God wants all men and women to be saved and has worked throughout human history to see that happen. The culmination of God's efforts came when He sent his only son Jesus to seek and save us (Luke 19:10).
God's plan of salvation is not difficult to grasp. He calls us through his Gospel and convicts us through his Spirit about our sin. The Book of Acts is filled with examples of ordinary men and women being saved, and these examples provide us wit11 a roadmap for the convicting journey from darkness to light. As we observe these journeys, we often find a seeker exposed by the Spirit regarding his sin and the impending judgment. Once thoroughly convicted, a seeker has nowhere to go but to trust in Jesus' grace, and is thus moved to repentance and baptism, which leads to forgiveness. The promise of salvation also includes both the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and fellowship in God's true Church.
For example, in Acts 2, Peter and the other Apostles encounter a large gathering of Jews
- These Jews are seeking God through the festival of Pentecost.
- Upon hearing the good news about Jesus, many were cut to heart with their need for reconciliation to God. Peter offers them a solution for their sins and their resultant separation from God.
- Those that believed the message of grace were compelled by the cross to repent and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (salvation).
- They also realized Peter's promise that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- These early converts joined together in fellowship daily as the first Church in the New Testament.
The First Principles is a study series designed to help men and women know Jesus and find salvation through God's grace in Jesus Christ, by following in the footsteps of our first-century Christian brothers and sisters in Acts 2.
The studies can be used to convey the gospel to our non-Christian friends, to instruct young disciples in how to effectively teach the gospel to others, and to anchor mature Christians in their faith by reviewing basic doctrines of Christianity.
These Bible studies are designed to be a flexible tool to aid the seeker along this journey. While every true seeker arrives at the same destination, all begin from unique starting points. Along the way, different Scriptures may prove more applicable and effective.
Additionally, while these studies can help a seeker to understand God's plan of salvation, a personal relationship with God can only be grown through personal time spent with God. Please encourage a person studying the Bible to devote themselves not just to these studies. but also, to personal study and prayer. Reading the Gospel of John is a great place to start because it gives such a personal portrait of our Lord and communicates his heart in such a deep way. Throughout this series, the overarching goal will be lifting up Jesus as Lord and Savior! Through personal Bible study, continual prayer, and effective use of these Bible Studies, God can work miracles in our lost world!