As Jesus was dying, he uttered his final words from the cross: “It is finished.” The sacrifice that provided for the salvation of the world was complete. Christ gave himself—his own life—as payment for our sins. But did Christ’s sacrifice apply only to those after his death? Did Jesus come just for us today? What about those who lived before his death and resurrection? Could those people also find salvation? If so, on what basis?
Jesus taught that to enter God’s kingdom, we must become like children. Clearly, he was not teaching that we should be like little children in every way, but only in certain ways. What are the attributes of children that Jesus was referring to?
What is most important to you in life? What is the most important thing you can think of? Jesus Christ taught that loving God is the highest of all priorities, the greatest command in God’s law. According to the Bible, we were made to be connected to God in a love relationship. But what does it mean to love God? How can we love a Being we can’t see? Loving God means giving him ourselves—our heart, soul, mind, and strength—all that we are.
How do we become better people? How do we make a better society? Will the coming of a new year magically bring the changes we want in us and others we live with? No, nothing really changes with the changing of the calendar. If we are the same people, then there is no reason to think that society will change. We are still sinful and need God and his transforming power. But how can we change?
The coming of Jesus Christ into the world was the most significant event in human history. And the life of Christ was the most significant life of anyone ever born into humanity. Through the coming of Christ the Savior, God came to earth to dwell with us in human flesh. He was the Savior, the Messiah— “God with us.”
In many circles, everyone is a child of God. “We are all God’s children” is commonly heard. But what does the term “child of God” mean in the Bible? Christians know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but who are the “sons of God” that the Bible refers to? They are God’s adopted children.
What does it mean to repent? Does it mean we suddenly become religious or decide to join a church? No. Or does it mean you vow to never sin again? Hardly. But then what is it? Is it a once and for all act? And is it essential to do before we have a relationship with God? Because repentance is such an important word in the Christian faith, we need to know the answers to these questions.
People today are subject to such a quickly changing spiritual climate and theological landscape. Popular beliefs, music, worship styles, and even theology seem to change every year. What should we rely on for guidance? To rise above the confusion, we need to receive the new wine of Christ’s gospel and hold firmly to his teaching found in Scripture.
Are miracles of God possible? Many people in our society are skeptical. In this age of science, can we believe that God can really break into this physical world and supersede the laws of nature? And if so, why would he want to? Many also ask: “If miracles are possible, then why doesn’t God do them for me?”
What is God’s mercy and why do we need it? According to the Bible, God loves all people, without conditions. He also offers his grace to all. This is who he is — he is kind, gracious, and loving. He is merciful to the helpless and broken. But God’s mercy, as it relates to forgiveness, is conditional. If that is true, then conditional upon what?