ABOUT THIS STUDY GUIDE
What an encouraging word—resurrection. It’s a word full of hope, a word that inspires and brings courage to those who know Jesus Christ. He’s the risen Lord, in whom all authority has been given in heaven and on earth. And those who are in Christ are in a good place.
—Experiencing the Resurrection
How do we make the most of this “good place” that is ours in Christ? What does the resurrection of Christ really mean for us? What does it reveal about the heart and mind of God? And what real differences can the miracle of the resurrection make in the lives of believers today?
We’ll discover answers to those and other questions as we examine God’s Word through this companion study guide to the book Experiencing the Resurrection
by Henry Blackaby and Melvin Blackaby.
THE SETUP FOR EACH LESSON
At the beginning of each lesson, you’ll find a list of the chapters in Experiencing the Resurrection
that correspond to that lesson. We encourage you to read along in that book as you proceed through this study.
Throughout this study guide, paragraphs printed in a shaded box (like this one) are excerpts from the book Experiencing the Resurrection
. These excerpts can help you focus on that book’s most important themes and conclusions. Read them attentively to center your mind on these key points, even if you’ve already been through the book.
Each lesson is structured simply, with a series of numbered questions interspersed with quotations from the book. Sometimes a question will be based on the book quote that precedes it. Sometimes the quote that follows the question will amplify the question’s purpose and help you reflect on it even more. Many questions also include Scripture references to look up.
The last few numbered questions in each lesson will help you summarize what God has been teaching you and respond to Him by obeying what He is showing you to do.
Each lesson closes with a Scripture passage for meditation and memorization. The lessons in the last half of this study guide tend to be longer than the earlier lessons. At the beginning of each lesson you’ll see a suggestion for how many questions to answer daily in order to complete that lesson in a week or less.
Finally, don’t forget that the Holy Spirit is your teacher. Start and end with prayer each time you open this book to work on one of the lessons. Do the same for each group discussion time if you’re going through this study with other believers (see the leader’s guide at the end of this book).
You can be confident that as you remain open to the Spirit of God, He will change your mind and your heart by the mighty power of the resurrection of Christ.
THE RESURRECTION IN THE
HEART AND MIND OF GOD
A companion study to the introduction and chapters 1–2 in Experiencing the Resurrection
. By answering only three or four questions each day, you can complete this entire lesson in a week or less.
Without the resurrection, the cross is meaningless.…
The resurrection is proof of Christ’s victory over sin and our hope of salvation.
The resurrection, however, is not a doctrine to be pondered but an invitation to experience the living Christ in your life.
The resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead, then seated Him at the right hand of the Father and put Him over all principalities and powers, is the same power given to us. Should that make a difference in our lives? Should we be afraid of spiritual warfare? Is there anything we cannot overcome if we’re walking with Christ?
1. In your understanding, what real difference should the resurrection of Jesus Christ be making in your daily life?
When you become a Christian, you’re set in a wholly different dimension in which you can see what others don’t see. As Jesus told His disciples, “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13:11). If you’ve been given ability to understand the mysteries of God, are you using your spiritual senses to detect the activity of God? Or do you act like the world, ignoring God until you need Him to bail you out of a crisis?
2. For your own life, how would you answer the authors’ questions in the preceding quotation?
You need to know what God is doing and then make whatever adjustment is needed to participate in His redemptive activity.
3. As you continue learning from God in this Bible study, are you committed to making whatever adjustment is necessary in your actions and attitudes as you experience God at work in your life? If so, how would you express that commitment personally to God?
Unfortunately, many Christians are living way below their potential, believing they’ll never be anything but ordinary.
4. In what ways, if any, have you seen yourself as only “ordinary”? In what ways might this have caused you to be living below your potential? You’ve been given the opportunity to function in the realm of resurrection power—the most exciting life you could ever imagine. What then could God do in your life if He knew you were wholly yielded to Him? What could He do in and through you if you believed He has already blessed you with every spiritual blessing, delivered you out of the kingdom of darkness, and taken you who were dead in sin and made you fully alive in Christ?
5. How would you express your answers at this time to the authors’ questions in the preceding quotation?
True knowledge of God is always personal, powerful, and life changing.…The first step in this journey is knowledge. You must know the truth and understand what God has done in the resurrection. Second, you must believe it’s true for your life. The Holy Spirit has been assigned to help you accept the truth as real, by testifying to your spirit that what you’re seeing is true. Third, you must receive the truth into your life. It isn’t good enough to know the truth or even believe the truth. You must embrace it as yours.
Last, you must live the truth. That means taking what you’ve learned and acting upon it—making it a part of your daily life. Move through this entire process, and you’ll find new life in Christ—a life beyond anything you could imagine.
6. Think carefully about the process described by the authors in the preceding quotation. How is this process taking place currently in your life?
When it comes to the resurrection…it’s crucial that we understand God’s perspective and not try to impose our thoughts upon Him.… The cross was necessary because of the work of sin in our lives. The resurrection was necessary because the cross put Christ to death on our behalf.…
Our need for these acts of God through the gospel is brought home to us through the reality of our guilty conscience and the conviction of our spiritual deadness.
7. Read through Paul’s words in Romans 1:16–28. In your own words, how would you summarize what it says about (a) how God reveals His truth to us and (b) what is the essence of that truth?
In our passage from Romans 1, Paul said three times, “God also gave them up.” What a tragic statement! He let them be enslaved to what they chose over Him. “God gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts” (verse 24); “God gave them up to vile passions” (verse 26); and “God also gave them over to a debased mind, to do those
things which are not fitting” (verse 28). Can you think of a more dreadful state than for God to give us over to that which will utterly destroy us in time and for eternity? God gives us up…and steps back.
8. In the world around you and in the lives of people you know, in what ways do you see the tragedy of Romans 1:24–32 being lived out?
The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s clearest revelation of Himself. The incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the sending of His Spirit together represent mankind’s only hope.
Although God has revealed Himself in many ways, Jesus Christ is the climax of that revelation.
9. How have you seen in your own life that Jesus Christ is truly your “only hope”?
Sin had to be removed before we could move toward our holy God. Sinful humanity cannot come into the presence of a holy God, so the holy God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. He took your sin and died on your behalf.
Whereas the cross put to death your old life, the resurrection brings new life. The old life of sin cannot enter a holy place called heaven; new life in Christ is required. And this new life of resurrection power is made a reality for us through the Holy Spirit.
And here’s the most amazing thing about the gospel: the power of the cross and resurrection is just a prayer away. It’s that simple. To be simple is not to be shallow or insignificant. To choose Christ is the most profound and substantial decision of your life.
10. Have you truly made the decision to choose Christ? Do you know Him? And are you seeking to know Him more fully?
The gospel story defines us as believers. If you don’t understand the cross and resurrection, you don’t understand the nature of God or what our faith is all about.
11. How would you define yourself and your own life in terms of the gospel story?
When we talk of the resurrection, we’re looking at something more than a stone rolled away, empty burial wraps, and an angel’s proclamation. The cross and resurrection are the heavenly Father’s plan to provide salvation for every person who ever walked this earth. It was in His heart from eternity.…
His ultimate answer to the question of sin is found in the cross and resurrection, but He’d been working long before then to make us holy.
12. How do the following passages indicate that the cross and the resurrection were part of the Father’s plan in eternity past?
1 Peter 1:20–21
How serious is our sin? Serious enough for the Father to ordain His own Son to die a cruel death in our place.… More than all the atrocities of man, the cruel death of Jesus on the cross tells best how serious sin is from God’s perspective.
13. Think about Jesus as the sacrifice for your sin. With that truth in mind, what is most important for you to know and understand about Him in each of the following passages?
2 Corinthians 5:21
All sin has always been against God, and He will not dismiss it lightly.… Our sin profanes His name—and the world is watching.
14. What charge did God make against His people in Ezekiel 36:22? Ask Him this: “Lord, is there anything in my life that misrepresents You to people who are watching? Has my life become a stumbling block to those who want to know You? Lord, cleanse my life and make me holy before a watching world.”
15. Take time to ask the Lord those questions mentioned in the preceding quotation. What are His answers?
If you ask the heavenly Father to make you holy before a watching world, He’ll turn you to the cross and say, “Take a good look. This is My provision for your sin.” The Father’s plan to remove our sin was the death of Christ; His plan to free us from sin was the resurrection of Christ.
This was His plan from eternity.…
In the heart of God, the cross and resurrection were planned before all time, and it was out of His heart that the cross and resurrection came into this world’s history.
16. How would you personally summarize the glorious truths mentioned in these passages?
2 Corinthians 5:19
Do you still think of God only as a harsh judge who condemns? Or have you considered the Father’s love for you, that He sent His Son to pay the price for your sin?
17. As you deeply examine your heart, how would you answer the questions raised by the authors in the preceding quotation?
The Son chose to be obedient unto death…. He left Himself in the hands of the Father with absolute confidence; the promise of the Father would be fulfilled in the resurrection.…
Can you see the eternal purpose of the Father in the death and resurrection of the Son?
18. As you conclude this lesson, what has God taught you through your study here? What is the most pressing thing He has brought to your heart’s attention?
19. To respond obediently to Him, what must you do at this time? The Son had to die; the Father had to raise Him from the dead.
FOR MEDITATION AND MEMORIZATION
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed
to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Excerpted from Experiencing the Resurrection Study Guide by Henry Blackaby and Melvin Blackaby with Thomas Womack. Copyright © 2008 by Henry Blackaby and Melvin Blackaby with Thomas Womack. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.