Believers of the Old Testament times looked forward to the coming of their Messiah. New Testament believers look back to the cross and the resurrection. Both of these events culminate in the unique person of Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul says, "It was through what His Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to Him -- all things in Heaven and on Earth -- for Christ's death on the cross has made peace with God for all by His blood...and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before Him with nothing left against you...the only condition is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting Him to save you." (Colossians 1:20-23)
Hundreds of millions of people around the world have discovered this marvelous "path" because of Jesus' death on the cross and His bodily resurrection from the dead.
Jesus' death bridged the gulf between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. He died to pay the penalty of our sin and rescue us "out of the darkness and glood of Satan's kingdom" and bring us "into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who bought out freedom with His blood and forgave us all our sins." (Colossians 1:13-14) But without His resurrection and ascension, His sacrifice would have been incomplete, and we would have remained under the penalty of death. (I Corinthians 15:17)
To believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world is to believe in a living person. People often ask, "What is the meaning of belief?" The Amplified New Testament expresses the full meaning of the term believe as "adhere to, trust in, and rely on." The Gospel of John has been called the Gospel of Belief. The word believe occurs many times in the book of John. Chapter 20, verse 31, expresses the purpose of that book:
"These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name."
The living Savior, therefore, is the basis for Christian confidence. The resurrection is the foundation of our certainty that we have eternal life and that we experience daily the indwelling presence of our loving Savior.
The printed version of this study contains 9 pages of prepatory study notes not included in this online version. Click here to order the complete study guide, The Christian Adventure.
- What must one do to become a Christian? (John 1:12)
- To be a son of God is to be born of whom? (John 1:13)
- To believe in Jesus Christ is to possess and be free from what? (John 5:24)
- What did Christ do with our sins? How should this affect our lives? (I Peter 2:24-25)
- What three things characterize Jesus' sheep? (John 10:27)
- What is your relationship with Christ, as He Himself states in John 10:18-30?
- What are the implications of failing to believe the testimony that God has given regarding His Son? (I John 5:10-11)
- The resurrection of Jesus is history's most revolutionary event. How does it prove Christ's claim to be God? (Romans 1:4)
Why is the resurrection so essential to our faith? (I Corinthians 15:17, Ephesians 2:4-10)
- In John 3:3-7 what did Jesus tell Nicodemus about seeing and entering the Kingdom of God?
- At physical birth one receives many things he is not aware of: family name, privileges, wealth, love, care, and protection. At spiritual birth one becomes a son of God and receives eternal life, a divine inheritance, and God's love, care, and protection. God has given us these because of His great love. God's gifts are never based on man's changing emotions, but on His own unchanging word. In your own words, describe what you have, according to these verses: Ephesians 1:7, Romans 5:1, Romans 3:22, Colossians 1:27.
- As you begin to live the Christian life, what three evidences in your life will assure you that you know Jesus Christ? (I John 2:3, I John3:14, Romans 8:16)
- Who is Jesus Christ to you?
- What is your relationship with God?
- What kind of life do you now possess?
- What about your sins?
- Why are you sure (or doubtful) of your salvation?
- What changes do you believe have taken place because of Christ in your life?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, byBill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.