A genuine experience with God is faith, resting, in who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus Christ has done. It’s not just a matter of believing something He did for me 2,000 years ago. But it’s believing that He is alive at this moment and that He will become real in my heart and life, as I trust Him and as I walk with Him. – Mike Morrow
What is the gospel? It is faith in Jesus Christ. In His finished work, but not just in His finished work. But in the person of the resurrected Son of God. Christianity is not just a world religion. But listen to me closely. Genuine experience with God is faith, resting, in who Jesus Christ is; and what Jesus Christ has done. It's not just a matter of believing something He did for me 2,000 years ago. But it's believing that He is alive at this moment and that He will become real in my heart and life, as I trust Him and as I walk with Him.
You know what Paul said about this in Romans Chapter 10? He said if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart -- what? That God crucified Him? No, that's not what He said. That He died on the cross? That is not what He said. That we could invite Him into our heart? That is not what He said. If we believe that God RAISED Him from the dead we shall be saved. In other words Paul is saying you're dealing with a living Christ. You're not dealing with a dead idea. You're not dealing with just a historical fact, though it is rooted in historical fact. You are dealing with a living Christ. Faith in Christ. Good news is - the gospel is: salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christ.
Now hear this, hear this. There's two sides to this, I mentioned it a moment ago. There's conviction which brings repentance, genuine repentance. Repentance brings you to the place where you're sick of yourself, you're sick of your efforts. You might not even understand or have any thought of the gospel, hardly in your mind, but you're sick of yourself. You're sick of your self-efforts. You're crying out for something different. You want to change. "Oh I hate my sin!" "I hate who I am!" "I want to quit this stuff!" "I want to quit living a double life." "I don't want to live one way down at the church house; and another way over at the school house; and another way out yonder in my life somewhere." "I want to be real!" "Oh God help me!" And repentance begins to work in that life and as repentance works the Spirit of God, at just the right moment points us to a saving Lord. The resurrected Christ, who did die for our sins, praise God; and whom God did raised from the dead, hallelujah, and who is Lord of lords and will be Lord of lords forever. That's good news. That's good news. And when when a person comes to the place where he sees himself as lost and he needs a Savior, that's the place where he can be saved. You can read all the tracts and sign them all you want to. Invite Jesus into your heart a thousand times a day, and pray the sinner's prayer till you are blue in the face. But that doesn't work, until God works. But boy I tell you what, if the Holy Spirit ever points you to Christ...
Just suffer a word of my own testimony. I was teenage teenager in high school and I won't bore you with all the dirty garbage I was involved in. But there came in my heart, and I was sitting under gospel preaching at the time, there came in my heart a desire, to change. Not necessarily a desire for religious change, that's not what first came into my heart. What first came into my heart was, "There's something wrong with you." And it wasn't you're an odd ball and people don't like you . It wasn't that kind of thing. It was something... there's something right at the root of who you are, there's something really wrong with you. You see I had made up my mind I was going to stop doing some things, and I couldn't. And I made up my mind that I was going to start doing some things, and I couldn't, I couldn't stay with it. That gospel preacher just kept on preaching. His favorite verse, in fact I don't know that he didn't know but this one verse, half the time, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things are passed away all things become new." (2 Cor. 5:17) And he'd look straight at me and point at me, I think, and say, "If you've really been saved you can't live like you used to live." And eventually the Spirit of God continued to pound that message in my heart. Until I realized, though I had made a profession of faith when I was eight years old; though I've been baptized; though I was legally a church member; I realized I was lost before a holy God, and and I needed to be saved. I didn't know how to be saved. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know, I didn't know about faith in Christ.
So I went to that pastor and he pointed me straight to Jesus. And I want to tell you... the night I believed from my heart., just exactly like what Paul said, that Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead, and was then alive in glory. God changed my heart and saved me that morning. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation old things have passed away and all things have become you you."