Let Me Introduce You to Jesus
Jesus is a real person, with skin and bones like you and I, who physically walked the earth about 2,000 years ago. Some people say Jesus was a good man – a prophet and excellent teacher – but that he died and was no more. What the Bible says, and what we believe at Hope Fellowship, is that Jesus is God. Had Jesus only been a man, he would have remained in the grave after his brutal death, and our interest in him today would be little, but because Jesus is God – because Jesus worked miracles, was murdered because of his claim to be God, came back to life, and ultimately paid the debt of our sin – we should be fascinated by him.
Fascination Becomes Faith
Are you still intrigued? Maybe you’re asking, “But why did Jesus die?” In short, it was a part of God’s master plan to get to you. You see, you and I have a problem of disobedience from birth. Think about it, what are some of the first words a child learns? “NO!” Selfishly, we say “That’s mine.” We argue, think our way is the best, and to some degree, we are all rebels. This problem of disobedience is called “sin” in the Bible, and so I’ll use that word going forward.
God established boundaries for man that he tells us in the Bible – obvious rules like don’t murder, don’t have affairs, be honest, and don’t take what belongs to someone else. But all of these rules stem from God’s love for us and His desire for us to love him back. The greatest commandment is that we love God with our whole heart (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:36-40). When we sin, which is the same thing as saying “I love my own pleasure more than God,” our relationship is broken with God.
The way that God deals with sin is through the punishment of death. The only way that sin can be covered is by blood being shed. So, God established a system for people to maintain their relationship with Him after they sinned by sacrificing an animal. Early on, sacrifices happened on a regular basis, but people continued to sin.
The problem here is that sin leads to a forever-long separation from God. That’s why sin is so bad, and that’s why we need Jesus. Because of God’s love for you, he made a way for you and everyone else to have their sins washed away. He sent Jesus, his son, who lived a perfect sinless life, to be the sacrifice for the world. Jesus died – his blood was shed – so that you can live. At the core of salvation is God’s pursuit of you and I through his own sacrifice.
Jesus is Alive
Jesus' sacrifice comes full circle for us in his resurrection. Jesus didn't stay in the grave, but rose again, defeating death. To defeat death is to defeat the curse of sin. So ultimately, through Jesus, we can find this awesome life that defeats sin as well.
The Bible explains numerous times that we can experience new life – salvation from our sin – by turning away from our sin and believing in Jesus (Mark 1:15, John 3:16-17). This belief that leads to faith requires the action on our part to turn away from sin – repentance - but Jesus is the one that actually does the saving. In other words, you cannot do enough right to undo your wrong, but Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross will pay the debt of your sin if you repent and believe.
So back to the initial list of questions, do you want to know true life, as God intends? Do you want to see your life transformed and tap into the purpose God has for you? Do you want to find rest from the exhaustion of trying to cover up your mistakes? Are you ready to let go of a life of sin and live in step with Jesus? Are you ready to fully identify with the sacrifice of Jesus and live?
Many people have met Jesus, but they didn't respond to his call to "follow me." The Bible explains that in order for you to follow Jesus, God has to draw you to Him (John 6:44). Do you feel God pulling you to Jesus? Are you ready to go beyond just knowing about who Jesus is to learning from Him daily as you follow Him?
You may feel undeserving of salvation, but that is why we refer to Jesus as “gracious.” He freely gives this gift to you, because he loves. God loves us. What is more incredible about this gift is that you can receive it right now. You don't have to go anywhere but to the Lord in prayer. If you’re ready to accept this beautiful gift of salvation, simply receive in faith as you place your faith in Christ. If you have questions or would like to share your decision with us, contact us through the form below and we will be happy to follow up with you!