God LOVES you and offers a wonderful PLAN for your life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
(Christ speaking) "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (that it might be full and meaningful) (John 10:10).
Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life?
Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God. Thus he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life.
Man is Sinful
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
Man is Separated
"For the wages of sin is death" (spiritual separation from God) (Romans 6:23).
\ HOLY GOD /
^ | ^ |
| | | |
/ SINFUL MAN \
This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion.
The Third Law explains the only way to bridge this gulf...
Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life.
He Died in Our Place
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
He Rose From the Dead
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..." (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
He is the Only Way to God
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'" (John 14:6).
\ GOD --- / ----------| |-------- | ___| J |___ | | | | |___ E ___| | | | \|/ | S | | | | | | U | | | | | | S | \|/ | | ----------| |-------- / MAN --- \ / \
This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
It is not enough just to know these three laws...
We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.
We Must Receive Christ
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name" (John 1:12)
We Receive Christ Through Faith
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
(Christ speaking) "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20).
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us the kinds of people He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
These two squares represent two kinds of lives:
------------------------- ------------------------- | @ | | @ @ | | \ @ | | \ \ | / | | | | | \ | -|- / | | | @ | | | | | | @ | self | | | | | | | |_____ | | @<-- |----- -->@ | -|- | | | @ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | self | | / \ | | / | \ \ | | @ | | | \ | | @ | | O O | ------------------------- ------------------------- SELF-DIRECTED LIFE CHRIST-DIRECTED LIFE Self is on the throne Christ is on the throne Christ is outside the life Self is yielding to Christ @ Interests are directed by self, @ Interests directed by Christ often resulting in discord and resulting in harmony with frustration. God's plan.
Which square best describes your life?
The following explains how you can receive Christ:
YOU CAN RECIEVE CHRIST RIGHT NOW by FAITH THROUGH PRAYER
(Prayer is talking to God)God knows your heart and is not concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."
Did you pray this prayer?
If it does, pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.
How to Know That Christ Is in Your Life
Did you receive Christ into your life? According to His promise in Revelation 3:20, where is Christ right now in relation to you? Christ said that He would come into your life. Would He mislead you? On what authority do you know that God has answered your prayer? (The trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word.)
The Bible Promises Eternal Life to All Who Receive Christ
"And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:11-13).
Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life, from the very moment you invite Him in. He will not deceive you.
An important reminder...
DO NOT DEPEND ON FEELINGS
The promise of God's Word, the Bible-not our feelings-is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).
o o o o o -- ----- | | | | ---------- ------- --------- | | | | | | /| FACT |---| FAITH |--| FEELING | / | | | | | | /-- ---------- ------- --------- O O O O O O
The train will run with or without a caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we as Christians, do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED CHRIST
The moment that you received Christ by faith, as an act of the will, many things happened, including the following:
- Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20 and Colossians 1:27).
- Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
- You became a child of God (John 1:12).
- You received eternal life (John 5:24).
- You began the great adventure for which God created you (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than receiving Christ? Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what he has done for you? By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.
To enjoy your new life to the fullest...
SUGGESTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN GROWTH
Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus Christ. "The righteous man shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11). A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly with every detail of your life, and to practice the following:
G. Go to God in prayer daily (John 15:7).
R. Read God's Word daily (Acts 17:11)-begin with the Gospel of John.
O. Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).
W. Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).
T. Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).
H. Holy Spirit-allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16,17; Acts 1:)
FELLOWSHIP IN A GOOD CHURCH
God's Word admonishes us not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25). Several logs burn brightly together; but put one aside on the cold hearth and the fire goes out. So it is with your relationship with other Christians. If you do not belong to a church, do not wait to be invited. Take the initiative; call the pastor of a nearby church where Christ is honored and His Word is preached. Start this week, and make plans to attend regularly.