Mark 1:15 – “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Jesus said that man’s response to the gospel is two things, repentance and faith. We studied repentance already and now we will study faith.
Acts 16:31 – “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
The word saved is used to describe those people who have come into a right relationship with God and will go to Heaven when they die.
According to this verse, for a man to be saved, who must he believe on? He must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
In order to come into a right relationship with God, you need to respond to the gospel by faith in Jesus Christ. Since we are saved by faith, it is very important we understand what faith means.
Faith does not mean knowing facts in your head. This is called head-knowledge or an intellectual faith. You may believe there is a God and believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again, but these are facts that you believe in your head.
This is not true faith that will save you from Hell. You can know about God and still not know God.
Faith according to the Bible is trusting in what Jesus did for you in your heart. This is called heart-knowledge. That is real faith that will save you from Hell.
There is a difference between believing in your head (head-knowledge) and believing in your heart (faith). One will take you to Heaven and the other will take you to Hell. We can explain the difference this way:
A man examines a chair and believes (in his head) that it will support his weight. That is only a head-knowledge, an intellectual faith. It is not true faith.
True faith believes in your heart. This man’s belief becomes faith the moment he trusts the chair to support him when he sits and rests his entire body weight on the chair.
Another example that explains the difference between “believing in your head” and “believing in your heart” is that of Charles Blondin. He was a world-renowned acrobat, who walked a tightrope across the Niagara Falls in 1860. Niagara Falls is a large waterfall between U.S.A. and Canada.
He did many tricks across the tightrope, and many people were amazed by his skill. A man standing nearby expressed his amazement to Blondin. Blondin then asked the man, “Do you think I could carry a man across the waterfall on a tightrope?”
The man was sure that he could and wanted to see him do it. Charles Blondin then asked him, “Will YOU let me carry you across?”
The man was unwilling to trust Blondin and refused. That man “believed in his head” that Charles Blondin could carry a person across the waterfall on a tightrope. He only had an intellectual faith.
But he did not have true faith or “believe in his heart”. He did not trust that Blondin could do it. Faith would have been trusting Blondin in his heart and getting on his back.
Blondon’s last stunt at Niagara Falls was carrying his manager across on the tightrope. His manager had true faith.
Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
According to this verse, how are you saved from hell? You are saved by believing on Jesus Christ. Just as Blondin’s manager had real faith (heart-knowledge) by getting on his back, so you must have real faith in Jesus Christ and trust Him with all your heart.
Questions for Key Truth #15
1. The word saved is used to describe people who have come into a right _______________ with God.
2. According to Acts 16:31, who must you believe on in order to be saved?
3. Will a head-knowledge or intellectual faith about Jesus Christ save you from going to Hell? Yes or No
4. Faith is ____________ in what Jesus did for you in your heart.
5. What does Acts 16:31 say will happen if you believe (trust in your heart) on the Lord Jesus Christ?
John 3:3 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus said a man cannot go to Heaven unless he is born again. Jesus is not speaking about a physical birth. He is speaking about a spiritual birth.
Just as there was a specific time in your life when you were born physically into this world, so there must be a specific time in your life when you were born again spiritually.
John 1:12 – “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:”
According to this verse, when do you become a child of God? You become a child of God when you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
In summary, how are you born again spiritually? How do you become a true Christian?
1. You need to realize that you are not just a sinner, but a hell-deserving sinner.
I grew up in a Christian home. I thought I was a Christian because I was baptized, went to church, and was a good person. I knew I was a sinner, but I thought I was still good enough to go to Heaven.
One day when I was 23 years old, I was in a Bible study in my university dorm room. I will never forget how shocked I was to learn from the Bible that I was not a true Christian and that I was on the road to Hell.
That night, I realized I was a hell-deserving sinner. I realized that going to church, being religious, being baptized, being a good person, and obeying the 10 commandments would not help me get to Heaven.
2. You need to repent of your sin. Repentance is an attitude of surrender and seen in that you are willing to turn from your sin and turn to God.
3. You must trust in Jesus Christ with all your heart. True faith is not an intellectual faith. It is trusting on Jesus Christ with all your heart.
4. As John 1:12 says, you must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
You are born again when you realize you are a hell-deserving sinner, then in repentance, you turn from your sin and turn to God and believe on Jesus Christ with all your heart to save you from the penalty of your sin and then receive Him as your Savior. Only then do you become a true Christian. Only then are you born-again.
Many years ago, I was in a taxi car in Bangkok. The driver asked me if I was a Christian. I said yes, and he replied that he is too. I asked him when he became a Christian. He said the he was born a Christian and that his parents were Christian, so he is a Christian.
My friend, no one is born a Christian. I was born into a Christian family, but that did not make me a Christian. In fact, no one is a true Christian based on the faith of their parents.
God only has children; He does not have grandchildren. That means that every person needs to repent of their sin, trust in Jesus Christ and personally receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. That taxi driver is not a true Christian.
I became a true Christian when I was 23 years old. I realized that I was a hell-deserving sinner, and then I repented of my sin and put my faith in Jesus Christ 100% to save me and I received him as my Savior.
I know that I will go to Heaven. Not because I am a good person. Not because I go to church. Not because I was baptized. Not because I am a bible teacher. I will go to Heaven because I responded to the gospel in repentance and faith. I received God’s gift of eternal life. Have you received God’s gift of eternal life? Are you saved?
Questions for Key Truth #16
6. According to John 3:3, Jesus said that a man cannot go to Heaven unless he is _______ _______.
7. According to John 1:12, when do you become a child of God?
8. You are born-again and become a true Christian when….
The gospel is a wonderful story. Jesus paid for our sin and then conquered death by rising from the dead on the third day. In rising again, He is now able to give eternal life to all that turn from their sins in repentance and believe on him with all their heart.
Religion says you have to work your way to God for Him to accept you. Jesus says there is nothing you can do to work your way to Heaven. You simply receive the gift of God as it is freely offered. That is God’s plan to bring you into a right relationship with Him.
In order to receive eternal life, you must realize you are a hell-deserving sinner, repent of your sin, trust Jesus Christ with all your heart and receive Him as your Savior. This is God’s plan to bring you into a right relationship with Him. There is no other way to Heaven.
How does a person know if they are ready to be saved? You are ready if you realize that you are a hell-deserving sinner, you are willing to turn from your sin and believe on Jesus Christ with all your heart, and then receive Him as your Savior.
If you are not ready, that is o.k. We do not want to pressure you. We recommend you continue to seek God through reading and studying the Bible and praying to God for understanding.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or do not yet understand salvation. We are happy to talk to you more about how to come into a right relationship with God.
If you would like to be saved today, you can. If you are ready, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to lead you to salvation
However, it is not necessary for us to be with you when you receive Christ. If you would like to pray for salvation and receive Jesus Christ right now, you can pray the prayer below or you can pray to God in your own words.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am a hell-bound, hell-deserving sinner. I know there is nothing I can do to save myself from the penalty of my sin. I am willing to turn from my sin in repentance and trust in what Jesus Christ did on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross, He was buried, and three days later, He rose from dead. I now am trusting Jesus Christ with all my heart. Please forgive me of all my sin and save me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you sincerely prayed that prayer, you just became a Christian. Please let us know so that we can rejoice with you.
As a new believer, there are some things we recommend to help you grow in your faith.
1. Tell your friends and family about what you are learning.
2. Invite your friends and family to study this course.
3. Read your Bible every day. For English, we recommend you get a King James Version.
4. Pray to God every day. If you need help to know how to pray, let us know and we will teach you.
5. Faithfully attend a Bible-believing church that teaches the gospel so that you can grow in your faith. If you need help finding a church, please let us know and we can help you find a church in your area.
6. Continue to study the Bible. We have free Bible studies to help believers grow in their faith. If you would like one of these Bible studies, please let us know and we will send them to you, free of charge.
List of Key Truths
Key Truth #1 – God loves you and wants a relationship with you.
Key Truth #2 – God doesn’t want your life to be empty but wants to bring purpose and meaning to your life.
Key Truth #3 – God created man good. There was no sin, evil or suffering in the world God created.
Key Truth #4 – God does not force you to obey but gives you a choice.
Key Truth #5 – There was no death. Death is the result of sin.
Key Truth #6 – All the sin, evil and suffering in this world is a result of man’s disobedience to God.
Key Truth #7 – Although you have sinned against God, He still wants a relationship with you and comes looking for you.
Key Truth #8 – God promised to send a Savior to fix man’s sin problem and so that you can have a right relationship with Him.
Key Truth #9 – There is nothing you can do to make yourself right with God. There is only one covering for sin that God will accept.
Key Truth #10 – Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% man.
Key Truth #11 – Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin for you on the cross.
Key Truth #12 – God offers you a free gift.
Key Truth #13 – Realize that you are a hell-deserving sinner.
Key Truth #14 – Respond to God in repentance.
Key Truth #15 – Respond to God with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Key Truth #16 – Receive Jesus as your Savior and be born again.
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