3 Things Jesus Did After The Resurrection

Acts 1:3 tells us that after the resurrection there was a period of forty days in which Jesus appeared to His disciples. We see three things that Jesus did during that time.

1) Jesus restored His disciples’ faith & gave them hope

Jesus’ crucifixion devastated His followers. In Matthew 19:27 Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you.” And in John 6:68 he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In John 20:9 we also learn that they “did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”

From the perspective of His followers, while Jesus was being crucified, everything they had hoped in and believed in was dying before their eyes.

So after His resurrection Jesus set out restore their hope.

We see Him appear to a sobbing Mary Magdalene in John 20:15-18. With one simple word, “Mary”, Jesus restored her faith and gave her hope.

Then in John 20:19-30 Jesus appeared to the apostles and “showed them his hands and side”, which had been pierced for their sin. Then we’re told the apostles were “overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” They had misunderstood. What the world had meant for evil, God meant for good.

2) Jesus taught His disciples how the scriptures pointed towards Him

As we saw earlier Jesus’ followers did not understand what the Scripture said about Him. That’s why once their faith was restored Jesus moved to ground their faith through Scripture.

We see this in Acts 1:2-3 where we find Jesus giving the apostles commandments and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Again in Luke 24:27 we see Jesus, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, explaining to His disciples what was said in the Scriptures concerning himself.

And again in Luke 24:32 where the disciples’ “hearts burned” as Jesus “opened the Scripture” to them. They once were blind to the truth of the Bible but Jesus gave them spiritual sight.

3) Jesus sent His followers out to share the good news

With their faith restored and strengthened, Jesus’ final instructions to the Apostles in Matthew 28:19 was to “go and make disciples of all nations” by sharing with the world the great things that Jesus has done.

3 Things You Need To Know Before (And After) You Become A Christian

There are three things a person needs to know in order to become a Christian and then live a fulfilling life in Christ.

1) You need to know you are a sinner

The Gospel begins with the bad news that we’re all sinners:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23)

There is none righteous, no, not one. (Rom 3:10)

And our sin places us under God’s judgment:

The wages of sin is death… (Rom 6:23)

We often make the mistake of comparing ourselves to other people. When we do that we convince ourselves that we aren’t so bad. But it’s “the glory of God” that we fall short of. God compares our behavior to His own — not other people — and all of us fall short when held to this standard.

Why this is important to know: 1) We must recognize that we need be saved from our sins in order to be at peace with God and 2) That salvation must come from a source outside of us because we can’t live up to God’s standard.
 

2) You need to know how you can be forgiven for your sins

After laying out the problem, the Gospel then give us the solution to the problem of sin:

The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

Christ Himself fulfilled all that God has required in His Law, and paid for our sins:

What the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. (Rom 8:3)

We are saved through Christ’s work, not our own:

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

As we learned above, we can’t save ourselves from our sin because our good works can’t live up to God’s standard, but where our works are stained with sin and rejected, Christ’s work is perfect and is accepted.

When we say we recognize our need to be saved, and call on Christ to be our Savior, we mean we’re relying on His sacrifice to be a payment for our sins and to make peace with God on our behalf. When we do this God credits Christ’s perfection to us, we’re justified, and we’re forgiven for our sins.

Why this is important to know: Because only Jesus can save us from the penalty of our sin, any other way we try to make peace with God will fall short (Acts 4:12).
 

3) You need to know how you should respond to God’s forgiveness

Once we are at peace with God, through Christ, we are a new creation:

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17)

We no longer live for sin, we live for God:

Do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Rom 6:13)

You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)

And our lives should bear good fruit:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)

Why this is important to know: In order to grow in Christ we need to know how to respond to God’s grace. What Christ has done for us effects how we live. We do good works, not to be saved, but because Christ has saved us (Eph 2:10). We forgive because Christ has forgiven us (Matt 6:12). We bless because Christ has blessed us (Eph 1:3). We served because Christ has served us (Mrk 10:45). We love because Christ has loved us (1 Jhn 4:19).

3 Things Christian’s Should Know About Praying In Jesus’ Name

1. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for access to God

The way to heaven is blocked up by our sins. There is no access for a sinful person to God without a Mediator.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jhn 14:6)

Jesus Christ is that Mediator. Jesus came down from heaven, died for sinners, and gathers them to himself by His effectual calling.

“If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 Jhn 2:1)

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph 3:12)

“Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:14,16)

2. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for acceptance of our prayers

After Jesus intercedes for us by His work on the cross, he then tells us to go to his Father in his name, and ask what we need. He also gives us His Spirit to help us with our prayers.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 Jhn 5:14)

“I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (John 16:23)

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Rom 8:26)

3. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for a gracious answer

We don’t always get the answer to prayers we want but we will always receive whatever we need to accomplish God’s will in our lives through Jesus.

“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (Jhn 14:13)

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes With Your Salvation

One of the core teachings of Christianity is that we need to have faith in order to be saved. But what kind of faith saves us?

In a previous study we discussed what it is we’re saved from. In this study we’re going to discuss how we know we’re saved.

To do this, we’re going to look at three examples of people in the Bible who mistakenly thought they were saved, see why they were wrong, and from that learn how we can know we’re saved.

Mistake #1 – Believing you’re saved because of your tradition

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.'” – John 8:42-44

Our first example comes from a heated exchange between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees — the religious leaders of their day. Jesus tells them that He speaks the words of His Father, while they speak the words of their father, the devil.

These religious people felt they were saved because of their bloodline and because of the traditions they followed. They felt these things made God their Father. Many people believe this today. They feel because they were raised in a Christian home, or because they attend a church, they’re saved.

But Jesus refutes this by saying, “If God were your Father, you would love me…” The requirement for being a child of God is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Notice two things:

1) Notice that Jesus says “you”. Not your parents, or friends or your church but “you”. No one can have a relationship on our behalf. You alone must put your trust in Him to be saved.

2) Notice that Jesus says “me”. It’s not where you were born, or what church you attend that makes you a child of God. It’s a belief and a trust that Christ came from the Father to pay for your sins (John 3:16). John 1:12 tells us that “all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Let’s look at our second example.

Mistake #2 – Believing you’re saved because of your behavior

Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”- Luke 18:10-14

Our next example comes from a parable Jesus told. Here we find that the Pharisee thinks he’s saved because of his good behavior. This is probably the reason most people today believe they’re saved. Most people feel that they’ve lived good lives.

But Jesus refutes this by telling us that it’s not the Pharisee who is justified (declare innocent from sin), but the tax collector. To be justified Jesus tells us we must be humble about our condition. We must realize we’ve sinned and call on God to forgive us.

Notice two things:

1) Notice that the Pharisee compared his behavior to the tax collector.

2) Notice that the tax collector compared his behavior to God.

The tax collector did the right thing because Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s “the glory of God” that we fall short of. Our behavior is compared to God — not other people — and all of us fall short when held to this standard. But Romans 3:24 tells us that we can be saved because we’re “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s look at one final example.

Mistake #3 – Believing you’re saved because of your works or deeds

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matthew 7:21-23

In our final example we find Jesus talking about who will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Here we find people who believe they’re saved because of good works they do. Again this is something many people do today.

Jesus refutes this by saying that He won’t accept their works. As we mentioned in our last example, God’s glory is the standard we’re held to, and it’s perfect. So unless our offering is perfect, it falls short of His glory. When we try to offer good deeds to atone for our sins, God rejects that because the sacrifice is stained with sin, and falls short of His glory.

Jesus says that only those who do the will of His Father will enter the kingdom. What is His will? “He commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30) What does it mean to repent? It means to turn from sin, to Christ.

Where our works are stained with sin and rejected, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is perfect and is accepted. When we repent and come to Christ to be our Savior it means we’re relying on His sacrifice to make peace with God on our behalf. When we do this God credits Christ’s perfection to us and we are justified.

How are we saved?

In this study we’ve looked at people who mistakenly thought they were saved because of their tradition, behavior or good works. Each example had one thing in common: Each tried to obtain salvation through their own strength and fell short.

God gives us salvation through His Son. Our salvation isn’t based on what we’ve done, it’s based on what Christ has done. We know we’re saved when we know we trust in Christ completely for our salvation.

Verses to remember

– “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8)

– “This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

– He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Heb 7:25)

3 Keys To Christian Living

1) Keep your eyes fixed on eternal things

“We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Cor 4:18

A Christian should keep his eye on his journey’s end, just as our Lord Jesus, while enduring the cross, kept focus on the joy that was before Him (Heb 12:2). And again when the stones flew towards Stephen, his eyes were lifted up to heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56).

Though you may lie at the rich man’s gates, soon you will escorted into Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:19-31). Though Israel had a rough journey through the wilderness, Caleb and Joshua, men of excellent spirits, had their eye upon the good land they were going to (Num 14).

In the same way, set your heart on the hope to which Christ has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (Eph 1:18-19).

2) Be content

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ” – Phil 4:11-13

Though you may suffer now, your suffering will not last forever. Your sorrows shall be short, and your joys long. Remember that Christ first endured the cross before he wore the crown. And David, before he was a king, was a shepherd. Remember that Lazarus, before he was carried into heaven, had experienced sorrow and sufferings on earth.

When Jeremiah would ask the Lord why wicked prosper, he was sure to say that the Lord’s judgments were righteous. And his point wasn’t to charge God with being unfair, it was to learn understanding of him in the way of his judgments (Jer 12).

Even if the godly have many waves of trials crashing upon them, the Lord will command his love towards them (Psa 42:7-8). And, after a little while, they shall arrive at the heavenly haven. This world is not the Christian’s resting-place, their rest is still to come (Heb 4:9).

3) Let faith and hope in Christ lift you above your suffering

“We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations…” – Rom 5:2-3

Find peace in the fact that through Christ, whatever your present troubles are — whether outward afflictions, or inward temptations — they will soon be over. Then your sighs and groans shall be turned into songs of praise.

3 Things The Good Shepherd Does

Jesus told this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. – Luke 15:3-7

Jesus, as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), does three things for His sheep:

1) The Good Shepherd Searches

– Notice that the shepherd is anxious to recover the lost sheep — He leaves the ninety-nine immediately to go after the one who is lost.

– Notice the shepherd doesn’t give up until the sheep is found — He goes after the sheep “until he finds it”.

– Notice the shepherd isn’t angry at the sheep — He is joyful when he finds his sheep.

In the same way, Jesus came to “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) He “came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

2) The Good Shepherd Finds

– Notice the shepherd carries the all the weight — The sheep is carried “on his shoulders”.

– Notice the shepherd holds the sheep safe — The sheep are safe, held firmly in his grip.

In the same way, Jesus carries the weight of sin for us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) He also holds our salvation safe and sure, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28)

3) The Good Shepherd Brings Home

– Notice the shepherd shares his joy of finding the sheep with friends — “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep!”

– Notice the shepherd brings the sheep all the way home — “…and goes home.”

In the same way, when a person comes to Christ “there is rejoicing in heaven” And Jesus leads us to heaven, “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)

3 Things That Define Us As Christians

1) Christians Are Gospel People

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” – Romans 1:16

Christians are people with a distinctive story.

We are people who follow Christ and believe that He died for our sins, was raised from the grave, and through faith in Him we have forgivness, a relationship with God, and everlasting life. We believe this not only with our heads but also in our hearts.

For Christians, this gospel is the source of our basic identity; we define ourselves by our relationship to Jesus Christ.

2) Christians Are Bible People

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”
– 2 Timothy 3:16

Christians are people with a distinctive authority.

We believe that God is our ultimate authority, and that the Holy Scriptures are His authoritative self-revelation. For Christians, our ultimate standard is God, who speaks in the Bible.

3) Christians Are Church People

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
– Galatians 6:2

Christians are people with a distinctive community.

We believe that the church is the particular context within which we are to live our lives.

It is within the community of the church that we worship God, hear his Word, and receive the sacraments. It is within the community of the church that we are loved for, cared for, encouraged and held accountable.

Jules Grisham

The 3 Steps of Repentance

“Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…” – 2 Corinthians 7:10

To repent means to change one’s attitude towards sin and God. It’s a change that must occur in both the mind and the heart.

In Matthew 27:3 Judas repented in his mind but not his heart. In other words, he had a sense of regret or remorse, but he remained in his sin instead of turning to God for forgiveness.

Repentance of the mind and the heart leads to salvation and consists of three steps:

Step 1 – Recognize Your Guilt

The idea here is that we understand who we are and where we stand before God. 1 John 1:8 tells us that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” While Romans 6:23 tells us the “wages of sin is death”.

The first step in repenting involves understanding that we are sinners and stand under God’s judgment.

Step 2 – Trust That God Will Forgive You

In Psalm 51 David wrote, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Repentance is not only acknowledging our sin, it’s also recognizing that God is willing and able to forgive our sin.

We’re promised in Hebrews 8:12 that God will “forgive our wickedness and will remember our sins no more.

The second step in repenting involves believing that God will forgive us.

Step 3 – Turn From Sin, To God

Once we realize that we stand before God guilty of sin, and that He is willing to forgive us, we must then come to Him to receive that forgiveness. We come to God the Father though Jesus Christ, who is God the Son.

John 3:16 declares that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 1 John 4:10 tells us that Christ is “the propitiation [or payment] for our sins.”

Because Christ paid for our sins, Romans 3:24 tells us that we have been “justified freely” through Him, and we now stand before God innocent.

The final step in repenting involves calling on Christ to save us from the penalty of sin. Acts 2:21 promises that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.

Once we have repented and come to Christ for forgiveness Ephesians 2:19 tells us we are “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.