Connecting Class 2: Gospel & The Christian


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Connecting Class 2: Gospel & The Christian

  1. 1. Welcome! “Every church is different. Every true church is a thing of beauty in its own unique way.”
  2. 2. Class Material Available Online • INSTRUCTIONS: – Go online. Password is “grace4you” – Go to – In Search bar, type & enter “connecting” – Click on “Continue Reading” – Each session is listed & downloadable – HINT: At the back of each lesson, there is an Answer Key for all fill-in-blanks.
  3. 3. Overview • #1- Jesus & The Church • #2- The Gospel & The Christian • #3- Beliefs & Doctrinal Distinctives • #4- Roots, Relationships & Rule • #5- Mission & Ministries • #6- Church Membership
  4. 4. Session #2: The Gospel & The Christian The Gospel is a divine message about salvation.  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1.16)  “In Him, you also, when you heart the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1.13)
  5. 5. The Gospel & The Christian The Gospel is a divine movement that ensures the world’s redemption.  “Of this you have heard before in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing- as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” (Colossians 1.5b-6)
  6. 6. God’s Big Story The Gospel The “Gospel of The Kingdom”• The Christian Gospel tells the true story of a “lost- and-found” Kingdom. • The Christian Gospel is the “good news” about the Kingdom of God. • The Christian Gospel explains our experience of the world. • And that is, that God will save Planet Earth and make it His Eternal kingdom. • “Pray then like this:… ‘Your kingdom come… on earth as it is in heaven.’” (Matthew 6.10) • “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24.14)
  7. 7. God’s Big Story The Gospel of the Kingdom • The Gospel is God’s Big Story • The Gospel is God’s Big Story about “the Kingdom of God”. • And this Big Story- “the Kingdom of God”- unfolds in 4 dramatic epochs. God’s Divine Drama: • ACT 1- “Paradise Created” • ACT 2- “Paradise Lost” • ACT 3- “Paradise Redeemed” • ACT 4- “Paradise Restored”
  8. 8. God’s Big Story ACT 1: Paradise Created Our world is BEAUTIFUL because… God created it “good.” • “In the beginning,” Paradise was experienced as: – Peace with God – Peace within – Peace & love among others – Peace in the world – Peace and harmony in nature
  9. 9. God’s Big Story ACT 2: Paradise Lost Our world is BROKEN because… in our selfishness, we initiated and injected “evil” into the world. • Because of sin, Paradise Lost is experienced as: – Alienation with God – Anxiety within – Adverse relationships – Antagonism btwn nations – “Acts of God” in nature
  10. 10. God’s Big Story ACT 3: Paradise Redeemed While broken, our world has INFINITE HOPE because… Jesus conquered death and “evil”.• Because of Jesus, Paradise Redeemed has only just begun. • Believers experience this as : – New Life & Start with God – Acceptance of Self – New Love for Others – New Motivation for Justice – Motivation for Gospel Mission
  11. 11. God’s Big Story ACT 4: Paradise Restored One Day, Some Day… Jesus will return to our world to claim His kingdom AND make all wrong right.• “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourn-ing, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21.4) • Eternal Life will be experienced as: – Eternal Joy in God – Eternal Peace with Self – Eternal Love for Others – Eternal Harmony in the Cosmos • “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” (Revelation 21.5)
  12. 12. The Gospel Message: Q: What is GOD like?... • God is HOLY. – “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6.3) • God is JUST. – “He will judge the world in righteousness.” (Psalm 9.8) – “The LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1.3) • God is LOVING. – “God is love.” (1 John 4.16) • God is GRACIOUS. – “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.” (Isaiah 30.18) Q: What is MAN’s situation?... • We are SINNERS. We have each sinned. – “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3.23) • Because of this, we (& the planet) are experiencing God’s JUDGMENT. – “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5.19) – “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the… wickedness…” (Rom. 1.18) • As a result, we are SPIRITUALLY DEAD and under God’s righteous penalty. – “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6.23)
  13. 13. The Gospel’s Message: The Good News About Jesus Q: Who is JESUS?... • Jesus is GOD. – “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14.6) • Jesus is a SAVIOR for sinners. – “You shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1.21) • Jesus is God’s SUBSTITUTE SACRIFICE for believers. – “He is the propitiation (i.e. atoning sacrifice) for our sins.” (1 John 2.2) • Jesus is the ONLY PROVISION for our greatest need. – “There is salvation in no one else.” (Acts 4.12) Q: Why does it MATTER?... • Jesus came to DESTROY EVIL. – “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3.8) • Jesus came to PROVIDE LIFE. – “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10.10) • Jesus came to FORGIVE SIN. – “… through this Man, forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (Acts 13.38) – “In [Christ] we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1.14)
  14. 14. The Gospel’s Hope: The Cross of Jesus means… • “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3.17) • “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)
  15. 15. The Gospel Says: “We can all be saved and forgiven… Because of all Jesus did, is doing and will do for us… • Jesus LIVED the perfectly righteous life we should have all lived. • And Jesus SUFFERED the punishment and death we all deserved. • Jesus died and ROSE from the dead for us! And NOT because of any- thing we do, or ever will do. • Because of His holiness, we could never be so good that God would accept us. – Being good, going to church, working hard and being successful is not enough. • But because of His love, we could never be so bad that Jesus would not want us. – “But if [salvation] is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11.6)
  16. 16. Q: So how can a sinful person be united with the One True God?
  17. 17. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5.24)
  18. 18. A: Through faith- faith alone in Jesus alone by grace alone.
  19. 19. So What is a Christian?... • A Christian is someone who believes God. • A Christian is someone who has believed the Gospel. • A Christian is simply a sinner who has trusted in Jesus for salvation. • Only a Christian can truly “know God”. “A Christian is someone who moves from knowing about God in a distant way to knowing God in a deeply intimate and satisfying way. No one is ever born a Christian. Rather, you become a Christian by accepting the truth of the gospel message for yourself. Through placing your personal trust and hope for change in Jesus, you become a new person with a transformed heart. An intense ‘once-for-all- time’ transaction has taken place between you and God.” – Tim Keller
  20. 20. “Being a Christian is not an acquired skill or discipline like diving or ice skating. It is a living, vital relationship with the God of the universe, a relationship that begins when a person becomes a new creation in Him and receives Jesus as Lord by faith.” - R.C. Sproul
  21. 21. What We All Must Do: • We must all RECOGNIZE our sinfulness. • We must all RECEIVE Jesus by faith- by believing the Gospel. • We must all REPENT of our sins and our sinful lifestyles. • Because TRUE SAVING FAITH must include… • Factual KNOWLEDGE & Personal TRUST – “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10.9) • True CONFESSION & Sincere COMMITMENT – “Have mercy on me, O God… and cleanse me from my sin!.. Create in me a clean heart… Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will return to You.” (Psalm 51.1, 2, 10, 13)
  22. 22. “The New Testament word for repentance means changing one’s mind so that one’s views, values, goals and ways are changed and one’s whole life is lived differently. The change is radical, both inwardly and out- wardly; mind and judgment, will and affect- ions, behavior and life-style, motives and purposes, are all involved. Repenting means starting to live a new life.” – J.I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs
  23. 23. It’s as Simple as A-B-C-D: “There is something to…” • ADMIT- that you are a sinner in need of help. • BELIEVE- God and His Gospel about Jesus the Substitute-Savior • CONSIDER- the cost of this lifelong commit- ment. • DO- Trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of all your sins and for eternal life.
  24. 24. Next time: SESSION # 3- Beliefs & Doctrinal Distinctives