As I prepare to teach on the Resurrection of Christ, an even that we are going to celebrate this coming Sunday, I am pondering on how to present this truth to children, ages 6-11 years old. I want to present the importance of the Resurrection and not just the fact that it happened. There were many reasons for the resurrection but the main one was to give sin a death blow. In order to present these concepts, I would like to examine two different passages of Scripture that lead us the conclusion that the resurrection actually took place and the daily importance of it. The first passage that would like to consider is I Corinthians 15:1-8.
I. Evidence of Christ’s resurrection
The first proof of Christ’s resurrection is the fact that one of Christ’s fiercest enemies is now preaching Him to everyone. What happened to Paul, to change him from a persecutor of Christ to becoming a promoter of Christ? He had a face to face encounter with the resurrected Christ, years after His resurrection. Something radical has to happen to a person to change his mind about another person, especially if he hated that person at one time and was converted to loving Him and championing Him. The resurrection of Christ changed Paul’s life. In fact, the Bible teaches that the purpose of the resurrection was to change people’s lives. Each new changed life is evidence for the fact of the resurrection of Christ. My life was changed by the resurrection of Christ. The Scriptures are the second proof of the resurrection of Christ. They spoke of His resurrection long before He was born. Over 500 different people saw the resurrected Christ, most of whom were still alive when I Corinthians 15 was written. No one was able to prove Paul’s testimony wrong. The Corinthian Christians are the third proof of the resurrection of Christ. They all experienced transformed lives. In fact, before coming to Christ, here is a short list of the sins that the Corinthians practiced.
9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God ? Do not bedeceived ; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit thekingdom of God.
11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justifiedin the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6)
Did you notice the list and the phrase “such were some of you”?
- fornicator – those who practice any form of sex outside of marriage, both physical as well as mental. If you have every looked at pornography, you are a fornicator.
- idolator – any person who places something other than God as number 1 in his life. An idol can be sinful things as well as noble things. God wants to be number 1 in your life.
- adulterer – any person who has sexual relations with another person other than his spouse or a person who is not married and has sexual relations with a married person. If you are married and look at porn, you commit adultery.
- effeminate – males who prostitute themselves out to other males.
- homosexual – when a male has sexual relations with another male the way a man has sexual relations with his wife.
- thief – a person who takes something that does not belong to him
- covetous person – a person who desires what another person has, wanting something that does not belong to you
- drunkard – being under the influence of any mind altering drug
- reviler – mischievous, maliciously causing harm
- swindler – one who seizes and carries off by force, to snatch away, to cheat someone out of something
Sounds like a good group of people to be affiliated with, right? That is the way that they used to live but because of the resurrection of Christ, their lives were transformed.
II. Evidence brings about belief
The definition of faith or belief, is being completely convinced of something based on evidence. Once you have examined the evidence of the resurrection of Christ in the Scriptures and hearing the testimonies of changed lives, you accept it, or, as the text says “receive” it. How does the evidence make its way to you? Someone is sent by God to deliver that message, or, as Paul says, preach it. Step one is to examine the evidence and accept it. Step two is to stand on that evidence, or, in other words, put your faith into action. Belief is more than a theoretical concept. Genuine belief is personal application, not once, but day by day, moment by moment living out what you believe. The text tells us that if we examine the evidence, believe, and then put that belief into action, we are saved. In fact, belief opens the door to salvation and then genuine salvation causes us to stand (apply) what we have accepted. The third step is to hold fast to the Word which you have believed. Hold fast literally means that you walk with the Word of God in front of your face as a guide. Practically speaking, it means that you base your life, all of your ideas, dreams, and choices on what the Word of God teaches. If steps two and three do not take place, then God explains that your “faith” or “belief” were in vain. In other words, it was not genuine faith or genuine belief as the Bible teaches. When belief is genuine, steps two and three take place.
III. Belief destroys sin’s death grip on us
Once you begin applying God’s Word to your life and living by Its teachings, something amazing will happen to sin’s grip on you. As people, because of original sin, we are all born shackled by our sin nature. It is our master and we must obey it. How do I know I am shackled by sin? I practice sin, and even if I want to stop I cannot do it. In Romans 7, Paul clearly explains what life is like for a person who is a slave to sin. He cannot stop even when he is aware of his problem and wants to stop. Romans 6 is our second passage that I would like to consider. Because of the resurrection of Christ, the death grip that sin has on us is broken when we believe. Jesus came to set the captives free and we are the captives. We need His freeing power in our lives. I have explained this process in a previous article. You can read it here, the daily importance of the resurrection of Christ.
Have you ever gone from a person who was shackled by sin’s death grip to a person who can now say no to temptation and sin? This is the changed life that the Bible teaches about. This is what happened to Paul. This is what happened to the sinners in Corinth. This is what Jesus calls being born again. Have you ever been born again? Have you examined the evidence of Christ’s resurrection in the Scriptures and witnessed testimonies of changed lives? Do you realize that sin’s grip has already been dealt a death blow? Why do you continue to live as a slave to sin and temptation? Believe the Gospel, apply It, and live by It day by day and watch what God will do in your life and through your life. May the Lord help us understand the practical implications of Christ’s resurrection.