In my previous article [No342] I suggested that one way of explaining Christianity to someone who was interested, would be to use the letters ABCD as a simple method of explanation. It means initially having to remember only 4 words, Admitting, Believing, Considering and Doing. Sometimes just being able to quote one or two verses connected with these 4 words can lead to fruitful discussions and as I have discovered, to personal commitment to Christ by those who were hungry for reality in their lives.
In this article I want to give an overview for this suggested concept. It looks at the 4 sections involved in the ABCD approach and what we will discuss under each heading. Then we have NOTE 1 at the end of the article which will deal with the letter [A], which is “[A]DMITTING WE ARE SINNERS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. WE ALL NEED GOD’S FORGIVENESS.” While it is true that it is only the Holy Spirit who can bring conviction of sin to a person’s life, He often highlights verses that we have been acquainted with, to bring such conviction. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” [John 16:8}
[As noted above, the Notes at the bottom of this article give only some suggested references for Section A, dealing with the topic, “Admitting we are sinners in the sight of God.” There are myriads more verses we could suggest, but these are suggested, not to be memorised in full, but to read in their context. Then you would be able to choose those you wish to memorise to help you in explaining or sharing your faith with others. I will use the same outline in future articles but will add Notes for the other sections B, C and D in those future articles.]
A]. ADMITTING WE ARE SINNERS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. WE ALL NEED GOD’S FORGIVENESS. [NOTE 1 below shows the Bible verses and other quotes.]
- What the OT says. Ps 14:2-3, 51:5, Jer 17:5,9, Eccles 9:3 are some examples.
- What Jesus said. Jn 3:16, 17, 36. Mat 15:19, Mk 7:21-23. Jn 8:12.
- What the Apostles said. Paul, Rom 3:23, 6:23, 2Cor 5:15, Eph 2:8-9. John in 1 Jn 5:11-13. Peter in 1 Pet :18-19, 2:24.
- What the Church says. 39 Articles. Westminster Confession.
B]. BELIEVING that Christ came to die for sinners. [ NOTE 2]
We obtain forgiveness in Him and only in Him!
- It had been prophesied.
- It was fulfilled. “It is finished!” exclaimed Jesus.
- It is available in Him alone.
C]. CONSIDERING the cost of becoming a Christian. [NOTE 3]
Salvation is a free gift to us, but it costs us everything.
- Salvation is a free gift in Christ. Eph 2:8-10
- He died for all, so that we might live for Him. 2 Cor 5:15.
D]. DOING something about it. [Not just believing but acting on that belief.] [NOTE 4]
- Inviting Christ to come into our lives as our Saviour from sin. Rev 3:20
- Inviting Christ to come into every area of our lives to be our Lord and Master.
- Inviting Him to fill us with His Spirit so that we can know His will and do it.
NOTES:- [In this article the Notes deal only with section A.]
NOTE 1. on A]. ADMITTING we are sinners in the sight of God. All people Need God’s Forgiveness.
1]. What the Old Testament says.
Ps 14:2-3, The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Ps 51:5, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Jer 17:5, Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Jer 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Eccles 9:3, This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that, they go to the dead.
2]. What Jesus said. (Words attributed to Him.)
Jn 3:16,17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Jn 3:36, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Mat 15:19, For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Mat 7:21-23, For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Jn 8:12, Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
3]. What the Apostles said.
Rom 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Cor 5:15, and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Eph 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
1 Jn 5:11-13, And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 Peter 1:18-19, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 Peter 2:24, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
4]. WHAT THE CHURCH SAYS. The 39 Articles. Westminster Shorter Catechism.
39 Articles Of Religion. (Church of England. Anglican.)
Article IX. Of Original or Birth-Sin. Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated;
Westminster Shorter Catechism. (Presbyterian).
Question and answer No 18.
Quest. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
Ans. 18. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.) Rom. 5:12, 19; 5:10-20; Eph. 2:1-3; James 1:14-15; Matt. 15:19.