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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Giving Testimony of the Hope of the Promise - Acts 26

Paul gives his "defense" before Agrippa. It is a hearing called by Festus in order for King Agrippa to hear Paul's case. It is not a formal trial.

In any case, Paul defends himself against baseless charges but his focus is on how Jesus has transformed him and how He is the one who he is following and obeying. Paul presents the Gospel to those hearing, especially Festus and King Agrippa.

This is Paul's longest speech in the book of Acts.

All of us believers are called by God to give testimony of what Christ has done for us. We are called to share and explain the Gospel to others. This is our mission as well.

From Acts 26 we are reminded that those who are not believers are:

1. Spiritually blind and in darkness (2 Cor. 4:3-6; 1 Pet. 2:9; Col. 1:9)
2. Under the rule of Satan.
3. In need of forgiveness of sin which comes through faith in Christ.
4. Sanctified when they are in Christ and share in the fellowship with other believers.

Here is the audio recording for Acts 26 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Resurrected Bodies - 1 Corinthians 15:35-58

Our life here on earth is a rehearsal for eternity.
We as believers know that when we die, our bodies go to the grave (or wherever else) but our spirit or soul is with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8

We also know that our bodies will not stay in the grave (or wherever they may be) forever. One day they'll be resurrected and reunited with our spirit.

The Corinthians were talking about their bodies too, but their concerns dealt with how they would be resurrected. The questions the Corinthians had are found in 1 Corinthians 15:35.

Their questions imply that they had problems believing in the bodily resurrection of the dead. They could not understand how this could happen. As a result, they were denying it. C.f 1 Corinthians 15:12. They also had come to believe that the body was not important but a hindrance for reaching a higher spirituality. They believed they were already spiritual.

Paul responds in a very direct way (they are fools for thinking this way). He corrects them and goes on to show them that the body of all believers (dead and alive) will one day be transformed and glorified to be suited for eternity with God.

In the passage we will study today, we will learn what the resurrected bodies will be like and when this will take place. Paul uses four analogies to teach these truths. We will also learn how these truths apply to our lives in several ways.

The basis of the bodily resurrection of believers is the resurrection of Christ as explained in1 Corinthians 15:1-34. Because Jesus Christ has resurrected, we will also be resurrected by Him. Paul now goes on to explain our what our resurrected bodies will be like using four analogies.

An analogy is used to compare two things using something known to explain something unknown. It explains general truths using their likeness but doesn't answer every question. Paul will not answer every question, especially scientific that we my have.

Note: A mistake due to my overlooking the notes is found when discussing what our resurrected will be like in comparison to our old ones (verses 42-44). I said, "earthly bodies" as my notes were written but it should be "new bodies." It was my oversight.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Defense Before Rulers and Kings Acts 25

Here is the audio recording for Acts 25 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

This chapter sets the stage for Paul's witness to King Agrippa. Here he is accused before the new governor Festus and then presented before Agrippa. Paul appeals to Caesar and his journey Rome will follow (chapter 27-28).

"The narrator's characterization of the Roman governors contributes to a portrait of Paul as one caught in a web of self-interested maneuvers by people who vie for support within the political jungle. However, Paul is not just a helpless victim. As opportunity comes, he continues to bear witness to his Lord. Although Paul continues to be denied justice and freedom, the saving purpose of God still has use for this resourceful and faithful prisoner." (Pillar New Testament Commentary Collection)

                    Defense Before Rulers and Kings - Acts 25