We want to begin by telling you about the two best things our church has going for us:
Jesus, and a Transformed Life
This section is about Jesus, who is the Gospel (Good News). We think you've got to hear about him. But you've also got to hear about the better life he wants to give you, when you get to know him and trust him. We are a church who care about knowing Jesus, and enjoying his gift to us: a completely transformed life with him.
So there’s this guy. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? But you’ve never met anyone like him. We promise.
You’ve probably heard that he’s the Savior of the World. And that’s true, and amazing. This is no trite slogan. When he died on the cross, Jesus paid a substitute punishment in our place for our sins, paying a punishment that we otherwise must pay. For messed up people like us, this is music to our ears. Jesus alone did 100% of what it takes to save us. We can never save ourselves. He is our only hope. He is our entire hope. Jesus has saving power.
But did you know that Jesus is also the Ruler of the World? Did you know that he is the authority of all people, at all times? Of course, most folks live as though this isn’t true, every day. We know that. People think they are in charge of themselves, and assume that’s best. But an honest look at ourselves eventually makes it clear that we do a bad job of being in control. We need someone smarter and more powerful. You have problems. He has solutions. Like no one else ever. Becuase he's a flawless, perfect leader, he has the right to lead the world and us. And because he rose physically from the grave, we know he has the redemptive power to make everthing right. He's starting with us.
Did you also know that you can experience a real, love-based relationship with Jesus? (He’s alive, after all.) And he cares about you. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about a “relationship with God,” and thought that sounded flaky, we want you to know that it’s real. And wonderful. And satisfying. And available to all who ask Him. Jesus has an unmatched heart of self-giving love. That love the most powerful force in the world. But it turns out that love is not a force. Love is a person.
Jesus is that real, living, loving person. He is fully God, the Creator. And he is also truly a human being. He’s always both. He has a physical body, great wisdom, all power, a clear plan, and a loving heart. Jesus is the source and goal and meaning of life. There is no lasting, satisfying human experience apart from Jesus. He is the most valuble thing in the Universe.
Jesus is the Gospel
The word Gospel means Good News. And it is! The Good News is that we can and must have Jesus.
We don’t deserve him. And we’re not used to being lead or loved like he leads and loves. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that all human beings avoid him. We want to lead ourselves. We try to find love elsewhere. We even try to save ourselves, or else pretend we’re OK.
The bad news is that we are far from OK. But the Good News is that God has a plan to make everything right, even us. He wants to Save us. He wants to Lead us. He wants to Love us. And then he wants us to follow him and love him and others.
The Gospel is Three Things About Jesus
...and we’ve already been telling you what these three things are.
- Jesus’ Authority – He’s in charge. We’re not. That’s better. We need him.
- Jesus’ Finished Work – He can save us. We can’t save ourselves. We need him.
- Jesus’ Love – He loves us. We were made for love. We need Jesus.
Christians Believe the Gospel. That Means We Trust Jesus. This Jesus.
So what do you think? Do you know this Jesus? Do you trust him? Do you enjoy him? We often times find that people have heard part of the story about Jesus, but one of these three ideas has been left out. Perhaps how we need him to lead us. Or how he alone saves us.
When we trust in this incredible Jesus, we receive all that he is offering to us. And he is most especially offering Himself, forever and ever. If you do trust in Jesus, you can have forgiveness for all your sins, a real relationship with God now, and a developing transformation in your life starting now and never ending.
2. Gospel Belief Questions
Before we baptize people at the Resurrection, we ask them the series of questions listed below. (You can download them here, too.) Take a look at these questions about faith in Jesus.
Can you honestly answer yes to these twelve questions?
Jesus' Authority produces Repentance & Trust
1. Do you believe Jesus has the right to be the authority in your life? (Romans 10:9, Matthew 28:18)
2. Are you learning how to trust Jesus, rather than yourself? (Mark 7:20-23)
3. Are you willing to walk away from anything that stands between you and what Jesus wants for you, with God's help? (Matthew 4:17)
4. Have you asked him to take control of your life, and lead you, from now on? (Matthew 4:19)
Jesus' Finished Work produces Eternal Forgiveness
5. Do you believe you are guilty of sin before God? (Romans 3:23)
6. Do you believe Jesus has paid 100% of the punishment you deserve for all your sins: past, present and future? (1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 8:31-39)
7. Have you asked him to forgive and save you? (Acts 2:37-41)
Jesus' Love invites us into a Deep Personal Relationship with him.
8. Do you believe that Jesus loves you unconditionally, and that he is inviting you into an ever-growing relationship with him? (John 3:16; Romans 8:35-37)
9. Are you beginning to experience real love back towards Jesus? (Mark 12:30)
The Gospel gives us a New Life in God's Family
(These questions are about the transformed life Jesus is offering us.)
10. Do you believe Jesus has given you the free gift of eternal life, which starts now? (John 3:36)
11. Are you ready to become a participating part of Jesus’ family, the church? (Ephesians 5:23)
12. Are you ready to be discipled (trained) by other Christians, to learn how to obey and trust Jesus in every area of your life? (Matt 28:20, 1 Corinthians 11:1)
3. First Steps
Do you believe these things? This Gospel message is the core of what Christians believe. If you have decided this Good News is true, then you need to know the next steps!
1. Prayer - When you decide to trust Jesus, the first thing to do is to pray to God. You need to personally ask Jesus to save you, to lead you, and to help you begin to experience his love and power in your life. Commit to him. He’s committed to you! Tell him you believe he died and rose again. Ask him to take all your punishment for your sins. (He wants to.) Tell him you need him and want him. And then tell him thanks. Tell him you love him.
2. Realization - The second thing to do is realize what's just happend. Congratulations! This is without question the most imporant step of your life. You're eternal destiny just changed. Your unbreakable relationship with God has just begun. The only thing that can separate a person from God is guilt for sin, and since Jesus paid your punishment in advance, you can't mess this up, if you only just keep trusting in him. Amazing!
3. Baptism - The third thing to do is be baptized in a healthy local church, publically showing the outside world that you are His. Baptism is a symbol of Jesus' death & resurrection in our place (Romans 6:3-5). When you go under the surface of the water, that's symbolic of death (his burial and yours). When your face comes back up and out, that's symbolic of resurrection (his new life and yours). Baptism doesn't save us. Jesus does. Baptism is a celebration of that salvation, when you publicly join the family of God. Welcome to the family!
4. Training - The fourth thing is for you to be trained (discipled) by other Christians. This will take time, of course. But it's important to know that the Christian life was never designed to be something you do alone. God has sent others who've gone before you down this new path. God's plan is that we get to help each other, as we walk into Resurrection Life.
Won't you join us on this journey?