Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wednesday's Word: What is the Gospel?

"The Gospel is the cumulative event of the sending, coming, living, dying, and continuing life of this incomprehensible One"

*from Systematic Theology with Dr. Schemm....yeah I came up with that....ha!

The Gospel: He Came, He Lived, He Died, He Rose (1 Cor. 15:1-4)

Present Condition of Humanity:
  • Brought Forth in Iniquity (Psalm 51:5)
  • Wicked and Evil Continually (Gen. 6:5)
  • None Does Good, Not One (Psalm 14:3)
  • Dead in Trespasses and Sins (Eph 2:1)
  • Children of Wrath (Eph. 2:1-3)
  • Alienated from God (Col 1:21; Eph. 4:18)
  • Guilty and Condemned (Rom 5:16-18)
  • Enslaved by Sin and Satan (Rom 6:16-17)
  • God's chosen means fro delivering the call is the proclamation of the Gospel
What is Biblical Conversion?
  • "A person's decisive turning from sin, self, and Satan unto God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Spirit" (Demarest 249)
  • Have to have repentance and faith
  • Repentance is to turn in sorrow and remorse from sin to God
  • Repentance is a remorseful change of mind, conduct, and ultimate loyalty whereby unbelievers turn from sin to God
  • it is not just a change of inward disposition but a complete turn-about of one's life, with all that such a re-direction implies of the need fro God's help on the one side and of ethical conduct on man's side (Demarest 252)
  • An instantaneous act of God by which new spiritual life is granted --- a result that only occurs after repentance and faith
  • Regeneration is a new spiritual birth (John 3)
Salvation Continues: Being Transformed into His likeness (2 Cor. 3:18)

I throw out all these deep and big words out there because they are so important for us to understand. How do we ask children these questions?

VBS is in 14 days and Charlie and I have been talking a lot about salvation recently, so I decided to break out my Systematic Theology notes. When it comes to children, we have to be careful because they have such tender hearts. However, society and everyone tells them over and over again that they are "good." If we keep telling our kids over and over again how good they are....why will they need a Savior?

I believe it is crucial for a child to understand that he is a sinner. Gently, reading the passages above and talking through them is a key. Until a child feels remorse from their sin, I do not know how it is possible for them to be saved. That child has to turn from sin and to God.

On the other hand, I believe sometimes we make it too easy for kids. We say it is a free gift and all you have to do it take that gift. Wrong. A child needs to know that if they decide to follow Jesus it is not going to be easy. They are going to continually have to die to themselves and depend on God. They are going to have to do things that they don't want to do, and things that they don't "feel" like doing.

Additionally, we need to make their decision to accept Christ and follow him, the most important decision and day of their lives...because it is! My parents did a great job and doing that with me. I accepted Christ at age 10 at a revival. My mom got me a charm bracelet with the date on it (it was May 1990) and lots of family came to see me get baptized. It was a big deal at my house and I remember the sorrow I felt over my sin and the joy that came with accepting Jesus and having His Spirit come live in me.

Another good idea is to type up everything that your child says when he accepts Christ, especially if he is real young. That way if he does not remember fully accepting Christ, you can show him what he said when asked questions.

What are you thoughts on presenting the Gospel to your children?

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