The Good news

Our mission at Compass is to invite everyone to find and follow Jesus. Like a compass always points north, we want to point to Christ.
Jesus wants to meet our deepest needs by offering us real satisfaction, guidance, freedom, protection, provision, truth, power and a fresh start in life!

Originally, God created us with those needs fully met as we enjoyed a perfect relationship with God and others. But God’s design was broken by our choice to sin. Since sin entered the world, everything has been broken, including our relationship with God, each other, and even creation.

Instinctively, we all realize something’s not right, so people have come up with all sorts of ways to try to reach God. Most people think, “As long as I’m sincere and my good deeds outweigh my bad ones, I will be ok.” But is that really true? If it was, how good is good enough?

In the Bible, we see that God has a standard for what a “good” person looks like. Let’s look at a few questions based on 5 of 10 commandments and see how we both do.

The Good Person Test (Answer Yes or No)
Have you ever told a lie? Yes or No
Have you ever stolen anything, no matter how small? Yes or No
Have you ever disobeyed or disrespected your parents? Yes or No
Have you ever looked at someone with lustful thoughts? Yes or No
Have you ever given something a more important position than God in your life? Yes or No

If you even broke just one of the commands listed, you have failed the test. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Life is a pass/fail test, either you get 100% or 0%.  All of our "good deeds,” even going to church, giving to charity or reading our Bibles can never make up for the fact that we've broken God's commands.

If I had a glass of water and put one drop of poison in it, would you want to drink it? No. God is completely holy and can’t allow even a little bit of sin into His presence. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
 
Based on this, if God judged you by his standard, would you be...  Innocent or Guilty?
If you got what you deserved, would go to... Heaven or Hell? Does that concern you? 
 
The Solution
Some people picture God at the top of a mountain and the different religions as different paths to God. But the reality is that there is no way for us to make it up the mountain on our own; so, Jesus came down the mountain to carry us up Himself! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus was fully God and fully human, and the only one to never sin. Because he was perfect, he was able to trade his perfect record with our sinful ones. He was perfect so we don’t have to be, then he died for our sins so that we don’t have to!

Imagine you are guilty of a serious crime. The judge says, "Pay a fine of 5 million dollars or go to prison." As they begin to walk you out of the courtroom someone runs up to the judge and says, "I'll pay the fine." Since fine has been paid, the law no longer has any hold on you. You are free because that person gave you that gift! That is what Jesus did for you by dying on the cross.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”  The penalty for our sin is death, but Christ’s death paid our debt. Three days later, Jesus came back to life and defeated death itself.

We are not saved by anything we do, but only by what Jesus has done. Ephesians 2:8–9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” . Salvation is free, like a gift at Christmas; all we have to do is open it.

It’s not enough to just understand this intellectually; we must choose to accept it. I can look at a chair and believe that it can hold me up, but
it’s not until I actually sit in it and put my weight on it that I benefit from it.

We must decide to turn away from our sinful, self-centered life and surrender our entire lives to Jesus. Most people think of life like a pie chart with slices for school or work, friends, family, fun and one for God. But God doesn’t just want a slice of your life; he wants to be involved with every part of it. Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Receiving Jesus as Lord means inviting Him into every part of your life.
This illustration shows two types of lives. The left circle has self on the throne and Jesus outside your life. The right circle has Jesus on the throne and the self yielding to what he wants. Which of these circles best represents your life currently? Which would you like to represent your life?
The following is a sample prayer (the words don’t matter as much as the heart behind it). Let’s read it together and see if you are ready to say this to Jesus. “Dear Jesus, I’m sorry for my sin against you. I want to turn from those sins. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins and rising from the dead. Please come into my life and be my Lord. I want to follow you from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? Would you like to pray it right now? If so, pray it out loud to God now.

If you have really been “born again”, you can expect to see some of the following changes:
You will start feeling convicted about some sinful things you used to enjoy, you will desire to confess them and God will start giving you power to say no to temptation. (John 16:13, Rom 8, 1 John 1:7-9).
You will develop a love for God and a desire to connect with other believers (1 John 2:9-11, 3:14, 4:7-21).
You will grow in your desire to understand and obey the Bible (1 John 2:4-6, 1 John 5:3-4).
You will grow in love, joy, peace and confidence in your salvation (Gal 5:22-23, Matt 7:20, 1 John 5:11-13).

After being saved, Jesus asks his followers to publicly identify with him through baptism, connect with other believers in a church, and play their part in the mission. The church is like a body; a hand without a body can’t survive, and a believer can’t grow alone. The best way to grow is to plug in to a good church, start learning the Bible any way you can, and find a way to invite others to find and follow Jesus, too. What is your next step based on what we’ve talked about today?