“The only way for you to make ultimate sense of your story is to understand how it fits into God’s story.” – Steve Childers
Many people mistake Christianity as a ritual-based religion that seeks to earn God’s favor. In reality, Christianity is about people following the Lord Jesus Christ according to his gospel.
The gospel is the good news that the kingdom of God has entered our world through the person and work of Jesus Christ, and that he will restore everything that was lost because of man’s sin. Christ restores not only our broken relationship with God, but also with others, ourselves, and all of creation. The gospel offers us a new record, a new heart, and a new world.
Jesus will one day return and bring the fullness of God’s kingdom on earth. On that day we will be made new in soul and body, and delivered not only from sin’s penalty and power, but also its influence and presence. On that day Jesus will bring an end to all suffering and restore all things to God’s original design. (ref. Steve Childers)
GOD’S REDEMPTIVE HISTORY
People were made in perfect and intimate relationship with God and with each other.
- God honored them by giving them responsibility and his law of love. Genesis 1:26-28, 2:16-17
- This law of love was how people are to love him as their life-giving God, how to love other people and care for the creation properly. Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18
- Through obedience to the law of love came peace, dignity, and value which caused people and creation to thrive and grow to their fullest potential.
Tragically, people freely chose to break their relationship with God by betraying his love and rejecting him by living by their own laws, which satisfied their own selfish desires.
- The people’s rebellion (sin) cast the world into a state of brokenness, conflict, shame, and guilt. Romans 3:23
- Just as any criminal living a lawless life deserves punishment, so do all people for their daily betrayal of the one who created them, choosing to live by their own selfish desires.
- Since our betrayal made us enemies of God, the life-giver, we are destined for a life of decay and the eternal punishment of God in death. As the Bible says, “the wages for our sin is death.” Romans 6:23 (Romans 2:8, 2 Corinthians 5:10)
But God, out of his love and mercy, did not desire to leave all people and his world to suffer the misery of conflict, shame, guilt, death and punishment.
- God made a plan to restore people to himself again by sending Jesus, God the Son, who was fully God and fully human, to pay the penalty due to us for our rebellion and restore to people the life he intended. Galatians 4:4-5
- Jesus paid the penalty by dying the death we deserve and absorbing our punishment. After being dead for three days, He was raised from the dead, having conquered the sin and death that enslaves people. Luke 23:26-24:12
- The Bible tells us that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
- Now a restored relationship with God and a new life is possible and eternal life can be possessed.
How does someone have Jesus’ payment applied to them?
- The Bible says that “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8-9
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
- “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Please consider the historic reality of Jesus Christ, his birth, his life, his death, and his rising from the dead. Consider the impact of this truth for your life and your eternal destiny.
We welcome our skeptical friends to join us in our service and dialogue with us during fellowship. If you have questions about the exclusivity of Christianity we recommend the following video clip (10mins) to get the dialogue going.