This series is based off of Jay Oliver’s Ignite booklet for first time believers.
Have you ever heard someone refer to The Word when speaking about God or Christianity in some way? The Word is actually the Bible and it’s truth spoken from God. The Bible is broken up into 66 different books written by multiple different authors. 39 of these books are in what is called the Old Testament, which tell of the old Laws and prophets before the coming of the Savior. The New Testament is comprised of the remaining 27 books written during and after Christ’s time. Within each book is a chapter, and each book can have a different number of chapters. In each chapter there are what are called verses. These verses are lines of the words God spoke or spoke into people.
Typically when quoting a verse or passage the order goes as such:
[book of the Bible] [chapter number]:[verse number]
Ex. John 3:16
These verses offer encouragement, wisdom, strength, power and so much more. There are even a few Bible verses to help us comprehend what the Bible was created to be and what we are supposed to do with it.
“For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1
The church can be an intimidating setting. There are all kinds of churches and finding one that fits you can be a tricky task.
The word “church” comes from the Greek word “Kuriakos” which means “belonging to the Lord”. Another name, used in the New Testament, is “Ekklesia”, which means “a called-out assembly”.
The church is a group of people who have been born again by the Spirit of God, who are separated from the ideals of the World, and who meet together as a group of believers fulfilling the mission God gives them.
Ephesians tells us that we are the church, we are the temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells.
“Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made a part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20-22
Jesus is the founder and head of all churches (Matthew 16:18 “upon you I will build my church” and Ephesians 5:23 “just as Christ is the head of the Church”)
Being a part of the local church is very important as your growth as a believer because you are surrounded by other believers who can help support you in your walk with Christ.
Salvation is a big fancy church word that means to be saved from sin and its consequences. In the Christian faith, our salvation comes from the belief that Jesus Christ died on the cross and defeated death. John 3 sums it up pretty well.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
Jesus is God’s Son and through that son, we have to opportunity to have eternal life in Heaven. God loved you and all of mankind so much that He allowed His son to die on the cross so that all of you and mankind can be saved.
However, this salvation isn’t just given to us, we must first accept it.
“He came to his own people and even they rejected him. But to all that believed in him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn- not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John 1:12-13
If we accept Jesus as our Savior, then we are awarded the blessing of being his children and being born again.
There are some other great verses written by the author John, who was one of Jesus’ closest disciples, that focus on the assurance of salvation.
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” John 5:24
“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life, whoever does not have the Son does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12
Jesus says that in a believer prays to God in his name that we will receive and we will have an abundance of joy. The word prayer means to ask; it is simply us talking to God. Prayer is such an important part of our faith because it is the part that connects us with God in such an intimate way. There is nothing that He does not hear and nothing that we cannot tell Him as his sons and daughters.
Jesus even commanded us to pray. By praying we are keeping His commandments and showing Him that we want to love and serve Him. Even Jesus when he was on Earth would spend momentous time in prayer, talking and growing close to His Father.
“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted!” John 15:7
This verse shows us the importance of knowing His Word because when we do this, we know what God has to say about things that we encounter in our every day. God even says that he wants us to pray as though we believe that He will provide as we have asked, because he has already promised to do so.
The moment you ask (pray to) Jesus Christ to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins, the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, comfort you, and guide you. So spending time in prayer encourages the strength of the Holy Spirit in you and leads you to grow in your faith.
Another verse in John sums up what Jesus assures us about provision through the power of prayer.
“Ask, using my name, and you will receive and you will have abundant joy.” John 16:24