THE GOOD NEWS
At Oak Grove, you will hear the word “gospel” repeatedly. That’s because it is central to all we are and do. But what is the gospel? Simply put, it's the good news. That's literally what the word “gospel” means: good news. Why is it good news? Well, to understand that, you have to understand the bad news. And the bad news is that we are all sinners. You see, when God created humans, He created us in His image, free from sin and death, and in perfect relationship with Him. But when the first man, Adam, disobeyed God, sin disrupted God’s good creation and death invaded human history (Rom. 5:12). Sin, however, didn’t stop with the first humans. With sin marring the very nature of humanity, all are born sinners (Rom. 3:23). And the unfortunate reality of our sin is that it cuts us off from relationship with God, makes us guilty before God, and condemns us to an eternity in hell.
That's why the gospel is good news. It's the good news that God came to rescue us! God the Son took on human flesh; and being fully God and fully man, He lived a life we could never live (one of perfect righteousness), then bore our sin and took the judgment that was due us by dying on the cross, and three days later rose again victorious over sin and death. Now, by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone, all who believe are forgiven and set free from sin, given life abundant and eternal, and made righteous sons and daughters of God (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9).
That, in short, is the gospel. It is the good news that God is reconciling the whole world back to Himself through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
RESPONDING TO THE GOOD NEWS
How should you respond to the news? First, you must recognize your accountability to your Creator (Heb. 4:13). Like all human beings, you are a sinner who falls short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), are under the sentence of death (Rom. 6:23), and after death you will face judgment (Heb. 9:27). You must also realize that there is nothing you can do to rescue yourself from this judgment. Many people mistakenly believe that they can earn God’s favor by living good lives. Others believe they can earn it through religious activity (going to church, baptism, keeping “religious rules”). But the truth is, there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn salvation.
However, what is impossible with man, is possible with God (Matt. 19:26); and through Christ, God has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves. All one must do is believe. Believing in Jesus, however, is more than merely acknowledging the fact of Jesus’ existence or the truthfulness of his claims. Believing in Jesus is trusting in him completely; and trusting Him involves turning (repentance) – turning from sin and self-righteousness and turning to Jesus as Savior and Lord.
If you have not given your life to Jesus, turn to Him, trust Him, and ask Him to save you. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13). This is the promise of God.
Once you've given your life to Christ, we want to encourage you to take the following steps.
STEP 1: FOLLOW IN BELIEVERS BAPTISM
Baptism is the first step of obedience that Jesus requires of His followers after putting their faith in Him, as it displays the gospel and gives us an opportunity to publicly profess our faith. In the act of baptism, we unite by faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord.
If you would like to schedule a time to be baptized, please contact the church office.
STEP 2: GET CONNECTED TO A LOCAL CHURCH
The Christian life is not meant to be an isolated experience for individual Christians. Rather, the Bible teaches that the Christian life is to be lived together as the church—a local body of believers in covenant community. One in which there is mutual care, service, accountability, and spiritual growth.
For information about how to become a member of Oak Grove, click HERE.