Killead Presbyterian Church

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New to Church?

What is ‘the Gospel’?

One of the writers of the New Testament helps us to answer this question.  Mark wrote in chapter 1 and verse 1, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ.”

The word ‘gospel’ literally means ‘good news’.  Good news about what?  Going to church services, doing good works, giving money, or how to be being nice?  No, the Gospel is not about an organization or rules, but about someone – God’s chosen King, Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is about the good news that God has made Himself known to us through His Son, Jesus – he came to earth to show us God’s love, bringing ordinary people like you and me into the life-changing and life-giving power.

God’s love brings hope, forgiveness and assurance of life when Jesus defeated the sin in our lives through his death on the cross.

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What is Sin?

Simply put – sin is missing God’s standard, rebelling against God’s rule, disobeying God’s law, offending God’s purity, and therefore being pronounced guilty before God the Judge.

Because God is perfect, holy and good, and sin makes us miss out on God’s perfection, holiness and goodness.  Our relationship with God was broken by the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve; but that is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to free us from sin and restore our relationship.  Many people think of sin as bad habits that can be stopped if we try, but the Bible tells us that sin is a power that lives in every human being.

We all want to think that we are ‘good’ – we come to this view by comparing ourselves to other people (I’m not as bad as him or I would never be like her!).  However, we deceive ourselves when we do that.

We need to look at God and compare ourselves with Him.  We see that we are not good – we are His creatures, and everyone has fallen short of His standard, as Paul says in Romans 3:23.  But there is great news!  Jesus wants to take our sin (Mark 1:15) so that we may know God as our Lord and Master.

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Who is Jesus & why did He have to die on the cross?

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Son of God, who was with his Father at the very beginning.  When sin came into the world God wanted to fix what humans had broken, so in His own time He sent Jesus into the world to be our Saviour, being the only perfect and sinless sacrifice.

Jesus’ death was not an accident. He told his followers he would die. In fact, he said he had come to die. He taught people that they had turned away from God and therefore they were separated from Him. Jesus said that mankind deserved to be punished for their rebellion against God – they deserved to die.

But Jesus died in our place. He was perfect and he didn’t deserve death – but he chose to die instead of us. Jesus paid for our rebellion against God and so through his death he saved us from being punished by God. We know for sure that God accepted Jesus’ payment. We know for certain that the things Jesus said were true. We know beyond any doubt Jesus lives today. How can we say all these things with such confidence? Because Jesus literally was resurrected from the dead, three days after he was executed.

Paul affirms this in 1 Corinthians 15:3&4, “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.”

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Is there really life after death? Don’t all good people go to heaven?

Those who trust and believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour will have life after death.  This means that we need to realize that Jesus is good and perfect, and we are not.

Jesus came into the world, not to save good people, but sinners who need to be rescued.  If we are good, Jesus would not have needed to die on the cross.  Through Jesus’ death we can have the promise of eternal life in his name.  All people deserve the punishment of hell, which is eternal separation from all that is good and Godly.

We need to remember that God is holy, good, gracious and generous.  If we understand this, we would be asking the opposite question:  How can God allow anyone into heaven?

It says in 1 Peter 1:3&4, “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.”

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Isn’t the Bible just an old book? Can it be trusted?

Yes, the Bible is a very old book that records God’s desire for our lives – a book that has stood the test of time, the attack of many people; yet it is still the most read book in the world!

The best place to start is in the Gospels of the New Testament to see the reliability of what it teaches about Jesus, and then go on to his teaching and claims on our lives.

Many non-Christian scholars and writers confirmed that the accounts recorded were historical events, as the Bible is full of verifiable details of the time and culture in which they were written.

The Bible tells us about many people who followed Jesus, lived to spread the good news and died because of it.  Why would anybody want to die over something that isn’t true?

But what is the most important point?  The Bible is how God speaks to us today – it tells us who God is, who we are, and God’s message to us.  What is that message?  Someone once said that the Bible is “Christ in print.”   The Bible reveals to us the person of Jesus and tells us why he matters and our need of him in our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

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Why bother with Church?

There are many people who do not want to go to church because of bad experiences: some feel like they are the ‘odd-one-out’ and some think that they will be judged.

The Bible teaches if we trust in Jesus as our Saviour, we enter into God’s family and Jesus is like a brother.  The book of Romans says that we become “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  People don’t like church, as they believe that they would have nothing in common with those who go – but the church gives us a heavenly bond.  The church is God’s plan in creating a family who share their lives together in community with Jesus as the head.

Also, people have a fear of being judged – that others will look down on you because of your history or upbringing.  Jesus came not for people who think they are perfect and have all of life’s problems sorted out, but for people who need hope.

Jesus said in Luke 5:31&32, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  The church is full of people who have broken lives and realize this.  It is a place where people can meet the Spiritual doctor, Jesus Christ, and that we can love and encourage one another in fellowship.  The church is meant to prepare us for heaven – a place of security and a loving and forgiving community.

Acts 2:42 tells us what the first church did – “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”  We seek to do the same, striving to be a loving community focused on God, hearing from His Word and praying with one another.

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