God's Good News
God wants us to know him.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3).
God has a purpose for each of us.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13-14, 16).
Why is it that many people do not have a close relationship with God?
What is sin?
Sin is disobeying God by going our own way and living for ourselves. "We all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way" (Isaiah 53:6).
Who Has Sinned?
All of us. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
What Happens When We Sin?
Sin cuts us off from God, the giver of life. As a result, sin's penalty is spiritual, physical, and eternal death. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you" (Isaiah 59:2). "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
How do we deal with our separation from God?
We may deny we are sinners or that our sin separates us from God.
"If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth…If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:6,8).
We may ignore the chasm by pursuing careers, possessions, relationships, etc.
Jesus said, "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" (Mark 8:36).
We may try to bridge the chasm by doing good deeds, living a moral life, or going to church.
"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done" (Titus 3:5).
So what can be done about our separation from God?
Being fully man, Jesus served as our representative in paying for our sin. Being fully God, Jesus' payment was of infinite worth. "For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people" (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
What did Jesus' death accomplish?
It bridged the separation between God and us by paying sin's penalty, which is death.
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).
What is the significance of Jesus' resurrection?
By rising from the dead, Jesus proved his power over sin and death—a victory he now offers us. "Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4).
How can we cross the bridge God has provided?
Only Jesus, can restore a relationship with God, the giver of life.
"God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life: whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12).
Only faith, not our efforts, can connect us to Jesus.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
What is genuine faith?
Genuine faith is a whole-person response to God's Good News.
Our mind: We must acknowledge that:
• Jesus is God's Son
• We are sinners who deserve punishment and cannot save ourselves
• Jesus' death and resurrection paid for our sins and proved his power over sin and death
Our heart: We must renounce our sin and embrace Jesus—wanting him more than our sin.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Our will: We must surrender to Jesus as King.
"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Where are you?
1. I am not ready to put my faith (mind, heart, will) in Jesus because ___________________
2. I am ready to put my faith (mind, heart, will) in Jesus.
3. I have put my faith in Jesus but need to take steps to grow.
4. I am a growing Christ follower.
You can put your faith in Jesus as you pray the following:
"God, I recognize that you created me to enjoy a personal relationship with you and a purposeful life. My sin—rebelliously going my own way instead of yours—has separated me from you. I cannot do anything to repair the damage done by my sin. I'm in need of forgiveness and new life.
I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay sin's penalty and break sin's power. By faith, I surrender to you as my Savior and King. I want to obediently follow you. Please forgive my sins, give me the gift of eternal life, and send your Spirit to help me become more and more like Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen."
Would you like to pray this now?