Man is created by the God of all creation.
He made us to worship and serve Him.
We are absolutely dependent on Him for life and sustaining all things.
Man has fallen short of God's standard which is perfect obedience.
This is human nature.
The standard is embodied in the 10 Commandments.
The penalty for breaking any part is death.
To be convicted of sin is the awareness of a broken relationship with God and the need to find a way of reconciliation.
There is the sense of guilt over particular sins one needs to repent over, and a general sense of of a sinful nature.
The Son of God, the Lamb of God, Who died for our sins, and was resurrected from the dead, unto life eternal.
The Perfect Savior.
He lived the sinless life that no human could.
Only He could sacrifice His life to pay for our sins.
We place our trust in Him, our living Savior.
The call to repentance and faith.
Faith requires a foundation of true knowledge about the Person and work of Christ.
One must abandon all trust and confidence in one's own efforts and abilities.
This leads to complete trust in Christ and His provision for salvation and reconciliation with the Heavenly Father.
Repentance requires the permanent turning from the past sinful ways of life, and turning completely onto the path of righteousness to glorify God.
Christian Living - Running the Race The High Calling of Christians.
Matthew 5:48 - "be perfect" etc.
Jesus knew that no believer could attain perfection in this life (see 6:14,15).
It is rather the measure and goal towards which we work, not to earn salvation - but instead to become fully mature in exercising those principles that Christ outlines in the preceding verses concerning love (Matthew 5:43-58).
God, in all His ways, is perfect - in His creation, His provision for our salvation, His love for us.
We are called upon as His born again children to seek to please Him with our lives.
To be continually thankful and do those things that bring honor and glory to Him as our Heavenly Father, through the Gospel of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A helpful comparison - a Christian life is like a foot race.
I Corinthians 9:24,25 24 ¶ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Philippians 2:16 16 holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
Hebrews 12:1,2 1 Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Read Hebrews 12:1-10 to also get the part about God's chastening His children.
The end of verse 10 gives the motive - "he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
" God helps us, guides, and empowers us to become more like Him, more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
Church Questions Why do people go to Church? Are they better than those that don't go, or only go occasionally? If I behave better (in general) than some Church goers, will God accept me into heaven? If God expects me to talk and act like Jesus, then how do I have a chance to measure up? That's impossible! Can I get to heaven without going to Church or being a regular attendee? All of these questions center around the giant misconception that heaven is reserved for those that successfully perform the works that God requires for entrance.
Jesus, the righteous, is the example God provided for us to follow.
This only leaves perpetual uncertainty as to what point is enough, and how anyone can know for sure.
All of the above questions are irrelevant because they do not point to the truth of the Gospel - Good News, not good advice - of Christ's dying for our sins.
Salvation is a free gift - it cannot be earned.
Acceptance through faith is the gift of God, and this is adoption into the family of God and this is forever.
We become His children with all the forgiveness, love, peace, joy, fellowship with Him, with Jesus, and with fellow believers.
Here enters the only purpose for Churches - for believers to get together to celebrate so great a salvation and in praise and thanksgiving, to encourage one another to grow and mature as God's children.
We are His representatives while still on earth.
Our high calling is to speak and act unselfishly, sharing our faith, our time, and our substance - and our love.
This brings light and hope to those around us.
God provides the guidance, inspiration, and power to do these by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Blessings are poured upon us as we seek to do God's will, always keeping in mind that we have no permanent habitation here.
We are on an eternal path, merely passing through the present.
Our destination is with Jesus and the Father in eternity - the new heavens and a new earth, where there will be no death, pain, or sin, forever.
The Inspired Revelation of God of the History of Salvation It is a connected, historical, systematic, progressive whole.
This includes promises and prophecy and historical record.
It records the development of salvation in down to earth, understandable, and experienced instruction.
The development is in graded, progressive, stages.
All was prepared in advance, of which the goal is Christ.
There is order and harmony - one truth - one doctrine.
Scripture explains Scripture.
The preparation for salvation in the Old Testament is clearly formed and moves unto its goal.
The Biblical account of ancient history is the foundation.
There are two periods of revelation.
After sin entered and Eden was closed to man, the principle of "self-determination" was in force.
There was no human hierarchy or authority, and no Divine law instituted (from Adam to Noah).
After man's complete failure, that dispensation was wiped off the face of the earth.
Beginning with Noah, the principle of authority was instituted.
Genesis 9:6 - "Whoso sheds man's blood by man shall his blood be shed.
" This was also perverted by man in building one Kingdom to his power and greatness (consider Nimrod in Genesis 10).
This finally led to the great expression of man's pride in the building of the Tower of Babel.
Then, from this "universalism", God limited His revelation to a particular man - Abraham - and later, to the nation that came from him - Israel.
Within this was also the promise of the blessing of all nations through Christ (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8).
The preparation for man's salvation is clearly seen in the directing of history to the Savior, His work and its goal.
There are two periods, and covenants - with Abraham, then with Moses.
First, with Abraham - instruction of "faith", lasting 2,000 years.
Second, added to the first, is "God's Law" through Moses.
This was an instruction in the guilt of sin and man's need of "repentance".
This clearly shows the essential path of conversion, repenting, turning away from self, and turning to Christ in faith.
The complete Old Testament revelation prepared for this outcome.
With Abraham's covenant was the promise of Isaac and his being offered up to sacrifice.
This showed God's life-giving grace and power of resurrection.
In the Law of Moses, the sinner is under God's judgment, and receives the sentence of death.
Together, these two show the two sides of the work of the redemption of Christ, why He must offer up Himself on the Cross, and be raised up by the power of God.
It is this that provides the sinner the gift of salvation, which is accepted by repentance and faith.
Thus, the Divine plan reached its goal.