APPENDIX 3: The Gospel
What do we need to know about God?
God loves us and wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. 

God loves us even if we haven’t loved Him. 

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

God wants us to know Him.

The Bible says God is at work in everyone’s life. “God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27).


What is wrong with us?
Our relationship with God has been broken by sin. We have all made choices showing we are inclined to be passively indifferent to God.

“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” (Isaiah 53:6).


Or actively opposed to God
“And this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19-20).

The result of our choices to resist or ignore God results in spiritual death (separation from God).

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).


“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).


What did God do for us?

God had provided a solution for our lost relationship. Jesus Christ came to do what we could not do for ourselves.
“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” (John 3:16).


He came into the world to bring us to His Father.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).


He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

He rose from the dead to show that His claims were true.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep” 
(1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

What do we need to do?

We must each personally trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our own efforts to earn God’s acceptance are inadequate.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).


We must admit our need for forgiveness.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat His breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13).


We must receive Christ and His offer of salvation as a gift.
“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Where do we begin?

A personal relationship with God begins today. You can begin your personal relationship with God by putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. You may find it helpful to express your new faith in words similar to these:

"Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from You. Thank You for sending Your Son to die in my place. I now trust Jesus to forgive my sins. I invite Him into my life as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for receiving me into Your eternal family. In Jesus’ Name, Amen."


What’s next?

Your trust in Jesus Christ begins an everlasting personal relationship with God.
God’s commitment to you:

“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 5:13).

God promises to never leave you. 
“...God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5a).


God has forgiven all of your sins, past, present, and future. 
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

God has given you His Spirit to enable you to live in a way that pleases Him. 
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).