WHO IS JESUS
When we fully understand the gospel (which simply means ‘good news’), we begin to realise that it is far more than good news – it is astonishing news that has the ability to transform our lives! The story of the Bible is the good news of what Jesus has done to restore our intended relationship with God. Who Jesus is and what He has done for humanity, is central to understanding the Christian faith.
The message of Jesus and the cross is fundamentally about these four key things:
1. GOD’S DESIGN
Man was created to walk in relationship with God. This was the original plan for man before sin entered humanity. The bible shows us that God is actively involved in His original design. He is still building the dream, bringing man back to the original idea of family in Eden, for us to live in a thriving relationship with Him, unimpeded by sin and brokenness. God’s plan is for you to be in a loving family relationship with your Creator.
2. MAN’S FALL
In the book of Genesis, we see Adam and Eve choosing to disobey God by eating of the tree that He had instructed them not to eat from. The first result of ‘the fall’ was that sin caused man to run away from God rather than run to God. What we need to understand is that God desires a loving relationship with us, despite our sin and failure. The second result of man’s fall is that our alienation from God inevitably results in alienation from each other. Sin has a very human cost – it deeply affects how we treat each other.
3. CHRIST’S CROSS
The consequence of sin is death – sin is the result of our deception and deserves the judgment of a holy and just God. The spiritual debt of death must be paid and either we will pay, or a substitute will pay on our behalf. Without a Saviour for our sin, we are cut off from the God that we are designed to have a life-giving relationship with. Until this debt of sin is paid, we are exiles far from our true eternal home. Without the shedding of blood, there is no removal of sin. We have all accrued a debt of sin that must be paid. In order to have forgiveness, someone has to pay the price. Jesus became our substitute upon the cross. He took the punishment for our sins and paid a price we could never pay. Because of Christ’s cross, we can now go back into the presence of God! There is a way for us to come home. There is a way back to the original design. We can live the dream of the Garden of Eden and walk with God in the cool of the day. How? Jesus made a way. This is good news.
4. OUR RESTORATION
The gospel is about restoring us back to the original plan as people who have a relationship with God. Restoration brings us back to a life of worship and prayer, healing and wholeness, faith and hope, purpose and destiny. As we look to the Scriptures we find that God progressively empowers and equips us to live a life of fruitfulness. The confidence that we have in this process of restoration is that we did not start it and we cannot finish it. Christ came looking for us. Christ took the initiative to restore us back to the original plan. That is why Paul could say that he was confident in this:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”
Ephesians 2:8 NIV
When we experience the grace of God, it leads us to live a life of gratitude. This is a life of worship and thankfulness that transforms the way we live as we continue to follow Christ. Grace is not the end of personal effort in following Christ, it is simply the end of guilt-driven efforts to earn God’s love. This is where Christianity differs from all other religions. All other religions encourage the worshipper to do something to earn merit with their god and to work towards gaining acceptance from their god. We, however, are not trying to earn God’s love and acceptance. His love and acceptance is the starting point. When we experience such grace, how can we help but respond with grateful hearts and lives! This is so much more than a theoretical set of beliefs or a religious philosophy. Our response to the gospel goes deep down into our soul and flows out through our daily lifestyle of following Jesus. The life of Christianity is a life of gratitude and worship!
When the first disciples answered the invitation of Jesus, they didn’t understand all the implications of their response – they simply made a decision to open the door and welcome Christ into their lives. That is all we need to do to start this journey of faith. The way we respond and open the door to Christ is through faith and in prayer. An example of a prayer that we could pray might be as simple as this one:
❝ Dear Jesus, I come to you just as I am. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and ask you to be my Saviour, my Lord and my friend. I ask you to forgive me for all of my sins and I ask you to give me a new life. I choose to turn away from my sin and I ask you to help me to follow you all the days of my life. Make me the person you want me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen. ❞
Congratulations! To pray these words with a surrendered heart to Jesus is the beginning of the most important voyage you will ever embark on: the journey to follow Jesus. Please let us know if you’ve just made a commitment to Jesus and prayed this prayer by clicking the button below.
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