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Lesson 13: Christ's Kingdom and the Law *

Introduction: Are you a part of the Kingdom of God? If you are reading these lessons, the answer is probably, "Yes." When I see things going wrong in the world, or I get upset about national politics, I have to remind myself that I am first a citizen of the Kingdom of God. How can we know the Kingdom of God is real? How does our study of the law fit into our belief in the Kingdom of God? As we finish our series on the law, let's dive into our Bibles and study what it means to be citizens of the Kingdom of God!

  1. The Kingdom of God - Is It True?


    1. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-2. What two options do we have with regard to the gospel? (On one hand, we can believe it and to take a stand for it. On the other hand, we can be casual about it and have acted in vain.)


    2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-7. What is the most important truth of the gospel? What is of "first importance?" (That Jesus died for our sins, just as the Bible predicted, he was buried and he rose from the dead. This was witnessed by many.)


    3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-13. Some do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. What is the logical consequence of that view? (It refutes the "most important truth" that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected from the dead.)


    4. Read 1 Corinthians 15:14. There are lots of good things about the gospel. Why is faith and preaching the gospel "useless" without the resurrection?


      1. Our entire series has been about the law. I've been repeating that the law is given to us by a loving God so that we will not bump our head on the natural laws. How can that be useless? (If Jesus died permanently, then the law killed Him. If it killed Jesus, it will kill every one of us. Thus, even the idea that the law helps us would not ultimately be correct because the law would kill us.)


    5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:15-16. What other problem exists with our message if Jesus was not raised from the dead? (We are liars!)


    6. Read 1 Corinthians 15:17-19. Whenever I'm tempted to walk out of the will of God and into a life of sin, my first thought is "How can I live without God?" In all of the battles of life, in all of the challenges of life, having God with me has been essential. How can Paul say that "hope in Christ" for this life alone is pitiful? (I think his point is that it would be like me trusting the tooth fairy all of these years. It might seem to help, but it really is pitiful because I have a false hope.)


    7. Read Matthew 4:8-10. What is the temptation here?


      1. What does this teach us about Jesus' belief in the Kingdom of God? (If Jesus failed, then He would lose everything. Jesus had confidence that He would succeed. He did not need Satan to give him the kingdoms of the earth, for He would recover the earth for the Kingdom of God.)


  2. The Kingdom of God - The Truth


    1. Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. What is the truth about Jesus' resurrection? (That He was resurrected, and thus we can have confidence in our resurrection.)


    2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:6-8. Consider for a moment Paul's statements about the futility of the gospel if Jesus was not raised from the dead. Paul says that the risen Jesus appeared to him. How trustworthy are Paul's statements? (This shows that Paul has no motive to lie about the risen Jesus. He says he saw Jesus. He has no doubt about what he saw. Lying about it would show he had a pitiful life. Who wants to lead a pitiful life?)


    3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:23-25. What kind of timing do we see with regard to our resurrection? (Jesus rose first. Next come those called "first fruits" and then we are resurrected just before "the end.")


      1. What advantage do we have as citizens of the Kingdom of God? (Our Kingdom is in the hands of God. Earthly kingdoms are destroyed.)


    4. Read 1 Corinthians 15:26. What else is finally destroyed? (Death! Our "last enemy" is destroyed.)


      1. Why is that important when we think about the law? ( Romans 7:10-11 tells us that the Ten Commandments bring us death. If death is destroyed, this means that the final conflict over sin is over. God has given us eternal life!)


  3. The Kingdom of God - The Future


    1. Read Revelation 21:1-3. What is the future of the Kingdom of God? (It will be located on the earth made new.)


      1. Since this is the "Kingdom of God," where will God be? (He will dwell with us on earth!)


    2. Read Revelation 21:4. What fundamental difference will there be in this Kingdom? (There are no tears, death, mourning, or pain.)


      1. What does that teach us about God's attitude towards these things when they happen in our life now? (God is against them. God will destroy them.)


    3. Read Revelation 21:5. Is God's promise trustworthy? (God tells John that He does not want John to get this wrong. He says, "Write this down" because I want people to be sure they can have confidence that this what I said.)


    4. Read Revelation 21:6-7. One of the ancient quests is for the fountain of youth. Jesus tells us that He will have us drink "from the spring of the water of life." What other exciting promise does God make? (We will be His children. He will be our Father.)


    5. Read Revelation 21:8. This is a very interesting list. We might nod our heads approvingly about leaving the vile, the murders, and liars out of the Kingdom of God because we want a safe, trustworthy place to live forever. But, how does this fit the idea of grace?


      1. Are murders, liars and the vile unable to rely on the perfect life and death of Jesus? We just studied that this was the most important principle of the Kingdom of God!


      2. The other sinners, the sexually immoral, magicians, and idolaters seem even less threatening. How do you explain this? (Notice how this list starts: "the cowardly, the unbelieving." The first text we studied was 1 Corinthians 15:1 which mentioned those who had received the gospel and taken a stand for it. Believing God, trusting Him, is foundational. If you do not believe or trust, then your life spins into trusting others (magicians, idolaters), and putting self first (liars, sexually immoral, vile, and murders). Our life reflects whether we believe and have taken a stand for God.)


    6. Read Revelation 21:15-16. The New Jerusalem is a cube which is 1,400 miles on a side. This is approximately the distance between Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado. It is 1,659 miles from Jerusalem to Moscow. Just imagine the footprint of the New Jerusalem, when each wall is 1,400 miles long! Imagine a city that is 1,400 miles high! What kind of condominium do you think you will have in that city? (Large!)


    7. Read Revelation 22:1-3. What does the main street of the New Jerusalem look like? (It has a river running down the middle. A tree with a trunk on both sides of the river runs along the river's banks.)


      1. What is the purpose of the river and the fruit of the tree? (To give us life and keep us healthy.)


      2. Can you imagine what kinds of shops and restaurants line main street? Can you imagine eating at a sidewalk cafe there? No worry about calories!


    8. Read Revelation 22:6-7. Friend, do you believe? Do you want to be there? The essence of the gospel is believing that Jesus makes eternal life possible for us. The essence of the gospel is trusting God. That means we believe in His unmerited grace, and we trust that His law is His loving guide for our life. Will you, right now, place your faith, trust and hope in Jesus and join the Kingdom of God?


  4. Next week: We begin a new series entitled the Teachings of Jesus.
* Copr. 2014, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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