Teaching Notes: On Christmas

Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.

Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.

These teaching notes are from a study about Christmas.

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The Great Reveal: Our Epic Journey Through Time, Space and Eternity – Part 2

How do we ask questions about eternity? We looked at eternity and infinity in the first part of our series and saw that it has no boundaries, no limitations. Time and space are not part of eternity and infinity. So, how do we form good questions about eternity and infinity?

We’ve all heard the phrase “eternity past,” but how can eternity have a past if it has no boundaries? Can we talk about eternity as past or future? Is it better to describe eternity as “always present” as in now? But how do we understand eternity as now when now doesn’t remain now because now becomes past as soon as we think of now?

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 21)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:1-4

It is easy to see from the beginning of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans that he is extremely serious about God’s call on his life. Paul says he is a bondservant, apostle, separated to the Gospel of God. Out of all of the letters Paul wrote to churches, the opening of Romans is the most intense and packed with Christian doctrine.

We come today to the central truth of Christianity – in fact, the truth upon which Christianity rises or falls – the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

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Why Jesus Rose

The stone rolling away from the tomb

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ And they remembered His words.” Luke 24:1-8

The power of these verses is staggering! A man was brutally killed on a wooden cross, buried in a tomb, and came back to life three days later. During the days following the Resurrection, people who knew this Man well see Him, touch Him, hear Him, talk to Him, eat with Him, and learn from Him. They spend many days and nights with Him, then watch as He ascends into the sky surrounded by angels. Is this a fairy tale? lie? legend? No! It’s the truth.

Jesus Christ is that Man. He was delivered into the hands of sinful men who mocked and killed Him. Jesus is the Man Who died the cruel death of crucifixion. He was the Man buried in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers so that no one could take away His body. Jesus was the Man Who rose from death to live again. Jesus was the Man who proved His resurrection to hundreds of people before returning to Heaven by ascending into the sky with His angels. Jesus is the Man!

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Celebrating the Resurrection

The stone rolling away from the tomb

The Christian Church has been celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for centuries. The New Testament does not mention it, but churches were most likely remembering the Resurrection every year from at least the early part of the second century AD, if not earlier.

Some early Church documents describe an observance that began on Saturday evening with a vigil that continued until early Sunday morning when new Christians would be baptized and believers would share in the Lord’s Supper. By the end of the third century, Christians were remembering Christ’s Crucifixion on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

We started publishing GraceLife Thoughts on the Internet 18 years ago (March 1995). One of the great joys we’ve had during that time has been sharing about the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ during the days leading up to Easter. As the Apostle Paul wrote so beautifully almost 2,000 years ago:

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

As we approach another Easter, we wanted to share with you some of the GraceLife Thoughts from previous years. We pray they will be a blessing to you and your family.

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – True or False?

Three Weeks Until Easter

The Holy Week: Lessons for Discipleship

The Holy Week: The Lesson of Opposition

The Holy Week: The Lesson of C’s

The Holy Week: Lessons of Pain

The Holy Week: Lessons of Life!

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries