Who is Jesus? A study in the gospel of Luke          Week 4

I. What is the significance of the Resurrection?  (Luke 24:36-53)

A.      The historicity of the Resurrection

1.       Five independent accounts report the Resurrection

2.      The accounts of the Resurrection would have been offensive and unbelievable to first century Jews and Gentiles

3.      The disciples preached the Resurrection despite suffering and martyrdom

4.      Paul was converted after encountering the risen Jesus

B.      The declaration of the Resurrection

1.      The Resurrection is the vindication of Jesus as the Messiah (Lk. 24:46)

2.      The Resurrection is testimony that Jesus is God (Rom. 1:4)

3.      The Resurrection is the fulfillment of God’s revelation in Scripture (Lk. 24:44-49)

C.       The hope of the Resurrection

1.      The Resurrection shows that Jesus completely paid the debt that we owe on account of our sin (1 Cor. 15:17)

2.      God offers free forgiveness of sin through Jesus (Lk. 24:47)

3.      Through the Holy Spirit, God can raise us up to new life in Christ (Rom. 6:4)

4.      One day, God will raise our bodies from the dead just as he raised Jesus (1 Cor. 15:22)

II.  What does it mean to be a Christian?

A.      A Christian acknowledges and submits to Jesus as Lord

1.       The earliest confession of Christians was ‘Christ is Lord’

2.      My first allegiance as a Christian is to Jesus Christ, because he alone deserves by ultimate service, praise, and obedience

3.      Jesus is a loving king, who comes not to be served but to serve (Mk. 10:45)

B.       A Christian trusts Jesus as Savior

1.      None of us deserve God’s love, either before becoming a Christian or after

2.      Our holiness, good works, and zeal cannot merit God’s acceptance

3.      Our obedience, submission, and surrender to Jesus will always be incomplete, half-hearted, and mixed with selfish motives

4.      God has promised to save all those who trust in Jesus, not because they are good, holy and righteous, but because He is good, holy, and righteous

C.       A Christian is adopted into God’s family

1.      Christians relate to God as children, not as employees (Gal. 4:21-31)

2.      Christians relate to one another as brothers and sisters (Gal. 3:26-29)

III. How does a person become a Christian?

A.      Repent and believe the good news

1.       Jesus exhorted people to “repent and believe the good news” (Mk. 1:15)

2.      The apostles exhorted their hearers to “repent and believe the good news” (Acts 3:19)

B.      Repentance is a deep change of mind about yourself, about God, and about sin

1.      Repentance means recognizing that you are a sinner – you have broken God’s laws (Rom. 3:9-18)

2.      Repentance means recognizing that God would be just to condemn you (Rom. 3:19-20)

3.      Repentance means recognizing that sin is making you miserable

4.      True repentance leads to a practical turning away from sin (Lk. 3:8)

C.      Belief is trusting in God’s promises of free and complete forgiveness in Christ

1.      God has promised to forgive all those who trust in Christ (Rom. 10:1-13)

2.      God’s promise to his people is unconditional; it depends not on our goodness or obedience, but on Christ’s suffering and sacrifice (Eph. 2:1-10)

3.      Jesus calls all people: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

4.      Faith is putting all of our hope, reliance, and trust in these promises, believing that Christ is a sufficient Savior (Rom. 4:1-5)

Sample discussion questions:

1.       Why does it matter that Jesus was physically raised from the dead? 

2.      How can we be raised from the dead since our bodies decompose?

3.      If I’m saved by God’s grace, can’t I live however I want?

Suggested passages for future reflection:

John 3:16-21 – John 3:16 is probably the best known verse in the Bible.  In this passage, Jesus talks about why he came and how we can be saved.

Romans 1:1-3:31 – A long treatment of God’s salvation plan in the Bible: why we need to be saved by grace through faith in Christ.

Luke 15:11-32 – Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, a story of our separation from God and God’s astonishing love for us.