Perhaps it was something the pastor said today. Or, maybe you’ve been ‘doing church’ for a long time and realize that now is the time to make a decision. Saying ‘yes’ to Jesus Christ is easy. It involves recognizing that Jesus is the Son of God, that He alone can forgive the sin that we were born with; the sin that separates us from a relationship with God. Following Jesus is a recognition that we can’t save ourselves; we can’t fix the wrong, broken and hurt in our lives. When we say ‘yes’ we agree to turn from those things which weigh us down and we agree to turn toward the face of Jesus. We allow him to carry the heavy and hard. We allow him to celebrate the joy. We give ourselves to him.
For some, this moment of deciding comes at the end of a period of wrestling with God. For others, it seems logical and sudden. Some experience an overwhelming peace while others wonder if anything happened at all. The spirit of Jesus meets us each, individually. Your decision to follow Jesus is real. And, whether instantaneously or over time, you will sense God’s faithfulness and know your trust in him is very real.
Be Together in Community
We believe the Christian faith is best lived out in community. With others. Yes, it’s not perfect but God uses us in each other’s lives to encourage, strengthen and remind one another of his goodness to us. So, we invite you to tell someone about your decision! We’ve got a team of leaders at University Presbyterian Church who would love to talk with you. They can answer questions or just hear your story. You decide. They are available and very happy to meet with YOU!
We invite you to join a worshiping community. Since we are all online right now, you can worship with us from anywhere in the world! (Worship with us here).
Read to Learn More About God
You can continue to deepen your understanding of Jesus and God’s plan for his creation by reading the Bible. Don’t have one? We’d love to send you a copy or you can find an online version here.
The Bible is a collection of writings arranged in two halves. The first half is called the “Old Testament” - (Testament means covenant or promise). God promises to be in relationship with the people of Israel (Hebrews). The Old Testament includes the story of Creation, Moses, the 10 Commandments and the stories of God’s plan to use the Hebrew people to restore the world to himself. It’s full of adventure, wars, redemption and ultimately it reminds us that our fallen human nature is self-sufficient, rebellious, and we are slow to respond to God. Throughout the old Testament, God provides second chances, he uses broken people and he demonstrates his love for his creation.
The New Testament is the second half, it’s the story of God’s son, Jesus, who lived among the Jewish people. During his short life (33 years) he worked as a carpenter, studied the Scriptures and at age 30 he began his ministry among his community.
Many couldn’t believe that the Jesus they knew was the expected Messiah (Savior). But, in the three years following, he performed miracles, taught from the Scriptures and revealed that indeed he was God’s son. Of course, the story isn’t neat and tidy - the overly zealous religious leaders saw Jesus as a religious rule breaker; as a blasphemer. A threat. They used every means possible to end his ministry and end his life. We know this as the crucifixion. The day when Jesus was wrongfully put to death on a cross. It was a sorrowful and shameful day (only those most horrible criminals were executed in this manner). Again, Jesus turned a moment of sorrow into a moment of joy as he demonstrated power over death. After three days, he rose from the dead! Yes, it’s hard to imagine but on the grand scheme, it’s a reminder that God has ultimate power over life and death. And, death could not have the final say. It does not have the final say.
Looking Toward Eternity
As a Christian, we are confident that in Jesus Christ, we are offered eternal life. When our earthly life is over, we understand that God will welcome us into eternity with him and with those who also believe. Our broken bodies, our broken hearts, our past…all of our hang-ups will be made new. We will be made whole. And the best part about this We don’t have to do anything except for say ‘yes’. There are no prerequisites. There is nothing we need to do to prove that we are ready for God. He is ready and waiting for us to say yes!I WANT TO SAY "YES" TO JESUS
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The Story of Christianity
(adapted from The Big Story, by James Choung)
The Christian story is simple even as its history is complex.
We believe God created the world as a good beautiful place, all under his leadership and the source of its life. (Gen 1:31).
God designed the world to take care of us and we were designed to flourish in it even as we took care of it. As a part of creation, God made human beings in his image and gave them to one another, to love and serve each other. We also were created to be in close relationship and fellowship with God, with no barriers to our interactions with him. (Gen 1:26-28).
Unlike the other elements of creation, God created humanity with the ability to make choices, moral choices about how we would live and what we would believe.
At a critical moment in human history, human beings turned away from following God. We rejected God’s leadership, took charge of our own decisions. We broke our relationship with God and went our own way.
As a result, we were left to ourselves and, walking away for the source of life entered a world where death reigned. (Isaiah 52:6; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23). The impact of that choice was immense. Separating from God corrupted humanity and meant that death became a reality for all. We see the evidence of that corruption all around us.
Turning away from God open the floodgate for evil to pour into our world and damage all of God’s creation.• We use the world and the people in it destructively, for our own benefit. We see it in sex trafficking, injustice, oppression, wars, genocide, etc.
•We use one another, putting ourselves first, not willing to give ourselves in genuine service to one another. We see it in how we objectify others, seek our own advantage, allow people to starve, in conflicts, abuse, broken relationships, etc. (Galatians 5:19-20)
• We damage ourselves and our relationship to God, refusing his leadership and distanced from him. (Rom 1:21-22)
• None of us is exempt. We all participate in the problem, all suffering from the same fate. (Romans 3:23). And none of our best efforts can resolve the problem.
• The Bible teaches that God will not tolerate such evil and that there will be a day when he will judge the human race and set everything right (Acts 17:31).
• He identified with us, becoming one of us, living among us in a damaged world, not insulated from the pain of the world but fully engaged and identified with it without becoming damaged himself or contributing to the damage. (Philippians 2:6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
• He owned the judgement we deserve for the corruption of the world and the corruption in our hearts (Philippians 2:8; Romans 3:25-26)
• He overcame death, triumphing over evil, raised from the dead, unleashing the power to restore us and our world.
But even as God will judge the world, he also loves his creation and could not leave it to self-destruct. He produced a solution to what for us was an unsolvable problem. He came to us as Jesus, God’s only son, given as a sacrifice to bear the burden for the world’s sin.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16
James Choung describes what Jesus did for us in this way:
Jesus did three things:
Jesus brings us healing, peace, and life itself. (John 14:27; John 10:10; I John 5:11-13)
When we decide to accept his invitation to believe (John 5:24) and to follow him (Mark 2:14), we become his disciples, now committed to following him as Lord of our lives (Mark 8:34-38).
As we follow him, he brings healing to the damage in the world between:
Us and God: Jesus restores our relationship to God. He gives us the gift of new life, freely given to us out of his love for us (Ephesians 2:1-9). By following Jesus, we walk back into a living relationship with God (Romans 5:10-11)
One another: Jesus has the power to restore our relationships to one another. As we follow, we learn to serve, love and forgive one another (Philippians 2:3-4; I John 4:10-11).
Us and the world: Jesus invites us to follow him into this world to expose corruption, bring justice, and love joyfully. (Micah 6:8; Luke 4:18-19; Ephesians 2:10).
We follow him by:
Identifying with Jesus’ work by believing his death and resurrection broke the cycle of corruption in us and the world. (John 3:17-18; Galatians 2:20-21; Romans 10:9).
Owning our individual responsibility for the damage in the world, acknowledging our sin and receiving his forgiveness (I John 1:9; Acts 10:43).
Overcoming personal brokenness and brokenness in the world through the power given us by Jesus through the giving of his Spirit (Acts 1:8). He invites into community with him and with his other followers so we might live lives of faith and hope (Matthew 5:14-16).