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The Gospel

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is not simply about going to a church building on a sunday, following teachings that makes you feel good and simply going through the motions. Neither is it about flashy experiences and putting up an show in- and outside of the church. There are alot of churches which are all about "me", about how to prosper in this world, about showing off, or about simply going through the motions, deeds and traditions on a sunday Christian to-do or checklist. And there alot of churches that turn christianity into a performance or show where it's all or only about the experience and often times about showing off. There are many churches that carry the name of a church and make people identify as Christians but have little (or nothing) to do with actually being a follower of Christ, and have steered far away from how small gatherings of believers should operate.

A gathering of believers (which is not just top down talking from a "higher up" to "visitors") should be a place of praise and worship of God (not self). And should be a place where everyone encourages, helps and equip each other for a day to day tug of war and walk with Christ. A place of sharing Bible based teachings and studies. A place where all believers can have their input and put their God given talents and personality traits to use, instead of a top down hierarchical institutional system where everyone must come in, sit and listen to the one with the higher rank or higher "papers" to then (maybe with some songs in between) leave again. Revelation shows Christ standing in the midst of the elders just as the tribes of Israel surrounded the Tabernacle. All the tribes were actively involved with tasks and responsibillities.

People can have different stewardships with different tasks and responsibillities, but it's not a top down ranked pyramid structure with little to no involvement and no allowed input from those "below" to the "higher ups" where the speaker/ teacher/ priest/ pastor (whatever the title/ function is) is in a elevated position above fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. These top down divisions (of you not being allowed to speak up, not allowed to have input, "can't be able" to know something, "can't be right" etc) are present in many aspects of life but regarding Christianity it can be many things: for example the other is a Christian for X amount of years and you are not, the other has followed a seminary and you haven't, the other has a title that you haven't, more wealth etc. This top down ranked hierarchy (which many churches and people hold) is a babylonian/ harlotry (influenced) hierarchical system. And this can take many forms in churches, it can be modest and strict of someone wanting to hold the reins, have the power and be in control. But it can also be a flashy show of someone who wants to be seen and be in the spotlight. Both place themselves above others in different ways, both want to be "on top", and both will not tolerate it if someone "below" them stands in the way of their (prideful) goals.

And you can find this system in many aspects in life and of the world (finance, education, jobs, family, etc and yes also churches). The case of placing oneself above others is rampant in the world and seems rather normal, accepted and sometimes even encouraged as it is present in most aspects of life. And these divisions come in many forms and are also present in the Christian world. Even to the point that the harlot now has a large and openly/ public influence on many churches and many believers for all to see and experience. Choking out the fire and faith of existing believers by putting them to sleep having them just go through the motions, traditions, routines and having the focus on the person on stage (and again this can have many forms with for example being modest, but it can also be flashy and showlike). And sadly this is also steering non-/ unbelievers away from finding Christ. If God is calling you (either as a believer or non-/ unbeliever) to leave and go out of those place(s) then go as He guides.

But as gatherings of believers and other things can be a part to your Christian life and walk with Christ, those things itself does not make someone a Christian. So what does make someone a Christian? What makes someone a follower of Christ who is saved from judgement of sin by God? Short answer: believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, believing in Him and HIS finished work. That Christ has taken all sin (past, present and future) upon Himself on the cross, has died and then rose on the third day. As God is not looking for perfect people, not looking for people who are all about their own self righteousness, their own deeds and their own works. God is looking for people who have an open heart and are willing to listen to, grow and walk with Him by faith, God looks for a heart that seeks Him. He is looking for people who can understand and acknowledge that they have sinned (and sin) against Him (English: Sin = "Chata" in hebrew, meaning: to miss the target/ to come short (to God's standard, to God's Holiness), a failure to love God & humans created in His image. He seeks hearts that are open to His corrections, to His training, to walk with Him.

Being a follower of Christ means you, as a sinner, have accepted His Gospel (greek: "Euangelion", meaning: good news). It means you accept and believe in Christ and His finished work which He completed for you, having said yes to Christ by inviting Him and the Holy Spirit inside you and your life. Believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and died the perfect death on your behalf, and in your place. Just as Christ gives you His righteousness to your accounts, so too did He take upon Himself your unrighteousness upon His. Because of this, if you believe and trust in it, you no longer have a sin debt, moving from death of the judgment to life in Christ. You are no longer condemned, but are pronounced innocent, not guilty, you are justified. Not because of anything you did, or can do on sunday, or any other day of the week throughout your life, but all thanks to the finished work of Christ.

After accepting and believing in Christ and His works, saying yes to Christ inviting Him in, you will develop and have a personal relationship with the Lord as He guides you and convicts your heart step by step going through life. This process of spiritual maturing, the process of God working in and on you, changing you, is often called 'sanctification'. A follower of Christ will experience a continuous tug of war in his/her life, mind and heart against his/hers own sin nature. With many victories and losses, that will continue on and on as long as you keep leaning into the Lord, allowing God to reveal more and more things for you to 'fight' against and 'overcome' (by/ through God), so you will grow closer to Him and develop your personal relationship with Him. And as a believer you will not be (or become) sinless in this body here on earth, but when you lean into God you will grow and mature as God works in and through you and your relationship with Him will increasingly become better.

Leaning into the Lord means for example reading and studying the Bible yourself, by praying over all things (good and bad things) and laying it all at Christ's feet (share with/give it all to Him) and have faith in Him (faith in the Lords works, not your own). By following Christ's example and not following your own flesh and the lusts of the flesh or this world. Having fellowship with fellow believers can also help you in your walk with Christ (finding good & incorrupt churches can be difficult in many places/ nations on earth so online fellowship and/ or house fellowships can be a blessing, but sometimes also hard to find depending on where you are, let the Lord guide you in this). These are examples of leaning in that will develop your walk and relationship with Him but this is NOT what saves. Believing in Christ and His finished work which He did for you is the starting point and is what saves you.

Christ said: "it is finished", that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. It is as simple as it is written, we all have sinned, we all come short to the glory of God, but Christ finished the work for each one of us to acknowledge, say yes to, accept and believe in. None of us is saved and justified by our own works but we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

The "Trinity"

Compare God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, often called the Trinity) to an apple: in an apple there is the seed, the flesh and the skin, all three are unique and distinctive but all three are part of the same one apple, the flesh of an apple is not the skin, and the skin is not the flesh, but both are the same apple, just as Christ is not the Father, and the Father is not Christ, as Christ was able to be present on the earth while the Father was in His Kingdom, yet they are one true living God. Not three seperate Gods, in a way you could call it three aspects or three manifestations of one, or three in a perfect union of one. KJV Genesis 1:26-27 "26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Note that God says in >our< image, after >our< likeness. This does not mean that there are multiple Gods since God is speaking in singular form ("And God said...", it's not: and the Gods said). God, being one, is manifesting himself in multiple aspects, and God in full, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, were all there before and from the beginning, a singular God (in three) being eternal.

Being created in His image does also NOT mean that we are gods or little gods and it does not imply that we physically look like God (sometimes God gets portrayed, and some may even believe, that God is like a larger version of 'gandalf the white' sitting on one of the literal cloud(s) that are above us). It simply means that like God we have a soul, body and spirit (like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and you are you, you are not three persons, there are not three apples, there are not three Gods. KJV John 10:26-30 "26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  30 I and my Father are one." Note how Christ is not saying that He is the Father, but is saying that He and the Father are one. And like we ALL are created in the image of God, you are one person with three distinctive aspects, just like there is one living God, One God in three aspects or, in God His case, three manifestations, whom are one. What people tend to stumble over is that God manifests Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit with an apparent hierarchy between them fulfilling different roles. Thinking that atleast the Father and Son are two seperate "beings" or Gods. But the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in perfect union in God, not in (or as) multiple Gods.

And we are not exactly the same as God, and our body, soul and spirit is not exactly the same as God or His manifestations, but it's an image of, a likeness of, a representation of a singular God who manifests Himself in three, but again, is one. This is also why any sin against a fellow human is a sin against God since we all are created in His image and all are a creation of God. So we must try to refrain from sinning and do need to care for each other and for the rest of Gods creation. And God does not need us to help, but He wants us to help and be involved, to share with us, to delegate to us the dominion over his creation. As the Father delegated to the Son, to Christ, so likewise will Christ delegate to Christians. God wants all people to be saved and justified and come to a knowledge of the truth, that is Christ and His finished work, to then walk with Him and be in the process of sanctification, to then possibly end up receiving glorification and obtain the inheritance through faithfulness in our walk with Him. 

The Gospel Explained

1

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He is not a creation of God, but is God made flesh that dwelt among us. If Christ was not who He was, then what He did made no difference. (John 1:1-14)

2

Jesus Christ did not just die, but rose from the dead on the third day. It is through the Resurrection that we have proof of the Father's acceptance of Christ's work. Without the Resurrection, we are of all men most miserable (I Cor 15)

3

We are condemned sinners legally (Romans 5) because of who we are in Adam, being dead in sin, (Ephesians 2:3) morally and because of what we are in our nature, and habitually (1 John 3:4) in what we do because of our behaviour.

4

Jesus Christ is perfect, holy, and sinless. He is perfect in his relation to the Father, morally in His nature, and was habitually perfect leading a spotless and sinless life. (Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:19; Luke 1:35)

5

Jesus Christ lived out His perfect and sinless life and died the perfect death, on your behalf to give to your account, and in your place. Just as Christ gives you His righteousness to your accounts, so too did He take upon Himself your unrighteousness upon His. Because of this, if you believe and trust in it, you are legally pronounced debt free, moving from the judgment of sin, which is death, to eternal life in Christ. You are no longer condemned, but are pronounced innocent, not guilty, and justified. (Zech 3:1-5; Isaiah 53:6)

6

When you accept and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ by faith and invite God and His Holy Spirit into you and your life, you are given something called the Holy Spirit in which the Lord indwells within you, allowing you to experience what it means to be “born again.” Because of this “born again” experience, you will reflect the life and love of Jesus Christ as He lives Himself out in you. (Galatians 3:1-7)

7

This does not mean you will be sinless in your life however. But as you are justified by the blood of Christ, you will start a lifelong (active/ leaning in) walk of faith with Christ, reflecting Jesus’ perfect life as you wrestle against your own imperfect one. This sanctification process during life is a tug of war, with many victories and losses, that will continue on and on, allowing God to reveal more and more things for you to repent and overcome (by/ through God), being in bootcamp training, receiving, undergoing and accepting corrections from God so you will grow closer to the Lord, have an increasingly better relationship with Him, being trained and prepared for future tasks, for future responsibilities in the future kingdom to come, becoming more spiritually mature until one day, God changes you from corrupt to incorrupt, from mortal to immortal, one day possibly obtaining the inheritance and receiving glorification. And when God takes you home, receiving you unto Himself, is when you will experience sinless perfection. And there you will await (in spirit) the day on which you will receive a new immortal body, together with those that are alive at that moment, who then will be changed from being mortal and receive an immortal body as well (this is the mystery Paul speaks of). (1 Corinthians 15, Galatians 5:17; Romans 7)

The Gospel Simplified

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to atone and save you from all your sin debt.
John 3:16 KJV - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose on the third day from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:".

What it means? It means your sin debt, past, present and future, has been paid! 
Romans 6:23 KJV - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".

Believe in Christ, in what He did for you, and invite Him and Gods Holy Spirit in your heart and life and you are saved and justified. It's simple:
Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast".

To be a good person means nothing regarding our sin debt. Why? Because we aren‘t saved and justified by our own works, but by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Praying

Praying itself does not save, it's the acceptance and faith/belief in Christ and His finished work that saves. Below is an example of what you could say and ask Him as a first time prayer. Praying does not have to be out loud, it can be private, it can be public, it can be quiet, it can be mumbled, and yes it can also be out loud. When you truly believe in Christ let the Holy Spirit inside you guide you in your prayers everyday, share your happiness with Him, humble yourself and praise Him for all He did for you (small, great, ''bad'' and good things), ask Him for help for whatever you need Him to help you with, but do pray for His will to be done, even if that means that some 'bad' things need to stay for a while. Prayers can be very short or you can pray for a long time pouring your heart all out to Him. Do as His Spirit leads and guides you to.

It does not have to be 1 prayer a day, or 3 prayers a day, and it does not have to be at a specific time, pray throughout all the day and especially when you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to do so. You have (maybe just now) a personal relationship with Christ, so feel free to communicate and express yourself to Him, anything you feel, experience, emotion, struggles etc you have, lay it at His feet. Some follow a rigid prayer they pray everyday the same thing over and over again. Having a standard prayer however is not bad itself but (as a non-native english speaker) I can't explain it better than it's not about simply repeating words or about speaking out some specific words itself, but it's about substance, it's a matter of the heart, it needs meaning behind it. For example it's not about 'repeat these words after me and then you are saved'. Also for example if I simply thank someone because I am supposed to say 'thank you' it means little or nothing, but when I truly want and mean to thank someone from my heart, saying 'thank you', now has substance to it. It's less about simply saying thanks but more about being thankful, same for praying as it is talking to God, being a matter of the heart, and not about saying some specific words in a specific order you "need" to say or else God wouldn't listen or anything like that. It's fine to have a set moment in the day and it's fine to have some sort of 'standard' prayer but do try to be open to God and express yourself to Him, it's part of your relationship with God, it's communicating with Him, it's not a legalistic checklist thing. And as it is a custom in some religions, as a believer in Christ you don't have to wait for a specific time to pray, you don't need to have someone else pray on your behalf, and you don't have to follow some exact wording. If you want to speak to Him, then go and speak to Him, and be open and honest to Him, He knows your heart. 

Example First Time Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You Christ, the Father and Holy Spirit to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Justification

Believing in Christ and His Gospel is what saves you, not water baptism, not working good deeds of your own, not being the most charitable person, not your own self-righteousness, not how many times you attended church, not how many times you have prayed, not how many times you went to a priest, not how few things need to be 'purged', not about how good or 'holier than thou' someone may seem to be, It's not about us, it's ALL about Christ and HIS >finished< work FOR US. And that is what you need to accept and believe in order to be saved and justified.

"Investing" in your relationship with God by leaning into Him is good and being faithful to God throughout your life will be rewarded, and it will improve you spiritually in a way to you will be more Christ-like with the fruits of the spirit: Galatians 5:22-23 "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." But all these things are not what saves and justifies someone. Believing in Christ and HIS finished work for us is what saves. Good works is what comes after you are "born-again", it is God working in and through you doing the good works which He lays before you to step into, as long as you keep leaning into Him and stay faithful in your walk with God, which is part of the sanctification process that comes after being saved and justified. 

Some people may add the word 'repentance' to (keep) being saved and justified. Repentance itself is not wrong, in fact it's right, we all must repent of our sins and turn to Christ. And throughout your life there will be sins and other things to repent on to God. But some imply that if you repent or confess (often bundled together) long or often enough that you will be saved, implying that you would have the power to save yourself by repenting and/ or confessing and would have the power to unsave yourself by sinning. Meaning that as a Christian you are only saved and justified as long as you repent or confess of every single sin you commit, so when you commit sin today you would have been 'unsaved' until you repented or confessed that sin, this would mean that you would need to 'maintain' your own justification. Which is wrong because as a believer in Christ you are sealed in Christ, you are saved thanks and through Christ, that is a free gift, not a reward of works.

Of course this does not mean that you shouldn't repent and confess sins to God after becoming a believer, because you should, and it is a good thing to do as it is part of leaning into God and is part of the sanctification/ grow work that the Holy Spirit is working out in you. So I am NOT saying that you shouldn't confess/ repent of sins after you are already saved, as it is important in your sanctification process, but the point is you do not have the power to repent/ confess your sins (the debt) away yourself, you cannot save and unsave yourself and cannot remove Christ's justification from yourself as some imply, neither can you pay or pray it away saying some exact words/ sentences, same for evangelizing in the sense of: "say these words/ prayer after me and then you are saved", is wrong and dangerous. Also repentance comes from the greek word: "Metanoia". It means a change in way of life, a change of heart or change of mind. It's a spiritual transformation/ change. In the case of coming to Christ, it means you accept and understand now that your sin seperates you from God, that as an non-/unbeliever you had a spiritual debt and death penalty, that there was a gap between you and God. But when you become a follower of Christ, by responding and asking Christ and the Holy Spirit to come inside you and your life, turning from non-/unbelief to believing, turning from sin to being accounted worthy through Christ by Christ's finished work is what saves and justifies you.

However, a follower of Christ does not have a license to sin, you must actively fight temptations and your sinful nature, but sadly you will sin. We all must try and fight but none of us is without sin, but eventhough we are not without sin, it does not mean we shouldn't try and fight it. You try, you fight and you will go into this tug of war, this race to run, and you keep getting back up and run the race again after falling and failing. If you fall a thousand times then you get back up a thousand times, but you have to keep running the race and this is the tug of war that will continue on and on. But with Gods help you can overcome and have more victories the longer and better you lean into God. So repenting of sins and confessing your sins to God and asking God for help with sins in your life, praying, worshipping, praising, thanking, reading yourself, studying, are all good things to do. But in Christ you can have confidence that by accepting/ repenting/ understanding/ turning from non-/unbelief to believing in Christ and HIS finished work for you, you are saved, justified and sealed, and that is the good news, that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you believe and trust in the blood of Christ? God's finished work? in God's mercy? in God's Grace? in God's forgiveness? that is what saves and makes you a follower of Christ. 

The other pages contain information on a believers Christian walk, about "end times" (the years before Christ His second coming as He will usher in His 1000 year Millennial Kingdom) that may be close and what will happen in those years before Christ returns (different positions exist on these subjects). You can use it all for your own walk with Christ, for your own studies, encouragement and getting together with fellow believers (in this case online).

God bless you all, and to all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ: Hold on to Christ, run and finish the race until the end, and one day it will all be over and we will be together in His kingdom, together with all our brothers and sisters from all over the world, together with our Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Last Updated: 23-11-2022
-Through Brenda Weltner I learned about Paul's teachings about Salvation having "3 tenses" (being justification, sanctification & glorification), Updated and expanded some Salvation parts and clarified some parts between being justified and being in the process of sanctification.