The Gospel Summarized
We Are Not Made to Travel Alone.
None of us is designed to make the journey of life alone. We are all designed to live our lives in relationship with God. The bad news is that we all begin our journey separated from God. The cause of this separation is our sin. The Bible talks about it this way: "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 3:23). When the Bible says, "all have sinned; all fall short," it means that, in our thoughts, words, and actions, none of us have lived up to God's standard of perfection. And our sin not only causes us to be separated from God, but it also earns us a penalty of death. The Bible talks about it this way: "For the wages of sin is death . . ." (Romans 6:23). . . . I [God] do not leave sins unpunished (Exodus 34:7).
To make matters worse, we cannot, by our own efforts, escape God's judgement or pay the penalty for our sin. No amount of personal effort, good works, or religious deeds can earn us a right relationship with God. But God has provided a bridge to relationship...
The Bridge to Relationship
The bad news is that our sin separates us from God. The good news is that God doesn't want us to remain separated from Him. And since there is no way we can be perfect or pay the penalty for our sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for us. The good news is that Christ gave His life to pay the penalty for our sin. The Bible talks about it this way: "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8). "We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD [God] laid on Him [Jesus] the guilt and sins of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
Deciding to Trust
Through Christ, we have the opportunity to enjoy an intimate, personal relationship with God. But we must respond to the offer God has made to us. We respond by deciding to trust in Christ alone to restore our relationship with God. The Bible talks about it this way: "God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (Ephesians 2:8-9). "Jesus said . . . 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'" (John 14:6).
Responding to God
If you have chosen the path of trust in Christ, you have started a relationship with God that will continue forever. If you have not, you can choose to begin your relationship with God right now. Ask God to forgive you for your sin. Acknowledge Christ's death on your behalf as the only way to a relationship with God. Thank Him for sending Christ to pay the penalty for your sin. It's not your words that save you. It is Christ's payment of your penalty, a payment you receive by trusting in Him alone as your bridge to God. If this is truly the attitude of your heart, you now have a relationship with God through Christ and can enjoy getting to know and love Him. You can have confidence in this fact because of God's promises . . . "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). Jesus said, "He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life" (John 5:24).
Staying on the Path of Growth
Every relationship requires attention and involvement in order to grow. It's no different in our relationship with God. There are three things you can do to help ensure you stay on the path of growth in your relationship with Him. Spend time listening. For a relationship to grow, we need to spend time getting to know the other person. God has given us the Bible to help us know His character. If we want to know Him, we must spend time learning what He says about Himself through the Bible. Spend time talking. We need to share with God what is on our hearts. We can do this by talking to Him. This is called prayer. Prayer is sharing our hearts with God. Of course, God already knows everything, but He still wants us to communicate with Him about our desires and needs. Spend time with others who have trusted Christ. When we place our faith in Christ, we join a community of other people who have placed their faith in Christ. This community is called the church. Local churches provide a great resource for us to deepen our understanding of God's character. Others who know Christ can also help us learn how to mirror His character in our lives.
Sharing with Others Along the Way
Once you have made the decision to follow Christ, you will want to tell others about your journey. If you have made the decision to follow Christ, we would love to hear about it and become a resource for you. Please give us a call at 508-829-4441 , or contact us HERE. If you are seeking a local church to attend, you are welcome to visit Holden Chapel. If your journey is rough right now and you need help, we can offer assistance. We would love to come alongside you and help lighten the load.