- “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
2. Jesus, the Son of God, (who is called “The Word” in the Bible), also participated in creation.
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3
3. God, the Holy Spirit, also played a role in creation.
- “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:2
4. God chose two humans, Adam and Eve, to live in paradise with God! When they rejected God’s vision, sin infected the entire human race, keeping us all from being in community with God.
- “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, so death spread to all because all have sinned.” Rom. 5:12
5. As the consequences of humanity’s sin nature spread from Adam and Eve, God’s people forgot about the love of their creator.
2. God gave them the law – “The 10 Commandments” – to provide boundaries that would inspire people to love and be loved according to God’s plan.
3. Instead of changing their behavior, the law only made the people aware of their inability to keep it, which the Bible calls sin.
- “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20
4. God’s people repeatedly failed to keep the law throughout the rest of the Old Testament. So God sent prophets to remind God’s people of how dearly they were loved by God, and that keeping God’s laws would restore their relationship with their creator and one another. But the people ignored both the law and the prophets, did life their own way, and broke God’s heart.
- “There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God.” Romans 3:10-11
5. God refused to give up on the people God created! Every story of the Israelites in the Old Testament points to the coming of Jesus – the One who would provide the way back to God.
- “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.” John 3:16
2. Jesus was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary as one of us – truly human. Yet Jesus did what we could not: he lived a perfect, sinless life. He performed many miracles, confirming that he was the Son of God.
3. God did not send his Son to condemn us. Jesus came to save us!
- God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world through him might be SAVED! John 3:17
4. Jesus taught that it’s impossible for us to be friends with God on our own, because our sin nature causes us to love ourselves above all others. So Jesus chose to do what we could not do for ourselves! He didn’t wait until we became perfect, because he knew we could not rid ourselves of our sin nature.
- “But God demonstrated his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8
5. Christ offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people, by submitting to death on the cross. Through his death, Jesus paid the debt for our sins once and for all, offering us forgiveness and new life!
- “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
6. On the third day after his death, Jesus rose from the dead, proving his victory over all evil, sin, and death! The risen Christ even appeared to numerous followers! He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God as our mediator and dearest friend!
- “Christ died for our sins, and was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” 1Cor. 15:3-8
- 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 may boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
2. Salvation is always and only a gift of God’s grace, received in faith. We turn away from sin, confess our faith in Jesus as Lord, put our trust in him as our Savior, and are baptized into Christ.
- “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9-10
- “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17
2. The Holy Spirit chooses to live in and empower each believer. We don’t have to do life alone anymore!
- “By this we know that we abide in God, and God in us, because God has given us his Spirit.” 1 John 4:13
3. The Holy Spirit also gifts each of us with abilities – called spiritual gifts in the Bible – to be used to help others. This brings new meaning to our lives!
- “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Eph. 4:12
4. The Christian life is an adventure in constant personal growth, so we can become fully devoted followers of Christ. We rely on the grace of the Spirit for direction and new insight!.
- “Grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18
5. Instead of being far from God, Jesus makes it possible for us to live loved, and to offer Christ’s love to others!!
- “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal. 5:6
- Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matt. 28:18-20
2. The Spirit uses us to reach out to those who do not know Christ, to share our faith with them, and mentor them.
- “God has given us the task of bringing others back to him through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:18
3. Jesus gives us the strength to carry out the ministry he sends us to do in his name.
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
4. We are free to embrace a life of serving others at home and around the world, because Jesus was among us as one who served.
- Jesus said, ‘The greatest among you will be your servant.’ Matthew 23:11
- “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” Rev. 21:3-4