There's no greater message than the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ! But, before we can understand why, we must first take an honest look at three difficult truths we know deep inside, but often try to avoid.
First (and easiest to acknowledge) is that there's something broken in the world we live in—violence, abuse, deception, betrayal, suffering, disease, death, and decay. We see terrible things happening around us and to us—and when we do, something in us believes things aren’t as they should be. Second (and most difficult to accept) is that there's something broken in each of us. We tend see others’ faults very easily (while justifying and excusing our own), but that only shows our brokenness all the more. If we're honest with ourselves, all of us have thought, said, and done things that are simply wrong.
Our Creator has many qualities, but two of them are holiness and justice. His holiness means God is absolutely perfect in all He does and can neither commit sin, or abide with sin. His justice means all wrongdoing comes at a cost, and and God must see that it’s paid. And here's the third difficult truth: we've all sinned (Romans 3:23). And because our sins separate us from God (who is our only source of life), this separation earns eternal death for us (Romans 6:23). So, when we stand before a just and holy God at the end our this life, our sin will disqualify us from being worthy of His presence and will doom us to eternal death, darkness, and punishment for our sins. There couldn’t be more at stake—this is why Jesus said it wouldn’t be worth it to gain the whole world if it meant losing your soul!
So far, this is horrible news! But this brings us to another of God’s qualities: He is loving. No one can love you as deeply as God does. The Scriptures even say God is love (1 John 4:8-9). Therefore, our lost condition presents just as much of a problem for God as it does for us. He can’t just ignore our sin, but He also loves us too passionately to watch us walk away from Him and destroy ourselves.
Enter, Jesus! Jesus was born 2,000 years ago. But before that, He existed eternally with His Father. Even though the Universe was created through Jesus, He humbled Himself and walked among us as a man. He taught us about who God really is. He lived a perfect life that showed us what it means to be the humanity that God originally designed us to be. He loved the unloveable, healed the incurable, raised the dead, and taught and lived truth. Ultimately, mankind showed his true colors and they crucified Him.
Jesus came into our broken world, and in our brokenness we murdered Him. But, even as He was dying, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.” Although the murder of Jesus displayed man’s utter depravity at its worst, God had planned all along to redeem us from ourselves through the cross. Even as He died, Jesus bore the guilt of our sins and exchanged His life for ours. Truly, He lived the life we should’ve live and died the death we should’ve died.
So now, if you come to Jesus, you will be absolutely forgiven of all the sins you’ve ever committed, and God will give you eternal life with Him.
Many people acknowledge their need for Jesus, but question whether or not they need church in their lives. But first, let’s talk about what it is not. Church is NOT:
1. “Sunday clothes”
2. A sacred building
3. A social club
4. Your ticket to heaven
5. A way to please your parents
6. A way to earn points with God
Church is not a place you go—it’s a group of people who are living for Jesus. There is nothing special about any building where the church meets. Instead, Christians believe that God is with us and in us 24/7, and that we are His dwelling place (Acts 7:48; 1 Corinthians 6:19). And so, God designed the church to be a group of people who help each other and who help the world know Jesus.
We all have different strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and needs, and as a group, we are stronger together. As we help others with their needs, they also help us with ours. We end up learning from each other, encouraging each other, caring for one another, and working as a team. Scripture calls us the “family of God” (because we share in God’s love together) and the “body of Christ” because we work together to continue His mission of spreading God’s truth and love to the world (1 Corinthians 12:12-30).
You’ve heard ‘no man is an island,’ and ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ Well, God designed the church to help Christians grow and flourish, and to demonstrate the loving community that is created by the Cross. You need the church and the church needs you! If you take your walk with Jesus seriously, you should take advantage of His gift to us—a gift of family, community, and love.
There is one God (Ephesians 4:5-6), who exists in three Persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5). God is eternal, all-powerful, all, knowing, and perfectly good.
Jesus Christ is fully God, but also became fully man. He was miraculously born to a virgin, lived in the flesh, died on the Cross for the sins of mankind, and was raised on the third day. He has ascended to Heaven, where He intercedes for us. (Matthew 1:18-21; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:30, 33)
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Godhead. Our bodies are temples of God because the Holy Spirit dwells in us. He sanctifies and empowers us to live the Christian life. (Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Ephesians 2:22)
We believe the Scriptures are the inspired words of God. (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
Man earns death because of his sin, but God gives salvation as a free gift to those who are in Christ. This is possible because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice on our behalf, and the effect is that salvation is by grace, through faith—not by works. There is nothing man can do to deserve this salvation or to put God in his debt. (Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 6:23; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Romans 3:22-26)
Baptism by immersion is a spiritual participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is to be given to those who believe at the time of their conversion. It is an act of faith and dying to oneself (repentance), while looking to the Cross for forgiveness and looking to God to be raised to new life—just like Jesus was at His resurrection. It is not a work of man to merit salvation, but a sanctifying work of God on our hearts. (Romans 6:1-7; Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:36-39, Acts 22:16)
Jesus will come again. The unrepentant wicked outside of Christ will be judged, but those in Christ will be gathered to eternal life. The dead in Christ will be resurrected and our bodies will be fitted for eternity with God. (1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
The church is the body of Jesus Christ, and consists of all who are truly in Christ. We strive for unity with all followers of Jesus because Jesus prayed his people would all be united. (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4-5; John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:3)
Use these Bible-saturated messages delivered in love to grow in your walk with God. Learn what the Bible actually says and means for your life.
You can run from God.—the question is: "why?" Take a close look at our prejudices, double standards, and how wonderful it is that our Creator is the God of second chances.
Learn the meaning of your life from the Spirit of the One who created you for a glorious purpose. Know the truth about who God is, and what He wants for you. Warning, this will change your life!
From times of glorious praise, to raw and honest questions for God—the Psalms portray the entire human experience and how, because of Jesus, we find hope in the darkest of times.