JESUS IS ALIVE
Scripture: Mark 16:1–8
Memory verse: Acts 4:33
"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus."
Music has played a major role in the worship of believers in Christ Jesus from the very beginning as they met in homes and later in local churches. Music is a meaningful expression of worship and also is an excellent way to communicate truth. Our study today focuses on the resurrection of Jesus and the fact that Christians serve a living Saviour for Jesus is alive!
Phrases from various songs speaking about the living Christ have become part of the believers' vocabulary expressing a truth we embrace, such as: "He lives, Christ Jesus lives today—He lives within my heart; Because He lives I can face tomorrow—all fear is gone; Jesus Christ the Son of God, Hallelujah He arose."
Ask: Do you know a song that speaks about Jesus being alive? (Allow responses.)
Hearing God's Word
The question that comes up when discussing the resurrection of Jesus is "Can it be proven that Jesus did arise from the dead?"
Ask: If so, how would you go about proving to a friend that Jesus is alive? (Allow responses.)
The answer is "YES!" The Bible is clear on this subject as seen in the following references:
Testimony of Scripture
Matthew 28:6, "The angel said to the women...'He is not here; he has risen, just as he said."
Luke 24:6–7, the angel said, "Remember how he told you...'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'"
John 20:18, "Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: 'I have seen the Lord!'"
Acts 4:33 (Ask the students to say the memory verse with you.)
1 Peter 1:3, "In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Galatians 2:20, the apostle Paul declares, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."
"Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:12).
When we confess our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we are born again. Our life is transformed and we become a new creation in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of Jesus Christ begins to dwell in our lives. There is a peace that fills our soul and His Spirit assures us that we belong to Him. The presence of Jesus in us is very real and causes us to testify to the reality of a living Saviour.
Proving that Jesus rose from the dead and lives today is the primary message to be used in reaching unreached tribes with the gospel. The apostle Paul highlights this fact in Romans 1:4, "Who (Jesus) through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead."
The truth of Christ’s resurrection is realized when it is declared "with power." A great illustration of truth and power working together is the healing of the lame man at the gate Beautiful. Peter told the Sanhedrin: "It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed" (Acts 4:10).
Presenting Jesus’ resurrection in the context of the supernatural will prepare the minds and hearts of unreached people for an introduction to the living Christ and recognition that He is the Son of God. An anointed declaration of this truth, coupled with the miraculous, is essential in bringing a person to a recognition that Jesus is the Son of God. However, keep in mind that declaration and power are external. Unbelievers must internalize what they have seen and heard. From within their inmost being faith arises, allowing them to bow in awe and submission to the living Christ, Jesus, the Son of God.
The internal aspect of recognizing Jesus as God is strictly the Lord's domain. Paul is clear on this matter, stating that it is "through the Spirit of holiness" that one recognizes Jesus to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4). Jesus further clarifies this fact when He talked with His disciples at Caesarea Philippi. After Peter's proclamation of Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus says, "This was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven" (Matthew 16:16–17).
The comments of the chief priests and Pharisees to Pilate underscore the impact of the resurrection message on an unreached tribe, "So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first" (Matthew 27:64).
The equation revealing the primary message needed to reach unreached tribes is: Declaration of Jesus' resurrection + Supernatural power + Holy Spirit illumination = Believing Jesus is alive and truly the Son of God.
Accepting God's Word
The first response to this study should be, "Is Jesus living in me as my Lord and Saviour?"
The second question should be, "How will I go about sharing this truth that Jesus is alive?"
The third question to be answered is, "How can I make this truth known to my friends and to the Wolof for whom we are praying today?"
This study introduces us to the Wolof tribe. The pictures and information given with the next four studies will introduce Wolof children, youth and adults who need to know Jesus as their personal Saviour. Time will be given at the close of each study to pray for them.
Present the information about the Wolof tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.
MEET THE WOLOF
Born-Again Believers: 100
SEE THE VIDEO:
The Wolof homeland is located in Senegal and The Gambia. Hundreds of years ago, many tribes in north-western Senegal were conquered by the Wolof, who eventually grew to form a large empire of separate, self-governing states. By the 1500s, this empire had split into four major Wolof kingdoms.
The French expanded into Senegal during the 1800s, making it a colony of French West Africa. In 1946, the Wolof of Senegal were awarded French citizenship, which they retained even after Senegal was granted independence in 1968. Today, many Wolof have immigrated to France in search of a better life.
The Wolof, particularly the women, are known for their beauty. They dress fashionably, wear sophisticated hairstyles, and are often the fashion trendsetters for others around them. While many Wolof have settled in cities and work as merchants, teachers or government officials, most still live in rural areas and work as peasant farmers.
A typical Wolof village consists of several hundred people living in compounds that are grouped around a central village square. In the centre of the square is a platform used for public meetings. A mosque is located on the square's east side.
Historically, the Wolof have been resistant to the gospel. Most missions working in Senegal have an outreach to them. Senegal's government allows registration of churches, ownership of property, and open proclamation of one's faith, but few Wolof have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
Witnessing and church planting strategies to reach the Wolof need to be reassessed. The moment has come to pray, research, consider possibilities and, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, move forward with a new approach. Introducing Jesus as Saviour to the Wolof will require a return to New Testament methodology. God has a plan, and He has the power to break through the resistance. He is not willing that any Wolof should perish in hell.
The Holy Spirit has directed and prepared a church planting team to live and work among the Wolof. They are learning to speak the Wolof language. Other messengers are joining them. The team is very optimistic. Why? They know that the kingdom reign of Jesus in the lives of the Wolof is God's plan. The apostle Paul spells out this truth clearly in 1 Timothy 2:3, 4: "God...wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." Would you like to join the team? There is a place for you.
REMEMBER TO PRAY
Pray for the Wolof Tribe
1. Praise God for messengers currently learning the Wolof language and culture in order to present the gospel in a manner the Wolof can understand,
2. The minds of the Wolof to grasp the truth about Jesus—God the Son,
3. Believers in Christ Jesus within the churches in Senegal to understand God's desire for them to share the gospel with their Wolof friends.
"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:14).
MORE INFORMATION: linkupafrica.com
Study 11 | Jesus is Worthy/Witnessing | africaatts.org/go-teach