For many people, the crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans is just another tragic fact of history - a cruel travesty of justice, perhaps, but nothing more. But for Christians the death of Jesus has a much deeper and far-reaching significance. Jane Williams examines the reasons why Jesus' death was seen by his first followers as nothing less than the demonstration of God's love for his creation, and the means by which we all can find forgiveness and redemption, both now and in the world to come.
In a world where the "God hypothesis" is no longer necessary, today's Church may offer skeptical Seekers a Jesus Story that no longer connects with their lives. Nevertheless, their honest questions are to be valued and honored by the Church because they keep us honest and make us rethink the relevancy of our faith. Today's world is asking if there is any Reality to the Jesus about whom we speak, and if so, would he please stand up. It is my contention that faith in God does not depend upon proof of his existence as much as what that God's attitude is toward us. While the Good News proposed by Christian Faith is that God's attitude was definitively displayed in Jesus, I am suggesting that our Jesus Story must take the Apostle Paul's understanding of Reconciliation seriously. God, too, has to pay the price of Sin. He is part of the problem of our alienation and neither we, nor God, can escape its consequences. Therein lies the POWER, I believe, of the Jesus Story to hold the attention of today's Seeker. Jesus not only died for our sins, he died for God's Sin as well! Our Sin, was our disobedience. God's Sin was his Ignorance. It is Paul who, getting his message directly from the Risen Christ, sees this most clearly. Paul wants us to understand that God was in Christ's life and death reconciling the world to himself not just forgiving us. Unlike the Jesus Story told by today's Church, Paul sees God's Grace as much more amazing than mere payment for our peccadilloes.
A much-needed area for brand new converts is a practical workbook for follow up. This is the purpose of 'Connect with Jesus'. I have spent over 16 years as a full time itinerate evangelist. My heart broke over the lack of good material to give to each convert. These babies in Jesus need something special to help them get rooted in the faith. They need to understand what happened to them and what the Bible says about their conversion. These precious babies in Jesus must have something in their hands that will immediately get them into the Word of God. This workbook covers vitally important topics that every new believer must understand to grow in Christ. Understanding what true salvation is all about and what the Bible says about salvation. The importance of reading their Bibles, the importance of having a prayer life and how to develop that discipline, the importance of Church and personal evangelism are just a few topics covered in this important workbook. Churches that use this book as a new believers class are thrilled with their results.
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