Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Heart of the Gospel: A Summary




Christ died for my sin and arose from the dead.

The path to salvation—why and how—can be summarized like this:

1. We all sin. (Romans 3:23)

2. Sin threatens to eternally separate us from God. (Romans 6:23)

3. Jesus, the Son of God, paid a “ransom” for our sins by dying on the cross. (Romans 5:8)

4. Then He rose from the dead! (Matthew 28:6)

5. We, too, can overcome spiritual death by turning from sin (repentance) and putting our trust in Christ. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

Have you put your trust in Christ?

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

I told you recently about a woman named “Sheila” who believed that the words to a prayer were the key to salvation. We looked recently at the real key, which is trust. As we embrace the truth of Christianity and make the decision to follow after Jesus, it is appropriate and essential that we begin a life-long journey of fellowship with God in prayer. That we express to Him our heart-felt desire to turn from our old ways and begin living a new life in Christ, using whatever words you wish.

Example:

Dear God, I know that I’ve done bad things. I know my sin deserves to be punished. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for me and rose from the grave. I trust that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Thank you for forgiving me. And thank tou for giving me the promise of heaven. I pray this to You in the name of Jesus. Amen.

If you have made a decision to put your trust in Jesus Christ today, you have taken the first step on an incredible journey!

As you launch your walk with Christ, the most important "tool" you will need is a good, understandable translation of the Bible. Visit amazon.com or your local retailer. NIV and NASB are popular translations.

If you're not plugged into a local church, I'd encourage you to find a group of believers to celebrate your decision and help you along the way. Living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? My church (121 Community Church/Grapevine, TX) would be thrilled to have you visit:

www.121cc.com

There are a other resources:

A Guidebook for New Believers by Bette Nordberg (AMG Publishers, 2003)

The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study by Oletta Wald (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2002)

Questions about repentance: Type "repent" in search window at www.bible.org

Questions about baptism: Type "baptism" in search window at www.bible.org

(Photo by GeoWombat; see http://flickr.com/photos/geowombats/139077383/ for restrictions.)

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