April 1, 2018 – 1 Corinthians 15:1-22
Lesson Date: April 1, 2018 – Easter Sunday – “YOUR LIFE BRAND NEW”
Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:1-22
AIM: To lead students to recognize the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to their personal lives, and to lead them to either (a) receive Jesus Christ as their risen Savior or (b) thank Him for purchasing their salvation with His blood and proving that fact with His resurrection.
Before class: Bring a book to class for the introductory activity.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Take a book, hold it out at arm’s length, and let go of it. Ask: “What happened when I let go of the book?” (it fell to the floor). Ask: “What law of nature did that exercise demonstrate?” (the law of gravity).
Ask: “Do you believe in the law of gravity?” (yes). Ask: “Why do you believe in the law of gravity?” (for two reasons: first, it was taught to them as fact; and second, they have personally experienced and witnessed its effects). Ask: “Have you ever fallen down or dropped something?” If so, they have experienced the law of gravity first-hand.
Ask: “What difference does the law of gravity make in our daily lives?” (it causes things to stay where we put them, it makes water run downhill, it causes rivers to run down to the ocean, and rain to fall to the ground). Ask: “How would life be different without the fact that there is gravity?” (we would not be able to walk, drive a car, or sit at a desk; our food would not stay on our plate and our drink would not stay in our glass). After students share some thoughts, tell them today’s lesson is about a fact that is just as true as the law of gravity. Just like the law of gravity, it is a fact that could be witnessed and is very important. We will learn about that fact, those who personally witnessed it, and the effect that fact has on all of our lives today. Write the words, “Fact,” “Witnesses,” and “Importance” on the marker board or chalkboard.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (maintaining a good testimony for Christ).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (1 Pet. 2:24).
- Explain that today’s lesson departs from our study of 1 Peter (we will return to 1 Peter next Sunday).
- Give any guests a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly.
- Today’s Easter lesson is from the book of 1 Corinthians, a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to a church in the Greek city of Corinth.
- Fact of the Resurrection.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Corinthians 15:1-2.
- Ask: “What did Paul declare unto his readers?” (the gospel that he had previously preached to them).
- Ask: “What does verse 2 say the gospel can do for us?” (save us).
- Tell the class in verses 1-2 Paul reminded his readers that he proclaimed the gospel to them. In verses 3-4 he defined that gospel.
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
- Ask the class to identify the three main points of the gospel (Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose to life again).
- Explain that the phrase “according to the scriptures” reminds us that all these things were prophesied in the Bible long before Jesus came into the world.
- Point to the word “Fact” on the board and tell the class verses 1-4 tell about the fact of the resurrection.
- Summarize: The resurrection of Jesus Christ, like the law of gravity, is a fact.
- Witnesses of the Resurrection.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Corinthians 15:5-11.
- Point to the word “Witnesses” on the board and tell the class these verses tell about the witnesses of Christ’s resurrection – people who had first-hand experience with and personally saw Jesus after He arose from the dead.
- Ask the students to look through verses 5-8 and name all the people who saw Jesus alive after His resurrection (v. 5 – Peter and the rest of the twelve disciples, v. 6 – more than 500 people at one time, v. 7 – James and all the apostles, v. 8 – the Apostle Paul).
- Explain that these people were among the multitudes who literally saw Jesus Christ alive in His physical body after He was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
- Remind the students about the law of gravity.
- We were taught about the fact of gravity in school, just as the Bible teaches us the fact that Jesus Christ arose from the dead.
- No one has to convince us of the truth of the law of gravity, because we have personally witnessed it and felt its force.
- Tell the class the people listed in these verses could testify to the truth of the resurrection because they personally witnessed
- Summarize: There were many witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, just like we all have witnessed the effects of gravity.
- Importance of the Resurrection.
- Tell the students the rest of the verses we will study today tell about the importance of Christ’s resurrection (point to the word “Importance” on the board).
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-13.
- Explain that some people in Paul’s day denied the truth of the resurrection, just as some foolish people today deny that the earth is round.
- Remind the class of the introductory activity in which you dropped the book.
- Just as we discussed the importance of the law of gravity by describing what life would be like without it, the next several verses tell how life would be different if Jesus Christ had not risen from the dead.
- Ask the class to listen for these differences as you read 1 Corinthians 15:14-19.
- Ask them to name what they heard (v. 14a – our preaching would be vain and useless, v. 14b – our faith also would be vain, v. 15 – we would be liars, v. 17 – we would still be in our sins, v. 18 – those who died believing in Jesus would be in hell, and v. 19 we would be the most miserable on earth).
- Explain that just as physical life would be impossible without gravity, eternal life would be impossible if Christ had not risen from the dead.
- Gravity affects everything physical, and the resurrection of Jesus affects everything spiritual. That’s the importance of the resurrection.
- Summarize: Just as gravity is vitally important to physical life, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is vitally important (essential, in fact) to spiritual life.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask a volunteer to read 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. These verses summarize the importance of the resurrection. Through Adam, man brought death into the world. Everyone who is still “in Adam” is spiritually dead. Jesus Christ brought spiritual life into the world. Everyone who is “in Christ” is alive forever.
Tell the students that everyone on earth is either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” In fact, everyone in this room is either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” Ask: “Which are you? Are you in Adam and therefore spiritually dead, or are you in Christ and therefore spiritually alive?”
Encourage any who are still in Adam (unsaved) to receive Jesus Christ as their risen Savior and Lord. Encourage everyone who is in Christ (saved) to thank Him for purchasing their salvation with His blood and proving that fact through the resurrection. Ask everyone to do one of those two things as you lead a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to look for opportunities to tell others about the resurrection of Jesus Christ this week. Offer to speak personally to anyone who might have questions about salvation.
Take care of your guests – If there are guests in your Sunday School class, do all you can to make them feel welcome and to meet their needs. Offer to walk them to the Worship Center or nursery, direct them to the restrooms, answer their questions, help them locate their family members who are in other classes, etc. Sit with them in worship and take them to meet the Pastor afterward.
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