This is lesson one in a 12 lesson Bible introduction course for new believers. This discipleship material covers the foundations of the Christian faith including Jesus, the Bible, God’s Word, God, Assurances, and what God expects of believers after they come to Christ. This study can be used to teach new believers, to brush up on your Bible basics, or to study on your own. The end of each subsequent lesson contains a list of questions and Bible references for further study on the topic of that lesson as well as a suggested memory verse. For more lessons in the series, see the links at the bottom of this page. All lessons can be printed, shared, copied, or distributed.
Bible Introduction Course – Lesson One – The Gospel
Man is separated from God. Originally, man and God had fellowship with each other. God and Adam walked together in the Garden of Eden. Then Adam and Eve both sinned and were separated from God’s presence. The Bible teaches in the first three chapters of Romans that all men, whether born in a non-Christian family or Christian family, have sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
(Romans 3:23 NIV).
Man desperately tries to build his own bridges across to heaven. The most common way that man tries to get to heaven is through his own good works. But even our good deeds are as dirty rags in the sight of a Holy God (Isaiah 64:6).
Other men try through ethics or good morals to reach God. But generally man does not live up to his own standard of values, much less God’s standard of righteousness. Man is not able to keep the “Ten Commandments” which are only the elementary laws of God. The problem lies in man’s deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9).
Nor is education the answer. Knowledge increases our feelings of guilt. God does not excuse our sin merely because we have been taught the truth. “For it is not the hearers of the law who are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified” (Romans 2:13 NIV).
“But surely religion will save us,” some will say. No, not even religion will bring us back into fellowship with the Living God. Religion is good; it offers good advice. Religion tells us what we should do and should not do. But religion whether Buddhism, Daoism, Hindu,Islam, Jewish, Catholic or Protestant cannot forgive our sins and save our souls. Only God can do that. Sinful man does not need more religion. He needs a Savior.
Not only have all men sinned, but the result of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 NIV). Man was not created to die but to live in fellowship with God. Yet because of Adam’s sin, man inherits death.
And that is not all. The Bible tells us ”…it is appointed for men to die, once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NIV).Judgment is certain…it is inevitable. Every person is judged by the Almighty God, and those whose sins are not forgiven are sent to hell, a place that was originally prepared for Satan and his demons (Matthew 25:41).
It is a terrible picture. Man cannot bridge the gap to heaven. Left to his own devices, man is helpless. Man is cut off from God and condemned by his own sins. Sin… death… judgment… hell. Man’s condition is hopeless (Ephesians 2:12).
In this picture, however, we see that God in His great love provided a way of deliverance. God had a wonderful plan designed before the world began to bring sons and daughters back to live with Him forever. Only one man could bridge the gap that separated man from God. That man must belong both to man and to God. If he is not man he cannot represent us; if he is not God, he cannot save us.
So God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be born as a man. Jesus is the Son of Man born of Mary, and the Son of God conceived through the Holy Spirit. He is not part man and part God, but 100% man and 100% God. In theology He is called “Very God” and “Very Man.” There is but one qualified to become our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This man Jesus did many wonderful miracles, but we are not saved by the miracles of Jesus. He taught many beautiful lessons, but we are not saved by following the ethical teachings of Jesus. He healed many people from their sickness, but the healing of the body does not guarantee the healing of the soul. The fact is that we are not saved through all those marvelous things that Jesus did in His life. The life of Jesus demonstrated that He was the Son of God; but more is necessary for my salvation.
Jesus Christ had to die on the cross for my sins. Oh, the wonder of it all! Jesus died for me, and for you. The cross of Christ is the bridge from death to eternal life.
Yet Christ not only died to pay for my sins, He arose from the grave that I might be made righteous (Romans 4:25) and might live forever as a child of God. This is the Good News, “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1Corinthians 15:3,4 NIV).
Jesus died to save men, yet all men are not saved. Why? There is only one reason why men are not saved. That reason is unbelief. “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18 NIV) How can you be saved?
Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John5:24 NIV)
Since you have already heard Jesus’ words, you must only believe in order to possess eternal life.
Believe what? Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose again from the dead. Believe He is truly the Son of God, and accept Him as your personal Savior. When you do so, you have everlasting life. You will not be judged by God in the future or sent to hell, because all your past, present and future sins have been forgiven by God and covered by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. You have indeed already passed from death to life.
Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation3:20 NIV). Jesus knocks at the door of your heart. To believe is to “open the door” and invite Jesus in. Now that you have heard the Gospel, you need to answer several specific questions:
1. Do you understand this?
If you don’t understand the basic facts of the gospel, you have no basis for faith. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17NIV) If you do understand this presentation, then…
2. Are you willing to believe right now?
Salvation is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross. There is no other way! Do you believe that Jesus is the only way for you to have your sins forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life?
3. Will you pray aloud and ask Christ to come into your heart?
“Forwhoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13NIV). To be saved:
-You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.
-You must believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.
-You must open your heart to Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.
Pray in your own words something like this: Dear Father in heaven, I acknowledge that I am a guilty sinner and deserve Your judgment. But I believe that You loved me and sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins. I repent of my sins and pray that Jesus will come into my heart, forgive my sins, give me eternal life, and be the Lord of my life. Amen.
Memory Verse: Promise of Salvation
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
How to Memorize a Verse
Read the verse several times to get the meaning.
Start with the topic and reference; Assurance of Salvation, John5:24, and say it several times with the first phrase of the verse.
Then when you can say that by heart, add the next phrase, and say the topic and reference together with both phrases.
Continue phrase by phrase until you can say the entire verse from memory.
Then each time you review the verse, state the topic, the reference, the verse, and the reference again at the end.
By repeating the reference before and after the verse, it helps you remember the location of it in the Bible.
The key to successful Scripture memory is daily review. Review the verse every day until it becomes part of you. Carry cards with you so that they are
handy for use during your spare time. Scripture memory can become a lifetime habit that will give you blessing and strength as you learn to apply the verses to your life.