THE NEIGHBORHOOD 17
Cyrus: So isn’t God mad at me for all the wrong things I have done?
George: Not at all Cyrus, he rather loves and isn’t counting your sins against you. Listen to this:
2 Corinthians 5:19
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
God is no longer counting people’s sins including your sins against you. And do you know why? It’s because Jesus already paid for all your sins.
Cyrus: Wow, this is hard to understand. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me this before? I’ve always thought that God was mad at me so when I saw the inscription on the card, I didn’t think it applied to me.
George: It does apply to you, Cyrus. God loves you no matter what. So you can receive Jesus Christ right now and become a child of God.
Cyrus: Okay, that means that after accepting Christ, I have to stop doing every bad thing right?
George: Haha! That’s not the point Cyrus. Once you receive Christ, you will receive a new life and nature. Gradually as you give yourself to the gospel, there will be a transformation. You wouldn’t like to do certain things anymore and you will begin acting in the right way effortlessly.
Cyrus: I see.
George: Are you ready to receive Christ now?
Cyrus: Yes, I am.
George: Do you believe that Jesus died for you and arose for your justification?
George: Great. Then give expression to your belief by declaring this; “Lord Jesus, I believe that you died for my sins and arose for my justification. I receive you into my heart today. I declare that you are Lord, thanks for accepting me just as I am. Glory to your name forever. Amen.”
Cyrus repeated after him.
George: Now you are born again as John 1:12-13 says. Listen to it:
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
George: You are now a new creature in Christ. All your sins have been forgiven and you have become new in Christ. So now you need to know about who you are in Christ so that you can walk in it.
Cyrus: Oh okay. I thought when you become a Christian, you don’t have to sin again and you can’t look nice or have fun.
George: No, that’s not it. Even after you have accepted Christ, you will still sin here and there because of your unrenewed mind. But when you do, don’t think that you are no longer saved. You are still saved. You are born again but your mind hasn’t been renewed so it’s possible to still do the old things you used to do. However, don’t let it make you think God is now angry at you. Don’t let that stop you from coming here to study the word more. The more you give yourself to knowing the gospel, your life will be transformed. The change in your spirit will begin to affect your thoughts and actions.
George: Also, God is not against looking nice and being excited. You can be a Christian and dress nicely and be happy. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you should look anyhow and be moody all the time. As we sit here, aren’t we looking good? And do we look sad?
Cyrus: Not at all. Actually, I thought that was how Christianity is. That’s why the guys in the neighborhood don’t go to church anymore. They always complained about our outfit and behavior. It’s worrisome so we stopped going to church.
George: I can imagine. Christianity isn’t about do’s and don’ts as you may have heard. It’s about the good news of what Jesus accomplished for us as I just explained to us all. When we receive Christ, he works in us to produce good works.
Listen to this;
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
George: So you see, living right is the result of receiving the life of God. So our focus is on Christ and not on how to change our behavior. This is because without Christ, we can never behave in a way acceptable to God. We dont have the capacity to do so. We can only trust in Christ to produce good works through us.
In our next meeting, we will talk more about it. Our time is up, let’s pray and meet next week…
To be continued…
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