I. God--the Holy and Loving Creator
God has an absolute claim on our lives as our Creator. We are responsible to reflect God.
A. Sovereign Creator: Out of His pleasure and freedom God created and sustains us. Therefore, we are utterly dependent upon Him for everything we have. We have no inherent rights. God is light, which symbolizes His majesty, purity and holiness. He sets the standard of right and wrong. He is God Almighty in heaven over His creation.
B. Personal Creator: We are neither impersonal machines nor animals. Our significance is derived from our unique creation in the image of God who is a person. God is love, and made us for the purpose of communion with Him--to worship and honor Him, and to fellowship with and delight in Him. He is God, the Father of us His creatures.
Key Verses: Psalm 100:3; Matthew 5:48
Key Passages: Exodus 19:16-20; 20:1-26; Matthew 5:17-48; Acts 17:24-31
Question: Since God's wonderful character, His rights as Creator, His blessings and His warnings, are all designed to remind us of His loving ownership of us, why don't we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?
II. Man--the Sinful Creature
We are self-deceived if we think we are living out of our own resources, when actually we are creatures and guilty rebels under judgment who cannot help ourselves. We have chosen to reject God.
A. Definition of Sin: Willful rebellion by refusing to do what God commands; determining to do what He forbids. We find ourselves:
1. Playing God: Running our lives as if God did not matter; Ignoring God; Trying to be self-sufficient and self-made people.
2. Fighting God: Violating and disregarding His Law for living; Wanting to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.
B. Consequences of Sin: Death (separation). Both physical and spiritual death due to the just wrath of God.
1. Living Death: Separation now from God resulting in guilt, loss of identity, purposelessness, distorted relationships and all other such effects.
2. Eternal Death: Separation of our souls from God forever. Hell is real place where the wrath of God is experienced forever.
Key Verses: Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:20; James 2:10
Key Passages: Isaiah 64:6,7; Romans 1:20-25;3:10-20; 7:7-13; Philippians 3:4-6
Question: Why do we deny responsibility for our sins and continue to live with guilt?
III. Christ--the Merciful Redeemer
Jesus who is both God and man, is the only way to life--by His life, death and resurrection as Redeemer.
A. Teacher: Christ's words and life reveal the nature of God. He communicates to us by His Word and Spirit, and we submit to His authority in Scripture.
B. Sin-bearer: He offered Himself as the innocent, substitutionary sacrifice for sin on behalf of all who acknowledge their sin. He took the guilt of sinners upon Himself and endured God's judgment for it in His death on the cross. He redeems sinners by His blood poured out, which satisfies the just anger of the holy God against sinful people
C. King: He rose from the dead (conquering sin and death) and ascended back to His Father to be Lord. His life of perfect obedience is now vindicated and He freely and sovereignly gives His reward of righteousness to undeserving sinners. He dispenses grace (unmerited favor) to whomever He will and rules, in love, over all united to Him.
Key Verses: Isaiah 53:5; Mark 10:45; Ephesians 1:7
Key Passages: Isaiah 53:1-11; 43:25;
Mark 10:33,34,45; Acts 2:22-24, 36
Evangelize the unsaved at home and abroad Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8
Question: How does Christ's death on the cross display both the holiness and love of God?
IV. Our Necessary Response to Be United to Christ
On the basis of these historical truths, and because Christ is alive today, God invites and commands you now to:
A. Turn from your rebellion to Christ as Lord with your whole self, in your...
1. Mind-Agree with God that you have wronged Him and deserve His judgment. Realize that His goodness shown to you in many ways was designed to humble you to repentance.
2. Emotion-Despise your sins and your sinful nature.
3. Will-Determine to turn from your rebellion and serve your Creator and Redeemer. Look to Christ alone as the payer for and deliverer-from sin.
Key Verse: Isaiah 55:7
Key Passages: Isaiah 12:1-3; I Thessalonians 1:9,10
B. Trust in nothing that you can do, but only in the finished work of Christ as Savior, with your...
1. Mind-Recognize Christ as the necessary and sufficient payment for sin.
2. Emotion-Long for Christ and rejoice in His love for the undeserving.
3. Will-commit your life to Christ by casting yourself upon Him as your only hope for reconciliation with God. Transfer your trust from yourself to Him. Take for yourself His gift of forgiveness and righteousness.Ask for God's mercy.
Key Verse: John 1:12 Key Passages: Romans 3:21-26; John 3:16-18
Dear friend, you can only become a Christian by turning from a sinful life to Christ, and by trusting in Him as Savior and Lord. There is a cost to becoming a disciple of Jesus. Read Mark 8:34-38 and Luke 14:25-33. Ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to turn to Christ and trust in Him.
Conclusion: Read Galatians 2:20 and pray to God for His help. We would love to have the opportunity to speak with you further about Christ, growth in discipleship, worshiping and serving Him. Please call us: 601-636-4292