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Why Study the Life of Christ? (Part III)
Bible study on the life of Christ.

We are studying the life of Christ for the first six months of 2011. So in this brief series we are exploring the importance of our study, to help us make the best use of our time and be as productive as possible.

Learn About Salvation
Jesus came to seek and save the lost, so everything we do in respect to Jesus and His church has something to do with salvation, since He's the Savior of the body (Eph. 5:23).

Studying the life of Christ, we sometimes learn about the role of God and Jesus relating to our salvation, other times we study Jesus' teaching about salvation, and other times we study how to live so we can be saved.

Jesus has all authority, including authority to forgive sins, so we need to know everything possible about Him (Matt. 28:18; Lk. 5:24). One day we'll stand before Him in judgment, and be judged by His word (Jn. 12:48; 2 Cor. 5:10).

Thus as we study the life of Christ, it's good to ask, "What does this have to do with my salvation?" and "How can this help me teach others, so they will obey the Lord and be saved?"

Learn About being a Disciple of Christ
As Christians, we are Jesus' disciples as we walk in His footsteps (1 Pet. 2:21).

From the gospels we learn how to be converted and become disciples, then how to live as disciples.

  • "'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age'" (Matt. 28:19-20).

Our goal is to be like Jesus, though we know people will mistreat us like they mistreated Him.

  • "'A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household'" (Matt. 10:24b-25)!

As Jesus' disciples, we put Him first in our lives, taking up our cross and following Him, and giving up our possessions in dedication to Him.

  • "'If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. . . . So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions'" (Lk. 14:26-27, 33).

Learn How to Teach
Jesus is called the master teacher, which is a fitting term though it's not in the Bible.

The meaning of the phrase is that Jesus is the best teacher, and best role model we have for teaching. Thus, studying and imitating His teaching techniques are worthy endeavors.

As we do this, though, we must realize that we don't have the same divine inspiration of Jesus, nor do we have His authority. So we must examine Jesus' teaching and put them into context of what we are authorized and capable of doing today, as His disciples.

Learn About the Apostles
As we learn about Jesus, we also learn about the twelve apostles who worked with Him for three and a half years. Eleven of these men were commissioned to teach us the things of God including salvation, the way we should live, and the way we should conduct ourselves in the church.

We learn from their daily experiences and occasional mistakes, while they lived and worked with Jesus on earth, and then later after Jesus ascension to heaven.

Understanding the background and personalities of the apostles helps us learn life lessons, and better understand the word of God which was delivered through them (2 Cor. 5:20).

Indeed, we have a relationship with the apostles through the word of God which they delivered. And having fellowship with the apostles through the word, we have fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 1:1-4).

Learn How to Prepare for Judgment
One day we will all stand before Jesus in judgment (2 Cor. 5:10).

Judgment will be based on whether we obeyed Him (Heb. 5:9). If we obeyed Jesus while on earth, we will be saved. But if we disobeyed, we will be lost.

Life on earth is for preparation to stand before Jesus in judgment. So, studying the life of Christ prepares us for that day.

Studying the life of Christ helps us in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, it helps us prepare for judgment, so we'll be found faithful to our Lord, and enter into eternity with Him.

As we study the life of Jesus the next six months, let's get the most we can from our study, and make certain we're obeying Jesus and ready for judgment.