I created the tool below to help our students understand the dynamics of a life of faith in Jesus. I was looking to create something a little more in depth than the four spiritual laws (although I think they are great.) without getting too technical. Take the material below and customize it for your ministry!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FOLLOW JESUS?
created with purpose
God created humanity because he loves us and wants us to enjoy a personal relationship with him.
“Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His through our union with Christ…because of His love, God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us His children – this was God’s pleasure and purpose.” Ephesians 1:4-5
The promises of the world are tempting, but they never satisfy for very long and they leave us feeling empty. Only in Jesus can we find real life. Once we accept Him, we become part of a family of people who also have found real life in Him. Life in God’s family means finding support and friendship for our journey and is better than anything the world offers.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
we aren’t perfect
A relationship with God requires perfection because God is perfect and imperfection literally can’t exist in his presence. The only way for us to enjoy a relationship with him is for us to be perfect ourselves. But nobody is perfect, and we know this. We don’t always do what’s right. We hurt other people, tell lies, gossip, steal, get jealous, etc. We don’t even measure up to our own standards of perfection, let alone God’s Standard. The Bible calls our imperfection sin, which simply means “missing the mark.” In essence, sin is the the willful rejection of God.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
a price must be paid
Every choice has a consequence. Choosing against God–choosing sin–results in death which is spiritual separation from God.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Jesus paid our penalty
2,000 years ago, God came to earth as Jesus. His death on the cross paid our price, and through our faith in him, his righteousness (“right standing” before God) is transferred to all who believe.
“…found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” Philippians 4:9
His sacrifice is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Jesus literally defeated death
Jesus rose from the dead and defeated the power of death. He predicted it would happen, over 500 people saw him and interacted with him. This gave them hope that what He said about having new life is true! And we can have this hope as well.
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
a new life of faith and obedience
In Jesus, everything is made new.
“What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Our response to God’s grace is faith, which means trusting God more than anything else. More than our feelings, thoughts, friends, media, and the latest self-help book.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
God created everyone with a purpose for their life: you can make a real difference in the world for God’s kingdom. God didn’t create anyone to sit on the sidelines. Therefore, the expression of our faith is to obey God’s Word. We don’t just hear what God’s voice, we also do what he says.
“But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:5-6
a prayer of surrender
“Dear Jesus, thank you for making me and loving me, even when I’ve ignored you and gone my own way. I realize I need you in my life and I’m sorry for my sins. I ask you to forgive me. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Please help me to understand it more. As much as I know how, I want to follow you from now on. Please come into my life and make me a new person inside. I accept your gift of salvation. Please help me to grow now as a Christian.”
Have you said these things to God? A Christian is more than a churchgoer or someone who is born into a Christian family. A Christian is one who admits his/her sins, asks God for forgiveness, and invites God to take control of his/her life. If you do decide to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, we urge you to tell another believer.