Salvation does not depend on what you do for God, but on what God does for you through Jesus Christ. It begins with the stunning, mind blowing realization that God loves you just the way you are—not the way you are supposed to be! God already knows who you really are, deep down inside. He knows your deepest, darkest secrets. He knows everything you have ever done. He knows and he still loves you! He will do anything to win you back, including dying on a cross.
We boldly confess that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). That is, because Jesus lived and died and rose gain, you are forgiven and your relationship with God is restored. You can't earn forgiveness. You don't deserve it. It is pure gift. And you don't have to wait until you die—you can receive an abundant life now (John 10:10)!
"After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 'The time has come,' he said. 'The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!'" (Mark 1:14-15)
"As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:14-15)
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)
The heart of our faith is Jesus—who he is and what he has done. Jesus is not a mere man. He is God in the flesh (Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1-2; John 14:7-10). We can't move up to God, so God comes down to us to save us from our sin (Matthew 1:21). God's love is so great that he sent Jesus so that whoever believes in him is given the gift of everlasting life (John 3:16-17).
So what did we do? We rejected him! Jesus was betrayed, suffered, and died on the cross between two criminals. What happened to Jesus happened to God. God himself was crucified.
But that was not the end of the story! After three days Jesus rose physically from the dead (Luke 24:44-47).
God's Love: Jesus
Now we know that God created us in love to be in relationship with Him and with one another. But we rebel and keep running away from God. Our relationships with God and with one another are broken. We can't fix it! But God can and does. In fact, the Bible is the story of God pursuing us to restore our relationship with him!