THE GOSPEL EXPLAINED
God's Grace for Us and How to Begin a Relationship with God
The world is filled with competing theories about God, religion, and salvation. Different paths to different gods market themselves in the ever-changing desert of ideas. Yet in the midst of this world of contradictory claims, Jesus Christ made a bold assertion: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
In a confusing world filled with signs pointing us down different roads of philosophies and religions, can we be sure we’ve placed our feet on the right path? The answer to this question comes from the all-time bestselling book, translated into more languages and read by more people than any other book in human history - the Bible. The Bible alone clearly marks the way of truth and salvation with four vital markers.
1. Our Spiritual Condition: Totally Depraved
The first marker is rather personal. One look in the mirror of Scripture, and our human condition becomes painfully clear:
There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one. (Romans 3:10-12)
We are all sinners through and through—totally depraved, completely corrupt. Now, that doesn’t mean we’ve committed every atrocity known to humankind. We’re not as bad as we can be, just as bad off as we can be. Sin colors all our thoughts, motives, words, and actions.
It may seem unbelievable but if we look around, everything in this broken world bears the smudge marks of our sinful nature. Crime statistics continue to soar, divorce rates keep climbing, and families keep crumbling.
Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)—our emotional and physical death through sin’s destructiveness, and our spiritual death from God’s righteous judgment of our sin. This brings us to the second marker: God’s character.
2. God’s Character: Infinitely Holy
When he observed the condition of the world and the people in it, the wise King Solomon concluded, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 12:8). The fact that we know things are not as they should be points us to a standard of goodness beyond ourselves. That standard and source is God Himself. And God’s standard of holiness contrasts starkly with our sinful condition.
Scripture says that “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). He is absolutely holy, which creates a problem for us. If He is so pure, how can we who are so impure relate to Him?
Perhaps we could try being better people or seek out wisdom and knowledge for self-improvement. Throughout history, people have attempted to live up to God’s standard by keeping the Ten Commandments or by living out their own code of ethics. Unfortunately, no one can come close to satisfying the demands of God’s law. Romans 3:20 says, “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight...”
3. Our Need: A Substitute
So here we are, sinners by nature, sinners by choice, trying to attain a relationship with our holy Creator. But every time we try, we fall flat on our faces. We can’t live a good enough life to make up for our sin, because God’s standard isn’t “good enough”—it’s perfection. And we can’t make amends for the offense our sin has created without dying for it.
Who can get us out of this mess?
If someone could live perfectly, honoring God’s law, and would bear sin’s death penalty for us—in our place—then we would be saved from our predicament. But is there such a person? Thankfully, yes!
Meet your substitute—Jesus Christ. He is the One who took death’s place for you!
[God] made [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
4. God’s Provision: A Savior
God rescued us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). Jesus was fully human and fully divine (John 1:1, 14), a truth that ensures His understanding of our weaknesses, His power to forgive, and His ability to bridge the gap between God and us (Romans 5:6-11). In short, we are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Two words in this verse bear further explanation: justified and redemption.
Justification is God’s act of mercy, in which He declares believing sinners righteous, while they are still in their sinning state. Justification doesn’t mean that God makes us righteous so that we never sin again; rather, He declares us righteous—much like a judge pardons a guilty criminal. Because Jesus took our sin upon Himself and suffered our judgment on the cross, God forgives our debt and proclaims us PARDONED.
Redemption is Christ’s act of paying the price to release us from sin’s bondage. God sent His Son to bear His wrath for all of our sins—past, present, and future (Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). In humble obedience, Christ willingly endured the shame of the cross for your sake (Mark 10:45; Romans 5:6-8; Philippians 2:8). Christ’s death satisfied God’s righteous demands. He no longer holds your sins against you, because His own Son paid the penalty for them.
Placing Your Faith in Christ
These four markers pointing us to the way of truth describe how God has provided a way to Himself through Jesus Christ. Since the price has been paid in full by God, we must respond to His free gift of eternal life in total faith and confidence in Him to save us. We must step forward into the relationship with God that He has prepared for us—not by doing good works or being a good person, but by coming to Him just as we are, repenting from our sins and accepting His justification and redemption by faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We accept God’s gift of salvation simply by placing our faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sins. Every living person needs to do this - even with whatever religious background he or she has. Would you like to enter a relationship with your Creator by trusting in Christ as your Savior? If so, here’s a simple prayer you can use to express your faith. (This prayer is here only as a guide. We urge you to pour out your heart to Jesus in your own words and confess or speak them out.):
Dear God, our Heavenly Father,I come to You today just as I am. I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; Please forgive me and save me from the hell I deserve. I believe that Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins. You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. Right now I confess that Jesus is Lord and accept Him to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. I receive Jesus to be my Lord and own personal Savior. He is my only hope and I am putting my faith in Him alone. And according to Your Word, right now I am saved. I thank you Jesus that You will transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to You alone and not to myself. Thank You for dying for me and giving me eternal life. I will follow You. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who will help me obey You, and do Your will for the rest of my life. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
If you’ve prayed this prayer or one like it with all your heart, believe in your heart that you have just started out on the greatest miracle of all, the salvation of your soul. You are now beginning an awesome, exciting, unbelievable walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There are significant steps to take and you can find them in the bible. Churches and fellowships are here to help us "be saved" and grow spiritually.
Of all the relationships you enjoy in this life, none can compare with a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us. You were dead in sin but now you live, for the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed you for a price!
Please feel free to contact us thru email, the telephone or a personal visit. GIGCC will be more than happy to assist you in your spiritual growth. God bless you!