START UP

No matter where you come from, or where your spiritual journey has taken you, at NewLife we believe that God invites everyone to start up a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus said in John 14:6,  


"I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me."

 

For many of us, we try to get to God through our good works, through religious activity, through spiritual pathways and pursuits, through traditions and frankly for some people, through blind trust in fate or chance.

 

Jesus makes it very clear that there is only One Way – and that way is through faith in Christ alone. But perhaps it’s unclear to you why Jesus is the only way. 


If you will take a few minutes to read through the following paragraphs, we would love to give you a summary of the message of the Bible.

1. tHE BIBLE INTRODUCES US TO gOD.

In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 tells us that,


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”


  • God is the Creator of everything and thus is the Owner and Master. 
  • God is the Grand Designer of this world and as such He alone knows the right way for things to function and work. 
  • God is Holy. 
  • He is perfect and everything He created was created in perfection and beauty. God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:27).


As humans we reflect the glory of our Creator. In the original creation, our ancestors Adam and Even lived in a perfect, harmonious relationship with God and with one another. 


Humans have extraordinary potential and capacity which comes from our Creator. 


God included in the original creation one boundary for humans to respect and abide by. They were prohibited from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), but were allowed to freely eat from any other tree of the Garden (Genesis 2:16). 

Adam and Eve had free access to abundant and almost unlimited resources, but they were instructed to respect God’s word and command and to trust Him by not eating from the one tree He had prohibited them to eat from. If they violated this command God said that they would die (Genesis 2:17). 


Thus the Bible starts on a very high note. Perfect people living in a perfect world, experiencing a perfect relationship with their Creator, the Holy God.

2. THE BIBLE REVEALS THAT PEOPLE ARE SINNERS AND HELPLESS.

Genesis 3:1-7 reveals that the first humans crossed the boundary and violated the command of God not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 


They did not trust God and they questioned God’s goodness and ate of the tree which they were commanded not to eat from. The word we use to describe this action is sin.


Immediately they realized they were naked. For the first time man and woman experienced guilt and shame. They attempted to cover themselves and ultimately tried to hide from God their creator. They were no longer holy. 


Later they would blame one another and not take personal responsibility for their actions. 

The Bible says that,


For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

[Romans 3:23] 


We were created to reflect and live in God’s glory, but with the introduction of sin into the world, no one could achieve the standard which God had created us for. 


All humanity was now helpless, on their own, and without hope.


God’s word is true, and Adam and Eve and all their descendants would experience death as a consequence for sin. Not only that, our spiritual standing before God is one of spiritual death: 


…you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” [Ephesians 2:1] 


All humans are stuck in a state of permanent alienation from God and restricted access to His Holy and Perfect presence because of sin. Everyone in this world now faces the reality that someday they will die. We also face the grim reality that we can never access God’s eternal presence in our current helpless condition. 


Many people try all sorts of religious activity to try to gain access to God or to earn His favor, but these efforts all fall short of God’s glorious standard of perfection and holiness. 

Our status before God is bleak on our own.

3. The bible reveals that god made provisions for a substitute.

The Bible tells us that, “the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23]. 


Sin demands a penalty and that penalty is death. Even for Adam and Eve, God provided coverings from them at the cost of the life of animals from the Garden [Genesis 3:21]. 


From this point on in the Bible, we find that everyone who walks with God and worships God comes to Him with a sacrifice of a substitute animal. Life blood is poured out in order to approach God. 


Sin must be paid for, and the Bible call this atonement.


As the story of the Bible continues, we discover that God clearly outlines a pattern for worship and for atonement with the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law. God makes provision for a substitute to take the penalty for sin, to die as a sacrifice of atonement for a person. For centuries, thousands upon thousands of animals die in the tabernacle and temple as Jews worship God and trust in His provision through the sacrificial death of a substitute. These sacrifices were temporary and had to repeated again and again.


When Jesus appeared at His baptism and began his ministry John the Baptist exclaimed about Him: 


Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29] 


Jesus Christ was God’s ultimate provision for sin. 


God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:21] 


Jesus Christ fulfilled God’s standard of right [or righteousness] and thus was qualified as the perfect One to pay the price for those who couldn’t qualify due to their sin. Jesus, as the Son of God, but also human, is the perfect substitute.


Jesus Christ is thus the mediator of salvation, fully demonstrating God’s love for all people:


"For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time." [1 Timothy 2:5]


"But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." [Romans 5:8]


The way back into relationship with God came through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 


Jesus paid the price for sin when He died on the cross. When He rose again He demonstrated that the penalty for sin had been fully paid and that the power of sin was now broken and no longer holding people captive. 


Through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, anyone could receive eternal life and be restored to a relationship with God.

4. The bible invites people to start up a relationship with God through faith.


The good news about Jesus and salvation is wonderful, but must be personally accepted and acted upon in order to effective and activated.


"But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children — children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God." [John 1:12 - 13]


"Then he brought them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” [Acts 16:30 - 31]


"...because 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. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation." [Romans 10:9 - 11]


God invites everyone to Start Up a relationship with Him by faith and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. 


As Lord, Jesus is not only the One who saves us, but also the One who leads us. 


We are abandoning whatever we were holding onto as our source and purpose in life and we are completely trusting Jesus with our lives from this day forward.


We at NewLife believe that God wants everyone to start up a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have never done this before, you can do this right now by praying something like this:


Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I am a helpless sinner. I have tried to live my life on my own terms, by my own rules and am lost. I realize today that You made a way for me to be forgiven and to experience New life. I confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and the One who died on the cross for my sins and rose again for me to walk in new life. Today I receive the gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ and through what He accomplished on the cross for me. I now surrender my life to the Leadership of Jesus Christ and want to live for His Kingdom and for Your Eternal glory from this day forward and forever. Amen.


If you prayed this prayer and meant it, you have taken the most important step of your life. You have officially taken the step to start up a relationship with God. 


Your sins are forever forgiven! You have been declared not guilty on account of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Your name is now written in God’s book of life and you are now an adopted member of God’s family and an heir to the inheritance in heaven. 


The Bible is full of promises for you and you can now move up and out in new life in Jesus Christ.


Please contact Pastor Mike or Pastor Jon if you made this decision today as we would love to celebrate with you and connect with you to help you as you move up and out in new life in Jesus Christ.