(Lesson 3 in the Amazing Facts Site in regular English)
Did you ever carve (cut) you name and your sweethearts name on a tree? The names could still be on the tree. Long ago GOD put His message of love on a tree--the cross Jesus died on. This is a wonderful fact. The Great God, who rules the universe, loves us poor, sinful men, a women and children) so much that GOD GAVE all He could give to save us. GOD gave Himself to us through Jesus Christ---the Son of God. You have probably heard this before, but do you really understand what this means? What does Gods greatest GIFT OF LOVE mean to you in your own life? Has Gods love changed your life and heart? Gods love can change your heart if you will let it? Read more to find out how God can change your heart.
1. Does God really love me?
God says, "You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you." Isaiah 43:4, RSV. "Yea,, I have loved thee with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3
Answer: Gods love never stops. Gods love is much more than you can fully understand. If you were the only person in the whole universe, Jesus would have died for you. Do not forget that fact. YOU ARE PRECIOUS IN GODS SIGHT. GOD LOVES YOU.
Peter, Christs disciple, learned how much Christ loved him. Peter invites us to give God all our problems: "For He (God) careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7
Think! The all-powerful God of Heaven cares for you. That verse is very important, especially in times of sorrow, loneliness or need.
2. How has God shown us He loves us?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. "God showed his love of us by sending his only son into the world, so that we might have life through him . This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which (way) our sins are forgiven." 1 John 4:9, 10 TEV
Answer: God loves you so deeply. God was willing to see His only Son suffer and die because God did not want to be separated from you for eternity. Gods great love is difficult to understand. But God let Jesus suffer JUST FOR YOU!
3. How could God love someone like me?
"God does not love us because we earned His love. Not one of us has earned anything except the wages of sin, that is death. "God has shown us how much he loves us--it was while were still sinners that Christ died for us!" Romans 5:8, TEV
ANSWER: God gives us His love free. God loves the thieves, adulterers and murderers. God also loves selfish people and people who curse and swear. BUT THE GREATEST NEWS IS THAT GOD LOVE ME! God knows that my sins can lead only to misery (unhappiness) and death. So God wants to save me from my sins. Christ dies to save me from my sins.
4. What does Jesus death on the cross mean in my life?
"See how much the Father has loved us? His love is so great that we are called Gods children." 1 John 3:1, TEV. "To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God." John 1: 12 RSV
ANSWER: Christ died so man could live eternally and man would not have to die. Christ was born a man so He could suffer death for me. Christs life without sin covers my life of sin so that I can have eternal life. Christs death was accepted by God as fully payment for all my past sins. When I accept Christs death, AS A GIFT, I become a child of God. This is difficult to understand.
5. How can I accept God and have eternal life?
Be willing to admit three things:
1. I am a sinner. "All have sinned." Romans 3:23
2. I must die. "The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23
3. I cannot save myself. "Without me (God) ye can do nothing." John 15:5
Then, believe three things:
1. Jesus died for me. "We do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, so that through Gods grace he should die for everyone." Hebrews 2:9 TEV.
2. Jesus forgive me. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins." 1 John 1:9
3. Jesus saves me. "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47
ANSWER: By asking for believing in and accepting the great GIFT of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Think about these facts. Because of my sins, I am sentenced to die. I cannot pay the penalty without loving eternal life. If I died for my sins, I cannot resurrect myself (rise from the dead). I would be dead forever. But Jesus says, "I will pay. I will die in your place. You will not have to die for your sins." I ACCEPT THE OFFER? Then all I have to do is say I accept Jesus death for my sins. That very moment I have become a son or daughter of God!
6. What do I have to do to obtain (get) Gods gift of salvation?
"By the free gift of Gods grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free." Romans 3:24, TEV. "For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands." Romans 3:28, TEV
ANSWER: The only way we can get Gods gift of salvation is to accept the gift. Obeying God will not earn salvation. Everyone who asks for salvation in faith will receive salvation. God accepts everyone equally. God does not think about a persons past sins. God loves everyone. God will forgive the sins of everyone who asks for forgiveness. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9.
7. When I join God family, how does Gods love change my life?
"When anyone is joined to Christ, he is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17, TEV
ANSWER: When a person accepts Christ, Christ destroyed the old sinful nature. Christ gives the new Christian a new spiritual life. Then the Christian hates the old life of sin. The new Christian begins to experience freedom from guilt and realizes how empty his life was without Christ. In one minute God proves more happiness than a whole lifetime of serving the Devil. Why did I wait so long to accept Gods love?
8. Will the new life in Christ be better than the pleasures of the old life?
"I have told you this so that ...your joy may be complete." John 15:11, TEV. "If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free." John 8:36, TEV. "I have come in order that you might have life--life in all its fullness." John 10:10, TEV
ANSWER: Many people think the Christian life will not be a happy life because of the rules. But when you accept the love of Jesus into your heart, a great peace and happiness will come to you. While looking to Jesus, the pleasures of the old life lose their enjoyment. The sad old life will pass away and you will have a life full of peace and joy. God wants you to have a happy life.
9. Can I make myself do all the things a Christian should do?
"I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave his life for me." Galatians 2:191,20, TEV. "I can do everything through him (Jesus) who give me strength." Philippians 4:13, TEV
ANSWER: The greatest miracle of the Christian life is that there is no forcing yourselves to be good. What you do as a Christian is because Christ lives in you. Gods love in your life makes you want to obey God. When you are born of God, you want to obey God because His life is a part of your life. If you love someone, you do not get tires of pleasing that person. David said, "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalm 40:8, NIV
10. If I love God will the Ten Commandments be easy to keep?
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." John 14:15, RSV "For our love for God means that we obey his commands. And his commands are not too hard for us." 1 john 5:3, TEV. "But who ever obeys his word is the one whose love for God has really been made perfect. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God." 1 John 2:5, TEV
ANSWER: Christians obey God because they love Him. Born-again Christians are eager to keep the Ten Commandments. After Christ takes away all my past sins, I can obey because of Christs victorious life in me. Because I love Christ for changing my life, I want to do more than keep the Ten Commandments. Each day I study the Bible to find more things that I can do to show Christ my love for Him. "We receive from him (God) whatever we ask, because WE OBEY HIS COMMANDS AND DO WHAT PLEASES HIM." 1 John 3:22, TEV
11. How can I be sure that all the commandment-keeping mentioned in the book of Revelation is not legalism?
" Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12, NKJV. "Our brothers won the victory over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the truth which they proclaimed (preached) and they were willing to give up their lives and die." Revelation 12:11, TEV
ANSWER: Legalism is trying to earn salvation by good works. The saints in Revelation have four characteristics:
1. Keeping the commandments.
2. Believing Jesus will save them because of Jesus death on the cross.
3. Witnessing to other people of their faith.
4. Choosing to die rather than sin. These are true characteristics of a person who loves Christ and has made a life commitment to follow Christ.
12. How does baptism show our love for Christ and what does baptism represent?
"By our baptism, ... we were buried with him and shared his death, ...(so) just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, ...we might live a new life. ...that the power of the sinful self might be destroyed." Romans 6:4-6, TEV. "I am jealous for you, just as God is: you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself." 2 Corinthians 11:2, TEV.
ANSWER: Baptism represents three events in the life of the true believer. 1. Death to sin. 2. Beginning a new life in Christ. 3. Union with Christ for eternity. The spiritual union (relationship) between Christ and man will grow stronger and better as love for Christ continues to grow. When there is no love in a marriage, the people will be very unhappy. Some married people stay together only because of the marriage law, but they are not happy. Also if the Christian loves his love for Christ, then his religion is only following a list of rules.
13. How can my faith and love in Christ continue to grow?
"Study the Scriptures." John 5:39, TEV. "Pray continually." 1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV. "Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him." Colossians 2:6, NIV. "I die every day." 1 Corinthians 15:31, NIV
ANSWER: No love relationship can be successful without talking to each other. A Christian must talk to Christ (pray) and listen to Christ (Bible study); then his Christian life will be successful. The Bible is Christs love letter to us to keep our spiritual life growing. Talking to Christ makes our love grow stronger and helps us understand Christs great love for us. Each day we can find something new about how Christ works to lead us to joy and peace. Christ has promised he will never leave us )Matthew 28:20). Christ will take care of us in health or sickness (Psalm 103:2,3) Christ promised to help us with each problem (Psalm 55:22). Christ will proved for all our needs (Psalm 37:4). A new Christian accepts Christ by faith and finds that Christ keeps His promises. Then the Christian continues to trust Christ for every need and finds that Christ never fails.
I. How can one man (Christ) pay for all the sins of all men? I have been very sinful. I do not know if God can forgive me.
ANSWER: Romans 3:23 tells us, "All have sinned." But Christs life is able to forgive all the sins of all men if they ask to be forgiven. Christ is the Creator. Christs life is equal to all the lives He created. Only Christ could rise from the grave. Now Christ is alive in heaven working to forgive anyone who asks forgiveness and believes Christ can forgive. "He (Christ) is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him (Christ), because he (Christ) lives forever to plead with God for them." Hebrews 7:25, TEV.
II. If I accept Christ and His forgiveness and then sin again, will Christ forgive me again?
ANSWER: We can trust in God to forgive us again, if we are truly sorry for our sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleans us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
III. How can I come to God since I am sinful? Should I have a priest or minister pray for me?
ANSWER: Jesus Christ lived as man and was tempted as we are tempted (see Hebrews 4:15). Now we have a God who can understand us. God wants to show mercy to us. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy." We can go to Jesus Christ and He takes us to God. See John 14:14. "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5
IV. Is there anything I can do to help God save me?
ANSWER: Salvation is a free "gift of God." Ephesians 2:8-10. When God gives us grace through faith, God also gives us the power to obey Him. So obedience is also a gift from God. Obedience shows love and is the true sign of being a disciple of Christ. If we have faith in Jesus, we will obey His laws. Obedience is Jesus gift to us.
V. After God forgive my sins and accepts me into His family, will I have to do something to pay for my salvation?
ANSWER: "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1, NIV CHRIST PAID THE FULL PRICE FOR OUR SINS. EVERYONE WHO ACCEPTS CHRIST IN FAITH DOES NOT OWE ANYTHING MORE TO BE FORGIVEN HIS SINS.
Isaiah 43:25, TEV is a beautiful promise of forgiveness. "I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you." Micah shows the great love of God to His people. "There is not other god like you, O Lord; you forgive the sins of your people. ... You do not stay angry forever, but you take pleasure in showing us your constant love. ... You will throw them (sins) into the depths of the ocean!" Micah 7:18, 19, TEV.
Mark the Right Answers
(sample only here, answers can be put here)
1. Who gave Gods great gift of salvation to man?
_____ The Bible
_____ Jesus Christ
2. The greatest show of love the world has seen is
_____ Jesus death on the cross
_____ Peters confession
3. Christs death on the cross was for
_____ only the good people
4. God loves who?
_____ Only the people who are afraid of Jesus
5. Christ was born as a man to
_____ prove man can live without sin.
_____ force us to obey Him.
6. How does a person have salvation?
_____ By taking a Bible course
_____ By accepting salvation as a gift
7. We are saved by
_____ good works
8. Forgiveness and being accepted by God give us
_____ guilt for past sins.
_____ joy and peace
9. We should obey God because of
_____ fear of hell
_____ love for Jesus
10. Obedience becomes legalism when people
_____ work for salvation
_____ want to obey God because of love
11. A relationship with Christ can be unhappy when
_____ people love their love for Christ
_____ people miss going to church once
12. The two greatest ways to stay in love with Christ:
_____ Daily Bible study
_____ Giving a big offering
_____ Praying daily
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