1. In the Beginning
In the beginning, there was God. Genesis records the story of His creation of the universe. God is good and as a result, He saw all that He had created, and said “It is good.” (Gen. 1:25b)
The Bible also records that the God who created the heavens and the earth is holy (Isaiah 6:3), gracious, loving and faithful (Exodus 34:6-7)
2. God Created Man
Genesis 1:26-27 also records the creation of man. Yes! that includes you and me. God says, “Let Us make man in Our own image, in our likeness…”
3. God = Life
Because God is a personal Being, it gave Him pleasure to create us (Rev. 4:11). God did not create us because He needed something but it is because of His abundance that He created. With the first man, God had a kind of relationship that leads to LIFE.
4. The Fall
Being made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27), Adam and Eve is able to know and worship God. Our creator provided a perfect home for them so they can enjoy Him forever. The only thing that God required of them was not to eat from the fruit of one tree in the Garden. However, they chose to disobey God’s command. Because God is Holy, He could not allow our ancestors to remain in His presence, separating them from Him.
5. Sin Entered the World
Choosing to disobey God’s will is called SIN.
6. Sin Leads to Death
Because God is just, DEATH entered the world to punish man’s SIN separating man from God forever (Romans 5:12).
7. Relying on Our Works
God created us with a desire for fellowship. Since we are now separated, we try to fill that desire. We try activities that make us more “spiritual”. We attend church because we think it will bring us closer to God. We try good works because we think that God will be pleased with them. We try other religions and philosophies and create for ourselves a god that we can fellowship with instead of the one true God who created us. These “good” works cannot restore man’s relationship to God.
8. God Became Man
But in all our futile efforts, God is still merciful, loving and gracious (Exo. 34:6). He showed this by becoming man to restore that fellowship (John 1:14).
9. Jesus’ Life, Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection
Jesus became man and lived on earth like us. He told the world about His Father. He also told man about sin and that the only way to restore their relationship with God was to put their faith in Him alone, repenting of their sins and following Him. But many men refused that message and, just as God had foreseen, they persecuted and killed Jesus on a cross. Just as God had also declared, Jesus rose from the dead 3 days later proving that He is indeed God.
10. The Love of God
In the book of John 3:16, Jesus said “for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him should not die, but have everlasting life.” This is God’s offer of grace that even though we deserve death, He sent His Son to offer us life.
11. Believe or Refuse
Jesus’ words indicate that we must believe Him so we may have that eternal life. As you walk through life, approaching death, and having presented with Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, you must give an answer these questions:
- Will you believe or have faith in Jesus by turning away from your sinful and selfish life, and choosing to follow Him that leads to LIFE? Or
- Will you still follow your own path that leads to DEATH?
12. Jesus Cancels Sin
God had already told us that the only way SIN could be dealt was through the shedding of innocent blood (Hebrews 9:22). Before Jesus came, God’s people shed blood of innocent lambs to cover sins. But those sacrifices only covered past SINS. When Jesus, who is perfect God and perfect Man, was killed on the cross, His own blood was shed. He did this freely so that there is now an offer of perfect forgiveness that covers all sins and perfect righteousness in the eyes of God for those who will believe in the risen Savior.
13. Repent from Death!
When we put our faith in Jesus, repenting of our sins, and following God towards LIFE, we give up something. It is not a free gift, in a sense, because it costs us our own life’s desires and comforts. But maybe that is not such a bad thing; after all, what are we exchanging these for? We are exchanging the 2nd death, experienced in Hell to a life of eternal bliss in the presence of God.
14. Life with God
But God promises that He will transform those who will fully trust in Him from the inside out. As we continue to abide in Jesus, He will change our selfish desires to ones that would now please God. Pleasing God will now be our LIFE’s satisfaction. In other words, for us to be able to say that we have accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ, there must be a clear transformation of our minds, our characters, our words and our actions. We may claim to have believed in Christ but if there are no changes in our lives from now on, then we might not have truly believed in Him. If we have the genuine faith that will radically transforms our lives then, and only then, can we say that the promise of a satisfied life here on earth and the eternal life will be completely restored in us.