Believe Chapter 3 -- Salvation is a Right Relationship With God


     We hear about “The gospel according to...” or “the gospel truth.” But if someone were to ask you “what is the gospel?” what you would say?

     The gospel literally means “good news”. While the “gospels” according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are good news, the actual word “gospel” is most used by the Apostle Paul, who used the Greek word euangelion some 60 times, compared to a mere dozen times in Matthew and Mark and not at all by Luke or John as a noun. The verb form (euangelizo) is found another dozen times in Luke (and once in Matthew), but more than 50 times elsewhere in the New Testament.

     The gospel is most succinctly explained in 1 Corinthian 15:1-11, and most elaborately explained in Romans. Today’s devotional, and week three of BELIEVE is to help us at FBC Killeen to firstly know what the gospel is and secondly to know how to best share the good news of salvation with others.

     Contrary to popular belief, the gospel is not a prayer, nor is it an action, and in the sense of salvation, it is not four books of the Bible. The gospel is the answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).

The following comes from Zondervan:

KEY QUESTION: How Do I Have a Relationship with God?

The Problem Satan, the great deceiver, clothed himself as a serpent, one of God’s good creatures, and set out to trick Adam and Eve into disobeying their good and gracious God. After creating Adam and Eve, God had told them not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree in the Garden of Eden. But Satan suggested that God wasn’t being honest when He warned of the results of eating the forbidden fruit. The great deceiver’s ploy succeeded, and Adam and Eve willfully rejected God and His promise of life together in the garden.

The Solution Even before Adam and Eve sinned, God had a plan to get sinful humanity back into a relationship with Him. When He replaced their clothes of fig leaves with the skins of animals, He signaled something important — it would take the blood of another to cover the sins of humankind. God’s plan began with the founding of a brand-new nation through which He would reveal Himself and His plan to restore humankind. For more than 1,600 years, every Biblical story of the chosen people of Israel would point to the coming of the solution. God’s solution to the problem of sin was made complete through the sacrifice of His Son.

Based on Romans 10:9-10 and 13, here is the decision a person should make from the heart, explained in a prayer of acceptance of God’s salvation by grace through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Dear God, I can’t, but You can. I believe in Jesus, who is God. I believe He died and rose from the dead. I place my faith in Christ to make me right with You and give me eternal life. I have no other plan but to have faith and to trust You. I am doing a 180 today and pointing my life toward You. I will no longer run away from You, but toward You.

Then there comes an outward declaration to the world — a way for us to demonstrate our faith decision: “I profess You with my mouth, out loud for others to know where I stand. And I publicly express my full devotion to You through baptism.”

KEY VERSE 
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 can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

KEY IDEA 
I believe a person comes into a right relationship with God by Christ’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

KEY APPLICATION: 
What difference does this make in the way I live?

We seek to please God because of what He has done for us, not to earn a relationship with Him.

We walk in grace – and offer grace to others. Let us not forget Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant recorded in Matthew 18:21–35. It would be wrong and inconsistent for us to refuse to offer grace and forgiveness to someone else in light of the grace and forgiveness God has shown to us.

YOUR TURN

Can you pinpoint a moment or chart a sequence of moments in time when you realized that Christ died for you?

How would you describe that process?

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