• Matt Beaney

#195 – SUFFERING, DEATH AND RESURRECTION (18/9/20)


Who would you most want to be like and why?


We have all, I’m sure, had people that we have ‘idolised’ and wanted to be like. I used to watch a program called The Fall Guy. It starred Lee Majors as a truck driving stuntman come bounty hunter and I wanted to be like him. Most of us want to be like the attractive strong and successful people; however, Paul says something very surprising about his desire to know Jesus. He writes,

‘I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.’ (Philippians 3:10-11)

Biblical knowing, as we’ve seen, means to also become like the person we know. For Christians, this means becoming like Jesus who laid aside his glory, suffered and died! When resurrection power is at work in us we will also want to suffer and die like Jesus. What does this mean?


Participation in his sufferings

To know Christ is to participate in his sufferings. There are many ways that Christians suffer in this life even if we are not being overtly persecuted. For example, it can we wearing simply to be out of step with our secular, liberal and licentious culture. Paul wrote about the promise of suffering and attendant comfort,

‘For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 1:5)


Becoming like him in his death

Christians have died to their old life with Christ. This is a reality to recognise; it’s not something we do in order to make a reality. Paul also wrote about this,

‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Galatians 2:20)

Attaining to the resurrection from the dead

Finally, this text promises that we will be like Christ in his resurrection. At the end of history, we will live in a new heavens and earth with ‘resurrection bodies’ like his. Paul writes,

And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.’ (1 Corinthians 15:49)


RESPONSE

knowing leads to likeness. If resurrection power is at work in us, as it is in all true Christians, we will be like Jesus who suffered, died and rose again.


May God give us the vision to see in suffering for Him and dying to our old lives for Him an opportunity to know and be more like Jesus. May we also allow the Spirit to turn our eyes to the hope of future resurrection to which the Spirit in us is pointing.


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - KNOWING LEADS TO LIKENESS


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Growing up, who did you most want to be like and why?


Introduction - please share in your group

Knowing leads to likeness. Knowing God will lead to our transformation into the image of God increasingly over time. Paul wrote,

‘I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.’ (Philippians 3:10-11)

Paul expresses his desire to know Jesus, but this knowing includes our living like Jesus who suffered, died and rose again. Christians, those who know Jesus, suffer like and for Jesus in many ways; they have died to their old lives (symbolised in baptism) and choose to live out this reality; finally, they will be like Christ when, at the end of history, they will rise from death and receive eternal life in a resurrection body.


Discuss in your group

(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)


1. Being a Christian is to experience resurrection power at work in us. What has God changed in you that you are most thankful about?


2. How have you had to suffer as a Christian?


3. A Christian has died to their old life and has a new life in Christ. Read Galatians 2:20 and discuss what this means?


4. How much do you think about future resurrection and is this something that you are excited about?


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?



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