands. REMEMBER: A man is NOT _______ or saved by _______ only (James 2:24). Faith alone is a dead faith. Why? Because it will not lead a person to obey God. Therefore, faith alone cannot save us.
Faith must also be accompanied by repentance of sin. We need to spend a little time with this point. The Bible says, And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth _______ men every where to _______: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath _______ him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).
There are many difficult commands in the Bible. Our most challenging command might well be that of repentance. This is a command for everyone. In the King James Version, the word repent is found 46 times, repented 32 times, repentance 26 times, and repenteth is found five times.
Along with forgiveness, Jesus wanted everyone to hear the message of repentance. He said, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that _______ and remission of sins should be _______ in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).
Repentance is a change or transformation of your _______ (Romans 12:2); a change of heart or attitude (cf. Matthew 21:28-29; Romans 6:17). Repentance is an act of faith (cf. Luke 13:3; Romans 10:17): Now the just shall live by _______ (Hebrews 10:38). Repentance involves stopping and turning away from the sins that are in our life: What shall we say then? Shall we _______ in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are _______ to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2). Through the _______ of God and godly sorrow (Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10), repentance will lead to a turning away from every sinful lifestyle.
Salvation in Jesus Christ without a change of heart and life is impossible. Feeling sorry for an action without a change of conduct is NOT repentance. Paul said godly sorrow PRODUCES repentance, but we must understand that godly sorrow is NOT repentance: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to _______ not to be repented of: but the _______ of the world worketh death (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Just saying I am sorry is NOT repentance; but a person who is truly sorry for sins will come to repentance. Godly sorrow leads to repentance when we realize that every sin we commit (big or small) is against _______ (Exodus 10:16; Psalm 51:3-4). We should feel sorrow knowing that God had to make Jesus to be _______ for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our sins placed the nails in the Savior's feet and hands (cf. Hebrews 6:6).
Gods desire is that we repent (change our minds and sinful lifestyle). Only then will we stop sinning. A changed mind leads to a changed lifestyle. The Law of God made man aware of sin and showed the need for repentance and forgiveness: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the _______ is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).
John chapter eight records the story of a woman that was taken in the very act of adultery. Many people who quote this passage do so in order to try to justify some personal wrong; for Jesus said, "He that is _______ sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). However, the scribes and Pharisees were told this because they were deliberately breaking God's Law in condemning this woman in the way they did. They had no respect for the Law. Jesus told this woman to "go, and _______ no more" (John 8:11). It is vital that Christians stop sinning. Let us observe our weakness and by relying on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus get out of the business of sin. Who then should repent and why should we repent?
(1) Those taught believers who are NOT yet Christians should repent and be baptized to be saved (cf. Mark 16:15-16): Then Peter said unto them, _______, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).
(2) Christians who have sinned also need to repent. When Philip preached in Samaria, Simon, who had been a sorcerer, became a Christian (Acts 8:13). He sinned by wanting to buy the ability to pass on gifts of the Holy Spirit. Peter told Simon, this Christian man who had sinned, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy _______ is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be _______ thee (Acts 8:20-22).
God loves us and He desires our repentance: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is _______ to us-ward, not willing that any should _______, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). The longsuffering of God will NOT last forever (v. 10).
Have you repented of your sins? You must repent of your sins and be baptized into _______ to avoid condemnation at the Judgment (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27). With love we beg you to repent now! Judgment Day is coming (Acts 17:30-31)!
Faith must also be accompanied by confession of faith in Jesus. Jesus said, Whosoever therefore shall _______ me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also _______ before my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).
Faith must also be accompanied by baptism (immersion in water) into Christ for the _______ of sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27), by the shed _______ of Jesus (Matthew 26:28). This is all very clear when we read three outstanding verses in the New Testament. Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, and the _______ of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15). The Holy Spirit said, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the _______ _______, and shalt believe in thine _______ that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth _______ is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10). Paul said, _______ with him in _______, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead (Colossians 2:12).
Here we have FAITH combined with EACH COMMAND that we must obey in order to become a member of the church or body of Christ. The commands of God that must be fulfilled are very simple. Dear friend, have you obeyed them? When you have obeyed every one of these commands, your Head will add you to the _______ body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4), which is the _______ (Colossians 1:18, 24; cf. Acts 2:47). With other disciples you will then be called _______ (Acts 11:26). Christians are _______ of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26; cf. Ephesians 5:1, 8). You then must strive for Christian maturity: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the _______, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2). This growth will rapidly occur when you arm yourself with the "shield and breastplate of _______ and love" (Ephesians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:8).
Christians, always remember that you represent the church everywhere you go. Why? Because you ARE the church! What is your relationship with the church? Are you an active member or a dead member? Only one of these answers will please God and you should know which one it is. Non-Christian, are you pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6)? If not, when are you going to start? The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
XIII. JESUS IS THE HIGH PRIEST OVER HIS CHURCH
The Bible says, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, _______ the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).
Loved ones, we humbly thank God, the Father, for giving us another opportunity to preach the Gospel of the Grace of God to you. In this lesson we want to speak more about our Great Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Jesus is so great that He is the very HEART of the New Testament.
In Matthew He was born _______ of the Jews (2:1-2). In Mark He is the _______ (servant) of God (10:44-45). In Luke He is the Perfect _______ of Man (9:56). In John He is the Exalted _______ of God (20:30-31). In Acts He is the Ascended Lord (1:9-11). In Romans He is our Righteousness (3:21-25). In 1 Corinthians He is the ________from the Dead (15:20). In 2 Corinthians He is the One made _______ for us (5:21). In Galatians He is the One who _______ in us (2:20). In Ephesians He is the One who blesses spiritually (1:3). In Philippians He is the Joy Bringer (3:1, 3; 4:4). In Colossians He is the Preeminent One (1:18). In 1 Thessalonians He is the Returning Lord (4:13-18). In 2 Thessalonians He is the Worlds Judge (1:7-9).
In 1 Timothy He is our _______ (2:5). In 2 Timothy He is the Bestower of Crowns (4:8). In Titus He is the Great God our _______ (1:3-4). In Philemon He is the Equalizer (v. 16). In Hebrews He is the Rest of Faith (4:8-11). In James He is the Lord of _______ [hosts] (5:4). In 1 Peter He is the Theme of Old Testament Prophecy (1:9-12). In 2 Peter He is the _______ Savior (3:9). In 1 John He is the _______ of Life (1:1). In 2 John He is the Target of the _______ (v. 7). In 3 John He is the Personification of _______ (vs. 1-4). In Jude He is the Believers Hope (vs. 24-25). In Revelation He is the slain Victorious _______ (5:6).
So we see that Jesus is GREAT and He is the very heart of the New Testament. But Loved ones, there is too much in these 27 passages for us to study in this short lesson. So lets back up and quickly examine the greatness of Christ from the marvelous book of Hebrews. Among other things, in the book of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit reveals the greatness of Jesus as the:
Brightness of Gods _______ and the express Image of Gods Person (1:3).
One who tasted death for every man, and became the Captain of our _______ (2:9-10).
Son over His own _______, whose house are we (3:6).
One who was in all points _______ like we are, yet without sin (4:15).
Author of eternal salvation to all them that _______ Him (5:9).
Hope set before us, even the _______ of the soul (6:19).
Surety of a better testament and able to _______to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him (7:22-25).
One who has obtained a more excellent ministry, and became the mediator of a _______ covenant (8:6). What covenant?
Mediator of the New Covenant, the New _______ (9:15).
One who in a little while shall _______ and will come (10:37).
Word of God that _______ the worlds (11:3).
Author and _______ of our faith (12:2).
The same _______, and to-day, and for ever (13:8).
But again, loved ones, there is too much in these 13 passages for us to study in one sitting. So lets back up a little more and zero in on the topic of this post: Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our Profession. Our text comes from Hebrews 3:1. In this passage we see the call to CONSIDER Jesus. Well, to whom was this call given? It was given to the holy brethren; that is, brethren who are _______ (set apart), for a holy purpose (cf. Hebrews 2:10-11).
Therefore, this call was given to Christians; those of us who are _______ of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-27). Like the early Hebrews, Christians today are _______ of the heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1). We have been called to share in the call from heaven. This calling is the calling of the Gospel of the Grace of God, for the _______ is how God calls us (2 Thessalonians 2:14; cf. Romans 1:16). It is a call unto Gods _______ and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
Our text tells us to consider Jesus as the Apostle How is Jesus the Apostle? The term comes from the Greek word apostolos. Apo meaning from and Stello meaning sent. Therefore, the word "apostle" means one sent forth. Just as Moses was sent by God, so was Jesus, as foretold by Moses and the prophets (cf. Acts 3:22-26). Jesus said to the Jews, My _______ is not mine, but his that sent me (John 7:16). In Acts 3:26, Peter told the men of Israel: Unto you first God, having raised up his _______ Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. In the Bible the term apostle is used officially to denote the 12 apostles (14 in all), and the term is used unofficially to simply designate one who was commissioned or sent forth, such as Jesus here in Hebrews 3:1.
We also are to consider Jesus as the High Priest of our _______, or confession (see above text). This is one of the most important themes in the book of Hebrews. The writer says Jesus is our _______ High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). He is a High Priest after the order of _______ (Hebrews 5:10). But how is Jesus our High Priest? Back in the 1960s Simon Garfunkel wrote a song entitled, Bridge Over Troubled Waters. That song reminds us of a short story A train filled with passengers was speeding along its route that crossed a number of rivers. Looking out the window, a child saw the treacherous waters in the distance and was afraid they could not reach the opposite bank. But as they came closer, a bridge appeared and soon the danger was behind them. Each time this occurred the youngster was very much disturbed until they had safely crossed to the other side. Finally, however, she leaned back and said with confidence, Somebody has put up bridges for us all the way! A High Priest is a bridge builder. Our great High Priest, Jesus the Christ, is our bridge over troubled water. It is through Christ that we have _______ by one Spirit unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18).
Please turn your Bibles to the book of Hebrews and follow along as we notice some things about His priesthood. First of all, the High Priesthood of Jesus is introduced in Hebrews 2:17: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a _______ and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. The work of a High Priest is to offer both gifts and _______ for sins (Hebrews 5:1). You see, the sacrifices of the Old Testament (that is, animal blood) could NOT _______ away sins (Hebrews 10:4; 9:9). So animal blood was just a shadow, a figure. But _______ had to be shed for forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).
Eternal forgiveness, then, took the blood of a man who was sinless. Jesus was man and Jesus was sinless (Hebrews 4:15). He asked the Jews, Which of you convinceth me of _______? (John 8:46). Peter said we have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). Again, speaking of Jesus, Peter said He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22-24). If Jesus had committed sin, when He died He could not have offered Himself for others; He would have died only for His own sins. But Peter said, For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the _______ for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
Second, Jesus had to offer Himself: Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a _______ hast thou prepared me (Hebrews 10:5). Concerning His life, Jesus said: No man taketh it from me, but I _______ 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). For every high priest is _______ to offer gifts and sacrifices (Hebrews 8:3); therefore, the man Jesus offered Himself. There was no other sacrifice that was available. No other sacrifice could satisfy the demands of a just God.
Third, Jesus needed to offer Himself only_______ (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12, 25-26, 28; 10:10-12). Fourth, Jesus was NOT a priest on _______ (Hebrews 8:4; cf. 7:12-17). Jesus went into ______ itself to be our High Priest and offered His blood for us (Hebrews 9:24). He is therefore our only access to the Father. Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the _______, but by me (John 14:6). For through him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one ______ unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18).
Yes, Jesus is GREAT...He is our Great High Priest. And because Christians are IN CHRIST, the Christian life is GREAT. You see, in Christ we have:
LOVE that can never be fathomed (Ephesians 3:17-19). It is a love that would let the Father send His only begotten Son to die for rebellious man (Romans 5:6-11).
LIFE that can never _______ (John 10:28; cf. Psalm 23:6).
RIGHTEOUSNESS that can never be tarnished or made dull (1 Corinthians 1:30). God makes clean, no matter how sinful. He prescribes the remedy.
LIGHT that can never be darkened it will never go out (Matthew 5:14-16; Proverbs 4:18).
STRENGTH that can never be enfeebled or made weak (Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). This refers to spiritual strength, NOT physical strength. Man labors with much effort for physical strength, but for some reason he seems to think that spiritual strength will just rub off on him.
PEACE that passeth _______ understanding (Philippians 4:7). The world cannot understand the peace of mind of the child of God.
HOPE that can never be disappointed (Hebrews 6:19). We may have various disappointments in this earthly life, but there will be none in the hereafter.
JOY that can never be diminished or made less (Psalm 16:11). As we mature in Christ our joy will just grow and grow.
GLORY that can never be clouded (Psalm 84:11). What a glory it is to be one of Gods elect a child of God.
RESOURCES that can never be exhausted or done away (Romans 8:32).
ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS that is salvation, forgiveness, eternal life, etc. (Ephesians 1:3). There are no spiritual blessings outside of Christ. We must live our life so that when we die, we die _______ the Lord (Revelation 14:13). Simply remain faithful unto death and God will give you a _______ of life (Revelation 2:10).
Are you in Christ? If not, why not? If you are a penitent believer in the Son of God, then you should be baptized INTO Christ for the remission of your sins by His blood as soon as possible (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38; Matthew 26:28). The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
XIV. JESUS IS COMING THE SECOND TIME
The Bible says, And as it is appointed unto men once to _______, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the _______ time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:27-28).
Loved ones, the hard times and dangerous situations of this century are causing many to again focus on the Second Coming of Christ. This is just as natural as the desire to pray when death is very real. We do need a continual awareness of the fact that Jesus will return! We must also understand WHY He will return and WHAT will take place at that time.
In our above text two grand facts are affirmed. First, all men are appointed a day to die. God has appointed it. It could be tomorrow or it could be today. We dont know when we are going to die. ONLY GOD KNOWS. Second, the Holy Spirit (GOD) therefore warns us that after death comes the judgment. Jesus bore the sins of many at His first appearance, and He shall appear the second time from His holy habitation in the eternal heavens without sin unto salvation.
Jesus is coming again! Just as sure as He came the first time to die for our sins, our text says He will return. Except for the statement that Jesus will NOT return until the Man of Sin, the son of _______, be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4), there is no hint at all as to when Jesus will return. It is clearly written, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no _______, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know _______ when the time is" (Mark 13:31-33). If Jesus says, "You do not know when the time is," and we accept His word, that settles the issue. We are admonished to regard His return as ready to occur at any tick of the clock.
Yet, the speculations and erroneous doctrines being taught concerning this grand event are numerous and greatly removed from the truth. In view of the errors, there are some elementary things about Christs kingdom and second coming we must study. Therefore, in this lesson we will notice what the Bible teaches in contrast to mans wisdom concerning the kingdom of Heaven and the Second Coming of Christ.
That Jesus Christ is returning is beyond question. No one who believes the Bible can deny that He will come the second time. His return will be truly a second coming. The Bible says, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be _______ from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the _______ of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall _______ to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
Yes, Jesus will come a second time, but the Bible is as silent as a graveyard tomb about a third coming. Advocates of the fanciful and imaginary "Rapture" theory demand a third coming of Christ. They recognize His first coming as the time described in the Gospel records. They think His second coming will be a secret mission in which He will whisk away the saints for a period of seven years of bliss. Later, they allege that He will return yet a third time with His saints to lead a literal army in a literal war to end all wars, which they call "The Battle of Armageddon." (The Bible does not use that description anywhere.) We are referring to the false doctrine called Premillennialism. Not only is it absurdly foolish to think of Jesus as a military commander-in-chief of a literal army, slaughtering thousands of people, it is patently wrong to teach a third coming of Christ.
Probably the most widely read millennialist is Hal Lindsey. In his book, The Late Great Planet Earth, he sets forth the millennial view of Christ's coming. We quote, "The Latin word for '1000' is 'millennium' and down through history and teaching concerning this earthly kingdom came to be known as the 'millennial kingdom.' Those who reject that Christ will establish a 1000-year kingdom after His return are known theologically as 'amillennialists,' meaning 'no millennium.' Those who believe that Christ will return and set up a 1000-year kingdom are called 'premillennialists,' meaning Christ returns first, and then establishes the kingdom on earth."
One thing Mr. Lindsey overlooked in his description of "amillennialists" is that we can abundantly show from the Bible that the kingdom is neither millennial nor future, that the kingdom that Christ is King over is in existence right now and has been ever since He set it up in Jerusalem in AD 33. In his book, There's A New World Coming, Mr. Lindsey wrote: "For anyone who cared to investigate, there was no lack of evidence to show that Jesus was indeed the long awaited Messiah. Had the people received Him, He would have fulfilled the Kingly prophecies in their day in addition to the one regarding the suffering Messiah. But when the Jewish nation as a whole rejected Christ, the fulfillment of His kingship was postponed until the final culmination of world history. This is the subject of the Book of Revelation."
If the above assertion is true, Jesus actually made a false claim when He said, "All _______ (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). The millennialists would amend that to say, "Yes, Lord, you have ALMOST all authority and power, but NOT quite all." They would have to attribute more power to the Jewish nation than Christ had. If the rejection of Christ as Messiah by the Jews caused postponement of His kingship, then all of God's plans and promises were suspended by the infidelity of a nation of people.
Why then do millennialists argue that Jesus will yet establish the kingdom? First, they obviously do not understand simple New Testament teaching that some (such as the apostle John) were already _______the kingdom (Revelation 1:9); therefore, it HAS already been established. Second, they suffer from the delusion that the kingdom is to be an earthly kingdom. They think of it in material terms. Thinking of the kingdom as a physical worldly organization causes many to reject the plain simple statements from Christ. Listen very carefully to Jesus as He responded to Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this _______: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom _______ from hence" (John 18:36).
Jesus never intended to set up anything even remotely similar to the millennial concept of an earthly kingdom. He came to establish a SPIRITUAL relationship in which He would reign over and dwell in the hearts of subjects who willingly surrender their wills to His royalty (cf. Revelation 11:15, 17). The Bible says, And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with _______: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is _______ you (Luke 17:20-21).
It is true that the kingdom of God cometh not with observation. It is NOT of such a nature that one could, with the fleshly senses, locate it either here or there. In other words, the progress of the kingdom would NOT be watched by its outward manifestations, nor determined by visible marks like that of an earthly kingdom. This spiritual kingdom is NOT to be judged by political and military triumphs, or the glory of an external and conquering kingdom. This kingdom is within the Christian. Christ spiritually dwells in the Christians heart by _______ (Ephesians 3:17). Further, Paul wrote: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but _______, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). How sad it is to ignore these words. It is simply a case of denying this fundamental fact that Jesus has a Kingdom, is the King, and now Reigns.
Yes, Jesus is coming back, but when He returns He will NOT establish a kingdom on earth nor marshal a literal army for some carnal conflict with other nations. The kingdom HAS been in existence since the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus from the grave (Acts 2). The scripture says that John the Baptist preached: "Repent ye: for the _______ of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). Matthew 4:17 says, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of _______ is at hand." The expression "at hand" can mean very near, ready to take place. To prove that, we read in the words of Christ that the kingdom was set up in the days of the apostles. He said, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall _______ taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28).
That simply means that the Lord would set His kingdom up during the life span of some of those who lived at the same time He spoke those words. The disciples were not disappointed. If the millennialists are correct in their teaching that the kingdom has NOT yet come, there are some people still on earth who could be two thousand plus years old (cf. Mark 9:1). Who can believe such absurdities?
Jesus never modified His message to say, "I am sorry, but there has been a delay we cannot set the kingdom up now the Jewish nation is not ready to accept me as the Messiah." In fact, He did just the opposite. He continued urging people to get ready for the kingdom. He did not modify His kingdom to suit the people. He tried to modify the people of His day for the coming of His kingdom, the church (cf. Matthew 16:18-19).
Other passages clearly show that "at hand" can mean very near or close: "And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The _______ saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples" (Matthew 26:18). Again, "Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the _______ is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:45). Again, Jesus said, Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at _______ that doth betray me" (v. 46).
For those who take the Bible designation of time periods literally, this is really a problem, for they are the ones who argue that the "thousand years" in the Book of Revelation is a literal period of time (cf. Revelation 20:2-7). They believe there is a thousand-year span of time separating the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. In a book of symbolism, they take a time period (1,000 years) literally, and in a book of plain fact they take a time period (at hand) symbolically. They need to simply reverse their hermeneutical procedure.
Jesus knew He would be crucified. He knew the impact this would have on His disciples whom He would leave behind. To comfort them and give assurance to all disciples of all ages, He said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye _______ in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will _______ again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:1-3). It may have been somewhat difficult for those simple 1st century followers to fully grasp what He said. It is still difficult for some today to believe He was telling the truth. However, the truth is simple. As surely as He came once, He promises a second return.
The apostle Peter heard Jesus say, "I go to prepare a place for you." Later, by divine inspiration he wrote, "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 _______ for you" (1 Peter 1:3-4). Peter affirmed that Jesus went away from this planet to prepare a place, and to reserve it in heaven for the saints. But there are those who still believe this earth is the place Jesus intended to prepare for His saints. How sad!
Notice that Jesus is NOT coming back to prepare a place here on earth. He said, "I go (not come again) to prepare a place for you." Millennialists like the Jehovah's Witness Organization take issue with Jesus. They think He intends to make this planet a place of paradise and rule over an earthly kingdom with headquarters in Jerusalem. Such ideas are completely false. The dispensationalists need to get Christs going and comings correct, and it would also help if they would learn to count correctly.
Jesus will return having prepared a place for the saints in heaven. He will return to take His own out of the world, never again to return. Listen again to the Holy Spirit: "For the Lord himself shall _______ from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up _______ with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the _______: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). If the saints will "always be with the Lord in the air" after being "caught up together" with Him in the clouds, there is no biblical basis for thinking this planet is scheduled to be their eternal home. The millennial theory makes this "always" amount to around seven years.
There is no interim appearance, nor anything beyond the second appearance of Christ. We again say this because there are those who blatantly affirm that Jesus has returned at least once since His first coming. Years ago, Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witness (JW) organization set October 1914 as the date for Jesus to return and for this present order of the world to come to an end. From a JW book called, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, we read, "For more than forty years Pastor Charles Taze Russell, a faithful consecrated Christian, proclaimed to the people by word of mouth, through the public press and through his books, that 1914 would mark the end of the Gentile times; that the world would begin to end at that time, and that Messiah's kingdom would shortly follow."
Russell falsely prophesied that the imaginary millennium was to begin and thousands of people blindly followed that false prophet. When Jesus didn't come back in 1914 Russell, undaunted and unabashed, simply set the date up to 1918. He and his followers were convinced that the great World War I was Armageddon. But Jesus did not come back in 1918 and World War I was NOT the battle of Armageddon. The year 1925 was later set as to when the Messianic Kingdom would come into being.
No one had to dispute with Pastor Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Time took care of that. 1914, 1918, and 1925 came and went and Jesus did NOT return, nor did He establish a Messianic reign here on the earth. Russell died leaving behind followers today who still hold to his false ideas and notions. In more recent times, others excitedly set September 1988 as the date of our Lords return. But He didn't! This is only a small sample of the many outlandish views being held by those who fall into the general category of dispensationalists, or millennialists.
Friends, the term kingdom is employed predominately in the New Testament as a synonym for the church that Jesus established. Christ uses the terms interchangeably. Jesus promised to build His _______ with is also call the _______ of Heaven (Matthew 16:18-19). Read again some of the church/kingdom parables of our Lord: The kingdom of Heaven is like . (Matthew 13:24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52).
The kingdom of God is equivalent to the kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:15). The kingdom of God may have reference to the owner of the kingdom, while kingdom of Heaven has special reference to its central locality. It is the same as kingdom of Christ, or simply, kingdom (Ephesians 5:5; Hebrews 12:28).
The Sons kingdom, or church of Christ, was set up in Jerusalem (Acts 2). The time was Pentecost, one of the most important of Jewish festivals. This Day of Pentecost was the one time in all of history that the great promises relative to the kingdom of Christ were all fulfilled. The fact that those saved souls who first gladly entered it are said to have been ADDED to the church fits well into the whole picture of the kingdom (cf. Acts 2:41, 47). Paul wrote to the Colossians giving thanks, "Unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us _______ the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:12-13). Surely no one can dispute the fact that the saints of the 1st century church in Colossae constituted the kingdom of the Son of God's love (cf. Revelation 1:6, 9).
It is a serious mistake NOT to recognize that a word can carry a different meaning in a variety of biblical contexts. The word kingdom is a prominent feature of the New Testament. The Greek term is basileia, found 162 times and can be used in a variety of senses, depending upon the context. The individual situation must always be carefully examined. Lets notice a common example. If someone says: I am thankful for my bridge, is he speaking of the passageway over the small stream that runs in front of his house or is he referring to a helpful addition to his teeth? Only the larger context will tell.
The term kingdom has different connotations under various circumstances. Occasionally, kingdom was used of a region that embraced a political or geographical territory. After her licentious dance, Herod Antipas promised the daughter of Herodias half of his _______ (Mark 6:23). As a tetrarch under the authority of Rome, Herod had no kingdom of his own. His offer was an inflated exaggeration that was an index to his inflamed passion!
When the Lord Jesus concluded His parable of the wicked Husbandmen (Matthew 21:33ff), which detailed the Jews persistent rejection of the prophets, and finally rejection of the Son of God Himself, He announced: Therefore I say unto you, the _______ of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (Matthew 21:43). Here the expression kingdom refers to the authoritative reign of God; i.e., Gods reign among the people of physical Israel that had prevailed for the past fifteen centuries the Mosaic regime.
This reign was going to be transferred to a new nation. That special relationship between Jehovah and the Hebrew people would be terminated as a consequence of their murder of Christ (cf. Matthew 21:37-39), and such would be transferred to an _______ nation (1 Peter 2:9), the church (Matthew 16:18-19), called the spiritual _______ of God (Galatians 6:16). This was the fulfillment of the angels declaration regarding Jesus: He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his _______ there shall be no end (Luke 1:33).
It should be noted that the physical Jews are no longer Gods chosen people, though many denominationalists so claim and some of the political policies regarding modern Israel are shaped around this misconception. Furthermore, the kingdom mentioned in Luke 1:33 is NOT a millennial kingdom (purported to last 1,000 years), for the Saviors kingdom was to endure forever and be without end.
The kingdom of Heaven is the place where God rules or reigns in the heart of individuals. Those individuals today are the ones who make up the body of Christ, the church (Matthew 16:18-19). Therefore, the church, the body, the chosen, the Christian, the saved, the sanctified, the elect, the justified, the redeemed, etc. etc., are all referring to where God rules in the hearts of men. When Christ returns, He will deliver up the _______ to God, even the Father (1 Corinthians 15:22-26).
Long before Jesus came to earth, a prophet of God interpreted a dream of an old pagan king named Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet was Daniel. He was called on not only to interpret but to describe the king's dream. He described it accurately. "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This images head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a _______ was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and _______ the whole earth" (Daniel 2:31-35).
Next, Daniel gave a divine interpretation of the dream: "This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this _______ of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these _______ shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be _______: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall _______ in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:36-44).
In Daniel's prophecy he shows that the statue represented four successive world dynasties. The first was Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, the second, Medo-Persia under Darius and Cyrus, the third was Greece or Macedonia under Alexander the Great. The fourth, and last dynasty in the dream, was Rome under a succession of Caesars. Only four world empires are part of this dream. Each of them is represented by a metallic or partial metallic section of the gigantic statue. During the time of the "last kings," Daniel affirms "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed" and one that will "stand forever" (v. 44). What kings? The Roman Caesars! When did those live who were to see the kingdom of God present with power?" During the days of the Roman Caesars.
Later, Daniel said: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a _______, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13-14). This prophecy could only be true if, when Jesus came to the Ancient of Days (the Eternal Father) with the clouds (at His ascension Acts 1:9-11) He became King. It is a simple matter to see that when Jesus ascended He became King. His kingship was NOT postponed, nor was it a kingship over a nonentity. He became King over His kingdom. That is why Paul referred to Him as "_______ of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15).
The apostles were promised power when the Holy Spirit was sent upon them. Jesus said, "But ye (the apostles) shall receive _______, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit came on them with power on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Jesus had earlier told Peter that He would give him the keys of the _______ of heaven (Matthew 16:19). Peter was to use the keys to allow entrance into the kingdom. Keys is a figurative expression symbolic of the power to open or close. The power or key to the door of the kingdom is the _______ of Christ, preached for the very first time in all its fullness (cf. Galatians 3:8; Hebrews 4:2; 1 Peter 4:6) on the day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts Chapter Two.
In his sermon Peter told thousands of people that Jesus is now exalted by the _______ hand of God (Acts 2:33) and is ruling as both _______ and Christ (v. 36). When the hearers were convinced, they cried out in anguish, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (v. 37). Peter told them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of (by the authority of) Jesus Christ for the _______ of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (v. 38). Those who gladly received the word obeyed and were baptized, saved and _______ to the church that same day (vs. 41, 47; cf. Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
Therefore, the kingdom Jesus promised did actually come into existence with power on the day of Pentecost. It was witnessed by those who heard Him say it would come. The kingdom and the power Jesus promised became a reality on that great and notable day and has been in continuous existence since. Jesus returned to heaven to become the blessed and only _______, King of kings, Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15). It is crass foolishness to look for some future establishment of that which is already in existence.
Friends, if the kingdom has NOT been established there is no salvation, no redemption, no deliverance, no benefit from His shed blood, for these things are all directly related to being delivered from the power of the dark side into Christ's kingdom of light (cf. Colossians 1:13). The spiritual kingdom of Heaven (the church) has been established; Jesus will NOT reign on this earth when He returns the second time. The next time Jesus returns will NOT be to establish anything on earth, but to raise the dead and sit on His seat of judgment. He said, "Marvel not at this: for the _______ is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall _______ his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29).
Notice very carefully that Jesus said that both the righteous and unrighteous will be raised in this "hour" when He returns. There is no thousand-year span separating two resurrections. In fact, there is only ONE resurrection mentioned. Two classes are mentioned (good and evil), but it is the same resurrection that will occur in the "hour" when Jesus returns. Read again our above text (Hebrews 9:27-28)! This passages proves beyond dispute that the next role Jesus fulfills is that of Judge.
The book of Hebrews affirms, "Wherefore we receiving a _______ which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a _______ fire" (Hebrews 12:28-29). The kingdom is being received by those who express their full faith in Christ in obedience to His word. How is that done? Jesus said one must be born of water and of the Spirit in order to enter His kingdom. He said, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot _______ into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). One receives the kingdom by being born into it through obedience to the Holy Spirits word (cf. 1 Peter 1:23); the last step being water baptism (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13).
If we have to wait for an imaginary millennial kingdom, no one either has, or can be born-again of water and Spirit into the kingdom. But, dear friends, the millennial theory is simply false. You can be, and you MUST be, born of water and the Spirit now (cf. John 3:7). When you are, you will become a member of Christ's kingdom, His church, His _______ (1 Corinthians 12:27; cf. Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4). Peter told those people on Pentecost the very same thing Jesus said in John 3:5. Repentance and baptism equal being born again of water and the Spirit (cf. Acts 2:38; 3:19).
When Christ returns it will be a glad day for faithful servants of God. Paul wrote: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his _______ (1 Thessalonians 2:19)? If we truly believe He is to return, there is a stability we are given by such a great promise. Paul wrote: "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the _______ of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints (1 Thessalonians 3:13). We hope and pray that you will search your heart and your Bible and come to the conclusion today that you must be in Christs kingdom when He comes again.
Here are two additional statements from Jesus relative to entering His kingdom. Both of these teach that being born of water and of the Spirit involves complete submission and obedience to the Lord: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that _______ the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). Verily I say unto you, Except ye be _______, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3). You can enter His kingdom, the church, through the same process by which thousands of honest people did on the Day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:41, 47).
In closing, please consider this interesting passage: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the _______ kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11). The Holy Spirit through Peter here speaks about the everlasting (eternal) kingdom. In this context, the word kingdom is used of the final, heavenly phase of the reign of God. Observe that the passage speaks of an entrance into that kingdom that is yet to be enjoyed (the second coming of Jesus). There are several other New Testament references that view the kingdom in a similar fashion. For instance, Paul declared that it will be through many tribulations that we must _______ into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). Later, referring to the Heavenly phase of the kingdom, the apostle wrote: The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto his _______ kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18).
Dear friends, the real issue for all of us is whether we will be ready to meet the Lord Jesus when He comes. We urge you to carefully consider your own condition right now. If you are NOT ready to meet Him NOT ready to go back to Heaven with Him for eternity please do something about it today (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:2). Jesus said, "Ye shall die in your sins: for if ye _______ not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). He also said, "Except ye _______, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). And finally He said, "He that believeth and is _______ shall be saved (Mark 16:16). In summary, Jesus said believe, repent and be baptized (immersed in water) for the remission of your sins, live a faithful life of service in the kingdom of God, and heaven, with all its grandeur and bliss, will be yours (cf. Revelation 2:10)!
Please remember that the kingdom of Christ is presently in existence. This kingdom is the same as His reign or administration, and is spiritual in its nature (cf. John 18:36; Romans 14:17). God is ONE. His eternal kingdom is one. Christians, Gods faithful servants of old, and all the righteous spiritual realm are included in this ONE kingdom. Jesus will return the second time to deliver the kingdom up to the Father (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23-24). Will you accept the offer from the King to become His child (cf. Galatians 3:26-27)? You can be a part of His kingdom if you will submit to Jesus as your King. Have you been immersed in water to _______ away your sins in the _______ of Jesus (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5)? If not, you are NOT ready for His second coming you cannot claim membership in His kingdom, for you have NOT been born again of water and of the Spirit (cf. John 3:3-5). The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
XV. JESUS IS THE FINAL JUDGE OF MANKIND
The Bible says, For God shall bring every _______ into judgment, with every _______thing, whether it be _______, or whether it be evil" (Ecclesiastics 12:14).
Loved ones, we who are Christians know that a DAY is coming when all truth will be disclosed. A time is coming when we will, All appear before the _______ seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things _______ in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be _______ or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). We all will stand before Christ and be judged for what we have done in this life. We will NOT have the luxury to hire the best defense team to defend us; instead, we will stand before the Lord with our lives and secrets laid bare (cf. Psalm 44:21; 90:8; Jeremiah 23:24; Romans 2:16).
The Judgment Day is a certainty; therefore, we need to be prepared. Please notice the following passages which teach the Judgment Day is coming. Because he hath appointed a _______, in the which he will _______ the world in righteousness by that _______ whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath _______ him from the dead (Acts 17:31). And as it is appointed unto men _______ to die, but after this the _______ (Hebrews 9:27). There is no escaping the Day of Judgment. It is an appointment that we all must attend. We will NOT be able to call up Jesus and give Him an excuse on why we can't make it. We cannot call in sick. We must all attend. Some people will be excited on that day and others will be sad. Nevertheless, the Judgment Day is coming.
The Bible teaches that Jesus will be the judge on that day. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all _______ unto the Son and hath given him _______ to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man" (John 5:22, 27; cf. 12:48). The Ultimate Supreme Judge Jesus will make no mistakes. His verdict is true and accurate. His decision is final. Many of you reading these words may want to argue that you control and direct your own life. Therefore, YOU have DECIDED that God and the Judgment Day are fictitious. To that God says: You may have your opinions, but Mine is the only decision that counts. There is no negotiating with Jesus. Our eternal destiny will be sealed by the things we do while in the body. There will be no appeals. There are no second chances after we die i.e., purgatory, baptizing for the dead, reincarnation, etc.
What will happen on the Judgment Day? The Day of Judgment will begin with the Second Coming of Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the _______ in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be _______ up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the _______. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Again, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from _______ with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that _______ not God, and that obey not the _______ of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with _______ destruction from the _______ of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Friends, during the Second Coming (a) The man Christ Jesus and His angels will return visible, with a loud command. (b) There will be an unmistakable cry from the archangel. (c) There will be a trumpet call such as has never been heard. (d) Believers in Christ who are dead will rise from their graves. (e) Believers who are alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet Christ in the air to be with Him forever.
Next, Christ will sit on His throne and all nations will gather before Him. The Bible says, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his _______: and before him shall be gathered _______ nations: and he shall _______ them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the _______ on his right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33). Before the judgment begins, the earth and sky are destroyed by fire. But the day of the Lord will come as a _______ in the night; in the which the heavens shall _______ away with a great noise, and the elements shall _______ with fervent heat, the _______ also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).
After that destruction, the people will be judged. John the revelator, Saw the dead, small and great, _______ before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were _______ out of those things which were written in the books, according to their _______. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged _______ man according to their works (Revelation 20:12-13). During the judging period, we read that there are two or more books that reveal the history of our lives. (1) The Book of Life is said to have the _______ of people who will receive eternal life (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; cf. Revelation 13:7-9; 17:7-8; 21:27; 22:19). (2) The other books must include the records of our human deeds in contrast to the 66 books of the Bible.
There is at least one thing we will be judged on: We will be judged on the deeds we have done while on earth! Who will render to every man according to his _______: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not _______ the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth _______, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh _______, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of _______ with God (Romans 2:6-11). Jesus made it clear that it will be our works or service to others that will go before us as we enter into eternal life. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have _______ it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto _______ (Matthew 25:31-40). Our works will be investigated in this judgment to distinguish how we lived our lives while on earth. We will be reviewed and examined.
During this judgment period we will witness the greatest separation that the world has ever seen. Jesus, after gathering all nations before Him, will proceed to separate the people. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. The sheep are the righteous people and the goats are the unrighteous. Then Jesus will give the people an explanation for what He is doing; i.e., He will tell the people why He was about to send some of them to eternal punishment and why some were going to eternal life (READ Matthew 25:31-46).
The sheep are sent away to eternal life, And God shall _______ away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more _______: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:1-7). Then they will live with God forever. However, the goats will be sent to eternal punishment in Hell - a place which is also referred to as, The _______ which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the _______ death (Revelation 21:8; cf. Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15). It is the place of torment that Jesus calls Gehenna or eternal hell fire (cf. Matthew 5:22; Mark 9:43). Those accused ones on the left hand will be sent into everlasting fire, prepared for the _______ and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It is the place of agony in outer darkness for the unprofitable servant: There shall be _______ and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). This is the final and eternal state of the wicked after the Judgment. Being in Gehenna is LIKE being eternally burned alive, for God will burn up the chaff with _______ fire (Matthew 3:12).
Are YOU prepared for the Judgment Day? WE must tell you the truth If you die or if the Lord comes back and you have chosen to NOT be a faithful Christian, then as an accountable soul you will spend eternity in Gehenna. If you have NOT put your faith in Jesus Christ and become willing to confess Him before others; if you have NOT repented (changed your mind and turned your actions away from your sins); if you have NOT been baptized for the forgiveness of your sins by the blood of Jesus; then, you will NOT make it to heaven. Jesus said: He that believeth and is baptized shall be _______; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16; cf. 1 Peter 3:21).
Some of you reading or hearing this lesson are NOT Christians. We appeal to you in the name of Jesus Christ to become a Christian today. You need the blood of Jesus to cover your sin. You need Jesus in your life. The ultimate final exam will come when you stand before God. On your own you CANNOT pass the exam. Your creative attempts to earn eternal life fall far short. We all need Jesus to stand in for us.
If you are NOT a Christian, you ought to be, and you can be one this day. Your eternal destination depends on it. Please visit a congregation of the churches of Christ and ask someone there to assist you in your desire to become a child of God by being _______ into Christ (Galatians 3:26-27). Through your belief, repentance, confession, baptism and the blood of Jesus you will have your sins forgiven (cf. Matthew 26:28; Acts 2:38).
Maybe you are a Christian, and lately you have NOT been living a faithful and fruitful life for the Lord. You may need to Repent therefore of this thy _______, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be _______ thee (Acts 8:22). You may have been living in secret sin, trying to hide it from God and your brethren. But Gods hand has been laying heavy upon you and you are ready to confess. Confess your sins before God (cf. 1 John 1:7-10)! You can do that today. Are you ready for the Judgment Day? If you do not KNOW that you are ready, then you are not. The God of Heaven is So Good. We love you so.
INTRODUCTION: Abram, Church, With, Believeth, Wrath, Grace, Head.
I. JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD: Jesus, Son, God, Baptized, Christ, Baptized, Foundation, Mary, House, Increased, Woman, Word, Man, Man, Tempted, Sin, Blood, Death, Intercession, Body, Like, With, Glory, Worship, Eternal, Judge, Remission, Fulfill, Righteousness, Word, Kingdom, Filled, Build, Destroyed, Blood, Church, Added, Doctrines, Doctrine, Many, Devils, Believe, Jerusalem, Prayed, Died, Buried, Reconciled, Father, Propitiation, Gift, Believe, Gospel, Salvation.
II. JESUS IS SET APART: Jesus, Children, Moneychangers, Sin, Meek, Forgiveness, Himself, Spake, Authority, Sin, Tempted, Forgive, Lay, Confirming, Healed, Faith, Pray, Way, One, Word, All, God, Sent, Leprosy, Prayed, Peter, Loved, Enemies, Children, Perfect, Reward, Love, Please, Obedient, Obedience, Will, Remission, Rest, Christ.
III. JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD: Sent, Save, Sick, Healed, God, Heaven, Son, Blood, Image, Glory, One, All, All, All, Light, Record, AM, Saviour, Cast, Living, Door, Good, Resurrection, Cometh, Me, Vine, Alpha, Blind, Authority, Man, Prince, Son, Serve, Right, God, True, Glory, Sins, Forgive, Christ, Never, Greater, One, Stones, Father, Thyself, No, Seen, Father, World, Abraham, Forgive, Forth, Still, Five, Graven, Finger, Lord, Not, Worship, Knee, Tongue, Better, God, Son, Eye, Lord, Pierced, White, End, Judge, God, Perish, Blood, Church, Christ, Salvation.
IV. JESUS PROVED HIMSELF TO THE APOSTLES: Resurrection, Fables, Son, Lord, Jesus Christ, Made, I, Word, Made, Flesh, Begotten, Seen, Handled, Image, Him, Created, Seen, Son, Made, Sins, Angels, Worship, God, Same, He, Pleased, None, Me, Equal, Man, Name, God, No, Ancient, Lord, King, Worlds, Purchased, Pierced, God.
V. JESUS IS THE WAY TO THE FATHER: No, Father, Carpenter, Master, God, Word, World, Prepare, Way, House, Delivered, Know, Name, Son, Gift, Sins, Learn, Liberty, Revealed, Rejected, God, Bruised, Lamb, Death, Sin, Child, God, God, Brethren, Spoken, Above, Resurrection, Higher, Not, Diligently, Rest, Salvation.
VI. JESUS SAVES FROM DEATH: Death, Life, One, Glory, Son, Image, Being, Choose, Six, Made, Spirit, Life, Sin, Eternal, Heart, Eight, Seed, Ends, Remission, Reconciled, Son, Children, Live, World, Sinners, Light, Door, Truth, Keep, Love, Love, Death, Ransom, Christ, Shedding, Cross, Blood, Adam, Third, Sins, Death, Fear, Wrath, Baptized, Grace, Church, Blood, Head, Power, Truth, First, Exceed, Spiritual, Word, Saved, Buried, Come, Burned, Works, Gospel, Die, Wide, Life, Death, Great, Life.
VII. JESUS DIED FOR SINNERS: Crucified, First, Woman, Died, Sting, Death, Wages, Remission, Shedding, Stone, Rock, Uncleanness, Spear, World, New, Remission, Blood, Lamb, Passover, Own, Justified, Freely, Redemption, Blood, Bought, Redeemed, Hosts, Hated, Transgression, Short, Eternal, Own, Blemish, Spot, All, Reconcile, Saved, Body, Love, Humbled, Will, Righteous, Ransom, Every, Sinners, Corner, King, Son, Died, Tree, Sin, Fled, Women, Nicodemus, Thou, Grace, Poor, Abolished, New, Covet, Spirit, Vain, Better, Death, Forgive, Melchisedec, Change, All, Name, Commanded, Gospel, Baptized, End, Build, Added, All, Resurrection, Firstfruits, Graves, Dead, Death, Buried, Newness, Into, Spiritual, Baptism, Death.
VIII. JESUS WAS BURIED FOR SINNERS: Died, Buried, Third, Spirit, Embalmed, Body, New, Sepulchre, Disciple, Jesus, Nicodemus, Spices, Bury, Washed, First, Anoint, Soul, Corruption, Raised, Baptism, Out, Down, Baptized, Death, On, Crucified, Sin, Sin, Righteousness, Victory, Baptized, Before, Purposed, New, Faith.
IX. JESUS WAS RAISED FOR SINNERS: Son, Resurrection, Foreknowledge, Jesus, Christ, Cross, Saved, Scourged, Crucified, Tree, Joseph, Pilate, Sepulchre, Firstborn, Five, Emmaus, Graves, Life, Evil, Salvation, Churches, Men, Speak, Rejoicing, Shame, Preaching, Faith, Him, Wisdom, Power, Hope, Resurrection, Soul, Jesus, Again, Teach, All, End, With, Together, Loss, All, Dung, Damascus, Purpose, Gentiles, Faith, Resurrection, Know, Raise, Corruption, Boldness, Jesus, Dead, World, Prince, Death, Walk, Water, Save, Resurrection, Blood, Life, Raise, Life, Never.
X. JESUS SAVES THE BORN AGAIN: See, Enter, Must, Jesus, Us, Hand, Church, Power, Earth, Born Again, Be, Kingdom, Water, Spirit, Word, Spirit, Body, Kingdom, Sword, Remission, Holy Ghost, Salvation, Life, Gift, Creature, Newness, Christ, Believe, Man, Save, All, Water.
XI. JESUS GIVES NEW LIFE: Passed, Pleasures, Short, Himself, Ransom, Lust, Christ, Supply, Remission, Inheritance, Alway, Forgives, Everlasting, Ask, Obey, Faith, Friends, Grace, Love, Communion, Loved, Life, Themselves, Image, Gods, Ceasing, Faith, Spirit, World, Promises, Salvation.
XII. JESUS BUILT HIS CHURCH: House, Church, Truth, Jesus, Purchased, Body, Searched, Election, Above, Glad, House, Spirit, Rock, Blood, Members, Speak, Divisions, Same, Head, Body, Church, Friends, Churches, Sins, King, Taketh, Abide, Fire, Delivered, Kingdom, Enter, Will, Depart, Salvation, Faith, Please, Believe, Works, God, Justified, Faith, All, Repent, Raised, Repentance, Preached, Mind, Faith, Continue, Dead, Goodness, Salvation, Sorrow, God, Sin, Law, Without, Sin, Repent, Heart, Forgiven, Longsuffering, Perish, Christ, Confess, Deny, Remission, Blood, Kingdom, Lord Jesus, Heart, Confession, Buried, Baptism, One, Church, Christians, Children, Word, Faith.
XIII. JESUS IS HIGH PRIEST OVER HIS CHURCH: Consider, King, Minister, Son, Son, Firstfruits, Sin, Liveth, Mediator, Saviour, Sabaoth, Longsuffering, Word, Anti-Christ, Truth, Lamb, Glory, Salvation, House, Tempted, Obey, Anchor, Save, Better, Testament, Come, Framed, Finisher, Yesterday, Sanctified, Children, Partakers, Gospel, Kingdom, Doctrine, Son, Profession, Great, Melchisedec, Access, Merciful, Sacrifices, Take, Blood, Sin, Just, Body, Lay, Ordained, Once, Earth, Heaven, Father, Spirit, Perish, All, In, Crown.
XIV. JESUS IS COMING THE SECOND TIME: Die, Second, Perdition, Man, Not, Revealed, Presence, Come, Power, In, World, Not, Observation, Within, Faith, Righteousness, Kingdom, Heaven, Not, Master, Hour, Hand, Believe, Come, Heaven, Descend, Together, Air, Church, Kingdom, Into, Kingdom, Kingdom, Holy, Israel, Kingdom, Kingdom, Stone, Filled, Head, Kings, Destroyed, Break, Kingdom, King, Power, Kingdom, Gospel, Right, Lord, Remission, Added, Potentate, Hour, Hear, Kingdom, Consuming, Enter, Body, Coming, Coming, Doeth, Converted, Everlasting, Enter, Heavenly, Believe, Repent, Baptized, Wash, Blood.
XV. JESUS IS THE FINAL JUDGE OF MANKIND: Work, Secret, Good, Judgment, Done, Good, Day, Judge, Man, Raised, Once, Judgment, Judgment, Authority, Dead, Caught, Lord, Heaven, Know, Gospel, Everlasting, Presence, Glory, All, Separate, Sheep, Thief, Pass, Melt, Earth, Stand, Judged, Works, Every, Names, Deeds, Obey, Evil, Good, Persons, Done, Me, Wipe, Pain, Lake, Second, Devil, Weeping, Unquenchable, Saved, Baptized, Wickedness, Forgiven.
THE LIFE OF OUR LORD
(A Harmony of the Gospels Outline in Chronological Order)
1. Annunciation to Zacharias about John the Baptizer by the angel Gabriel Luke 1:5-17
2. Zacharias made speechless Luke 1:18-25
3. Annunciation to Mary about Jesus by the angel Gabriel Luke 1:26-38
4. Song of Elizabeth to Mary Luke 1:39-45
5. Mary Praises God Luke 1:46-56
6. Birth of John the Baptizer Luke 1:57-66
7. Zacharias prophesies Luke 1:67-80
8. Annunciation to Joseph about Jesus by the angel of the Lord Matthew 1:18-25
C. Birth and Childhood of Jesus
1. Birth of Jesus Luke 2:1-7
2. Angels proclaim birth to shepherds Luke 2:8-14
3. Homage of shepherds to Babe in the manger Luke 2:15-20
4. Circumcision of Jesus Luke 2:21
5. Presentation of Jesus in the temple Luke 2:22-24
6. Simeon expresses his joy Luke 2:25-35
7. Anna the Prophetess Luke 2:36-38
8. Wise men seek Jesus Matthew 2:1-8
9. Wise men visit Jesus Matthew 2:9-12
10. Flight to Egypt Matthew 2:13-15
11. Herod orders slaughter Matthew 2:16-18
12. Return to Nazareth Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39-40
13. Trip to Jerusalem at age twelve Luke 2:41-50
14. Growing up in Nazareth Luke 2:51-52
D. John the Baptizer introduces Christ
1. John declares his mission Matthew 3:1-3; Mark 1:2-4; Luke 3:1-6;
2. John baptizes the people with water Matthew 3:4-6; Mark 1:5-6
3. John preaches repentance Matthew 3:7-10; Luke 3:7-14
4. John introduces Christ Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7-8; Luke 3:15-18;
5. John baptizes Jesus with water Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11;
6. John declares Jesus to be the Son of God John 1:29-34
7. Jesus tempted in the wilderness Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
8. The first disciples to follow Jesus John 1:35-42
9. Philip and Nathanael follow Jesus John 1:43-51
10. Jesus turns water into wine John 2:1-11
11. Jesus and His disciples sojourn in Capernaum John 2:12
E. Early Judean Ministry
1. The Passover and first cleansing of the Temple John 2:13-22
2. Miracles cause many to believe in Jesus John 2:23-25
3. Jesus and Nicodemus discuss the new birth John 3:1-21
4. Christs disciples baptizing in Judea John 3:22; John 4:2
5. John baptizing in Aenon John 3:23-24
6. Johns testimony about Christ at Aenon John 3:25-36
7. Imprisonment of John the Baptizer Matthew 14:3-12; Mark 6:17-29;
8. From Judea to Galilee Matthew 4:12; John 4:1, 3
9. Discourse with the Samaritan woman at the well John 4:4-26
10. The harvest is ripe John 4:27-38
11. Gospel preached to the Samaritan people John 4:39-42
F. Galilean Ministry
1. Early days
a. Jesus arrives in Galilee Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:14-15;
b. Healing of the Noblemans son John 4:46-54
c. First rejection at Nazareth Luke 4:16-30
d. Removal to Capernaum Matthew 4:13-16
2. First circuit
a. Call of four fishermen; Draught of fishes Matthew 4:18-22;
Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11
b. Teaching in Capernaum Synagogue Mark 1:21-22; Luke 4:31-32
c. Healing man with unclean spirit Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:33-37
d. Day of miracles in Capernaum Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34;
e. Tour of Galilee with four disciples Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:35-39;
f. Preaching and cleansing a leper Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45;
3. Enmity of Scribes and Pharisees
a. The paralytic healed Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26
b. The call of Matthew (Levi) Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17;
c. Fasting question answered Matthew 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22;
d. Jesus heals impotent man and attends second Passover John 5:1-18
e. Jesus discourse on eternal life and the Father John 5:19-47
f. Disciples pluck grain Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5
g. Man with withered hand is healed Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6;
4. Organizing the Kingdom
a. Multitudes healed Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 3:7-12; Luke 6:17-19
b. Jesus selects twelve Apostles Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19;
c. Beatitudes proclaimed Matthew 5:1-12; Luke 6:20-23
d. Woes pronounced Luke 6:24-26
e. Concerning salt Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49-50; Luke 14:34-35
f. Concerning light Matthew 5:14-16; Matthew 6:22-23; Luke 11:33-36
g. Mosaic Law to be fulfilled Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 16:17
h. On murder Matthew 5:21-24
i. Settle out of court Matthew 5:25-26; Luke 12:58-59
j. On adultery and lust Matthew 5:27-30
k. Marriage and divorce Matthew 5:31-32; Luke 16:18
l. Honesty without oaths Matthew 5:33-37
m. Regarding retaliation Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:29-30
n. Love for enemies Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-28, 32-36
o. On giving Matthew 6:1-4
p. On praying Matthew 6:5-8
q. A model prayer Matthew 6:9-15; Luke 11:1-4
r. On fasting Matthew 6:16-18
s. Spiritual treasures Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:33-34
t. Need for undivided loyalty Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13
u. Do not worry Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-32
v. Hypocritical judging Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 6:37-42
w. On profaning the holy Matthew 7:6
x. Persistently ask, seek, and knock Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:5-13
y. The Golden Rule Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31
z. Two gates Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:23-24
aa. Testing religious leaders Matthew 7:15-20; Luke 6:43-45
bb. Heaven is for doers Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Luke 13:25-27
cc. The wise and the foolish Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49
dd. Crowd is astonished at Jesus teaching Matthew 7:28-29
5. Second circuit
a. Healing of the centurions servant Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
b. Raising of widows son at Nain Luke 7:11-17
c. John sends Jesus a question Matthew 11:2-6; Luke 7:18-23; Luke 16:16
d. Jesus commends John Matthew 11:7-15; Luke 7:24-28
e. Jesus reproves rejection Matthew 11:16-19; Luke 7:29-35
f. Cities reproved Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 10:13-15
g. Thanksgiving to the Father Matthew 11:25-27; Luke 10:21-22
h. Invitation to find rest in Jesus Matthew 11:28-30
i. Anointing by sinful woman and parable of two debtors Luke 7:36-50
j. Second tour of Galilee and women ministering to Jesus Luke 8:1-3
6. Teaching at the Sea of Galilee
a. Jesus accused of madness Mark 3:20-21
b. Heals demonic Matthew 12:22-30; Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:14-23
c. Blasphemy condemned Matthew 12:31-37; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10
d. Folly of seeking for a sign Matthew 12:38-42; Luke 11:29-32
e. Need for moral reform Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26
f. Christs true kindred Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21
g. Parable of the Sower Matthew 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8
h. Purpose of parables Matthew 13:10-15; Mark 4:10-12; Luke 8:9-10
i. Blessedness of the disciples Matthew 13:16-17; Luke 10:23-24
j. Parable of the Sower explained Matthew 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20;
k. Parable of the lighted lamp Mark 4:21-25; Luke 8:16-18
l. Parable of the seed growing by itself Mark 4:26-29
m. Parable of the tares Matthew 13:24-30
n. Parable of the mustard seed Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32;
o. Parable of the leaven Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-22
p. Parables fulfill prophecy Matthew 13:34-35; Mark 4:33-34
q. Parable of the tares explained Matthew 13:36-43
r. Parable of the hidden treasure Matthew 13:44
s. Parable of the pearl of great price Matthew 13:45-46
t. Parable of the net Matthew 13:47-51
u. Parable of the householder Matthew 13:52-53
7. Miracles by the sea
a. Jesus stills the tempest Matthew 8:18, 23-27; Mark 4:35-41;
b. The demoniacs Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39
c. Jairus begs Jesus to heal his daughter Matthew 9:18-19; Mark 5:21-24a;
d. Healing of an afflicted woman Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:24b-34;
e. Jairus daughter raised Matthew 9:23-26; Mark 5:35-43;
f. Two blind men healed Matthew 9:27-31
g. Mute made to speak Matthew 9:32-34
8. Third circuit
a. Second rejection at Nazareth Matthew 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6a
b. Third tour of Galilee; Need for workers Matthew 9:35-38; Mark 6:6b
c. Apostles given power to heal Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1-2
d. Apostles instructed Matthew 10:5-15; Mark 6:8-11; Luke 9:3-5
e. Apostles warned Matthew 10:16-25; Luke 12:11-12
f. Fear God, not man Matthew 10:26-31; Luke 12:2-7
g. Christ must be confessed Matthew 10:32-33; Luke 12:8-9
h. Division in the household Matthew 10:34-36; Luke 12:49-53
i. Conditions of discipleship Matthew 10:37-42; Luke 14:25-33
j. Apostles in action Matthew 11:1; Mark 6:12-13; Luke 9:6
k. Herod curious about Jesus Matthew 14:1-2; Mark 6:14-16; Luke 9:7-9
9. At Capernaum
a. Apostles return and report Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:30-33;
Luke 9:10-11a; John 6:1
b. Jesus heals and teaches the multitude Matthew 14:14; Mark 6:34;
Luke 9:11b; John 6:2-4
c. Five thousand fed Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:35-44; Luke 9:12-17;
d. Kingship avoided Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46; John 6:14-15
e. Jesus walks on water Matthew 14:24-27; Mark 6:47-50; John 6:16-20
f. Peter walks on water Matthew 14:28-33; Mark 6:51-52; John 6:21
g. Healings at Gennesaret Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56
h. Jesus crossing is mystery to the people John 6:22-24
i. Discourse on the Bread of Life John 6:25-40
j. Jews challenge Jesus claim John 6:41-51
k. Jews question eating flesh John 6:52-59
l. Offended disciples turn away John 6:60-66
m. Peter affirms faith John 6:67-71
n. Tradition of Jewish leaders condemned Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13
o. Defilement contrasted Matthew 15:10-20; Mark 7:14-23
10. Withdrawal to the north
a. Canaanite womans daughter healed Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30
b. Many more healed throughout Decapolis Matthew 15:29-31;
11. Returning to the Sea of Galilee
a. Four thousand fed Matthew 15:32-38; Mark 8:1-9
b. Pharisees and Sadducees ask for a sign Matthew 15:39-16:4;
c. Doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees Matthew 16:5-12;
Mark 8:14-21; Luke 12:1
d. Blind man near Bethsaida healed Mark 8:22-26
12. Second northern withdrawal
a. Peter confesses Christ Matthew 16:13-16; Mark 8:27-30;
b. Jesus will build His church (or kingdom) Matthew 16:17-20
c. Christ foretells His suffering, death, and resurrection Matthew 16:21-23;
Mark 8:31-33; Luke 9:22
d. Burdens of discipleship Matthew 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38;
e. Kingdom will come within lifetime of Apostles Matthew 16:28;
Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27
f. Jesus is transfigured Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36
g. Apostles ask about Elijah Matthew 17:9-13; Mark 9:9-13
h. Demoniac boy healed Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29;
Luke 9:37-43a; Luke 17:5-6
i. Christ again foretells His death and resurrection Matthew 17:22-23;
Mark 9:30-32; Luke 9:43b-45
13. In Capernaum
a. Jesus gives tribute money Matthew 17:24-27
b. Apostles dispute about rank Matthew 18:1-6; Mark 9:33-37, 41-42;
Luke 9:46-48; Luke 17:1-2
c. Apostle John rebuked Mark 9:38-40; Luke 9:49-50
d. Warning about temptation Matthew 18:7-9; Mark 9:43-48
e. Parable of the lost sheep Matthew 18:10-14; Luke 15:1-7
f. When your brother sins against you Matthew 18:15-20
g. How often one must forgive Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-4
h. Parable of the unmerciful servant Matthew 18:23-35
14. Visit to Jerusalem
a. Brothers taunt Jesus John 7:1-9
b. Jesus goes privately to the feast John 7:10-13
c. Jesus teaches in the Temple John 7:14-24
d. Jews discuss Christ John 7:25-31
e. Guards sent to arrest Jesus John 7:32-36
f. The Holy Spirit promised John 7:37-39
g. More division among the Jews John 7:40-44
h. Nicodemus counsels caution John 7:45-53
i. Woman caught in adultery John 8:1-11
j. Jesus is the light of the world John 8:12-20
k. Warning against unbelief John 8:21-30
l. Spiritual freedom John 8:31-38
m. True children of Abraham John 8:39-47
n. Jesus declares His eternal existence John 8:48-59
G. Perean Ministry
1. To the Feast of Dedication
a. Departure from Galilee through Samaritan village Luke 9:51-56
b. The cost of discipleship Matthew 8:19-22; Luke 9:57-62
c. The seventy disciples sent out Luke 10:1-12, 16
d. The seventy disciples return Luke 10:17-20
e. Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:29-37
f. Visit to Martha and Mary Luke 10:38-42
g. Healing of the man born blind John 9:1-12
h. Pharisees question the man John 9:13-17
i. Mans parents are questioned John 9:18-23
j. Man questioned again John 9:24-34
k. Jesus confronts healed man John 9:35-41
l. Sheep and their Shepherd John 10:1-6
m. The Door for the sheep John 10:7-10
n. The good Shepherd John 10:11-18
o. Jews still divided John 10:19-21
p. Jesus affirms His own deity John 10:22-30
q. Jews attempt to stone Jesus John 10:31-39
2. From the feast to His withdrawal
a. Withdrawal from Jerusalem to Bethany John 10:40-42
b. The blessed person Luke 11:27-28
c. Parable of the rich fool Luke 12:13-21
d. People could not discern the time Luke 12:54-57
e. Urgency of repentance Luke 13:1-5
f. Parable of the barren fig tree Luke 13:6-9
g. Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath Luke 13:10-17
h. The saved from all nations Luke 13:28-30
i. Jesus warned about Herod Luke 13:31-33
j. Man healed of dropsy Luke 14:1-6
k. Parable of the place of honor Luke 14:7-11
l. Urging unselfishness Luke 14:12-14
m. Parable of the great banquet Luke 14:15-24
n. Parable of the lost coin Luke 15:8-10
o. Parable of the lost son Luke 15:11-32
p. Parable of the unjust steward Luke 16:1-12
q. Pharisees scoff at parable Luke 16:14-15
r. The rich man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31
s. The unprofitable servant Luke 17:7-10
t. Jesus told of Lazarus illness John 11:1-4
u. Disciples fear returning to Judea John 11:5-16
v. Jesus talks with Martha John 11:17-27
w. Jesus talks with Mary John 11:28-37
x. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead John 11:38-44
y. The counsel plots to kill Jesus John 11:45-53
z. Jesus goes to Ephraim John 11:54
3. From His withdrawal to His return to Jerusalem
a. Ten lepers healed Luke 17:11-19
b. The Kingdom of God is within Luke 17:20-21
c. Parable of the persistent widow Luke 18:1-8
d. Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican Luke 18:9-14
e. Pharisees question divorce Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:1-9
f. Disciples question Jesus Matthew 19:10-12; Mark 10:10-12
g. Jesus blesses the little children Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16;
h. The rich young ruler Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22;
i. Hard for the rich to go to Heaven Matthew 19:23-26; Mark 10:23-27;
j. Forsaking earthly attachments Matthew 19:27-30; Mark 10:28-31;
k. Parable of laborers in the vineyard Matthew 20:1-16
l. Jesus foretells His crucifixion Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34;
m. Ambition of James and John Matthew 20:20-23; Mark 10:35-40
n. Jesus teaches humility Matthew 20:24-28; Mark 10:41-45
o. Zacchaeus receives Jesus Luke 19:1-10
p. Blind Bartimeus and friend are healed Matthew 20:29-34;
Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43
4. The Last Week
a. Arrest of Jesus planned for Passover John 11:55-57
b. Chief Priest plot to kill Lazarus John 12:1-2, 9-11
c. Jesus anointed by Mary John 12:3-8
d. Jesus sends for colt Matthew 21:1-7; Mark 11:1-7; Luke 19:29-35;
e. Crowd goes to meet Jesus Matthew 21:8-9; Mark 11:8-10;
Luke 19:36-40; John 12:12-13
f. Jesus foresees destruction of Jerusalem Mark 11:11; Luke 19:41-44
g. Jesus popularity recognized Matthew 21:10-11; John 12:17-19
h. Cursing of the fig tree Matthew 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14
i. Second cleansing of temple Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17;
j. Plot to kill Jesus delayed Mark 11:18; Luke 19:47-48
k. Children praise Jesus Matthew 21:14-16
l. Return to Bethany Matthew 21:17; Mark 11:19
m. Lessons from cursed fig tree Matthew 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26
n. Christs authority challenged Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33;
o. Parable of the two sons Matthew 21:28-32
p. Parable of the wicked tenants Matthew 21:33-41; Mark 12:1-9;
q. The rejected stone Matthew 21:42-46; Mark 12:10-12;
r. Parable of the wedding feast Matthew 22:1-14
s. Jesus questioned about paying taxes Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17;
t. Jesus questioned about the resurrection Matthew 22:23-33;
Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40
u. The two greatest commandments Matthew 22:34-40;
Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28
v. Jesus questions the Pharisees Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37;
w. Woes on Scribes, Pharisees and Lawyers Matthew 23:1-36;
Mark 12:38-40; Luke 11:37-54; Luke 20:45-47
x. Jesus laments over Jerusalem Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 13:34-35
y. Widows mite Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4
z. Temple to be destroyed Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6
aa. Disciples question Jesus Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3-4; Luke 21:7
bb. Jesus tells of signs for destruction of Jerusalem Matthew 24:4-35;
Mark 13:5-31; Luke 17:22-25, 37; Luke 21:8-33
cc. No man knows the time of the second coming of Jesus
Matthew 24:36-44; Mark 13:32-33; Luke 17:26-36
dd. Jesus urges watchfulness Matthew 24:45-51; Mark 13:34-37;
Luke 12:35-48; Luke 21:34-36
ee. Parable of the wise and foolish virgins Matthew 25:1-13
ff. Parable of the talents/pounds Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-28
gg. The scene of the last judgment Matthew 25:31-46
hh. Jesus again foresees His crucifixion Matthew 26:1-2
ii. Leaders conspire to kill Jesus Matthew 26:3-5; Mark 14:1-2;
jj. Jesus is anointed at Simons house Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9
kk. Judas bargains to betray Jesus Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11;
ll. Gentiles seek Christ John 12:20-22
mm. Purpose of Christs death John 12:23-26
nn. Jesus foresees His crucifixion John 12:27-33
oo. Jesus is the light John 12:34-36
pp. Jesus teaches at the Temple Luke 21:37-38
qq. Jews reject Christ and fulfill prophecy John 12:37-41
rr. Some rulers are afraid John 12:42-43
ss. Jesus makes final public appeal John 12:44-50
5. Day before the Crucifixion
a. Disciples make preparation for the Passover Matthew 26:17-19;
Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13
b. Importance of the occasion Luke 22:14-16
c. Jesus hints of betrayers identity Luke 22:21, 23
d. Jesus predicts betrayal Matthew 26:20-21; Mark 14:17-18;
e. The betrayer is identified Matthew 26:22-25; Mark 14:19-21;
Luke 22:22; John 13:22-27a
f. Jesus sends Judas out John 13:27b-30
g. Jesus calls for love John 13:31-35
h. Institution of the Lords Supper Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25;
Luke 22:17-20; (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
i. Contention as to who is the greatest Luke 22:24-30
j. Jesus washes Apostles feet John 13:1-5
k. Peter is hesitant John 13:6-11
l. Jesus explains washing John 13:12-17
m. Peters denial foretold Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31;
Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38
n. Christ must fulfill prophecy Luke 22:35-38
o. Jesus to prepare a place for His people John 14:1-4
p. Thomas wants to know the way John 14:5-7
q. Philip wants to see the Father John 14:8-15
r. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit John 14:16-21
s. Judas (not Iscariot) is puzzled John 14:22-24
t. Jesus predicts He will go away and return John 14:25-31
u. The Vine and the branches John 15:1-8
v. Love one another John 15:9-17
w. Warning of persecution John 15:18-27; John 16:1-4
x. The Holy Spirit will reprove the world John 16:5-11
y. The Holy Spirit will guide into all truth John 16:12-15
z. The disciples are perplexed John 16:16-18
aa. Joy will come from sorrow John 16:19-24
bb. Speech will be made clear John 16:25-28
cc. The disciples express belief John 16:29-33
dd. Jesus prays for Himself John 17:1-5
ee. Jesus prays for the disciples John 17:6-19
ff. Jesus prays for all believers John 17:20-26
gg. To the Mount of Olives Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39
hh. To the Garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-38; Mark 14:32-34;
Luke 22:40; John 18:1
ii. Jesus prays in agony Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35-36; Luke 22:41-45
jj. Jesus prays a 2nd time Matthew 26:40-42; Mark 14:37-39; Luke 22:46
kk. Jesus prays a 3rd time Matthew 26:43-46; Mark 14:40-42
ll. Judas betrays Jesus Matthew 26:47-50a; Mark 14:43-45;
Luke 22:47-48; John 18:2-3
mm. Disciples safety insured John 18:4-9
nn. Peter cuts off a mans ear Matthew 26:50b-54; Mark 14:46-47;
Luke 22:49-51; John 18:10-11
oo. Jesus arrested and led to Annas Matthew 26:55-56; Mark 14:48-52;
Luke 22:52-53; John 18:12-13
6. The Crucifixion Day
a. Jesus sent to Caiaphas (High Priest) and the council Matthew 26:57;
Mark 14:53; Luke 22:54a; John 18:14
b. Peter follows Jesus to the palace Matthew 26:58; Mark 14:54;
Luke 22:54b-55; John 18:15-16
c. Jesus before Caiaphas and the council Matthew 26:59-66;
Mark 14:55-64; John 18:19-24
d. Jesus is abused Matthew 26:67-68; Mark 14:65; Luke 22:63-65
e. Peters 1st denial Matthew 26:69-70; Mark 14:66-68;
Luke 22:56-57; John 18:17-18
f. Peters 2nd denial Matthew 26:71-72; Mark 14:69-70a;
Luke 22:58; John 18:25
g. Peters 3rd denial Matthew 26:73-74a; Mark 14:70b-71;
Luke 22:59-60; John 18:26-27
h. Peter weeps Matthew 26:74a-75; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:61-62
i. Council condemns Jesus Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1a; Luke 22:66-71
j. Judas commits suicide Matthew 27:3-10; (cf. Acts 1:18-19)
k. Jesus taken to Pilate (Roman Governor) Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1b;
Luke 23:1-2; John 18:28-32
l. Pilate questions Jesus Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:3-4;
m. Pilate sends Jesus to Herod Luke 23:5-7
n. Jesus before Herod Luke 23:8-12
o. Pilates wife sends warning Matthew 27:19
p. Pilate seeks to release Jesus Luke 23:13-17; John 18:39
q. Jesus or Barabbas? Matthew 27:15-18; Mark 15:6-10
r. Crowd demands Barabbas Matthew 27:20-21; Mark 15:11;
Luke 23:18-19; John 18:40
s. Jesus crucifixion demanded Matthew 27:22-23; Mark 15:12-14;
t. Crown of thorns Matthew 27:27-30; Mark 15:16-19; John 19:1-3
u. Pilate presents Jesus John 19:4-6
v. Jesus again questioned by Pilate John 19:7-11
w. Jews play on Pilates loyalty John 19:12-15
x. Pilate washes hands Matthew 27:24-25
y. Barabbas is released Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:24-25
z. Jesus is led out Matthew 27:31; Mark 15:20; John 19:16-17
aa. Simon of Cyrene Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21-22; Luke 23:26
bb. Women weep for Jesus Luke 23:27-31
cc. Jesus is crucified Matthew 27:33-34, 38; Mark 15:23, 25, 27-28;
Luke 23:32-34a; John 19:18
dd. Inscription placed on the cross Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26;
Luke 23:38; John 19:19-22
ee. Soldiers cast lots Matthew 27:35-36; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34b;
ff. Crowd mocks Jesus Matthew 27:39-44; Mark 15:29-32;
gg. Thief asks to be remembered Luke 23:39-43
hh. Jesus provides for His mother (Mary) John 19:25-27
ii. Jesus cries out Matthew 27:45-47; Mark 15:33-35; Luke 23:44-45a
jj. Jesus is given drink Matthew 27:48-49; Mark 15:36; John 19:28-29
kk. Jesus gives up the ghost Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46;
ll. Miraculous events Matthew 27:51-53; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45b
mm. People struck with awe Matthew 27:54-56; Mark 15:39-41;
nn. Jesus side is pierced John 19:31-37
oo. Joseph asks for Jesus body Matthew 27:57-58; Mark 15:42-45;
Luke 23:50-52; John 19:38a
pp. Jesus buried Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53-54;
qq. Women prepare anointment Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47;
rr. Soldiers guard tomb Matthew 27:62-66
a. Stone rolled away Matthew 28:2-4
b. Women come to the tomb Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-4; Luke 24:1-3;
c. Message of the angels Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-8
d. Women go away in fear Matthew 28:8; Mark 16:8
e. Peter and John told about the resurrection John 20:2
f. Peter and John view tomb Luke 24:12; John 20:3-10
g. Jesus with Mary Magdalene Mark 16:9; John 20:11-17
h. Jesus appears to other women Matthew 28:9-10
i. Chief priest cover up resurrection Matthew 28:11-15
j. Women tell of appearance Mark 16:10-11; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:18
k. The Emmaus road conversation Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13-27
l. Jesus identity revealed Luke 24:28-32
m. The two disciples give report Mark 16:13; Luke 24:33-35
n. Jesus appears to disciples Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-20
o. Apostles receive authority John 20:21-23
p. Thomas doubts John 20:24-25
q. Jesus appears to Thomas John 20:26-29
r. Christ appears to seven disciples John 21:1-14
s. Peter reinstated as a leader John 21:15-17
t. Peters death foretold John 21:18-19
u. Johns death questioned John 21:20-24
8. To the Ascension
a. Jesus commissions the Apostles Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18
b. Parting instructions Luke 24:44-49; (cf. Acts 1:3-8)
c. Jesus ascends Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-51; (cf. Acts 1:9-11)
d. Disciples return joyfully Luke 24:52-53 (cf. Acts 1:12)
e. Jesus is preached Mark 16:20
f. Many things not told or written about Jesus John 20:30-31; John 21:25