#spiritualtimeswithToby – 2

Winter Volunteer Mailout 2015

I want to go point by point through the gospel; we won’t go in depth, as there’s so much more we can learn, but we will at least touch on all four of the main points.  This is because I believe Christians should never move beyond the Cross of Calvary, but instead should always be moving towards it.  It is after all, the crux of His-story, the very apex of history altogether.

Point One. God.
A.W. Tozer once famously wrote “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  This is because what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves.  If we think of God lowly we will think of ourselves highly, and vice versa.

So who is this God?  What does He do? And why does it concern us?
To answer these questions we go to the very beginning of the Bible – Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  God is the Creator, and if we read a bit further we find that He is not only the Creator of the earth but He is also our Creator (Genesis 1:26-28 & Psalm 139:13).  Therefore none of us are the result of an accident.  Instead, every single one of us is the result of God’s handy work.  We are here because He had an idea and a plan; which He then put into action.  We are all a part of that.  This thought alone brings both meaning and responsibility to human life – to our lives.  But even more than that, it shows that because God created us, we are therefore owned by Him and He has the right to tell us what to do.

This is confronting news.  No one likes to be under authority.  So a lot of people reject the Gospel at this level.  They don’t want to admit to the truth That God is their Creator and therefore their Lord and Master.
The sad thing is they think God’s some power tripping old man sitting up in the sky, arbitrarily telling us what to do.  What we learn in the Bible is the exact opposite.  We learn that God is holy, righteous, compassionate, gracious, loving, just, patient and a whole bunch more (Exodus 34:6-7, Deuteronomy 3:24, Psalm 11:7, etc.).  A God like this is not set on ruining our lives but rather is concerned with redeeming them.

Point Two. Man.
As we learned, in point one, we are created beings.  This is both good news, as it gives us reason and purpose for life, and bad news, as it puts someone above us.  This bad news continues to get worse when you look at the condition of mankind.  Again, right at the very start of the Bible, we read of “The Fall” – this was when sin first entered the world (Genesis 3) and ever since then sin has continued to affect us.

Sin is our biggest problem.  But this sin is not some abstract thing from outside of us, no.  Sin is our biggest problem because it is from within us.  The Bible teaches us that we all have a sin issue (Romans 3:10, 23); that sin is from inside us (Romans 7:17); and that sin results in spiritual death (Romans 6:23).  This spiritual death will come as judgement from God, who we are all accountable too (Romans 3:19 and Exodus 34:7).
This is what man is.  This is our problem.  This is bad news.  But…

Point Three. Jesus.
But God didn’t leave us with only the bad news.  It’s true that we are all sinners deserving to be condemned.  But God has acted to save sinners just like us! He did this by giving us hope. He did this by giving us a way out. He did this by giving us a Saviour.

Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was born about 2000 years ago.  Jesus was God, (John 1:1; 14, 8:58, 10:30) but also fully human at the same time (John 1:14, 4:6, 19:28).  He lived a sinless life (1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, John 19:4) and then died a cruel death upon a cross.

This may all sound a bit strange but if you piece it all together it makes perfect sense.
We are all sinners (as we saw before), and so therefore we all deserve “payment” for our sins.  That payment is spiritual death.  But, before God gave us our payment, Jesus Christ came and lived a life that we couldn’t live and died a death that we deserved, so that we might have the life that we don’t deserve.  Get it?  Our Saviour died to save us; He died to pay the price that we owe (Romans 5:8).
But not only that, He also rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, Luke 24:5-6)!  Proving that He was in fact the divine Saviour.  The only one who could truly save us!

Point Four. Response.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” – Mark 1:15.  That Command, repent and believe, is what this last point is all about.  You know about God, you know about your sin problem and you know about the divine solution (points 1, 2 & 3).  Now, what are you to do about it?  Think about this:

You and I are on a plane traveling to Hong Kong. We get about half-way there when we hear the pilot’s voice over the loud speaker. We can hear fear in his voice. The pilot says, “We’ve lost the engines and we can’t get them started again. The plane is going to crash. There is nothing we can do about it. There’s a parachute under your seat.”

We both look under our seats. We see that the parachute is there. We believe that the parachute is there.

The plane descends to about 10,000′. The pilot instructs the flight attendants to open the doors, and then he orders everyone to jump for their lives. You put on your parachute and jump out of the plane. I don’t put my parachute on, and jump out of the plane.

You survive… and well, I don’t. :/ 

Why did only you survive? The answer is obvious, because only you used the parachute to help you fall and land safely. Whereas I only believed in the parachute and was foolish to not actually use it.

See, it wasn’t enough to simply believe in the parachute. You had to put it on and trust that it would open and save your life when you jump out of the plane. The same is true with Jesus Christ. It is not enough to simply have an intellectual belief in or agreement with Jesus. Even the demons believe and they tremble (James 2:19). You must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and, by faith, trust Him to save you the same way you would trust a parachute.  (Illustration used and adapted from here)

So, what’s your response going to be, or what has it been in the past?  Have you trusted in Jesus to be your Saviour? Or, are you ready to make that commitment now?  If so, or even if you simply want to learn more, click here.

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