Friday, April 3, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday April 5, 2015

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RESURRECTION GUARANTEED
(Our new life is sure because of the resurrection of CHRIST)
1 Corinthians 15

In the biblical Greek the word used for “resurrection” is “anastasis”, and it is “a moral recovery of spirit truth”, and in the physical sense, it means, “to stand up again”. The sins of Adam and Eve ushered physical death into the world, and by contrast, the resurrection of CHRIST JESUS brought spiritual life. Adam, the first man, came from the dust of the earth, while JESUS, the second man, came from Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:47).
It was William Barclay who wrote, “Cleverness can never be the basis of true religion, and true religion can never be the product of a man’s mind”. The resurrection of CHRIST is the essence of the Christian Faith, and is the core of all of the apostle’s teachings. No man is capable of producing or concocting a “True Religion”, or Faith. Only GOD, the CREATOR of Heaven and Earth is capable of meeting the qualifications necessary, and setting the examples, that every man can benefit from, 100% of the time. Man, through his imperfections, will never be able to spiritually rule over another man, and so, “Christianity” remains as the only true religion, simply because, it is the only religion that is a product of GOD’s mind. 
In 1 Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul offers us an indebt understanding of the subject of the resurrection of CHRIST JESUS and the powerful impact that that resurrection has on those who choose to believe on HIM in this world. The resurrection is guaranteed through the sacrifice of CHRIST JESUS, the author and finisher of the only true faith, Christianity. He begins by reminding the Corinthians, in particular, and the world in general, of the important teaching that he had passed on to them in a previous time, regarding the resurrection of CHRIST. He then tells them of the many witnesses to that resurrection, which included himself, Peter, James, and many more, including all of the other apostles.
In verses 12-19 Paul embarks upon a logical argument explaining the centrality of the resurrection of CHRIST to the Christian Faith, and the belief that because of that resurrection, all who die believing in HIM will also be raised from the dead, and into eternal life with GOD, just as HE was. Our hope in CHRIST, “the Christian Hope”, is not just for this life, but rather, it is for the eternal life yet to come in Heaven. That is why true Christians are not “miserable people”, but rather, to the contrary, we are people who retain unshakable joy while still living here on earth.
It is a true fact that JESUS has been raised from the dead, and HE became the first fruit of a great harvest of believers who will be raised to life again. And just as death came into the world through Adam, resurrection from the dead into eternal life with GOD has been ushered in by JESUS CHRIST. Everyone dies because of their relationship to Adam, but everyone can live again, eternally, through their relationship with CHRIST JESUS. Death will be the last enemy of man to be destroyed, or nullified, and so, we must not be fooled by unbelievers. Remember, bad company corrupts good character. We have to come to our senses and quit living in sin by coming to know GOD on a personal and experiential, “life saving” level (Vs.20-34).
Paul concludes this chapter with the analogy of the “dead seed” that is planted and then, through nourishments from GOD, once again becomes “a living thing”, full of life and growth, producing life-giving food, and even more seeds for future growth. However, the dead seed (lost person) had to first fall into the hands of a sower (a witness) who could introduce it to “new life” (JESUS) by planting it firmly into the nourishment of GOD (The Word). Death is then swallowed up by victory, and its sting (sin) is taken away (Vs.35-58).    
 The person who has met and accepted the “Risen LORD” will be able to live forever in the joy of HIS presence. They will be able to come to rest in the knowledge that nothing can ever again separate them from HIS saving grace. And so, we should be able to see quite clearly now how no man can give another man that kind of religion. It is something that only GOD is capable of doing. That is why the Christian can “believe”, “share”, and “rejoice” in the saving power of GOD.
Through the birth, ministry, passion, death, and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST, GOD is saying to us, as only HE can, that HE loves us with an everlasting love that can withstand all of the suffering that this world has to offer. With GOD, it is possible for us to make “a moral recovery of a spiritual truth” found only in HIM, and when we accept that TRUTH, we become fully able “to stand up again” and live forever in the presence of the ALMIGHTY GOD in Heaven.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander 





                                 
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