THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST   [Part 4]

(Lesson 04 on Bible Doctrines) 



 

I. THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

  1. “Christianity is the only religion that bases its claims to acceptance upon the resurrection of its founder. For any other religion to base its claim on such a doctrine would be to court failure. Test all other religions by this claim and see” – William Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible.
  2. The literal, bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is a fundamental doctrine (I Cor.15).
  3. Christ predicted His death and resurrection (Matt. 16:21; 17:22, 23; 20:17-19; 26:12, 28-32).
  4. There were at least fifteen appearances of Christ after His resurrection.

    a.      Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9).

    b.     The women (Matt. 28:1-10).

    c.      Simon Peter (Luke 24:34).

    d.     The disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35).

    e.      The disciples, Thomas absent (Luke 24:36-43; cf. Mark 16:14).

    f.       The disciples including Thomas (John 20:26-29).

    g.      The disciples at the sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-23).

    h.      More than five hundred brethren (I Cor. 15:6).

    i.        James, our Lord’s half-brother (I Cor. 15:7).

    j.       The eleven disciples on the mountain (Matt. 28:16-20).

    k.     Stephen (Acts 7:55, 56).

    l.        Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6).

    m.    Paul in the temple (Acts 22:17-21).

    n.      Paul in prison (Acts 23:11).

    o.     John on the isle of Patmos (Rev.1:17, 18).

  5. Christ’s resurrection was a bodily resurrection. Liberals, modernists, cultists, skeptics, and other unbelievers deny His bodily resurrection (John 20:27-29; Luke 24:36-43).
  6. Why did Christ rise from the dead?

    a.      He arose to be the giver of resurrection life (John 11:25,26; Col. 3:1-4).

    b.     He arose to be the source of resurrection power (Eph. 1:19-23).

    c.      He arose to be the head of the church, His body (Eph. 1:22,23).

    d.     He arose to be the firstfruits of them that slept (I Cor. 15:20-23; cf. I Thess. 4:14).

  7. Because Christ arose on the first day of the week, Christians set apart the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2).
    1. “The passage (Acts 20:7) indicates the use by the apostolic churches of the first day, not the seventh” – C.I. Scofield, The Scofield Study Bible.
    2. “The Lord’s Day is not the original Sabbath. Who dared change it? For what reason, and on what ground was it changed? Ponder the tenacity with which the Jews held on to their Sabbath given in Eden and made known amid the thunders of Sinai. Recall how Jews would sooner die than fight on the Sabbath day (cf. Titus’ invasion of Jerusalem on the Sabbath). The Jews never celebrated the birthdays of great men; they celebrated events, like the Passover. Yet in the New Testament times we find Jews, changing their time-honored seventh day to the first day of the week, and contrary to all precedent, calling that day after a man – the Lord’s Day. Here is an effect, a tremendous effect; what was its cause? We cannot have an effect without a cause. The resurrection of our Lord was the cause for this great change in the day of worship” – William Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible.

II. THE ASCENSION AND EXALTATION OF CHRIST

  1. In addition to predicting His death and resurrection, our Lord also predicted His ascension and exaltation (John 6:62; 20:17; cf. Luke 9:51).
  2. Our Lord ascended into heaven forty days after His resurrection (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:1-3,9-11).
  3. This was foretold in the Old Testament (Ps. 68:18; cf. Eph. 4:8; and Ps. 110:1; cf. Acts 2:34; Heb. 1:13).
  4. The nature of the ascension and exaltation of Christ.
    1. It was a bodily and visible ascension (Luke 24:51).
    2. He passed up through the heavens (Eph. 4:10; Heb. 7:26).
    3. He took His place at the right hand of God the Father (Col. 3:1).  The right hand of God signifies a place of power and authority (cf. Matt. 26:64; Acts 5:31; 7:55). Evans points out that the right hand of God “indicates the place of the accuser whom Christ casts out (Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:10); the place of intercession which Christ now occupies (Rom. 8:34); the place of acceptance where the Intercessor now sits (Ps. 110:1); the place of highest power and richest blessing (Gen. 48:13-19); the place of power (Ps. 110:5). All these powers and prerogatives are Christ’s by reason of His finished work of redemption” (Ibid.).
  5. The purpose of the ascension and exaltation of Jesus Christ.

    a.      He has entered heaven as a forerunner (Heb. 6:20).

    b.     He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3).

    c.      He is now appearing before God the Father in our behalf (Heb. 9:24).

  6. There are many other references in the Bible to our Lord’s arrival in heaven (Acts 3:21; 9:3-6; Eph. 1:19-23; Phil. 2:9-11; I Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 9:24; 10:12-14; 12:2; Rev. 1:13-18; 5:5-12; 7:9-17; 14:1-5; 19:11-16).
  7. Our Lord ascended from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12) and He will descend to the very same place at the end of the tribulation period (Zech. 14:4).
  8. The details concerning the second coming of Christ will be covered under the doctrine of last things (eschatology).

Pastor James Barker
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