FOLLOW JESUS

The first step in our church is Jesus.  If you want to follow Him, we must first understand what the Gospel is and why God sent Jesus to begin with...
  1. From the very beginning, God had a plan for humans.
  2. Not only did God have a plan for humanity at large, He had and has a plan for every human individually.
  3. God has a design for the way we should treat our families, work our jobs, interact with others.
  4. God’s plan is perfect.
  5. The Creator who knit together every being desires nothing more than for His plans to be implemented in every life.
  6. The challenge is that there is something within people that pushes us to depart from God’s design, to go in our own direction.
  7. The Bible has labeled that departure from God’s design “sin.”
  8. Sin brings many consequences in our lives.
  9. When we sin, we find ourselves in a place of “brokenness.”
  10. The feeling of brokenness is the result of our poor choices or even the choices of others that negatively affect us.
  11. This state exemplifies itself in ruined relationships, addictions, unease, fear and many other negative circumstances and states of being.
  12. Our brokenness, the feeling of emptiness and desperation, leads us to look in many different directions for healing.
  13. We turn to religion, success, beauty, substances, anger and a litany of other seemingly filling solutions to fix the brokenness in our lives.
  14. The challenge is that none of the solutions we carve out for ourselves will work; the brokenness remains.
  15. Although brokenness is bleak, God uses it for good.
  16. God uses brokenness to help people understand that there is a problem that needs a solution.
  17. When we survey our life and recognize the destruction around us and acknowledge that our solutions have failed, we often become open to the idea of a different path.
  18. We become open to a genuine change in our life.
  19. The Bible’s word for change is “repent.”
  20. We want to change and repent but we realize that we can’t do much on our own (as evidenced by our own solutions to our brokenness).
  21. The good news is that God has a plan to fix the problem of brokenness; it’s called the “Gospel.”
  22. The Gospel is the story of what Jesus did for us.
  23. Jesus, who is God in flesh, came and lived a perfect life. He never departed from God’s design; He lived a life completely without sin.
  24. He taught people about God’s love for them and His design for their lives.
  25. He healed the sick, spent time with the poor, and sought the outcasts.
  26. When He was around 33 years old, people that He loved nailed Him to a cross and murdered Him.
  27. While Jesus was on the cross, God did something incredible. He took the sins of the world and placed them on Jesus. So in His death, Jesus paid the penalty for all of our sin.
  28. After He had accomplished His mission on the Cross (bearing the consequences of the world’s sins), Jesus died and was buried in a tomb.
  29. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.
  30. In His conquering of death, Jesus proved that He was who He said He was, the Son of God.
  31. Jesus proved that He could do what He said He could do, forgive sin. And this is the Good News.
  32. The death and Resurrection of Jesus opens up the path by which we might return to the design of God.
  33. God’s provision means that we can do no good of our own to fix brokenness, nor can we lose that provision by making mistakes.
  34. The path to restoration and redemption is this: Repent and believe.
  35. When we make the step of turning from our sins (repentance) and turning toward Jesus (belief), God restores us.
  36. He does a work in our hearts that helps us to pursue and recover God’s design.
  37. No matter what our brokenness looks like or how deep we are in it, God restores us to a right relationship with Him through Jesus.
  38. When we come to faith in Jesus and are restored to His original design for us, we begin to experience the good things that God intends for us to have: purpose, forgiveness, community, hope, joy.
  39. As we experience these blessings from God, He sends us back into the brokenness of the world to help others discover the Good News that we have found.

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THE THREE CIRCLES

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