April 2014

We see in the first chapters of the Bible how Adam and Eve, the first human beings, lived in absolute harmony with their Creator. Already in Chapter 3 we see how mankind rebelled and turned away from God. Prior to the fall, mankind had a good life, without problems, because no sin separated them from God. Afterwards, humanity was full of problems and suffering. Why? Because there was no relationship between mankind and God anymore because of sin; there was a gap between them. A bridge was needed to overcome that gap.

Who is this bridge? Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago, God became man and left Heaven. HE himself, the Creator, was born into this world through Mary, a Jewess. HE lived on this earth for about 33 years, healed people, drove out demons, preached the truth and was nailed to a cross for our sins. Many people ask how God could let His Son die, and why HE didn’t help him.

The answer is simple. Jesus came to die for you. That was the purpose of his life on this earth. No-one could take his life; he could have called on the angels of God and they would have saved him, but he didn’t do it! If he had done so, then neither you nor I could have a relationship with God, or forgiveness of sin, nor could we enter Paradise after death, if Jesus hadn’t carried our sins to the Cross! Why is Jesus called God’s son, even though he himself is God? Because he became a human being, because he was born as a baby, which became a child and finally an adult. Jesus died for you!

Thank God there is good news: Jesus rose up after three days, that’s why we celebrate Easter. He appeared to different people; he spoke with his disciples and ate with them until he left after 40 days to return to Heaven. That’s why we celebrate Ascension. Ten days later, Jesus sent the promised Holy Spirit upon his disciples, that’s why we celebrate Pentecost. The pouring out of the Spirit of God empowers the followers of Jesus to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem and in the whole world, so that people who believe in it are saved from eternal perdition and hell and can spend eternity with HIM, just like the first humans before the Fall.

Maybe you are now asking yourself what you have to do to be saved from God’s judgment. In Acts 2:38 we read the answer: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus’s disciple, the apostle Peter, preached and the people asked: “What must we do to be saved?”

First: Repent! What does that mean? The word for repentance in Greek is metanoia. The word means: “I think differently, I change my thinking”. Up to now, you lived the way you wanted, because you were thinking like the rest of the world. You lied, cheated, stole, committed adultery etc. because the world does, too. Now you recognize that you are a sinner who needs salvation and you decide to repent. You start to live like the Bible says, like God wants you to. That means you decide to love all people, no matter who or how they are; you decide to forgive those who have injured you, you decide to wait for the man/woman whom God has prepared for you, and not just go to bed with anybody, etc. If you can’t do something, just ask God and He will give you the strength. How do people live? The way they think. So you change your thinking, which means you are a new creation. You ask God for forgiveness for all of your sins, for all sexual sins, all occult sins (going to a medium, etc.), idolatry, injustice, etc. and you receive God’s forgiveness. That means peace and joy. Does that mean that you won’t have any problems anymore? Of course not. But you have a strong helper standing next to you and He will see you through.

After you have repented of your sins and accepted God’s forgiveness, you get baptized in water. Jesus never baptized children; he only blessed them, because small children don’t know what faith is about!  When the priest baptized me, I had no idea what was happening and as a baby, I couldn’t believe in God. But when I placed my life into God’s hands as a grown-up woman, I wanted to get baptized, because it was my decision. Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creatures.” Whoever believes and gets baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe, will be damned. That’s the way it is! Baptism is a symbolic gesture. I go into the water with my old, dirty and rebellious nature; I die and come back out as a new creation. That has to do with the death, the grave and resurrection of Jesus.

When you have become a new creation by the forgiveness of sins, then the Holy Spirit, the third person of God, is in you. No-one can have the Holy Spirit in them if they have not accepted Jesus as their Redeemer. Sometimes people say: “God is in every person!” No, that’s a lie. God only lives in the people who have accepted Him through Jesus Christ. So when you accept Jesus as your Saviour, The Holy Spirit lives in you, but Jesus also wants to come over you with his Spirit and empower you, give you strength to lead a pure life and be a witness of Jesus. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he said to his disciples: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” How do you get baptized with the Holy Spirit? Ask God to baptize you and receive it in faith. If you know followers of Jesus, you can ask them to pray for you, perhaps with someone laying hands on you.

Now you have everything you need: forgiveness of sins, new life, the old has passed away and the power of the Holy Spirit so you can live a life as God wants you to. Satan will fight, he won’t give up so quickly, but you have a strong God in you, around you and beside you. He will see you through until you can stand face to face with Him. Amen.

Jesus’s grave is empty! He has risen and will soon return! Prepare yourself!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Amen. Jesus loves you!