God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)
In the beginning God created. He created everything – light, seas, land, moon & stars, birds, fish, and animals. All creation comes from God’s spoken word and all creations were created from nothing. God pentacle of creation in mankind (Gen. 1:26-27). [God made them to be in complete fellowship with Him and with each other. Their nakedness (Genesis 2:25) represented the fact that they had no sin, therefore no shame, therefore nothing to hide before God or each other. They regularly communed with God in the garden and had sheer bliss, pure happiness and unadulterated joy. It was during this time that they were living everyday as God intended, in right relationship with each other, God and His creation. The only command God gave to them was not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.] God’s plan was for us to be in perfect relationship with Him, but that plan was disrupted by one evil sinful act.
Our sins separate us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sin is rebellion of the creature against his Creator. It’s the breaking of a relationship, and even more, it is a rejection of God himself – God’s rule, God’s care, God’s authority, and God’s right to command those to whom he gave his life. When God created human beings, his intention was that they would live under his righteous rule in perfect joy, worshipping him, obeying him, and thereby living in unbroken fellowship with him. The first humans, Adam & Eve, traded their favor with God for the pursuit of their own pleasure and fame. [Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:6), and thereby sinned, they immediately became aware of their “error.” They sewed fig leaves together to cover their shame and hid in the garden from God (Genesis 3:7,8). Now they were hiding from the one that they used to fellowship with regularly. Men and women have been hiding from God ever since, covering their sin and shame with the fig leaves of religion or philosophy.] [The future consequence for Adam and Eve was physical death. God had promised in Genesis 2:17 that the day he sinned by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would “surely die.” Spiritually Adam and Eve died the day they sinned in the garden. Their souls became immediately polluted by sin and selfishness. As a result, all of their offspring (and that includes you and me) were born sinful and selfish. Through Adam every person ever born is born deprived and depraved, deprived of God’s fellowship and depraved to the core (Romans 5:12-14).]
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds. (Genesis 4-Malachi 4)
Since Adam & Eve’s original sin mankind has tried to get back to God. Mankind loves to keep record of the good as if there is a scale of our good and bad deeds with the hope that we have enough good deeds to bad for our first bad deed (sin). This scale of good deeds is a form of mankind trying to earn God’s favor. We can’t earn His favor by our good deeds because good deeds cannot remove sin. [The Old Testament tells the story of the Jewish people, some of whom realized they were sinners and needed God to save them (Psalm 51:1,2) and most of whom trusted in their own goodness instead of the mercy and grace of God (Isaiah 64:6).
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Thankful God provided a solution for mankind’s sin problem! God sent his Son, Jesus, to be the perfect payment or sacrifice for our sin (Luke 24:46). [He lived the perfect life that we could not live and died in our place, for our sin. When he died upon the cross he screamed the words “It is finished” (John 19:30). What he meant by these three words was that the price for our sins was paid completely. He was fully God and entirely man. As a perfect human he could die for other humans. As the true and living God his payment for sin was infinite.
Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was murdered on the cross (Mark 16:6). He was seen by over 500 witnesses (I Corinthians 15:6) on at least 12 separate occasions over the course of forty days (Acts 1:3). Because he died our sins are paid for entirely. Because he rose from the dead we know that Jesus was who he claimed to be, God in the flesh.
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John)
The amazing thing about eternal life is that it is a free gift given to us by God through faith alone and not by any of our good deeds (Ephesians 2:8,9). Jesus paid the price for our sins when he died on the cross and all we must do is receive the gift of forgiveness through faith. When we believe that Jesus died for our sins and trust in Him alone we receive eternal life, are passed out of death into life and are guaranteed a home in heaven (John 5:24).
Eternal life is not achieved by good deeds but received through faith. It’s not a matter of trying but trusting. When we believe we receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Almost the entire New Testament is dedicated to talking about this eternal life and the implications of it in our everyday lives. From John through Jude the disciples of Jesus show us how to live like Jesus intended, serving each other in love. This is the heart of eternal life!
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. (Acts – Revelation)
Jesus gives us life through his life (John 10:10, Romans 5:10-11)! [When we trust in Jesus we enter into a personal, permanent relationship with God called “eternal life.”
Part of the reality of eternal life is that it doesn’t start after you die but as soon as you believe (John 10:10). This life is the joy of a real, exciting relationship with Jesus every single day through prayer, worship and living in the strength that God provides through his Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
The other part of the reality of eternal life is that all who have it will be with Jesus forever and ever in heaven someday. Once we receive it is ours forever and we are his forever!]
This is the good news of the Gospel – God gave us a way to be in right relationship with Him despite our rebellion (sin). That way is believing in Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection, and turning from our sins. When we accept the work He has already done, we have true life.
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