20.1.16

Receive Christ into Your Life

Receive Christ into Your Life

by Paul Tobi

Extra: Lesson 1-3

The most important decision you will ever make in life is to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. Why do you need a Savior? Because your sin separates you from God. Sometimes this is a stumbling block for people. They think, “Really … me … I’m ‘sinful’?” Wrong Choices The first man, Adam, was given the choice to love and obey God. For a while, Adam did just that, but eventually he chose to disobey God, and when he did, he began the sad plight of selfishness and rebellion against God that’s prevalent in our world today. You can go to the Bible and read Genesis chapter 3 to read the whole account of how sin originated. The problem is that we all have made wrong choices in life.

The Bible calls these wrong choices “sin” which in the original Greek language means “missing the mark” … like an archer missing his target. Sin is the reason for wars, terrorism, social injustice, selfishness, greed, jealousy, addictive behavior, broken relationships … and all the other destructive things we encounter in our world. Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (NIV). Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (NIV). Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV). And Romans 5:12 goes on to say, “ When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (NLT). As you read those preceding passages of scripture, what thoughts and ideas did you have about sin? ___________________________________________________
 Have you ever thought about your separation from God? Have you ever really thought about your own personal sin? What feelings and thoughts do you have as you consider these things? ___________________________________________________
Separation from God The Bible teaches us that God is absolutely pure and holy … and that He cannot tolerate sin. In Isaiah 59:2 we’re told, “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (NLT).In the New Testament, Paul told the Roman believers what God’s attitude is toward rebellion and sin: “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18, NLT). What do you think of when you hear the word “holy”?
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 In what ways does our culture undermine our understanding of holiness? ___________________________________________________
 Romans 6:23 clearly spells out the penalty for our sin, “For the wages of sin is death …” (NLT). If we were to stop at this point, life would be hopeless and full of despair. But, in spite of our sinfulness, our loving and merciful God found a way to give us hope and a renewed relationship with Him! The ending of Romans 6:23 says, “ … but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (NLT). Jesus Christ —God’s Solution In the Old Testament, people “paid” for their sin through the sacrifice of an animal. When Jesus came, He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sin: a one-time last sacrifice that paid for all sin for all time. Jesus entered the world through a supernatural conception (you can read about this in Matthew Chapters 1 and 2). He was God’s son, born of a woman: fully God and fully human. He started preaching and teaching when He was about 30 years old and wherever He went crowds followed him. To really understand who Jesus was and all that He taught, read through one of the first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day hated Him because He claimed to be God (this is recorded in John 10:33)—which He actually was!

The leaders just couldn’t accept that Jesus was the long-promised Savior. In a mock trial they convicted Him and turned Him over to the Romans to have Him executed. Jesus then was beaten mercilessly and nailed to a cross between two thieves. He died on that cross and was then buried in a heavily guarded tomb. All hope seemed lost. But, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day … just as He had promised (see Matthew 16:21)! Historical records from eyewitnesses testify that Jesus Christ was then seen alive by over 500 people (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He is alive today! (Note: You can check out the very real historical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection in Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, or The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Or go to www.Y-Jesus.com .) Wow! Isn’t that incredible? Jesus Christ is alive today! The Bible calls Jesus the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:11-16). And the Bible also tells us that Jesus Christ will return to the earth in power and great glory! (This is recorded in Zechariah 14:4 and Luke 21:27.) God’s Free Gift The truth is that Jesus Christ paid for all your sins on the cross … and His sacrifice has given you direct access to God.

God’s perfect justice is totally satisfied by the blood of Jesus. He “bought” you, and there are no “returns”! John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (NIV). And Hebrews 7:25 tells us, “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he lives to intercede for them” (NIV). But you may be thinking, “What about all the good things I’ve done in my life? They must count for something!” Check out the following verses: Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (NIV). Titus 3:5-7 says, “He (God) saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life” (NLT). What do these verses teach us about our salvation?
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The Bible is clear that only by our faith in Jesus Christ are our sins forgiven. What are some other ways that people try to have their sins “forgiven”? ___________________________________________________
What are some other ways people try to establish a relationship with God? ___________________________________________________
What is the only way to have a relationship with God? ___________________________________________________
 How to Join God’s Family Eternal life is a gift from God. You cannot do anything to earn it! However, like any gift, you can choose to accept or reject it. It’s your choice! 1 John 5:10-12 says, “Whoever believes in the Song of God accepts this testimony … God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Song of God does not have life” (NIV). In the original Greek language, the word “believe” means to “trust in, cling to, rely upon.” In other words, “believe” in the original Greek language requires something active from you. Becoming a Christian is putting your faith in Jesus’ death for you on the cross, and in His resurrection for your eternal life. It is a choice that you make. Personal Invitation In order to receive God’s forgiveness for your sins, you must honestly face the claims of Jesus Christ and believe that He is God, that He died for your sins and rose again, and that He wants to come into your life. John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God ” (NIV).God knows your thoughts and motives. He desires you to come to Him, thanking Him for Jesus’ death for you on the cross. You receive Jesus Christ into your life by personally asking Him to come into your life and forgive your sins. He came to be your Savior–to save you from your sin. Application: Have you personally invited Jesus into your life? If so, when? ___________________________________________________
What have you experienced since you invited Jesus into your life? ___________________________________________________
If you haven’t ever invited Jesus into your life, simply pray the following words, trusting Him to answer you. “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for all my sins —past, present, and future. Thank you for giving me eternal life, which you made possible by your death and resurrection. I receive you as my Savior by faith, and desire you to be Lord of my life.”

Date: ______________
When you ask Jesus Christ into your life, you begin a life with Him here on earth that will extend into all eternity. There are blessings for you to experience in this life as well as in the next! Ask God how to help you develop a strong relationship with Him, and start looking for places where you can learn more about God and how to love and serve Him.

Conquer your Giant

Conquer your Giant