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Department of Evangelisation
Diocese of Johannesburg
South Africa

Why 
       Jesus ?
Step 1

I want to learn more about Jesus Christ and Christian beliefs.

I believe I am a Christian, but how can I be sure?

I want to commit my life to Jesus ... for the first time!

I want to rededicate my life to Jesus.

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

What do I do now?

How can I tell others about Jesus?

Being a witness for Jesus

I am a lay person, what role can I play in telling others about Jesus?

I still have other questions, where can I find answers?

Step 4

 

 

Learn more about Jesus Christ and Christian Beliefs

The central theme of the Bible is God's love for you and for all people. This love was revealed when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Because Christ died, your sins can be forgiven, and because He conquered death you can have eternal life. You can know for sure what will become of you after you die.

You have probably heard the story of Godís love referred to as the "Gospel." The word Gospel simply means "Good News." The Gospel is the Good News that, because of what Christ has done, we can be forgiven and can live forever.

But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you willingly accept it. God requires an individual response from you. The following verses from the Bible show God's part and yours in this process:

God's love is revealed in the Bible
"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" (John 3:16).

God loves you. He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. And He wants to give you a life which will last forever, even after you experience physical death.

We are sinful
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
You may have heard someone say, "I'm only human--nobody's perfect." This Bible verse says the same thing: We are all sinners. We all do things that we know are wrong. And that's why we feel estranged from God--because God is holy and good, and we are not.

Sin has a penalty
"For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

Just as criminals must pay the penalty for their crimes, sinners must pay the penalty for their sins. If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity. The Bible teaches that those who choose to remain separated from God will spend eternity in a place called hell.

Christ has paid our penalty!
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, has paid the penalty for all your sins. You may think you have to lead a good life and do good deeds before God will love you. But the Bible says that Christ loved you enough to die for you, even when you were rebelling against Him.

Salvation is a free gift
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The word grace means "undeserved favor." It means God is offering you something you could never provide for yourself: forgiveness of sins and eternal life, God's gift to you is free. You do not have to work for a gift. All you have to do is joyfully receive it, Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you!

Christ is at your heart's door
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).

Jesus Christ wants to have a personal relationship with you. Picture, if you will, Jesus Christ standing at the door of your heart (the door of your emotions, intellect and will). Invite Him in; He is waiting for you to receive Him into your heart and life.

You must receive Him
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).

When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God, and have the privilege of talking to Him in prayer at any time about anything. The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity.

Christians enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

Pope John Paul II (1993): "Sometimes even Catholics have lost or never had the chance to experience Christ personally, not as a mere 'value', but as the Living Lord."

Pope John Paul II (1992): "It is necessary to awaken again in believers a full relationship with Christ, mankind's only Saviour. Only from a personal relationship with Jesus can an effective evangelisation develop."

"There is new fervour of interest for the person of Jesus Christ, not as a holy Image of the past but as a Living Reality. This is what brought 2 million young people to Rome. The evangelizing mission calls for a new discovery of the person of the living Christ and a clear Christian identity." Cardinal Tomko, 17 January 2001

Where can I learn more about Jesus Christ

Attending an Alpha Course

Fr. Cantalamessa has spoken warmly of the Alpha course, describing it as "a return to the fundamental things of the Christian faith" during an address to a large inter-church conference in Germany in May.

Learn more about the Alpha Course:

All over the world, the Christian church is experiencing remarkable growth.  New shoots of life are springing up giving fresh dynamism, hope and vision.

Alpha is one of these shoots.

Thousands of Alpha courses are now running in many countries.  Hundreds more register each month as church leaders from all denominations report the astonishing impact the course has on non-churchgoers and existing Christians in their areas. And it's spreading fast to many secular locations - prisons, businesses and schools.

Developed at Holy Trinity Brompton over the last twenty years, Alpha is a 15-session practical introduction to the Christian faith. It's aimed especially at people who don't go to church. At Holy Trinity, Alpha courses are held throughout the year and have hundreds of people attending each week.

The syllabus for the course is contained in the book Questions of Life. Some courses are held during the day.  Most are evening courses.  At the evening events, there is a light meal followed by a talk on a subject central to the Christian faith. Then participants break into pre-arranged groups of around 10-12 people (in which they remain for the entire course) to discuss the talk in an environment where each person should feel free to ask or express whatever they wish. A team of around three or four 'leaders' or 'helpers' from the host church are attached to each group. There is also a weekend away during which the subject of the Holy Spirit is addressed.

Talks given on the course
Week I Who is Jesus?
Week 2 Why did Jesus die?
Week 3 How can I be sure of my faith'?
Week 4 Why and how should I read the Bible?
Week 5 Why and how should I pray?
Week 6 How does God guide us?
Week 7 How can I resist evil?
Week 8 Why and how should I tell others?
Week 9 Does God heal Today?
Week 10 What about the Church?
Alpha celebration supper party Christianity: Boring, Untrue and irrelevant?
Alpha Weekend What about the Holy Spirit? (3 talks); How can I make the most of the rest of my life?

 

Other Courses

Exploring the Catholic Church: a relaxed and entertaining course on the basics of the Catholic faith, includes talks on baptism, the Mass, confirmation and prayer.

Guilt-free Parenting: an entertaining series aimed at Catholic parents bringing their children for baptism or catechism, talks include: "How do children believe?" and "How can parents help?".

Catholics listening to God: a series presented by Mgr Mark Coleridge, an Australian biblical scholar based in the Vatican, primarily aimed at encouraging Catholics to read the bible. It also covers church teaching and tradition, and concludes with a powerful challenge to evangelise.

Life in the Spirit Seminars: Many parishes throughout South Africa and the rest of the World run Life in the Spirit Seminars. To find out where these Seminars are being run, please contact us.

Learn more about ...

Reading Material

What about other Religions  by Nicky Gumbel (Kingsway Publications, 1994) obtainable from local Chriatian Bookshops or Scripture Union (021-689 8334, 031-202 6882, 011-447 3874)

Audio Visual Material

Department of Evangelization - Diocese of Johannesburg

Online Resources

The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament: New Revised Standard Version