Knowing Jesus Christ is the most exciting relationship you can enjoy. It is the beginning of a life of adventure with an all-loving, all-powerful God. If you have sincerely asked Christ to come into your life, you can be sure that your relationship with God is secure. As a result of Christ’s death on the cross, the only sufficient provision for a relationship with God, you have been completely forgiven and accepted by him.
There are many exciting things that are true in your relationship with Christ. Understanding these truths will help you build a firm foundation on which to grow. Spend some time reflecting on the questions asked in each section; the answers are listed at the end of this challenge.
1. Christ forgave your sins
“In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…” (Ephesians 1:7).
When you trusted Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, all your sins were forgiven… past, present and future. What difference do you think it makes to know that all of your sins have been forgiven?
2. Christ made you a child of God
“But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13).
What did you do to become a child of God?
3. Christ came into your life and he will never leave you
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).
- Where is Christ right now in relation to you? (Christ speaking) “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).
- Under what circumstances might Christ leave you?
- According to this, how many times is it necessary to receive Christ?
4. Christ gave you new life
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
When you trusted Christ to be your Savior and Lord, you began a new spiritual life. God will increasingly produce many new qualitites in you as you grow in him.
5. Christ gave you eternal life
“And this is the testimony; God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11-13).
- In whom is eternal life found?
- Who has eternal life?
- Do you have the Son (Jesus)?
- Do you have eternal life?
- When did eternal life begin for you?
These wonderful benefits are based totally on Jesus Christ. None of them can be earned. You received them the moment you placed your faith in Christ.
Which of these five truths are especially meaningful to you now? Why?
Dealing with doubts
Even though feelings are important, your relationship with Christ is based on facts, not on feelings that can change daily. Doubts, questions and varying emotions are common parts of everyone’s life, but they are very unreliable gauges of anyone’s relationship with Christ. The Christian lives by faith in the trustworthiness of God and his Word.
But what if you don’t feel like a Christian tomorrow? Place your faith in the faithfulness of God himself and the trustworthiness of his Word. The more you learn, the more you will be able to answer any doubts with solid facts. Your feelings will begin to respond to the truth of God’s Word and not to your circumstances.
Since you have trusted in Christ’s payment for your sin, understood the basis of your relationship with God, and have learned five truths about your relationship, you can be confident in your relationship with Christ.
Answers: 2- You received Christ, you believed in his Name 3a- In your life. 3b- None 3c- Once 5a- Eternal life in the Son (Jesus) 5b- All who have Jesus in their lives 5c- The moment you received him
Weddings were weeklong festivals with banquets with many distinguished guests and prominent teachers.
The source of invitation cannot be known, but Jesus, His Mother, and His disciples, were invited and they attended.
Verse 3: “When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”
Many times the whole town would attend weddings. It was considered an insult to refuse an invitation.
This required careful planning. The host was to provide enough wine to last for seven days. To run out of wine at a wedding would have been a social blunder that would have been a source of embarrassment to the family for years.
Jesus’ mother knowing He could perform the miracle of creating wine out of nothing apparently hoped her remark would enlist His aid.
Verse 4: “And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
“Woman” was a respectful address and was used much in the same as (“Ma’am”) in our day; however it was not a customary expression for ones’ mother. Most believe Jesus’ statement was intended to establish a polite distance. Nevertheless, a mild and respectful reproof of his mother cannot be separated from this.
Jesus’ reference to “My hour” is a reference to the cross. Jesus was saying He would begin doing miracles when He began His journey to the cross.
Verse 5: “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Mary left the outcome in Jesus’ hands and at the same time, did not take no for an answer. She was confident Jesus would handle the situation in the best possible manner. (Many ancient bible teachers used Mary’s act of confidence as a demonstration of “strong faith.”)
Jesus Turns Water into Wine:
Verses 6-7: “Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.”
The six stone water jars, holding 20-30 gallons each, were being reserved for ritual purposes and would have been enough to fill a Jewish immersion pool used for ceremonial purification.
The servants obeyed and filled the water pots to the brim.
Verses 8-10: “And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it.
When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
The miracle of Jesus turns water into wine, is seen as a literal creative act of God incarnate.
The “Master of the banquet” was considered a position of honor. The Jewish teachers disapproved of drunkenness at weddings, so the responsibility of the Master of the banquet was not only to preside over the entertainment but also to control the level of dilution for the wine. The alcohol level of new wine was watered down, with two to three parts water to one part wine. In this light, he too may have been partly responsible for the host’s running out of wine.
People sometimes wrongly expect life with God to be boring and dull. Just as the wine Jesus made was the best, life with Him is exciting and far better than on our own.
Verse 11: “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”
Jesus turns water into wine is an introduction to all the other miracles performed by Jesus.
John refers to Jesus’ miracles as “signs.” God had often manifested His glory by doing signs (EX 16:7). Moses’ first sign was turning water into blood (EX 7:20),
“And His disciples believed in Him,” as with His Followers today, there was new faith and hope, bonding and excitement with His disciples that would later explode into total dedication to Him in all circumstances.
God loves you so much that he made a way for you, through the shed blood of his son so that you might be able to spend eternity with Him.
“For God so loved the world that he gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life” ( Jn. 3:16 ).
Man is a Sinner, and Sin has Separated him from God!
You may think you are a good person but being good is not enough! Every man has sinned and there is none that is righteous before God!
“For there is not a just man upon Earth, that doeth good and sinneth not” ( Eccl. 7:20 ).
“For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Jesus Christ is the Only Remedy for Sin!
Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin. We can not be good enough to get into heaven, nor can our good works get us there.
There was no other way for God to erase the effect of sin except by blood. The shedding of Christ’s blood indicated that the penalty for sin had been paid; a perfect sinless life had been sacrificed for the lives of all who have sinned.
“. . .Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” ( Hebrews 9:22 )
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. ” ( I Pet. 3:18 ).
“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” ( Acts 4:12 ).
You Must Receive Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior
To be saved, a man must confess that Jesus is Lord, while acknowledging in his heart that Christ must have full rule over his life. This confession of Christ as Lord assumes that it is Christ who will work and fulfill His own righteousness within man, as man is unable to attain righteousness of his own accord.
Jesus calls this experience the “new birth.” He told Nicodemus: “. . . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” ( Jn. 3:3 ).
We invite you now to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name” ( Jn. 1:12 ).
Pray this Prayer and Mean it with all Your Heart
Dear Lord Jesus, I realize that I am a sinner and have broken your laws. I understand that my sin has separated me from you. I am sorry and I ask you to forgive me. I accept the fact that your son Jesus Christ died for me, was resurrected, and is alive today and hears my prayers. I now open my heart’s door and invite Jesus in to become my Lord and my Saviour. I give Him control and ask that He would rule and reign in my heart so that His perfect will would be accomplished in my life. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
- Get baptized ( full immersion) in water as commanded by Christ
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day through prayer and Bible reading
- Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
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How To Be Baptized with the Holy Spirit
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Do you pray for your church? Compared to other items on your prayer list, how much time do you take to pray for your church? Jesus established the Church (all believers) as the way to spread His message. Practically, this means millions of churches (local congregations) all over the world spreading His Word and sharing His love.
Why Praying for Your Church is Important
As the church spreads the gospel to the lost, the enemy becomes more and more enraged. So what happens? The enemy and his helpers do everything they can to stop the church from being effective. This may take the form of heresy, division, gossip, laziness, pride, or anything else that distracts from the work Jesus left the church to do. This is also why praying for your church is so important.
Many believers in the United States – especially in the Bible belt of the South – take their churches for granted. The church is a place of worship and fellowship, a family to many, and the source of emotional and practical help during difficult seasons in life. The church not only shares the gospel message, but it also trains both new and old believers in God’s truth.
But, as important as the church is to believers, many of them never pray for their church. I know that I didn’t for years. Then God moved my family to a church that really prayed! I learned a lot there, including this lesson: pray for your church. Praying for your church means not just for the pastor and leadership team, but also for the congregation, vision, ministry, facilities, and testimony of the church among other things.
Prayer Makes Your Church Shine
As the culture around us becomes more anti-Christian, we need to be more faithful in upholding our churches as beacons of light in a dark age (Romans 2:19). The need for the church and the truth will become greater and will be more opposed. Pray faithfully for your church to carry out the mission it has been entrusted with, no matter the opposition.
Before getting to the list of what to pray for your church, I want to remind you that more than half the New Testament was written to churches – not individual believers! The letters of Paul, Peter, and John were read aloud in churches. The gospels were shared in churches. The mission was given to churches.
There were no buildings, there were no budgets, there was no political pull. All they had was the Word of God and the Spirit of God. And those churches turned the world of their day on its head (Acts 17:6)! Pray for your church to do the same!
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus (A) who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. (B) 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, (C) we know (D) that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs (E) you are doing if God were not with him.” (F)
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. [a] ” (G)
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. (H) 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit [b] gives birth to spirit. (I) 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You [c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” [d] (J)
9 “How can this be?” (K) Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” (L) said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, (M) and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. (N) 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven (O) except the one who came from heaven (P) —the Son of Man. [e] (Q) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, (R) so the Son of Man must be lifted up, [f] (S) 15 that everyone who believes (T) may have eternal life in him.” [g] (U)
16 For God so loved (V) the world that he gave (W) his one and only Son, (X) that whoever believes (Y) in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Z) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world (AA) to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (AB) 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, (AC) but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (AD) 19 This is the verdict: Light (AE) has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (AF) 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. (AG) 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
John Testifies Again About Jesus
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. (AH) 23 Now John (AI) also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) (AJ) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. (AK) 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, (AL) that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified (AM) about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ (AN) 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. (AO) The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. (AP) 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” [h]
31 The one who comes from above (AQ) is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. (AR) The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, (AS) but no one accepts his testimony. (AT) 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent (AU) speaks the words of God, for God [i] gives the Spirit (AV) without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. (AW) 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, (AX) but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Jesus Came to Light Up Your Life
By Rick Warren
“The darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in.” 1 John 2:8 (TLB)
Why does God talk so much about light in the Bible? Because God is light. When he is Savior and Lord of your life, the light of his love gives you hope in the dark days: “The darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in” (1 John 2:8 TLB).
So here’s my question for you: Are you ready to exchange your darkness and the dark days you’re going through for God’s light? This is what Christmas is all about! Jesus came to light up your life.
Jesus didn’t come alive at Christmas. He has always existed, because he’s God: “Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God” (John 1:1 TLB). Jesus has been in existence for eternity. He created everything. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
You see, when you try to live your life without God, you live it in the dark. It’s why things don’t make sense to you—because you don’t have the illumination of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. It’s why you’re burdened with negative emotions. It’s why you’re not healed of the brokenness in your life. And it’s why you stop growing.
This Christmas, it’s time to flip the switch and let the light of Christ into your life—not just for your dark days but for all your days.
Do you want to trade darkness for light in your life? Pray this simple prayer:
“Dear God, I’ve had many dark days in my life, and I know now that I need your light in my life. I need your light to heal me, guide me, comfort me, and warm me. I confess that I have sinned against you, and I ask for your forgiveness. I need your light to help me grow. As much as I know how, Jesus Christ, I open my life to the light of your love. I want to accept you as God’s Christmas gift to me. I want to learn to follow you and trust you. And I humbly ask you to accept me into your family by grace—not because I deserve it but because I put my faith in your love and your light. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
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After much traveling, Jesus arrives at Jerusalem. Mark structures the Jerusalem narrative carefully, giving Jesus three days before the passion events and three days before his crucifixion and burial. The entire time is filled with parables about his mission and symbolic actions referring to his identity.
Mark doesn’t understand Judaean geography very well. He knows that Bethphage and Bethany are outside Jerusalem, but someone traveling from the east on the road to Jericho will pass by Bethany *first and Bethphage *second. That doesn’t matter, however, because it’s the Mount of Olives that carries theological weight.
The entire scene is rife with Old Testament allusions. Jesus begins at the Mount of Olives, a traditional location for the Jewish Messiah (Zechariah 14:4). Jesus’ entry is “triumphal,” but not in a military sense as was assumed about the Messiah. Military leaders rode horses while donkeys were used by messengers of peace.
Zechariah 9:9 says that the Messiah would arrive on a donkey, but the unridden colt used by Jesus appears to be something between a donkey and a horse. Christians traditionally regard Jesus as a peaceful Messiah, but his not using a donkey might suggest a less than perfectly peaceful agenda. Matthew 21:7 says that Jesus rode on both and donkey and a colt, John 12:14 says the rode on an donkey, while Mark and Luke (19:35) say he rode on a colt. Which is was it?
Why is Jesus using an *unridden colt? There doesn’t appear to be anything in the Jewish scriptures which requires the use of such an animal; moreover, it’s completely implausible that Jesus would be experienced enough in handling horses that he could safely ride an unbroken colt like this. It would have posed a danger not only for his safety, but also for his image as he attempts a triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
What's with the Crowd?
What does the crowd think about Jesus? None call him Messiah, Son of God, Son of Man, or any of the titles traditionally attributed to Jesus by Christians. No, the crowds welcome him as someone coming “in the *name of the Lord” (from Psalms 118: 25-16). They also praise the coming of the “kingdom of David,” which isn’t quite the same as the coming of the *king. Do they think of him as a prophet or something else? Putting clothing and branches (which John identifies as palm branches, but Mark leaves this open) along his path indicates that he is honored or revered, but in what way is a mystery.
One might also wonder why there is a crowd to begin with — had Jesus announced his intentions at some point? No one appears to be there to hear him preach or be healed, characteristics of crowds he dealt with earlier. We have no idea what sort of “crowd” this is — it might only a be a couple dozen people, mostly those who had already been following him around, and participating in a staged event.
Once in Jerusalem, Jesus goes to the Temple to look around. What was his purpose? Did he intended to do something but change his mind because it was late and no one was around? Was he simply casing the joint? Why spend the night in Bethany instead of Jerusalem? Mark has a night pass between Jesus’ arrival and his cleansing of the Temple, but Matthew and Luke have one occur immediately after the other.
The answer to all the problems in Mark’s description of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is that none of it happened. Mark wants it for narrative reasons, not because Jesus ever did these things. We’ll see the same literary style appear again later when Jesus orders his disciples to make preparations for the “Last Supper.”
Literary Device or Occurrence?
There are a number of reasons to regard this incident as a purely literary device rather than something that might have occurred just as described here. For one thing, it’s curious that Jesus would instruct his disciples to steal a colt for him to use. On a superficial level, at least, Jesus isn’t portrayed as caring very much about other people’s property. Did the disciples often go around telling people “the Lord hath need of this” and walk off with whatever they wanted? A nice racket, if people believe you.
One can argue that the owners knew what the colt was needed for, but then they wouldn’t need to be told by the disciples. There are no interpretations of this scene that don’t make Jesus and his disciples look ridiculous unless we simply accept it as a literary device. That is to say, it’s not something that can reasonably be treated as an event that really happened; instead, it’s a literary device designed to heighten the audience’s expectations about what is to come.
Why does Mark have the disciples refer to Jesus as “Lord” here? Thus far Jesus has taken great pains to hide is true identity and hasn’t referred to *himself as “Lord,” so the appearance here of such blatant Christological language is curious. This, too, indicates that we are dealing with a literary device rather than any sort of historical event.
Finally, we should keep in mind that Jesus’ eventual trial and execution turns largely on his claims to being messiah and/or king of the Jews. This being the case, it’s odd that this incident would not have been brought up during the proceedings. Here we have Jesus entering Jerusalem in a manner very reminiscent of the entry of royalty and his disciples described him as “Lord.” All could have been used as evidence against him, but the absence of even a brief reference is noteworthy.
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him shall not die, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” — a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.”
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
This is the good news:
Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
“Jesus Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the only way to God.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
The Bible is not light reading. Using a cast of thousands, God unfolds a narrative full of brutal murders, sordid sexual affairs, manipulation, and extortion. With story after story, we begin to see that evil has stained us all. In fact, Romans 3:23 tells us that all people have sinned and are therefore separated from God. The apostle Paul sums up our desperate situation, saying that we were “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
Yet throughout the Biblical narrative, God also weaves the promise and appearance of a Savior. Jesus came to bring us hope, fulfilling all the messianic prophesies (Isaiah 11:10/Romans 15:12; Isaiah 42:4/Matthew 12:21).
Hope for the futur — that we will be redeemed. Hope for the present — that we are not alone, but are loved and have purpose. Hope even over the past — that our failures are not greater than God’s power to transform.
When we as believers speak of hope, we don’t mean a desire that may or may not be fulfilled. No, our hope is certain. Our hope for forgiveness, for reconciliation with God and a perfect, holy, eternal life, rests on the finished work of Jesus.
Jesus — the sinless Son of God — died to pay the penalty for our sins and rose from the dead so that we too might have a sinless life in eternity.
Paul describes Jesus Christ as “our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1) and “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Jesus not only came to bring hope. He is our hope.
We have hope because Jesus forgives us and transforms us into his likeness. Knowing Jesus brings contentment regardless of material possessions and joy despite difficult circumstances. Nothing can destroy this hope because it’s stored in heaven where no earthly power can touch it.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
We have received new birth into a living hope that’s real everyday. It’s living because Jesus is alive and offers to transform our hearts, minds, and actions daily. As we understand God’s forgiveness, we start forgiving others. As the reality of Christ’s sacrifice penetrates our hearts, we lay down our selfish desires. We begin to serve our families, our neighbors, and even strangers on the street in his Spirit’s strength. Although mundane, painful, and stressful events threaten to diminish our hope, Jesus renews our hope whenever we seek him.
The world lacks hope. Human beings are clamoring to fill their empty lives with stuff. Abuse, addiction, illness, and broken relationships surround us. People need to know that Jesus came to bring hope, that he is our hope, and that our hope is alive.
Is the hope of Jesus real and alive in you? Is his Spirit alive and at work in you?
God loves you and wants you to experience peace and eternal life.
The Bible says:
“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
What keeps us from having the life God planned for us?
STEP 2: THE PROBLEM: OUR SEPARATION FROM GOD
God created us in His image. He gave us a will and the freedom of choice; we choose to disobey Him and go our own way. This separates us from God.
The Bible says:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
People have tried to bridge this gap between themselves and God.
The Bible says:
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
God is a Spirit; He is all powerful and loving and kind. “God is love” — and God loves you and wants you to be His child!
Sin is saying or doing or thinking things that are wrong, and our sins separate us from God. “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” We deserve punishment for our sins – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world so that our sins could be forgiven. Jesus lived a perfect life and He healed and loved people and taught them about God. He was put to death like a common criminal on a cross of wood.
When He died, He willingly took the sins of the world — yours and mine — and paid the penalty in our place. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but would have everlasting life.”
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His Name.”
If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, and turn from your sins and ask God to forgive your sins, you can pray this prayer now and ask Jesus into your life.
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for my sins. I open the door of my heart and ask you to be my Savior and Lord. I ask your forgiveness for all my sins. Please forgive my sins and help me to live for you.”
The FREE eBook Bundle was compiled for women just like YOU who are thirsty for refreshment and reconnection with the Lord.
Erica didn’t grow up in the church and maybe that’s why her perspective seems so fresh and clear to me. Authentic is a word that describes her voice.
She engages with the Bible on a heart level instead of looking for new rules to follow. You won’t encounter guilt and shame from her, but grace as she unlocks the Bible and leads you to the heart of Jesus. It seems to me that we need more people like Erica who are willing to be real and honest about the struggles we’re all going through and looking at the Bible not as a book of secrets to decipher but a love letter to embrace.
Author, Teacher, Speaker
I’m Erica Wiggenhorn. For over 10 years, I’ve taught Bible studies and helped over 50,000 women learn how to live balanced, purposeful lives. I am passionate about God’s Word and its ability to transform us personally, along with our relationships.
As an award-winning author and the founder of Every Life Ministries, I bring you the truths of Scripture to transform your life. By digging deeply into God’s Word, I encourage you to discover your unique purpose, accept God’s promises, and live by His power.
Books and Bible Studies
Go deeper into God’s Word and explore scripture verse-by-verse. Access theological and historical commentary through lesson format Bible studies that remain practical and relational.
By digging deeply into God’s Word, you to discover your unique purpose, accept God’s promises, and live by His power.
These in-depth studies are meant to reignite a movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives individually and our churches collectively.
The word refreshing comes to mind when I think about a word that best describes the experience having Erica as a guest on my two drive-time radio shows. Erica is a prolific Bible scholar that weaves in practical stories that resonate with my audience because she sheds perspective and light on theological truth.
Erica speaks in a compelling way that is non-preachy, authentic, and heartfelt! She’s passionate about God’s Word and its ability to reveal this “awe” factor in followers of Jesus who hunger for maturity, growth, love, and transformation from the inside-out!
Erica has become one of my favorite guests to have on my two drive-time radio shows!
Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background, or race, whatever your own self-image or esteem, you are invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected at the Sacred Heart Parish.
On behalf of all the parishioners and staff of the Sacred Heart Parish, it is a pleasure to welcome you to our faith community!
It is our hope that you will feel the welcome hospitality of Jesus in our midst. Indeed, our parish mission is to be a living expression of Jesus Christ, building up His Kingdom by living His Good News. As you peruse the pages of our website, we hope that you will find evidence that we do indeed work hard toward this goal giving witness to Him and thus spreading the message of love that He left us as His everlasting gift. If you are new to our parish community, we look forward to meeting you.
Sacred Heart Church
Saturday 5:15 pm
Sunday 9:00 am and 11:15am
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 12:10pm
Holy Cross Church
Saturday 4:00 pm
Sunday 8:30 am, 10:00 Gospel Mass, 12:00 Noon Polish Mass
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 7:00 am and
First Friday Only 6:30 pm Polish Mass
Please take this opportunity to send us an email or make a call to our parish office (609) 393-2801 to say hello. We are most anxious to welcome you personally to our community.
John is the fourth and last Gospel (an account of Jesus’ life and ministry) in the new Testament. John focuses on the deity of Christ more so than the other four: we see Jesus as the Word of God, the Son of God, and God Himself. Jesus is a great miracle worker, an omniscient teacher, a compassionate provider, and a faithful friend.
John may be the final Gospel, but this narrative begins far, far earlier than the other three. While Mark begins with Jesus’ adult ministry, and Matthew and Luke begin with His physical birth, John opens with the beginning of all creation: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Jesus presents Himself as God incarnate throughout the Gospel of John, often using the phrase “I am” (the memorial name of God revealed in Exodus). John records several “I am” statements from Jesus throughout this book:
- “I am the bread of life” (Jn 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
- “I am from [God], and He sent Me” (Jn 7:29)
- “I am the Light of the world” (Jn 8:12; 9:5)
- “I am [God]” (Jn 8:58)
- “I am the door” (Jn 10:7, 9)
- “I am the good shepherd” (Jn 10:11, 14)
- “I am the Son of God” (Jn 10:36)
- “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25)
- “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6)
- “I am the vine” (Jn 15:1, 5)
The Gospel of John makes a strong argument for Jesus as the exclusive savior, and the only way to know God (Jn 1:18; 14:6). Jesus is greater than the Jewish heroes Moses and Abraham (Jn 1:17; 8:58); Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, and John challenges us to believe in Him.
Theme verse of John
“Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (Jn 20:30–31)
John’s role in the Bible
In addition to this Gospel, the church traditionally associates John with three New Testament letters (First, Second, and Third John) and the prophetic book of Revelation. He was a leader in the early church, and he probably wrote his documents after most of the other New Testament books were already written.
The miracles recorded in John’s gospel are written that the reader would believe in Jesus and find life in His name (Jn 20:30–31). Therefore, much of John’s material directly states who Jesus is, not just what He does or says.
Unlike Luke, John does not aim to chronicle the whole life of Christ—in fact, John doesn’t think the world could contain such a document (Jn 21:25). Instead, John presents a few signs and teachings that should compel us to believe in Jesus.
Quick outline of John
- Prologue (Jn 1)
- The “Book of Signs” (Jn 2–12)
(Seven miracles that John uses to show Jesus is the Son of God)Turning water to wine (Jn 2)