Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Giving An Answer

Many times when streetfishing, I run into professing Christians. When I go to hand them the tract they'll say, "Oh, I'm already a Christian." "Great!" I reply. "If someone were to come up to you and ask you what it means to be born again, what would you tell them?" That's were it gets a little complicated. Originally, I asked this question to probe deeper into their profession of faith as there are more and more false gospels being taught. But I quickly found out that even solid believers stumble over this question. For a quick example of this, click here to listen to a recent conversation I had with a Christian bookstore clerk.


... The purpose of this "experiment" is not to make people doubt their salvation...



Before putting all of my friends and family to the test, I decided to write this article as an encouragement. The purpose of this "experiment" is not to make people doubt their salvation although it might be evidence of just that for some. I realize that catching someone off gaurd and asking them a question like this really puts them on the spot. Especially if I have a microphone stuck in the their face. My hope is that it serves as a refresher. In a world where the gospel is becoming increasingly watered down, we need to have a solid understanding of what the truth is.

What it boils down to is four basic questions: Who is God? Who are we? What are the consequences? And what is the answer for man?

Who is God? God is righteous, soveriegn, perfect and holy in everything that he does. He is the center of everything and the creator of everything and the very definition of goodness and perfection.

Who are we? Man was created in God's image and for His glory. Because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and the resulting curse, We have a sinful nature. We have offended God by breaking His laws in many ways in thought and deed.

What are the consequences? Because God is righteous and holy, His standard is absolute perfection. God is also eternal, and even the "smallest" of sins are of eternal significance to Him and eternally punishable. That is why Hell is a reasonable and just punishment for mankind. Because sin is such an offense to God, no amount of good works can undo my sinfulness.

What is the answer for man? Because God is so good, and knew that I would sin, for His glory, He provided a plan that was merciful and kind. This was the salvation He made possible by coming to the earth Himself; Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, living a perfect, sinless life so that He could be made the perfect sacrifice for my sins once and for all. Only God Himself could pay such a debt. By doing this, God has accounted or imputed to us His righteousness so that we can stand before Him and go to Heaven. It is the free unmerited gift of God; His grace.

We receive this gift through repentance and faith. By repenting, or turning from our sin and placing our trust in the Savior, we are forgiven not because we are now good, but because we are bad people who have been forgiven by God.
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Some of this was adapted from an explanation Todd Friel gave on Way Of The Master Radio

To listen to all of my audio witness encounters, go to streetfishing.blogspot.com

Robert

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