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Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #28 (Week 1 of 3)

Doctrinal Standard #28 (1 of 3 weeks)

  • Q. How is Christ exalted?
  • A. Christ is exalted by His rising from the dead on the third day, His going up into heaven, His sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and His coming to judge the world at the last day.

Memory Verses

  • “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, ESV).

Scripture

  • Study Passage: Acts 1:1-11
  • Support Passages: Matthew 27:62-28:20; Mark 15:42-16:20; Luke 23:50-24:53; John 19:38-21:25; I Corinthians 15:1-11; I Timothy 3:16
  • Bible Story: The resurrection of Christ from the gospels  Matthew 27:62-28:20; Mark 15:42-16:20; Luke 23:50-24:53; John 19:38-21:25

Thoughts

  • Wayne Grudem in his systematic theology book explains the significance of the resurrection within the lives of believers.
  • “Christ’s resurrection insures our regeneration: Peter says that ‘we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ (1 Peter 1:3). Here he explicitly connects Jesus’ resurrection with our regeneration or new birth. When Jesus rose from the head He had a new quality of life, a ‘resurrection life’ in a human body and human spirit that were perfectly suited for fellowship and obedience to God forever. In His resurrection, Jesus earned for us a new life just like his. We do not receive all of that new ‘resurrection life’ when we become Christians, for our bodies remain as they were, still subject to weakness, aging, and death. But in our spirits we are made alive with new resurrection power.  Thus it is through his resurrection that Christ earned for us the new kind of life we receive when we are ‘born again.’”
  • “Christ’ resurrection insures our justification: In only one passage does Paul explicitly connect Christ’s resurrection with our justification (or our receiving a declaration that we are not guilty but righteous before God). Paul says that Jesus ‘was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification’ (Rom. 4:25). When Christ was raised from the dead, it was God’s declaration of approval of Christ’s work of redemption. Because Christ ‘humbled himself and became him…’ (Phil 2:9). By raising Christ from the dead, God the Father was in effect saying that he approved of Christ’s work of suffering and dying for our sins, that His work was completed, and that Christ no longer had any need to remain dead. There was no penalty left to pay for sin, no more wrath of God to bear, no more guilt or liability to punishment.”
  • “Christ’s resurrection insures that we will receive perfect resurrection bodies as well: The New Testament several times connects Jesus’ resurrection with our final bodily resurrection. ‘And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power (1 Cor. 6:14). Similarly, ‘He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence’ (2 Cor. 4:14). But the most extensive discussion of the connection between Christ’s resurrection and our own is found in 1 Corinthians 15:12-58. There Paul says that Christ the ‘first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’ (1 Cor. 15:20)… Just as the ‘first fruits’ or the first taste of the ripening crop show what the rest of the harvest will be like for that crop, so Christ as the ‘first fruits’ shows what our resurrection bodies will be like when, in God’s final ‘harvest,’ he raises us from the dead and brings us into his presence.”  [1]
  • The memory verse speaks of the power that believers will have when the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within them. According to scripture the indwelling of the Holy Spirit took place after the resurrection and accession of Jesus Christ. “The sending of the Holy Spirit was important, for whereas Jesus could work with the disciples only through the external teaching and example, the Holy Spirit could work within them (John 14:17). Having more intimate access to the centers of their lives, He would be able to do the works that Jesus did, and even greater ones (John 14:12). And through the Holy Spirit’s ministry, the Triune God would be present with them; thus Jesus could say that He would be with them forever (Matt. 28:20).” [2]

Discussion Questions

  • Quickly review how Jesus Christ was humiliated and contrast that with how he was exalted.
  • Explain how Christ’s resurrection is much more than a historical event? (Refer to the “thoughts” section above).
  • What is the benefit of Christ’s resurrection and ascension in the lives of believers? (Refer to the “thoughts” section above).
  • How do the benefits or significance Christ’ resurrection make you feel?
  • In your own words explain the importance of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension.


[1] Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA; Zondervan Publishing House.

[2] Erickson, Millard J. (1998). Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA; Baker Books.

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warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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