DeeperEngagedfor Social Impact

Gospel Day Four

Start:Dec 07, 2022

Duration:20 Minutes

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the ability to receive the Gospel.

Description: This 5 day course is designed to: 1) introduce Trekkers to the Gospel 2) help shed some light on the more difficult, and often confusing, c ... Read More

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Published By:

Mustard Seed

Summary: Understanding God's Good News

Step 1

Welcome to Day Four. In Day Three we described God's miraculous response to our enemy: His love gift of salvation.

But how do we take this supernatural gift and turn it into a reality, something we can really experience in our day-to-day life?

Answering that question is the goal of today's Trail. Are you ready to begin?

Step 2

First, we have another big subject to cover (Christianity is not for sissies).

Christians, like almost all other religions, believe that your soul lives forever. That death is not the end of our existence. That what we do with our limited time on earth, resonates in all of eternity.

Another belief that is necessary to receive the gift of salvation is the belief that Jesus, after His death on the cross, rose from the grave. That after His death, He literally walked the earth, then ascended to heaven.

This belief is critical because it shows that Jesus has power not just over sin, but over life and death as well.

Since only God Himself has power over sin and death, the Gospel is informing us that Jesus is not just a 'great teacher' or 'religious leader', Jesus is One with God. He is God and He possesses all the power of God.

Obviously, this belief will challenge you right to your core. It is an essential claim of Christianity: Jesus is God and only God can unite us back to Himself.

Putting this belief aside for the moment, how strongly do you believe that some part of you will exist beyond your death?

Step 3

You will remember the scene in the video where the prisoner is free to go, but he doesn't realize that he can open to door to the cell and leave!

This may seem very odd to you, yet it is the condition of many, if not most, of the people who receive salvation in the modern church.

Why do you think that this is happening? If you're not sure, give it your best shot.

Step 4

The truth is most of us have been conditioned to believe that we deserve to feel shame and inadequacy. After all, we were born into it and have had it reinforced throughout our lives.

At the heart of the matter, we do not truly believe that we deserve to escape from our cell of darkness. The overriding sense is: "I somehow belong here and, if I am to escape, I must EARN my way out."

Many 'Christian' prisoners know intellectually that they have received the gift of salvation, yet have not been trained in how to exercise that freedom.

Jesus called this training 'discipleship'.

No one has properly discipled them in how to activate their salvation. They have not been trained in how to apply the Gospel; to fight the established oppressive thoughts and feelings that are keeping them in their cell. They have not been taught how to receive a gift that they did not earn.

How much does this explanation help you understand why a person can claim to be 'saved', yet show no indication of being 'free' or, worse, come across as superior and judgmental?

Step 5

It's important to know that your salvation is not a one time event. It is activated when you genuinely admit your sin and then humbly open yourself up to receive His salvation. In other words, your salvation is activated when you believe in it and receive it and it is deactivated when you don't.

You will literally find yourself out of the cell one moment and then right back in it the next. That's normal.

It is only as you begin to invest your time in effective discipleship that you can increase your ability to activate your salvation. That's the way it works. There are no short cuts.

Just as you need to exercise regularly to maintain your physical health, you need to work out your salvation in order to leave the cell for longer periods of time.

Acknowledging that your salvation is not a one time event, but requires daily training, are you still interested in going further?

Step 6

Unfortunately, this need for daily discipleship is not being adequately addressed in most of today's modern churches. We will address this need shortly, but, for now, let's imagine that you have received the daily "workouts" you need to activate your salvation.

You've made your way out of the cell and, suddenly, you find yourself in the light of day. Next, the Gospel offers you another amazing discovery:

God is beckoning you. He is inviting you to be with Him personally.

Although this may be a very difficult concept to grasp right now, what are your initial thoughts about the possibility of being invited by God, the Creator, into a very real and growing relationship ?

Step 7

This is a lot to take in!

Just minutes ago you were sitting in a prison cell. Now God is inviting you to be with Him!

And there is more: God, your Father, your Creator, wants to adopt you as His own child!

What does this all really mean? It sounds more like a science fiction movie than anything to do with the realities of our day-to-day lives, doesn't it?

Are you curious, in practical terms, what this means to you?

Step 8

Can you imagine a scenario where a child was brought up in a cruel and oppressive household and then, quite suddenly, rescued and brought into a family who truly loved, protected and cherished them?

For some of us, this may be difficult to imagine for ourselves, but we can imagine it happening to someone else. If that's true for you, then imagine that you are that 'someone' else.

Describe what it would mean to you to be that child - suddenly brought into a family who unconditionally loved and cherished you for just being yourself.

Step 9

No matter how grand or beautiful your description was in Step 8, it does not begin to capture the reality of what it means to be adopted by God as His child.

Most of us will not know the overwhelming beauty and pleasure of this reality until we meet God face to face.

For now, it is important to understand that, even if you do not see or feel any evidence of it, you are a child of God.

You are a child of a Father who loves you more deeply and completely than you will ever know. Who cares for you and is available to you at any time, for any reason. Who will, no matter what your circumstances may be telling you, never fail, leave, forget or abandon you. A Father who sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to sacrifice His life for the payment of your sins.

Your adoption as a child of God is another big piece of the Gospel.

How much does the possibility that God, your Father, deeply loves and cherishes you, mean to you at this time?

Step 10

You may be wondering: "If I am a child of God, then why don't I feel it? Why do I still feel as through I am being 'left out'?

Remember, we have spent most of our lives estranged from our Father. We've been held as captives. We are, for the most part, spiritual orphans.

He was a 'stranger' to us. Suddenly we have a relationship with God, but this relationship feels strange and unfamiliar. It doesn't seem real.

The cure for this is the same as it would be for any other relationship: the more time we spend with Him, the more we will begin to feel like a beloved child and less like a forgotten orphan.

Given this explanation, how do you feel about being a child of God now?

Step 11

Ok, let's take another break. We are making a lot of progress!

In the last day, Day Five, we will find out what it means to become a follower, a disciple, of Jesus Christ.

Day Five will appear in your Day Plan tomorrow.

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