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Essentials Of Christianity: Putting It All Together

 

Let's put together what we have discussed to this point as the essentials of Christianity.

#1. The Deity Of Jesus

#2. The Resurrection

#3. The ABC's

#4. Repentance

#5. The Bible is God's Inerrant Word

(Jn 3:3) ... Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

(Jn 3:7) Marvel not that I said unto them, ye must be born again.

Being born again is the term that Jesus used to describe a Christian. If we take our essentials and lay them out in a paragraph, it might look like this:

Being born again is: RECEIVING AND BELIEVING in Jesus Christ to save you by FAITH through the HEARING OF THE WORD and CALLING upon Him in prayer; CONFESSING HE IS LORD, BELIEVING GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, and REPENTING of your sins.

Sharing the "Plan of Salvation" with others

**Note: If you are witnessing to someone, before you go through the steps with them, it can often be helpful to share your personal testimony of how Jesus changed your life.

It is also important to remember (Jn 6:44): No one comes unless drawn by the Father

Without getting into predestination:
Calvinists call this "irresistible grace" (When drawn they WILL come.)
Armenians believe God's will CAN be resisted.

Whichever way one believes, we do know that the Father MUST draw a person. Keeping this in mind, we should not be discouraged if someone does not come.

The steps we have discussed are important to salvation, but we don't necessarily have to go into detail about each step because many people already believe and accept some of them. If this is the case, go to the next step. If they don't accept it, you can use the outlines to more fully explain it to them.

A: Do you admit you are a sinner

(Rom 3:23) for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

B: Because of this sin we are ALL condemned

(Rom 6:23) For the wages of sin is death (Hell); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is why Jesus died on the cross for us. His blood paid the price for our sin and cleanses us from it.

(1 Pet 2:24) who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Jesus gave this as a gift to all who would accept it. There are never any works we can do to earn this. Works cause a person to have pride, and God HATES pride.

(Eph 2:8-9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: (9) not of works, lest any man should boast.

C: Do you confess that Jesus is Lord (God) and was raised from the dead?

(Rom 10:9-10) that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

D: Are you willing to repent of your sins and go in a new way with your life? You may not feel like you can EVER get free from your sins, or you may not feel that God would EVER want someone like you. God CAN help you! He loves you! He knows your heart. If you are WILLING to change, He is willing to help.

E: Do you receive and believe these things you have read? If you do, there is one last step. The Bible says in (Rom 10:13) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Are you ready to open up your heart, repent of your sins, and call upon Christ to guide you, lead you, and give you a new life? If you are, this is your moment of salvation. The following is a sinner's prayer, it is how you can ask Jesus right now to save you.

** Note: Three things I feel are important about this prayer

#1. I believe it should be addressed to Jesus since the person is inviting Him into their life.

#2. It is often a good idea to have them confess in prayer the things you have discussed.

#3. You should lead them in this prayer and have them repeat it after you.

Dear Lord Jesus
I believe you are My God and Savior.
I believe that you died on the cross for me and bore all of my sins, taking the punishment I deserved.
I believe that you were resurrected from the dead so that I might have eternal life. Jesus, I turn from trusting in myself to trusting in you alone.
Forgive me, save me, and come to live inside of me.
I repent of my sins and ask you to help me turn from them.
I need your righteousness and I want to be born again.
In your Holy Name I pray Jesus,
Amen.

If a person has truly made this decision, I like to welcome them as my new brother or sister and let them know that the Bible says the angels in Heaven are rejoicing. They should remember this date just like a birthday because it IS. It is the first day of being "born again" to God's family!

We should let them know that when a person becomes a new believer, the Holy Spirit comes to live in them and SEALS them until the day of redemption (Eph 1:13-14). This means that God literally dwells in them. The Holy Spirit will teach them (1 Jn 2:26-27), lead them to truth (Jn 14:17)(15:26), comfort them (Jn 14:18) (Acts 9:31), and help them to pray (Rom 8:26).

Finally, there are three things we should encourage them to do as soon as possible.

#1. Get a Bible and read a little each day. Encourage them to start in the gospels. Recommend that they go to a Christian bookstore and look at several versions to find one they can understand. If they can't afford a Bible, try and get them one yourself or point them to a good local church where they can probably get one for free.

#2. Find a good Bible preaching church so they can find fellowship and worship with other believers. There are no "lone ranger" Christians! You should also encourage them to be baptized as soon as possible.

#3. Pray. Praying is how we communicate with God. Ask and pray in Jesus' name. He is there for you anytime. You may not get all that you ask for, but God says He has a perfect plan for you. Trust in Him and His plan. Look for and thank Him for His blessings. Praise Him for what He has done. Confess and repent of your sins.