On Wednesday nights our teens are developing a strong foundation of our faith based on 7 truths: Jesus is Lord, God is 3 in one, Jesus died and rose again, He saved us from our sin, The Holy Spirit is in us, We are the body of Christ, and We have eternal life with God. We’ve discussed the first 4 and had some great conversation. I encourage you to ask one of our teens about it. You can also look at one of the “We Believe” posters. We’ve become more confident in our faith as we’ve explored these foundations and have seen how it leads us to share our faith, give us peace, and help guide us in the choices and actions we make every day. This week we learned about the incredible forgiveness for sins we receive through faith and confession from Jesus’ sacrifice. Our memory verse comes from Ephesians 1:7 where we learn that we have redemption through the blood of Jesus and forgiveness of sins. We discovered that Jesus gave His life willingly and his blood served as the seal on the covenant promise God made with His people to forgive us of our sins (See Matthew 26:28). We also read through Romans 5:1-11 and explored all the incredible benefits we receive when we allow Jesus’ blood to cleanse our sins. Having confidence in these benefits gives us peace and makes it clear we need to share the Gospel with others. We finally looked at 1 John 1:9 and the convicting message that we need to confess our sins to God and be confident that we have received His forgiveness. Read Romans 5:1-11; what benefits are you most thankful for? Who in your life can you confess your sins to?
Our teens have already gotten down the 7 faith foundations we’ve been working on the last 3 weeks. We’re developing a strong foundation of our faith based on these 7 truths: Jesus is Lord, God is 3 in one, Jesus died and rose again, He saved us from our sin, The Holy Spirit is in us, We are the body of Christ, and We have eternal life with God. I encourage you to ask one of our teens about it. You can also look at one of the “We Believe” posters. As we explore these 7 truths it will lead us to be more confident in our faith which will lead us to being able to share our faith, give us peace, and help guide us in the choices and actions we make every day. This week we learned about the power behind Jesus’ death and resurrection. Our memory verse comes from Mark 16:6 where two women meet an Angel at Jesus’ tomb and hear that “God has raised Him to life, and He isn’t here”. Naturally, the women are shaken and terrified. I then challenged the teens with why this matters and we took time to explore 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 where we find out that Jesus defeated death! Not only did Jesus defeat death but He brings US victory through His death. We explored further in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 to find a promise from God that Jesus will come again and all who believe will join Jesus in heaven! What an incredible truth to base our faith upon! If we are confident of this truth then we NEED to share it with everyone! Just think about the incredible peace this brings us to know we don’t have to fear death. Finally, how should our life be different now that we don’t have to live for our own survival?
Did you ask a teen to show you the 7 faith foundations? I encourage you to ask around or even find me, Dan, to show you what the teens have been working on the last couple weeks. We’re developing a strong foundation of our faith based on these 7 truths: Jesus is Lord, God is 3 in one, Jesus died and rose again, He saved us from our sin, The Holy Spirit is in us, we are the body of Christ, and We have eternal life with God. My prayer for our teens, and for you, is that exploring these 7 truths will help us become confident in our faith which will lead us to being able to share our faith, give us peace, and help guide us in the choices and actions we make every day. This week we explored the Trinity, God is 3 in 1. We explored several verses that helped us understand that we serve 1 God who manifests or shows Himself in 3 distinct ways. The Bible helped us learn a little about how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all work in unique and distinct ways in our lives to lead us into God’s presence. 1 Peter 1:2 says that the Father chose us, the Spirit made us Holy, and our obedience to Christ gave us forgiveness through His blood. Jesus is clear that the Trinity leads us in conversion as we share our faith. We also discovered that peace is found as we explore each part of the Trinity and how they interact intimately with us. We also learned that we can communicate with the Father through the Holy Spirit in prayer which helps us know how to live and convicts our thoughts and actions. Take a look at Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:13, Matthew 3:16-17 John 14:26, and Romans 8:26-27 and explore your faith in the Trinity.
This last Wednesday the teens all got together here at the church and I gave them the same challenge I gave you last week: “share your faith with someone close to you”. They turned to a neighbor and shared their faith and beliefs with a friend. We talked for a bit and shared the common ideas that came up and also how challenging it was to do this. We shared how important it is to be confident in our faith because 1) God commands that we share our faith 2) Confidence in our faith gives us peace and 3) Our faith affects EVERYTHING in life! We shared 7 parts of our faith: Jesus is Lord, God is 3 in 1, Jesus died and rose again, He saved us from our sin, the Holy Spirit is in us, we are the Body of Christ, and we have eternal life with God. You can ask a teen to show you the hand motions for each one. We specifically talked about “Jesus is Lord”. Take a look at our memory verse: Luke 2:11. Jesus is Lord, this is clear. This means that Jesus is King, He has full and complete authority. This is something we need to share. If Jesus has full authority over our life and everyone else’s then we need to make sure everyone knows who their true King is. When we have confidence in this truth it will bring us peace as well! Because He isn’t just our Lord but He is our savior. No one else had the power to defeat death and save us from our sins. No one else except the true and everlasting Lord Jesus. Finally, our faith in Jesus as Lord affects EVERYTHING we do. If He has full authority in our life then we have the responsibility to follow Him and to know what He desires for us. Our faith affects everything! Take a look at Philippians 2:6-11 to see what Christ did with His authority.
Do you share your faith in Christ with other people? For some of us, just reading this question can fill us with anxiety. It can easily fill us with doubt and send us scrambling for the Bible to try and find a passage we believe we should have memorized that will help us describe our faith. For many of us, we have grown up in the church. We’ve listened to countless sermons. We’ve sat through thousands of classes. We’ve invested hundreds or thousands of hours in reading the Bible. Yet we still struggle with this question. Let’s explore it over the next couple months and see if we can rediscover and reaffirm some aspects of your faith that you hold dearly and can communicate clearly to other people. Let’s take a look at the foundation of our faith and explore how easy it is to share this truth with others. But more importantly than just reciting our faith lets look at how God has changed your life and personally given you hope and how you can share that hope through your personal testimony. Each week I’ll be offering an action step, something you can do on your own or with others. If you’d like to participate this week I’d like to challenge you to take 1 or 2 minutes to share your faith with someone you love and trust. Someone here at church or a family member could be a good place to start. It doesn’t have to be well thought out and planned, we’re just sharing the hope we have in Jesus Christ!