Teen Tree of Life – A Glimpse of the Resurrection Life … Before We Die- Part 1


Week ending in: 11/3/2019

TEEN TREE        OF LIFE

Receiving A Glimpse Of

The Resurrection Life Before We Die

Part 1

November 3, 2019

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

The Letter of Paul to the Philippians was written during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment and is known as a “Prison Letter” – along with Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon. The church at Philippi had sent Paul a gift and had it delivered by Epaphroditus, their messenger. Paul wrote this letter to his Christian friends in Philippi to express his gratitude for their love and help. The theme of the book is “joy” or “rejoicing in The Lord.” The word “joy” in its various forms occurs sixteen times.

 

Chapter three of Philippians is subtitled “The Goal of Life” in the New American Standard Bible translation. In the first ten verses of PHIL 3, the apostle Paul is writing to the Philippians about having inner happiness and he emphasizes the importance of repeating the doctrines he is sharing. In PHIL 3:1, he writes: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. Notice he uses the word safeguard with respect to repetition. Now, be honest! Sometimes when you hear your pastor/teacher repeating a doctrine or you read the same doctrine over and over again in our Teen Trees, you might say to yourself, “I already know this.” But you have to stop that line of behavior because repetition is vitally important to learning God’s Word. The word safeguard is defined as a measure taken to protect someone or something or to prevent something undesirable. And Paul – the greatest pastor/teacher of all time – is teaching us that writing “the same things again” will protect us and prevent something detrimental from happening to us! Why? Because it will ingrain God’s Word in you so you can use it throughout your Christian Walk.

 

PHIL 3:2-6 (The Message Bible) includes a warning about legalism: Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book. Legalism is mankind’s pointless attempt to gain Salvation or to continue in God’s Plan by way of some system of do’s and don’ts. And we, as Christians, have to avoid legalism like the plague!! The most popular form of legalism with Christians today, is performing human good for the purpose of gaining God’s admiration. Legalism is the opposite of grace – so it’s evil. As we know with certainty, there is only one way to be saved – by faith alone, in Christ alone. The apostle Paul also wrote a very important verse on this subject: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (EPH 2:8-9)

 

In PHIL 3:7-9 (The Message Bible) Paul talks about the arrogance and pointlessness of human achievement: The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. This is what we have to aspire to in our Christian lives! When we are able to think like Paul, we will have reached spiritual maturity!!! And this is our goal as Christians.

 

The next doctrines Paul covers are getting to know Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; knowing the Power of His Resurrection; and participating in His Sufferings and then being conformed to His Death. Look at PHIL 3:10-11 (The Message Bible): I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. It’s important to note that we can achieve these things by giving up “all that inferior stuff.”

 

Now let’s look more closely at PHIL 3:11: “If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.” First off, this verse doesn’t refer to something we have to do in order to be raised from the dead.  But there is actually a dual meaning to this verse. The first is to experience the resurrection life now, in time. The second is to have all that God has in store for us in the eternal state. The first part of verse 11 in the original language should be translated as if, in some way.” The next part of the verse means to attain or to arrive at a location, to achieve an objective or goal.  Then we have the final phrase in the verse which should be translated this way: the resurrection away from the dead ones.” This phrase refers to two categories of dead ones. The first category is the loser believers who live in temporal death.

 

If Bible doctrine is the number one priority in your life, then Jesus Christ has the highest priority as your Lord, because Bible doctrine is the Thinking of Christ. And you are a winner believer. If He is not the number one priority in your life, then you’re considered a loser believer, and you will not recognize Jesus Christ as Lord until you are in a resurrection body – after you’ve died and gone home to be with The Lord.

 

Shame is defined as painful feeling (emotion), originating from the consciousness of something dishonorable, wrong, sinful, or something that causes terrible regret. One of the goals in your life, when you’re nearing death, should be to have no regrets and to be able to say along with the apostle Paul in 2TI 4:6-8: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. This was written by a mature Christian – a winner believer – who has received a glimpse of The Resurrection Life!

 

For the loser believer, there is an embarrassment after death for failing to fulfill God’s Plan under the principle of equal privilege, equal opportunity, and spiritual freedom. There are several reasons for eventual embarrassment such as rejecting JOH 3:30 (New International Version): “He must become greater; I must become less.” Another reason is rejecting LUK 14:26-7 (The Message Bible): One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.

 

Yet another reason is refusing to go against the grain like the Jews in JOH 12:43 (The Message Bible): On the other hand, a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe. But because of the Pharisees, they didn’t come out in the open with it. They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place. When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God’s glory. This idea is so important in our lives today because Satan wants us to care more about what people think of us than what God thinks of us. He does this so that we stop putting God’s Word first in our lives. The New International Version translation puts it like this: for they loved human praise more than praise from God. The only way you can please God is to make Him and His Word your number one priority.

 

It’s important to bear in mind that the shame, loser believers experience when they die, is only a very temporary shame because there’s no sorrow in the eternal state. Also remember that the loser believer will also have shame on earth – so keep your eye on the goal – advance to spiritual maturity! Carry out God’s Pre-Designed Plan and glorify God to the maximum by receiving his escrow blessings for time and eternity! Fight the good fight! Finish the course! Keep the faith!

{to be continued}