The Messiah Foretold

.... "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

(John 1:1 - eternity)

.... These are the opening remarks from the Gospel of John, as he began to explain who Jesus is. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, and He is One with the heavenly Father. He has been with the Father throughout eternity, from long before He was born in Bethlehem. As foretold through the prophet Micah:

.... "But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."

(Micah 5:2 - 704 B.C.)

.... Jesus spoke of His own, eternal existence through another prophet, in foretelling that He would be sent into the world:

.... "Come near to Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me."

(Isaiah 48:16 - 712 B.C.)

.... Throughout the centuries and in many different ways, God foretold the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, whom He would one day send among us. He spoke to us through His servants the prophets, giving further details over time. He foretold these circumstances in such detail that more than eighty prophecies were fulfilled by His birth alone.
.... The prophets foretold the details of Jesus’ life, the teachings He would bring, and the miracles that would one day occur through Him – but they also did much more than this. They accurately portrayed His motivation and perspective; His attitudes, moods and character, even to the deepest thoughts of His heart in His most profound times of silence. By the time Jesus was born and the time for His ministry had come, thousands of points of prophecy awaited their fulfillment in Him.
At last the time drew near, and the days of the Christ were at hand. To prepare the way before Him, God sent the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, who would actually introduce the people to Jesus.
In those days, John came into the wilderness of Judea, baptizing, and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He spoke to the people of righteousness, sin and judgment, in relation to the Christ who was about to come. He turned them from disobedience to the Wisdom of the Just, to prepare their hearts and make them ready to receive the Lord:
.... "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
(Isaiah 40:3 - 712 B.C.)

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The Coming of the Christ

.... John the Baptist bore witness that Jesus of Nazareth was the One whom God had sent, whom the prophets foretold through- out the ages. He testified that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, and that He would give His life as a sacrifice for our sins:

.... "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.' And I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water."

(John 1:29-31 - 28 A.D.)

.... In the fullness of time, as the prophets foretold, Jesus came into the world. He came to fulfill the Scriptures, to complete God’s promise of a new life, and to restore our fellowship with God. All of the words that He spoke came to us from the Father and He made them known to us, just as the Father foretold through Moses:


.... "I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
.... "And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him."

(Deuteronomy 18:18-19 - 1423 B.C.)


.... Jesus came to us from heaven, and testified of those things He had seen and heard – just as the Father had commanded Him. He openly spoke of God’s love, faithfulness and truth, and He encouraged us to receive God’s salvation:

.... "I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain My lips; O LORD, You Yourself Know.
.... "I have not hid Your righteousness within My heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your sal- vation: I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly."

(Psalm 40:9-10 - 993 B.C.)

.... And the words that He spoke were spirit and life, to minister to the people and transform their lives from within, by the power of the new life that He would give them:

.... "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
.... "To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

(Isaiah 61:1-3 - 712 B.C.)

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The Power of the Christ

.... God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, so that He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil – for God was with Him. The works which the Father gave Him to finish – the very works that He did – bore witness of Him, that the heavenly Father had sent Him:

.... "I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, as a light of the Gentiles;
.... "To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house."

( Isaiah 42:6-7 - 712 B.C. )

.... Through His ministry the sick were made well, the blind saw, the deaf could hear and the mute could speak– just as the prophets foretold of Him:

.... "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
.... "Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert."

(Isaiah 35:5-6 - 712 B.C.)

.... Through His ministry, lepers were cleansed and the dead were raised:

.... "In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."

(Zechariah 13:1 - 494 B.C.)

.... "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O Death, I will be your plagues! O grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes."

(Hosea 13:14- 723 B.C.)

.... Each miracle that Jesus performed carried a testimony of its own, to show us more and more of who He was. Jesus, who raised the dead, was the Prince of life; He who cleansed lepers was a fountain of cleanness – who would cleanse us from our sins, as well.
.... He who gave sight to the blind, speech to the mute, and hearing to the ear, is the One who became a life-giving spirit to us all, as streams of water to the dryness and desolation of our lives:

.... "A man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land."

(Isaiah 32:2 - 704 B.C.)

.... For whoever would believe in His name, and place their trust in Him, would be forgiven of their sins and saved from sin's power; for He would sooth and comfort them, bring rejoicing, and raise them from the dead at the last day:
.... "He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken.
.... "And it shall be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."

(Isaiah 25:8-9 - 713 B.C.)

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The Witness of Prophets and Apostles

.... Through the witness of creation, through the word of the prophets, through John the Baptist, the testimony came of who Jesus is; through His words and deeds and the miracles He performed, more of His testimony was revealed to us.
.... Through all of these things, God was revealing His Son to mankind; and Jesus in turn was a testimony of the Father – of who He is and of what He is like – for He always did those things that pleased Him:

.... "Then said I, "Behold, I come: in the scroll of the book it is written of Me. I delight to do Your will, O My God, and Your law is within My heart."

(Psalm 40:7-8 - 993 B.C.)

.... One day, after teaching the people, Jesus went up on a mountain alone, where He continued all night in prayer to God. The next morning He chose twelve of His followers, whom He would call ‘apostles’, to be with Him and to learn from Him in a special way.
.... These twelve had known Jesus from the days of John the Baptist, and now they would continue with Him in His trials. They became special witnesses of His life, death, and resurrection, and of all that He would mean to us. Later, some of them wrote books or letters to tell of their experience with Jesus, and we still have their writings today. They’ve been compiled into the book we call The New Testament. ..
.... Through the writings of the apostles, we see the life of Jesus as He lived among us. He was mighty in power, for God was with Him; but He was also hungry, thirsty, and tired as other men; He shared in their sadness, joys, and all other emotions. At times He was righteously angry and at times He rejoiced in His spirit. There were times of plenty and times of difficulty. But in every episode of His life they became His witnesses – not only of His power but of His character, for they constantly saw His personality in action:

.... "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples."

(Isaiah 8:16 - 732 B.C.)

... Most importantly for us, Jesus made Himself vulnerable when He came among mankind. He was beset with human weakness, just as we. He was even tempted in every possible way – yet He never yielded, because He trusted in the Father and relied on the Father's grace for the power to overcome temptation.
.... Through this, Jesus passed every test that mankind had ever failed – and therefore God has highly exalted Him. And for the same reason He has compassion on us when we are tempted, and He offers us His power and support in our own times of need.
... So in every way, Jesus became a living example and a model for us all. As we become Christians and grow in Him, we’ll find that our own thoughts and attitudes – our very character from within us – will start to become more like His:

.... "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."

(Luke 6:40 - 28 A.D.)

.... The apostles were learning about His life, but soon they would discover His ultimate purpose: to save mankind from our sins through His death, then to bestow on us a new life in the staggering purpose that was about to be fulfilled in Him.
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The Betrayal of Christ

.... During the early years of His ministry, the common people loved and admired Jesus greatly; but many of the religious leaders became jealous and began to hate Him. Soon, they were plotting to put Him to death. So in His final days He told His disciples what would soon come to pass: that He must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised from the dead on the third day. And He spoke these things openly, as the prophet had said that He would: .

.... "For I said, "Hear Me, lest they should rejoice over Me; lest, when My foot slips, they exalt themselves against Me.’
.... "For I am ready to halt, and My sorrow is continually before Me."

(Psalm 38:16-17 - 1004 B.C.)

.... Now His soul was troubled, but the Father had sent Him into the world for this very purpose. Soon Jesus would give His life as a ransom for many, and He would suffer very greatly in so doing -- yet through His suffering He would purchase a very precious gift for us all. For His death would bring an end to our old lives as well, with all of our guilt and sin, and our griefs and sorrows would descend into the grave with Him. And afterward, through the new life of His resurrection, He would give us a new life of our own, to be lived in this world until the time we are joined with Him again in the age to come.
.... Jesus likened His death to a seed that falls into the ground and dies: for unless it dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. In the same way He would give His life for us all that we may find a new, fruitful life in Him, and peace with God:

.... "When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand."

(Isaiah 53:10 - 712 B.C.)

.... Within a few more days, Jesus would be betrayed by one of His most trusted followers: one of the twelve apostles, named Judas Iscariot:

.... "Even My own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate My bread, has lifted up His heel against Me."

(Psalm 41:9 - 993 B.C.)

.... Judas agreed to betray Jesus to the chief priests, elders, and scribes, for the price of thirty pieces of silver. He led a band of armed men to a garden where Jesus and His disciples were praying, in order to seize Him there – for he had been with Him in the garden often, and he knew the place:

.... "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him."

(Psalm 55:12-14 - 993 B.C.)

.... The hours that followed were the darkest of all time. Jesus was bound and led away, and His followers fled; yet in those same hours more prophecy was fulfilled than at any other time in history.
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His Sufferings Begin

.... Jesus the righteous, who had never sinned, would now have a mock trial, would be falsely accused, and then put to death – not for His own sins, but for the sin of all mankind. For this was the eternal purpose of God, that He might take away the sins of this world:

.... "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all . . . He shall see of the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities."

(Isaiah 53:6,11 - 712 B.C.)

.... Jesus was silent before His accusers, though they accused Him viciously and falsely – for His hope was in God alone. He was taken, flogged, and beaten, and men spit in His face:

.... "The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not Hide My face from shame and spitting."

(Isaiah 50:5-6 - 712 B.C.)

.... Soldiers mocked Him, and struck Him in the face with a rod:

.... "Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops: he has laid siege against us; they will strike the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek."

(Micah 5:1 - 704 B.C.)

.... They surrounded Him and blindfolded Him; they mocked Him and struck Him:

.... "But in My adversity they rejoiced and gathered together; attackers gathered against Me, and I did not know it; they tore at Me and did not cease."

(Psalm 35:15 - 1028 B.C.)

.... Jesus was beaten and flogged, almost beyond recognition:

.... "Just as many were astonished at You, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men"

(Isaiah 52:14 - 712 B.C.)

.... Yet the very stripes on His back, by the wounds and bruises He received, would purchase healing for us all, in our own sicknesses and infirmities:

.... "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed."

(Isaiah 53:5 - 712 B.C.)

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Jesus is Crucified

.... Jesus was denied and denounced before His own people, then led away to be crucified between two thieves. He became a sacrifice for our sins when He was nailed to the cross; He took our sins upon Himself and paid the price for us all, by dying in our place as our substitute:

.... "Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He has poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

(Isaiah 53:12 - 712 B.C.)

.... During His final hours, as Jesus died on the cross, the world was covered with a very great darkness as foretold by the prophets Amos and Isaiah: a darkness that came at noontime and remained for three hours, and turned their feasting into mourning as foretold long ago. And somehow in that darkness, the people began to see the truth more clearly – just as Jesus had said that they would:

.... "When you lift up (crucify) the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He."

(John 8:28 - 29 A.D.)

.... . . . and in that hour, many of them suddenly realized the magnitude of what they had done:

.... ". . . . we wait for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness! We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places . We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them."

(Isaiah 59:9-12 - 712 B.C.)

.... As Jesus died, He cried out to God with a loud voice. In the temple of God, on the holy mountain, the veil of the temple was torn in response to His cry; and the ground about Him began to shake with a great earthquake:

.... "The pangs of death surrounded Me, and the floods of ungodliness made Me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded Me; the snares of death confronted Me.
"In My distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to My God: He heard My voice from His temple, and My cry came before Him, even to His ears.
.... "Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry."

(Psalm 18:4-7 - 1010 B.C.)

.... As His life slipped away from this world, Jesus breathed His last, yielded up His spirit, and died.
.... Many of the people, now stricken with the enormity of their deed, smote their breasts and returned to their homes; and throughout their city, among those who understood, a very great mourning took place:

.... "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplications: and they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."

(Zechariah 12:10 - 494 B.C.)

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

.... After His death, Jesus was taken down from the cross and entombed in the sepulcher of a rich man, as the prophet foretold, because the Sabbath was near and they were in haste, and the tomb was close at hand. The women who followed Him from Galilee observed the tomb and how the body was laid. A very large stone was rolled over the mouth of the tomb, and they departed.
.... Meanwhile, the chief priests and Pharisees asked the Roman governor to set a guard on the tomb, for they remembered that He had said to them “After three days I will rise again.” and they were afraid. So the governor granted their request, gave them a guard, and told them to make it as secure as they knew how.
.... The greatest event in all of history was about to take place:

.... “After two days will He revive us: on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”

(Hosea 6:2 - 726 B.C.)

.... After three days, as the first day of the week began to dawn, being very early in the morning while it was still dark,
... The women who had watched His entombment came to see the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared for His burial. But when they came, they found that the stone had been rolled away already. Trembling with fear, they entered the tomb . . . and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
.... As they were greatly perplexed by this, behold, a young man appeared beside them, clothed in a long white robe, sitting on the right side where the body had laid. They were alarmed, and bowed their faces to the earth with fear. But the angel answered and said to them,
.... “Why do you seek the living among the dead?
.... “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, as He said.
... "Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying:
.... “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
.... And they remembered His words.
.... Then the angel said to them, “Come, see the place where they laid the Lord.
.... “And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you. Behold, I have told you.”
.... And they departed quickly and fled from the tomb with fear, but also with great joy, and they ran to bring His disciples word.
... . . . and it happened as they ran, that Jesus Himself appeared to them – Jesus, whom they knew to be dead, for they had seen His brutal death on the cross and how His body had been laid, and they had wept beside His tomb at His burial. Yet now He had risen again, and He was alive forevermore. “Rejoice!” He said to them, and they came and held His feet and worshiped Him:

.... “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He shall take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. And it shall be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

(Isaiah 25:8-9 - 713 B.C.)

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Witnesses of the Resurrection

.... After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to the women who had come to visit His tomb early on that Sunday morning. They held onto His feet and worshiped Him, then He sent them to tell His disciples that He had risen; but when the disciples heard that He was alive, and that He had been seen by them . . . they did not believe them.

.... "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

(Isaiah 53:1 - 712 B.C.)


. .
..... As that day drew on, further reports came in. One of the apostles, Simon Peter, ran to the tomb when he heard the women’s news. Going inside, he saw the grave clothes lying in a pile, and the napkin that was bound around His head, folded and laying in a place by itself -- but the body was gone. For the moment, he could only wonder at what had happened. But later that morning, Jesus would appear to him as well.
.... Next He appeared to two of His disciples as they walked along the road in the countryside. He spoke to them for an extended time, showing them how His sufferings and glory had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy – and their hearts burned within them to hear His words.
.... And as these disciples returned to Jerusalem, to report these things to the apostles, Jesus Himself appeared in the midst of them, though they were hiding in fear at the time and the doors had been securely locked behind them.
"Peace be with you." He said to them; but they were terrified, for they knew quite well that He had died, and they thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus said to them, "Behold My hands and My feet, that is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."
.... And when He had said this, He showed them the nail prints in His hands and in His feet, and the place where a Roman soldier had thrust a spear into His side to ensure that He was dead.
.... And while they still did not believe because of their joy, He said to them, "Have you any food here?" So they gave Him a piece of fish and some honeycomb, and He took them and ate them in their presence. Then they were convinced, and were glad when they saw the Lord. But He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those He had sent to them, who had seen Him after He had risen.

.... ". . . if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

(Romans 10:9 - 57-58 A.D.).

.... Jesus told His disciples, "I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live." But then He followed this statement with a question: "Do you believe this?" For every person must come to peace with this answer in their heart.
.... After the resurrection of Christ, the apostles touched His deadly wounds and handled Him with their hands. As they did so, they touched the proof that our sins were forgiven, and the living promise of our own resurrection to come. For in Jesus Christ, though faith in His name, we may receive a new life now with a clean, new slate; and we will be raised again from the dead at the end of days:

.... "Your dead shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust: for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

(Isaiah 26:19 - 713 B.C.)

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The Meaning of ‘Redemption’ and ‘Salvation’

.... "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

(Revelation 1:8 - 96 A.D.)

.... In this passage we see Jesus as He is today: "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore." (Revelation 1:18) for He is the firstborn from the dead, and One with our heavenly Father.
.... Jesus came to us from heaven, and returned to heaven, to the glory He had with the Father before time began. His glory, before and after, was the same, so He gained nothing for Himself through His trials. But rather, He suffered it all for our sakes that we might be reconciled to the Father through Him. And this provides a context for understanding His redemption:
.... To ‘redeem’ something means to buy it back; to recover ownership by paying a sum – like reclaiming an item that was sold at a pawn shop. But in order to do this, the price of redemption must be equal to or greater than the object of redemption:

.... "You are worthy . . . for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God . . . worthy is the Lamb who was slain . . . "

(Revelation 5:9-12 - eternity)

.... In this case, the object of redemption was mankind itself, for we had sold ourselves under sin and the wages of our sin was death (Romans 6:23; 7:14). But Jesus gave His life in our place as our substitute. The inherent value of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, was of such great magnitude, of such inestimable worth, that He was able to redeem every man, woman and child who has ever lived by giving Himself in our place. In other words Jesus was more holy than all of we, put together, were sinful, and because of this He was able to become a ransom for us all.
.... And here is an important consideration for you, personally. If Jesus was able to redeem all of mankind from our sins – every last one of us put together, from the beginning of time until the end of days – then surely His sacrifice was enough for you, as simply one individual. If it was Jesus who gave Himself for your sins – Christ Himself who died for you – then it was truly enough. So whatever your sins may have been, your price has been paid in full by Him:

.... "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him."

(Hebrews 7:25 - 65 A.D.)

.... Jesus redeemed us from sin through His death on the cross; but even more important was His resurrection, three days later. So great was the essence of His life that death itself could not hold Him (Acts 2:24; 3:15). And in like manner, if we have died to our sins through Jesus, we will live with Him through a clean, new life that He gives to all who believe in Him and who call on His name:

.... "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

(2 Corinthians 5:17 - 57 A.D.)

.... The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the greatest moment of all history, the most profound occurrence that will ever effect any man. It is through the new life of His resurrection that we are given the power to walk with God in peace today (Romans 5:10). This ongoing relationship is called our salvation.
.... Of this salvation the prophets spoke, and carefully searched, who foretold these things which would come to us; the apostles also, who walked with Jesus on the earth, became witnesses when these things were fulfilled (1 Pet 1:10; Luke 24:46-49). Between their two testimonies, every word concerning the Christ could be matched to, and confirmed in, Jesus of Nazareth, whom we have preached to you (Matthew 18:16; Ephesians 2:20; Amos 3:7; Acts 10:38-42).
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Our Response to the Gospel

.... Jesus was crucified for our sins as the prophets foretold, buried, and rose again on the third day, as expressed in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). And He was seen alive after His resurrection by many witnesses.
.... This is the message of the gospel, and the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). But in the Scriptures, the whole concept of ‘believing’ carries deeper, very personal implications so let’s discuss them more fully:
.... The context of the gospel is in the identity of Jesus, who came to us from heaven and returned to heaven, so to begin our response we must begin by acknowledging Him as Lord of all. With our mouth, we must confess Him to God in prayer. But the same is true when we are questioned by men. Jesus said that if we confess Him before men, He will also confess us to His Father in heaven; but if we deny Him, He will also deny us (Matthew 10:32-33).
. .
.... Since Jesus died for our sins, we must accept the implication that we are sinners, and confess this to God as well. He knows all about our sins anyway, and He has already made a Way of accepting us through Christ, so we might as well be completely honest in discussing them with Him. It is a time to be humble but not fearful, because His intention is to miraculously cleanse us and receive us:

.... "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

(1 John 1:9 - 95 A.D.)

.... By acknowledging our sins to God, we are showing Him that we value the righteous character of His Son, for this is the natural contrast that appears. We are showing Him that we respect Jesus’ sacrifice, and that we are thankful for what He has done (Romans 7:16; Hebrews 10:29). And finally, through our confession, we are admitting there was nothing we could ever have done to save ourselves (Matthew 9:13).
.... Confessing our sins to God will naturally lead to repentance, as we express our sorrow and regret. This allows a mending to occur between ourselves and God in a personal way, because our sins had clashed with His character and had separated us from Him. It also signifies a desire for change as we submit unruly areas of our lives to Him. And the changes He brings will always make us more like Jesus:

.... "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord"

(2 Corintiains 3:18 - 57 A.D.)

.... Each of these three responses may be expressed to God in prayer, simply by talking to Him as we would talk to another person (Psalm 51:4; Matthew 6:6). In modern times, it has become customary to express our belief through a sinner’s prayer. This is an excellent way to declare our faith to God as long as we understand what it means and our hearts are sincere in what we’re saying. Below is an example, but feel free to express these basic thoughts in your own words:

.... God, I believe that Jesus came from You, and that You sent Him into the world. I believe You gave Him Your words and that He spoke to us all that You commanded Him. I believe You have made Him Lord of all; and I humble myself, confess Jesus as my own Lord, and surrender my life to You, that you may do with my life as seems good to you.
.... I believe that Jesus gave Himself for my sins, and I believe in my heart that You have raised Him from the dead. I confess my sins to You, and my need for You; I repent of my sins, I ask for Your forgiveness through Jesus, and I ask for the new life that He brings.
.... And I thank You for Your love, which You have shown us in giving Your Son. Please continue to teach me and help me understand your words, that You may be glorified through my life; and always make me more like Jesus. I am eager to hear from You, and to know You better.

.... In Jesus’ name I pray . . .

.... By offering this prayer to God, or something similar in your own words, you are expressing your belief, trust and submission, your needs and your thanks, and your commitment to continue sincerely in walking with God through Christ. You may end this prayer by saying ‘Amen’ if you like, which literally means, ‘So be it.’
To continue, please proceed to the article below.


First Steps for a New Believer

.... Becoming a Christian is the most changing and defining event a person can ever experience. Everything becomes new as a world of Divine possibility opens (2 Corinthans 5:17). So let’s begin with an orderly, timely word to make the most of the moment itself:

... God has called us to a divine relationship with His Son as the supreme relation- ship of our entire life. To establish this supremacy, He wants you to quickly look beyond every other human (including other Christians,) and directly to Himself as your lord. In particular, He wants to follow-up on the gospel message you’ve just heard in order to seal it’s power in your heart. You will have a part in this, and He will have a part: .

... God’s part is that He intends to show Himself mighty on your behalf (Mark 16:15-20; 1 Corinthians 2:5). For example, you’ve just heard that Jesus was scourged during His sufferings, and that "By His stripes we are healed." (1 Peter 2:24). So then, do you need a physical healing in you life? Call out to Him and ask for this, and allow Him to show you the power behind the gospel message. Or, He may answer you in other ways for your benefit, as He chooses. Beyond the blessing itself, this powerful initiative will settle your heart in the assurance He cares for you personally, and that is is always safe to trust in Him. .

... Your part in sealing this covenant is in the ceremony of Water Baptism, which is performed in His name. It is the outward sign of your new faith as you are momentarily lowered into water, as into a grave, then quickly raised again -- in likeness of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is your open testimony to the world that you believe the gospel and you’ve decided to follow Jesus. New Christians in the Bible were baptized immediately, and you should follow this example. .

... After this initial response, a lifetime of growth in Christ will follow. In it's most practical form this will depend on communication, which will take place in three essential ways: .

... First, you should continue talking with God, like the prayer you offered when you were saved. But now you should spend quality time discussing the things He shows you, and how to apply them in your everyday life. And in this, He will constantly show you Jesus as a living example. .

... You may also discuss your other needs during this time. But when you do, remember to be thankful for the things He has already done for you – especially the most recent things. This will quickly graduate into a joyous sense of praise and worship as you come to appreciate Him and His care for you. .

... Second, you should begin reading the Bible daily to insure that you are learning and growing properly. This is a way to show God that you love what you are discovering about Him, and that you desire to learn more – and He has promised to satisfy this desire when He sees it in you. Since Jesus is our primary example in life, we suggest that you start by reading about His own life in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). In fact, it would be good to read them twice apiece. Soon, your Bible study will begin to enrich your prayer times as well, as you gain experience in discerning His voice and in seeing the character traits of Jesus as you listen to Him. .

... Finally, you should cultivate friendships with other sincere Christians by discussing the Lord and seeking to encourage each other daily. When two or more Christians come together in this way, Church spontaneously appears between them (Matthew 18:20). This, in fact, will be your most meaningful sense of Christian fellowship.

.... In the Bible, Christians met in small groups, in a house of peace, and moved from one such house to another. But on Sundays they also came together in a larger setting where worship was offered, sermons were given, needs were met, problems were addressed, and further training was available. Here, they found a broader sense of community as well. Often, they shared a meal during this time. .

... Church, in this larger sense, is a place where you may benefit from the wisdom and experience of those who have been Christians longer. The leaders in this church have a special calling to care for you and to help you grow in a way that will always points to Jesus. Soon, you will find a meaningful place among them as your own gifts and abilities begin to play a part. Every Christian benefits when they keep their eyes on Jesus and work together in this way. And when your family and other friends see this love, they will be encouraged to hear what you have to say.

If you decide to begin a relationship with the Lord, additional daily lessons are available by clicking here. These lessons will walk you through the basics in an orderly, comprehensive way.