Day 4: Understanding the Gospel
- God loves you and created you to know Him personally.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” (John 17:3)
- Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love.
Man is Sinful
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23)
Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
Man is Separated
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“…bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
The third principle explains the only way to bridge this gulf…
- Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love.
He Died in Our Place
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)
He Rose From the Dead
“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)
- He is the Only Way to God
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’.” (John 14:6)
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
(Christ speaking) “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20)
Receiving Christ involves repentance. Repentance means changing our mind about sin and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. We make a faith decision to turn from sin and return to God. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.
You can receive Christ right now, through faith, in prayer.
God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
“Jesus, I want to know you personally. I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I confess my sins to you. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and rising from the grave to defeat sin and death. I ask that you be my Savior. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and promising me abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven.”
Would you feel confident to share the gospel with a friend or loved one? What steps can you take so that you would be more confident?
What questions or thoughts came to your mind as you read through this passage today?
F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method
PRAYER: On your own, take the opportunity to pray for the a friend or colleague. The following outline may be helpful.
Four Prayers for Your Friend:
- Thank God for the miracle of friendship.
- Thank God for any way in which your friend has changed your life.
- Commit your friend’s future to the Lord.
- Ask God for help in figuring out what your part in that future may be.
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