Know God


Christians believe what’s called “The Gospel.” Gospel is from a Greek word meaning “good news.” It had a semi-technical use, referring to an official proclamation sent out by royal messengers that the king had a son, an heir to whom the throne would one day pass. Such an announcement was usually received as good news by people because it meant their future was secure.

The Christian Gospel is the good news that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to secure our future. That future had become imperiled by sin, which every one of us has committed, and must be punished. The penalty our sins deserve is death, not just physical death, but the spiritual death which is separation from God. Since our soul and spirit will live forever, eternal separation from God means consignment to hell, a place where all the benefits of heaven and blessings of God are absent. In His love, God wants us with Him in heaven enjoying glory rather than suffering the agonies of hell, so He sent Jesus to do for us what we could not do for ourselves; liberate us from our fate. Either we have to pay for our sin, or we can by faith accept that Jesus paid the penalty of them on our behalf. That’s why He went to the cross. The guilt for all our sins was placed on Jesus. When He suffered and died, it was for us. The just penalty for our wrong-doing was satisfied in His act. He was our substitute. His work on the cross accrues to us by believing in Him.

Wait, there’s more… Many people have died. Their death didn’t do anything for us. Why is Jesus different? He didn’t stay dead. He rose again! He rose because in Himself, He was sinless, so death had no claim on Him. The death He died was ours. His rising from the dead PROVES that the just penalty due our sins has been satisfied. If Jesus were still dead, then it would mean He was still paying for our sins. That He rose is proof His work satisfied the demands of divine justice. And just as our sin was transferred to Jesus when He died, so through His resurrection, His righteousness is attributed to us.

All of this means our relationship to sin has radically changed. A genuine belief in Jesus is marked by a different attitude toward sin. Instead of justifying or excusing it, sin is regretted and shunned. Believing in Jesus doesn’t mean we never sin, but our attitude toward sin changes so that we don’t want to sin. We come to the place where we despise that fact that we still “like to sin.” This change of attitude toward sin is called repentance. True faith in Jesus is accompanied by repentance. If there isn’t repentance, then it isn’t genuine, saving faith.

So, if you’ve tracked with this and are ready, read over the following prayer and see if it’s an expression of what you believe. Then, if you want to, go back over it as your prayer, or just reword it in your own way.

Father in Heaven,
I acknowledge my sin. I don’t excuse or rationalize it. It’s wrong and deserving of your judgment. But I know You love me and sent Your Son, Jesus to die for me. I believe that when He died, the penalty for my sins was fully satisfied. And I believe that He rose again from the dead to justify me before you and to give me a new life.
In Jesus’ name, forgive me and make you your child. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can grow into all You created me to be. Direct me to a good church where I can learn more about You.
In Jesus Name – Amen.

John 3:16 • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:23 • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 6:23 • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 66:24 • [For those] who have transgressed against Me; their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.

1 Timothy 2:6 • [Jesus] gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

Romans 10:9–10 • If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 6:23 • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:10 • If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

2 Corinthians 5:21 • For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Acts 2:38 • Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 John 1:6 • If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.