Who is God ?
God is eternal, having always existed. He is independent, lacking nothing in Himself. God is holy, so pure that nothing imperfect can stand in His presence. He is just, always doing what is right, as He Himself is the final standard for truth. Thankfully, God is also gracious and merciful. (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 7:11-12; 89:14; 145:8-9; Isaiah 5:16; Habakkuk 1:13; John 14:6; 17:17; Acts 17:24-25; Hebrews 12:29; 1 Peter 1:16)
Who is Man?
Humans are created beings, made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore unique among all other creatures. We are dependent upon God for our existence and purpose, which is to worship and enjoy Him forever. Although created in His image, all mankind has rebelled against God, refusing to acknowledge and honour Him as He deserves. (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 86; Romans 1:1-3:23; 5:12; 11:36; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 10:31)
What is our dilemma?
We have all rejected God, and are all guilty of what the Bible calls sin. Sin is transgression of God’s law – which is summarized as loving God with all our being and loving others as ourselves. None of us has loved God and others as Christ commanded. As sinners by birth and by choice, we have violated Christ’s Law and stand condemned for disobedience. He cannot and will not leave sin unpunished, and just one violation of His Law is sufficient for judgment. God’s eternal punishment of all guilty lawbreakers is the second death in the Lake of Fire. (Psalm 51:5; Proverbs 17:15, Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 5-7; 22:36-40; John 3:18; 13:34; Romans 3:23; James 2:10; 1 John 3:4; Revelation 20:9-15)
What is God’s solution?
God’s justice demands payment, but His mercy invites forgiveness. In His compassion, God made a way to save condemned humanity in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s on the cross of Christ that God satisfied His justice and demonstrated His love for sinners. (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 4:8-10)
Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ, who is God the Son, came into the world as a man to live a life perfectly obedient to all the commands of God the Father, and to die the death required for the payment of sin. On the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserve to set sinners free.
On the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, defeating sin and death, and earning eternal life for those who trust Him. His resurrection is God the Father’s approval of Christ’s redeeming work. (John 1:1,14; Romans 3:23-26; 4:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11)
How should we respond?
The only way to respond to the gospel is with repentance and faith. Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ. (Isaiah 55:6-7; Romans 7:15, 24; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10)
Faith unto salvation is trusting in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 11:1)
It’s only when we turn from sin (repent) and turn to Christ (faith) that we are saved. (Acts 3:19)
A Prayer of Repentance
(Psalm 51:1-12, ESV)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
The Assurance of Salvation
A Christian who has been truly born again of the Holy Spirit is a new creation who will live a life that reflects God’s radical work of re-creation. Assurance of salvation is based upon self-examination in the light of what the Bible says to be true about those who have eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Practically, this means he or she continually grows in love for God and others, wants to share the truth of the gospel with those who don’t know Jesus, holds fast to sound doctrine, hates sin, and increasingly displays the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See Matthew 7:16, 22:37-40, 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 13:15; 1 John 1:5-10, 2:3-4, 9-11, 15-17, 24-25, 3:10, 4:13, 5:13; Galatians 5:22-23; Hebrews 12:50b.)