March 2010 - Teaching material for a 4-week intro/refresher course on Christianity for new believers. Material takes about 1-2 hours to cover.
1 - Who was Jesus and why did he have to die?
2 - What is the church and how do I grow?
3 - Who am I and how do I fit into God's Kingdom?
4 - Where do I go from here?
Who was Jesus? (Christology: the Hypo-static union)
A. Fully Man – Historical teacher in Israel (~4BC-30AD), born of virgin Mary, preached “The Kingdom”
1. (Human Origin, Matt. 1:1-16 | Needs, John 4:6 | Emotions, John 11:13 | Trials Matt. 4:1-11 | Death)
B. Fully God – Son of God, claimed to be God, third part of the Trinity, present at creation of the world
1. (Declared God, John 1:1 | Recognized as God, Matthew 14:33 | Claimed to be God, John 8:58 | God Attributes, Mark 3:10 | Works of God, Matt. 9:2 | Treated as God + accepts it, Matt. 14:33 | Names + Titles of God, Matthew 1:22)
Why did Jesus have to die?/How does Jesus save? (substitutionary atonement)
A. The Problem – we've all sinned
1. Romans 3:23 - For all of sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
2. Romans 6:23 – The wages of sin is death.
a. What exactly is sin? “Failure to hit the target” (Greek: hamartia)
3. Since God is 100% Just, those sins must be paid for...but we cannot pay the debt
B. The Solution – Jesus on the cross
1. Since God is 100% Merciful/loving, he sent a gift of salvation through his son Jesus
a. Jesus was sinless/innocent (fully God) and took our place/to pay our debt (fully man)
b. Hebrews 2:14-18 - Our sins were paid for through Christ's sacrifice on the cross
- Jumping out in front of a bus to save a wayward child
- Taking the place of a convicted criminal on death row
C. The Result – We must respond
1. God acted first by reaching out to us and offering salvation from our sins
a. Romans 3:20 - We must acknowledge that we are sinners who cannot save ourselves
b. Romans 5:8 - Accept Christ's sacrifice in our place and accept him as our savior
c. Ephesians 5:1-2 (Romans 12:1) - Accept him as Lord out of overwhelming gratefulness
- Moses & the Bronze serpent (Numbers 21:9)
- Star Wars: Chewbacca's life debt to Han Solo, or Jar-Jar's life debt to Qui-Gon
A. Salvation (potentially for anyone present)
1. John 3:16 - Salvation comes through Faith alone that Jesus died on the cross for your sins
1. Romans 6:4 - We identify with Christ's death (death to sin) and resurrection (birth of a new creation)
C. Communion/Lord's Supper (Eucharist)
1. 1 Cor. 11:23-32 - An act to remember Christ's body broken for us & Christ's blood spilled for us
a. Each time the bread & cup is taken, we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again