The Gospel – Moving Toward Jesus
The personal and perfect God created the world, including people to be in relationship with Him. He designed us to know, love and trust Him and to reflect Him among the rest of creation (Genesis 1).
The first people, like us, didn’t believe God or obey Him. They thought they knew better than God and wanted their own way. This is sin. We may feel guilt, shame and fear in response to our sin. We see the impact of our sin through discord, brokenness and suffering in our relationships with other created things (Genesis 3, Romans 3:9–11). What we deserve for sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Because God loves us, He has a plan to fix what we broke. He offers Himself. God sent His Son to earth to become a human and live how we haven’t. He knew, loved and trusted God the Father perfectly which means He was sinless. He willingly took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross as our substitute (Romans 5:8). And then He rose from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:3–4) which confirmed that God’s justice was satisfied with Jesus’ work for any who would turn to Him with faith and repentance. He is the risen Savior and Lord, and Jesus offers Himself as a free gift (1 Peter 3:18).
God offers to forgive us of our sin, to make us new so that we live with and for Him from now on. Only Jesus' work on the cross is sufficient to reconcile our relationship with God. No one is born a Christian or does enough good work to be right with God (John 1:11–13, Ephesians 2:8–10). God the Father gave His Son and then gives His Holy Spirit to keep making things right until the day He sends Jesus back to make all things new and perfect again. This gift of grace that God offers is available to anyone, but it must be received.
The good news of what God the Father, Son and Spirit has done requires a response. Do you want Jesus to be your Savior and Lord? Will you trust His work on your behalf to forgive you and lead you from now on? The Bible uses language like “believe” and “repent” to capture how you can receive this gift of Himself that Jesus offers (Acts 3:19–20).
Belief includes acknowledging that Jesus is who He said He is. He is fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose from the dead. He is the only Savior who can forgive us and free us from the penalty and power of our sin. He rose from the dead and lives as the only Lord who has the right to decide what is true, what is best and how we live. Belief includes trusting God to be that for you. He came to save people from their sins and we need Him (Romans 10:9–10, 13; 1 John 1:9). Do you believe that? Tell Him!
Repentance involves turning 180 degrees from something to something else. You can express repentance by agreeing with God about your sin. Confess things you have said, thought or done that are contrary to what He says about Himself and what He asks of people. Ask Jesus to forgive you. Ask God’s Spirit to give you new life. As you turn from sin toward Jesus, express your desire for Him.
Talk to God
I need you God. You have the right to lead because you are Lord and I surrender to you to direct and guide my whole life. Instead of what I have pursued or believed that is sinful, I want you. You are better. Please free me from the penalty and power that sin has over me because of the work of Jesus so that I can follow you from now on. Make me yours. I give you my life. Thank you for saving me from my sin into new life with you.
If you are entrusting your life to Jesus for the first time, we'd love to know and help you begin this new way of life with Him.