Christianity is not a religion of self-help, but of divine rescue its a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The message of the New testament is that God the Son came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to rescue sinful human beings from God the Father’s just wrath.
The gospel reveal that Man is saved by God from God. It also reveal that salvation is provided specifically through the death Jesus Christ upon the cross.
The cross is the crucial point of Christianity.
The Atonement is at the very heart of the Christian Faith but to understand “the atonement”, i.e., the reconciliation of men with God, a person must first understand both humanity’s sinful condition and God holiness, consequently God’s just wrath against sin.(m.a.)
|THE GOOD NEWS
WE ARE LOVED – God loves us, and created us to be in a personal relationship with Him.
God loves us: John 3.16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Life is found in knowing God: John 17.3 – Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.
WE ARE SEPARATED – People are sinful, and because of this sin, we are separated from God and cannot know Him personally or experience His love.
We’ve all sinned: Romans 3.23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The punishment for sin is death: Romans 6.23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God wants to be in a relationship with us, but our sin, which can be anything from active rebellion against God to passive indifference towards God, makes it impossible for us to have fellowship with God. Our own efforts to reach God, like trying to live a good life or pursuing philosophy/religion, will always fail. Even the best of us can’t bridge the gap between us and God through our own efforts.
What’s more, our sin deserves death; we are guilty of a crime and have been sentenced to eternal punishment.
WE ARE RECONCILED – Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, so that we can be reconciled to God. Through Him alone, we can enter into a personal relationship with God.
Jesus died in our place:
Jesus rose from the dead:
Jesus is the only way to God:
Our crime (our sin) sentenced us to death and separation from God. But Jesus came and took the punishment for us on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. He then rose from the dead to show His power over death. Because Jesus died in our place, our sin can be forgiven – the punishment that we were supposed to receive because of our sin was cancelled. Jesus bridged the gulf between us and God when He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. He is the only way to God.
WE RESPOND – We must respond to what Christ did for us by repenting of our sin, and believing what God has done for us.
We respond with faith, not by trying to live a good life by our own merit ( however this does not mean that we should live in sin):
Ephesians 2.8-9 – 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.
We respond by believing and acknowledging Jesus as Lord of our life:
Romans 10.9-10 – That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. When we truly believe from the heart we will produce the fruits of repentance, (to believe is to do) our believe will bring us to exercise good works in our life and the lives of others; according to the grace that we are given. As we became more mature as a Christians and growth in repentance, this will be more evident in our lives.
In responding to what Christ did for us we need to trust God to forgive us completely of our sin, and allow Him to make us what He wants us to be. Just intellectually believing what the Bible says, or having an emotional experience is not enough: we must choose to follow Christ and obey him, and accept His forgiveness for our sin. When we do this, we are made alive in Christ and are no longer spiritually dead and separated from God.