There is ONE GOD. (Deuteronomy 6:4) He has revealed Himself to us in nature and in the Bible. (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19-20; II Timothy 3:16-17)
GOD CREATED the world and everything in it in six days. He is the Provider of life and ALL GOOD THINGS. (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11;Acts 17:24; James 1:17)
God created Adam and Eve in His own image. He gives us an eternal soul and allows us the FREEDOM to CHOOSE. (Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Deuteronomy 30:19)
"God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).
Sin In The World
Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. God gave them ONE COMMAND, saying that if they broke this law the penalty would be DEATH. (Genesis 2:15, 17)
After being tempted by Satan (the devil), Adam and Eve sinned (disobeyed God). (Genesis 3:5-6; I John 2:15-17)
Because they chose to sin, they immediately died spiritually and were expelled from the presence of God. Their bodies began to deteriorate, leading to death. (Genesis 3:23; 5:5)
Man fell from God's GRACE when death entered the world through sin. God's punishment did not mean He withdrew His LOVE for us. Before time began God had plans that would allow us to inherit ETERNAL LIFE. (Romans 5:12; Titus 1:2)
By the days of Noah, "the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every thought of his heart was only evil continually." God sent a Flood to destroy all men, saving only Noah and his family. (Genesis 6:5; Hebrews 11:7; II Peter 2:5)
Though laws change, the punishment for sin remains the same -- DEATH. (Romans 6:23)
The Old Testament has many lessons about men who failed to keep God's commandments. Because of God's MERCY and LOVE, He repeatedly promised through the Old Testament prophets that a Savior would come from among the descendants of Abraham to provide forgiveness for man's sins and allow man to return to fellowship with God. (Romans 15:4; Isaiah 53; Genesis 22:18;Acts 2:30)
God Sends Jesus
When the fullness of time had come (during the days of the Roman Empire), GOD SENT FORTH HIS ONLY SON, born of a virgin, to save those who were lost, that we might receive the adoption as children of God. (Luke 2:11; Galatians 4:4; I John 3:1)
Because GOD LOVED US, He sent Jesus Christ that we might LIVE through Him. (John 3:16; I John 4:9.)
Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to be the SAVIOR of the world. He came to SAVE SINNERS. (Matthew 1:21; John 3:17; I Timothy 1:15)
Jesus and His Message
Before Jesus, God spoke to men in many ways. Today He speaks to us ONLY THROUGH HIS SON. (John 14:24; Hebrews 1:1-2;Galatians 1:9-12)
The MESSAGE of Jesus can free us from sin and lead us back to God.
Jesus claims to be
the LIGHT of the world (John 8:12),
the DOOR to salvation (John 10:9),
the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE (John 14:6).
Jesus says, "The TRUTH shall make you FREE." (John 8:32)
Jesus promises ETERNAL LIFE to those who believe in Him, love Him, and obey His word. (John 11:25-26; 14:15; 8:51)
Jesus tells us that the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENTS are LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS. (Matthew 22:36-40)
Jesus preached --
FAITH (John 3:16; 6:47)
REPENTANCE (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:5)
CONFESSION (Luke 12:8)
BAPTISM (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16)
HEAVEN awaits those who SERVE Him. (Matthew 25:31-40)
HELL awaits those who FAIL to serve Him. (Matthew 25:41-46)
Christ Jesus Died For Us
Our sins require DEATH as punishment! Because of MERCY, Jesus offered His sinless life as the substitute for ours. God demonstrated His LOVE for us, in that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Matthew 20:28; I John 4:10; I Peter 2:24; Romans 5:8)
The shedding of blood was required for us to have forgiveness of sins. He became our Savior by dying on the CROSS. He washes our sins away by His own BLOOD. (Hebrews 9:22; John 15:13;19:17-18; Revelation 1:5)
His death for our sins satisfied God's requirement for our punishment. (I Corinthians 15:22; Romans 3:24-26)
The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel is that on the third day after His burial, Jesus Christ AROSE FROM THE DEAD! This was witnessed by many people. (I Corinthians 15:3-8) After 40 days, He ascended back to Heaven. (Acts 1:3-11)
Jesus proved to us that by His power we, too, can CONQUER DEATH. Christ proved that He has authority over Satan who had the power of death. Jesus offers to release those who are slaves to the fear of death. Sin and death no longer have dominion over us, since God's Son has provided us with a way of escape from the wrath of God. (Hebrews 2:14-15; Romans 6:14)
Christ's Church Is Established
When the apostle Peter preached the first sermon after the return of Jesus to Heaven, many were moved by the message and asked, "What shall we do?" They were told, "REPENT, and let EVERY one of you be BAPTIZED in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION OF SINS; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:36-38) About three thousand believed and were baptized. (Acts 2:41)
These people were SAVED by the GRACE of God and added to the church. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 2:47.)
This church was purchased by the BLOOD of Christ. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28.)
Christ, as Head of the church, has ALL authority over it. (Colossians 1:18; Matthew 28:18)
The apostles preached the exact same thing that Jesus had preached. (Galatians 1:12.)
We should study carefully New Testament examples of conversion to Christ and salvation from sin:
At Pentecost (Acts 2:14-47).
In Samaria (Acts 8:5-13).
The Ethiopian (Acts 8:27-39).
Saul (Acts 9:17-18; 22:14-16).
Cornelius (Acts 10).
Lydia (Acts 16:13-15).
The Jailer (Acts 16:30-34).
At Corinth (Acts 18:8).
Those who heard, believed, and obeyed the commands of Jesus were BAPTIZED in every case.
The same PROMISE of SALVATION is offered to us if we obey the SAME COMMANDS (Acts 2:39.). When we respond in the same way to the same message, we are SAVED from SPIRITUAL DEATH, and we are ADDED to the church.
When we REPENT, we put an end to our old sinful self. When we are BAPTIZED, we are BURIED in water just as Christ was buried in a tomb. When we come up out of the water, we are FREED from the guilt of our past sins just as Jesus was resurrected without the sins He bore on the Cross. (Galatians 5:24; II Timothy 2:11; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-8) This is SPIRITUAL REBIRTH. (John 3:5)
After we OBEY the GOSPEL, we must continue to live under the GUIDANCE of God so we can enjoy His FELLOWSHIP. (John 8:31; I John 1:5-7)
Jesus Is Coming Again
Jesus promises that HE WILL RETURN! (John 14:3)
At that time the WORLD will be BURNED UP. (II Peter 3:10-13)
Then God will JUDGE every soul INDIVIDUALLY according to his or her DEEDS. (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12-13)
Man's opinions will not be what judges us in the end. (Matthew 15:9; Revelation 20:12)
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT in HELL awaits those who have not OBEYED Jesus Christ. (II Thessalonians 1:8-9)
Those who did not accept Christ as their substitute will have their SINS punished by ETERNAL DEATH, forever SEPARATED from God. (James 1:15, Hebrews 10:29-31)
The NEVER ENDING JOYS of HEAVEN await those who have had their SINS WASHED AWAY by the blood of Jesus and have remained FAITHFUL to the LORD'S WILL. (Revelation 1:5; 2:10;Matthew 24:13; 7:21)
God's JUSTICE demands “IF YOU SIN, YOU WILL DIE!”
God's LOVE allows “IF YOU BELIEVE AND OBEY JESUS, YOU CAN LIVE!”
God's WILL is revealed in the Bible. He has allowed us to CHOOSE the road we will follow. He has given us clear WARNINGS about following our own will and wonderful PROMISES about following His will. (Proverbs 14:12.)
God Wants You To Be Saved
God offers a NEW BEGINNING. He offers to save us by His grace through faith.
How do we come in contact with the grace of God and receive this salvation through faith?
The New Testament tells us over and over again that we come into contact with the grace of God and receive salvation through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. (Cf. Romans 3:21-26)
Remember, it is the grace of God shown in the life of Christ which saves us. Our role is to accept this gift through saving faith.
True faith involves several specific actions. It involves confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9-10)
Faith involves repentance, the changing of our heart and life to do the things of God. (Acts 2:38; 3:19-20)
Faith involves surrendering our lives in baptism to the will of God for the forgiveness of our sins. (Galatians 3:26-27; Acts 2:38;16:29-34; 22:16)
Note: The conversion of the thousands in Acts 2 (as well as all the other examples of conversion in the book of Acts) is an example of people being saved “by grace through faith.”
Faith also involves living with commitment toward God and with compassion toward those around us. (Galatians 5:6; James 2:14-16)
While we submit to God's will in these actions, God is at work bringing us into His kingdom, His Church, forgiving and cleansing us of all our past sins, and placing His Holy Spirit in us (Colossians 1:13-14; Acts 2:36-41; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 3:3-7; Romans 8:9-17; 26-27)
We become new people (2 Corinthians 5:17), born of God to begin a new spiritual life of service for him (John 1:10-13; 3:1-5).
It is important to remember there is not one thing we can do to earn our salvation. These several actions do not cause our salvation to happen, they are simply the ways that God has provided for us to receive the salvation given us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This point is clearly shown in Romans 6, where Paul talks about baptism. Notice that the whole discussion on baptism is framed by the concept of grace (verses 3 & 14)!
Notice also that baptism is not some arbitrary act that is done to be saved, but is actually a participation, a sharing, in the saving death of Jesus Christ so that we can share in His new life (verses 3-10). It is sharing in what Christ has done through our faith that allows us to receive the grace of God already provided for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
You are sincerely invited to visit us and study in detail many other things about which Jesus taught, including LOVE, FAITH, HOPE, JOY, PEACE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY, DOCTRINE, WORSHIP, and TRUTH.