What is the Bible?
The Bible is God’s Word. It is how God speaks to us today, where we learn about Him, and where we find out how we can be saved from the judgment we deserve. God caused it to be written, and ensured that it said what He wanted, down to the very words that were used, but it still bears the style and character of the human authors who wrote it down. The Bible is completely true, containing no errors. What it says cannot fail.
Who Is God?
There is only one God, a spiritual being who always has existed and always will exist in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He created everything out of nothing, and is in complete control of everyone and everything, over all events both small and large. He is all-powerful and knows everything there is to know. He is infinite and present everywhere. He is holy and good, perfect and just. And, praise God, He is kind and merciful!
Who Are We?
When God created mankind, He made us “very good” in His own estimation. That situation did not last long, however. God gave the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, a simple commandment so they could show love for Him by their obedience. But they were soon persuaded by the devil to sin against God by disobeying this command. As a result, Adam and Eve were thrown out of God’s presence (they died spiritually, and their bodies began the decay that would lead to their physical death). Adam had lost paradise for himself, but also for all his descendants – including us today. He became God’s enemy, liable to death and judgment for his sin. But because he acted on our behalf in the garden, we share in the consequences he bore. We too are born as God’s enemies, not having the ability or the desire to love and obey Him. God tells us in the Bible that we come into the world like this, spiritually dead, because of sin. There is no one who does what He regards as good (Ephesians 2:1, Romans 3:12).
Every day, every moment, we sin against our perfect, holy, just Creator, and His justice demands the punishment that our sins deserve. Before His judgment seat, our good deeds will not outweigh the bad (we have no truly good deeds). Because of our sin, we see no need to turn our lives around (and since we are spiritually dead, we can’t do this anyway). Our situation is hopeless, and it is our own fault. But God tells us that there is a way to be delivered from this desperate situation, and that way is through the work that Jesus came to do, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus is the second person of the Godhead, God the Son. He is fully and completely God. In order to save us, He also became fully human, without ever ceasing to be fully God. He was born to a virgin, with God as His Father. Having no human father, He isn’t credited with Adam’s sin as we are. Rather, He was born perfect, and lived perfectly, obeying all of God’s Law on behalf of His people who had broken it. Then, He allowed Himself to be beaten and mocked and put to death on a cross. There, Jesus again took the place of His people, receiving the punishment from God that their sins deserve. He suffered their hell, and then received the wages of their sin – death. After three days, God raised Him from the dead, proving that He had accepted the sacrifice Jesus had made on behalf of His people. Now, Jesus is in Heaven, reigning over all things for the good of His people.
How Can We Be Saved?
Jesus died to save sinners who turn from their sin and put their trust in His work alone as the basis of their salvation. When they do this, they are joined to Jesus, so that His obedience is credited to them and their sins are paid for by His suffering and death on the cross. With their sins wiped away and their hearts changed, they are no longer God’s enemies, and He receives them as children into His family. Even though you are a sinner, this salvation can be yours! It is as simple as looking or holding out your hand to receive a present – because it comes by looking to Jesus, holding out your hand to Him to receive God’s free gift.
By God’s infinite power, we who trust in Jesus cannot possibly lose our salvation – He will infallibly save all whom the Father gave to Him. Therefore, we should be grateful to God, and praise Him for saving us and keeping us! We should worship Him, as His Word teaches us. We should keep His commandments, not to earn our salvation (since Jesus has done it all), but because we love Him and want to do what pleases Him. We should share the good news of salvation from sin through faith in Jesus with as many as we can, so that they may also enjoy this same salvation. In short, we should love God with all our hearts and put Him first in our lives!.
What Does the Future Hold?
One day, Jesus is coming back to judge the whole world – all who have ever lived. The dead will be raised, and we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. The current heavens and earth will be burned up, and God will make them new, turning them into a paradise for His people to live in forever.
If we have trusted in Jesus to save us, God will see in us the obedience of Jesus His Son, and will welcome us to live with Him forever in that paradise – in Heaven.
But anyone who has not trusted in Christ for salvation, who is still bearing the guilt of his or her sins, will be thrown into the lake of fire, to justly receive from God exactly what those sins deserve – an endless torment.