Follow Jesus

What do you do when you've heard some really good news?
Chances are, one thing you do is find someone to tell the news! The better the news, the more you want to share it with others! At Woodhaven Bible Church, we are passionate about telling people about the good news of Jesus Christ. In churches, you’ll often hear people call this good news, “the Gospel”. And this Gospel is the core of everything we do here at WBC. We’re passionate about telling everyone the good news because we know that this good news is the greatest news the world has ever heard. So what’s the news? The story can be told in 4 parts: God, Man, Christ, and Response. Click on each section below and read how the good news unfolds.


Modern conceptions of God can range anywhere from Him being a mean, vindictive character to the friendly old man who is just there to help when we need something. To understand more about who God is, wouldn’t it make sense to see what God says about himself? He’s told us about himself through his Word, the Bible. What does the Bible say about God? It turns out that words are utterly incapable of describing God completely, but here are a couple of key characteristics:

1) God is the Creator of All Things, Seen and Unseen

Have you ever been to the top of a mountain and looked around? You take a 360 look around and marvel at how amazing the view is. All of creation points to its creator, God. The story of the universe begins with God. The book of Genesis tells us that before there was anything, God was. He has no beginning; He has no end. No one created God, but God created everything. He created everything out of nothing. The beginning of history is when God declared, “Let there be light” and suddenly, there was light. The creator God is so powerful that He only had to speak and the world was made. He spoke into existence mountains, valleys, oceans, animals, and plants. He created the sky above: planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe. He’s the creator of everything you see and everything you don’t see.

On the final day of creation, God created his masterpiece: humans. First, he created Adam. Later, he created Eve. He looked upon them and declared them to be “very good.” He created everything perfectly. Not a single flaw to be found anywhere, just like Him. Isn’t it amazing to know the world was created on purpose? That God created you on purpose? You are no accident. From the creative, perfect mind of God, he created all human beings. And the Bible says that He created us in His image! We were created to reflect God: his attributes, his character. You are not on Earth because of random chance or a series of genetic mutations over billions of years. You are here by design – given an inherent dignity by God Himself.

God being the creator means that we are the creation. This distinction to key to understanding the gospel.  We are not the rulers of the universe, God is. We don’t get to dictate how we should live, God does. Said another way, God owns us. The Creator has rights over His creation. That said, it is important to know that God isn’t on a power trip, making up arbitrary rules and bossing us around to see us suffer. The Bible says that God is good. He knows what is best for His creation, so when He gives us laws, they are laws that will help us to flourish and lead us toward true joy.

2) God is the Holy and Righteous One

How would you describe God’s character? The Bible teaches us in the book of Exodus that God is loving and compassionate, gracious, and faithful. He is all of those things in perfect measure! But all of these attributes are wrapped up in one overarching attribute – God is righteous.

What does it mean that God is righteous? The answer is right there in the word. God is right. God is both morally and ethically right. And so everything He does is right and just. So when God says something, we can go that it’s the right thing. When He gives us a law to follow, it’s the right way to live. He’s not giving us bad advice or telling us to do something that will be bad for us. Tied to that is the fact that God is holy. He is morally pure. God has never sinned and will never sin. God is a holy and righteous judge, and as such, he will not let the guilty go unpunished. In His perfection, God will not tolerate sin. He will judge sin and those who sin. Any idea of God that, in his love and compassion, will sweep sin under the rug and not deal with it is fundamentally wrong. He will not hide or overlook sin. He will confront it and, ultimately, destroy sin. And the bad news is that we all have sinned.


Most people tend to think too lightly of their sin. “Sure, I’ve messed up, but it’s really not that bad.” “I’m not perfect, but I’m better than most.” According to the Bible, though, sin is not like a minor parking ticket where you pay your fine and move on with your life. Your sin is the breaking of a relationship – the one between you and God. More than that, sin is a rejection of God himself – a rebellion of the created against the Creator.

 How Man Began

Things didn’t start that way. When God created Adam and Eve, he created them without sin. He created them to be in perfect relationship with him. They talked with God and walked with God in the Garden of Eden. He created them for his own glory, to show off how awesome He is. They had a job to do, which was to rule the world under him.

 What Went Wrong

God told them they could eat from any tree in the garden except for one – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree was a reminder of the fact that their authority over the world was limited, and they were still dependent on God. They were the creation, not the Creator. Being tempted by a serpent, who was Satan, they both ate from the fruit of the tree God told them not to eat from. They could eat the fruit from any other tree, but yet they still wanted this one. Why? The Serpent promised them that if they would eat this fruit, they would become “like God.” In eating this fruit, Adam and Eve were rejecting God’s authority over them and declaring their independence from him. They wanted to be like the creator, not the creation. They disobeyed God’s commands, which is what the Bible calls sin.

Sin literally means “missing the mark,” as if you miss the bullseye on an archery target. But the meaning of sin is much deeper than just missing a bullseye by an inch or two. It’s not as if Adam and Eve tried as hard as they could to follow God’s commands and just came up a little short. No, they were shooting their arrows in the opposite direction! Their desires were contrary to what God desired, their will was contrary to God’s will. Their disobedience was very much on purpose.

 God had warned Adam and Eve that if they ate from this tree, they would “surely die,” meaning they would be removed from the presence of God and become His enemies. Adam and Eve were meant to live forever with God in His creation, but now physical and spiritual death would enter the world. They would not die right away, but eventually they would. Their spiritual death, however, began immediately. Their fellowship with God was broken, their eyes and their hearts were darkened, their minds clouded with sinful thoughts and desires. They no longer could see God as beautiful and glorious. Where there once was spiritual life as they walked with God, now there was only spiritual darkness, with no hope of coming back to life on their own power.

From Eden to Us

It’s not just Adam and Eve who sin. The Bible tells us in the book of Romans, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No one on Earth is without sin. Through Adam, sin came into the world and we’re all active participants in sin. No matter how hard you work to be a good person, you still short of the glory of God. Even if you’re 99% good, the 1% sin still makes unrighteous.

Do you recognize yourself as a sinner? We’re not good people who sin sometimes, but at our core, we are sinful and rebels against the holy and righteous God. As human beings, sin is in our very nature. Every part of our human existence is corrupted by sin: our reasonings, our feelings, our actions, our desires, all of it is enslaved to sin. You have committed treason against the King, openly defying His laws. And that is an incredibly serious offense.

 The Seriousness of Sin

As Christians, we take sin seriously because God takes sin seriously. The book of Romans teaches us that “every mouth will be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” Take a second to consider the terror of this moment. One day, you will stand before God in judgment, held accountable to Him. What will you say? There is nothing we can say to justify ourselves before God! There is no satisfactory explanation for our sin. There’s no good enough excuse we can give. God is the Holy and Righteous One, who will judge sin accordingly. His holy and righteous wrath will be poured out against us. And we will deserve all of it.

The book of Romans also says “The wages of sin is death.” The payment we earn for our sin is to die. Of course, we will die physically, but we will die spiritually. What does spiritual death mean? It means we will be separated from the presence of God forever. Our sin separates us from God. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for all unrepentant, unbelieving sinners is a place of eternal, conscious torment called “hell.” The book of Revelation describes hell as a “lake of fire and sulfur” where the fire is never quenched. Hell cannot be made to sound tolerable because it will not be tolerable. We all have committed the greatest offense in the universe and so we will all suffer the worst eternal destiny imaginable.

This is the bad news. If the story ended here, it would be unbearable news to hear. But thank God that is not the end of the story. God never meant to leave us, His creation, in our sin. He knew that we could never find our way back to Him, so He sent His Son to us. Do you remember the Garden of Eden? This part of the story starts there.


Starting in Eden

The fall of Adam and Eve into sin was one of the spiritually darkest moments in our human history. They rebelled against God, bringing death into the world. But even in the darkest of moments, God spoke a word of light. There was a hint of hope in God’s words as He spoke to the Serpent, condemning him. God said, “He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” God wanted Adam and Eve, his created ones who rebelled against him, to know the story was not over. God had a plan to redeem His creation.  It was only a seed of hope in the garden. God watered the seed by giving His people the Law and the prophets. That seed reached its total fulfillment in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent into the world to rescue mankind and bring us back into right standing. In one sense, the Bible is the story of God’s plan to defeat sin. It’s the story of how God made it right, how He is making it right, and how He will one day make it right forever.

 Fully God, Fully Man

The Bible tells us quite clearly that Jesus is both fully God and fully man. In many ways, Jesus is a human being just like us. He walked on the ground, ate food, talked with people, and more. Before he began his earthly ministry, he was employed as a carpenter like his father. But from the beginning of his life, Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. He was born to a virgin named Mary, which alone tells us there is something special about him. Throughout his life, he made unmistakable claims to be God, such as the one in John chapter 10 where Jesus “I and the Father are one.” Later, in John 14, Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He demonstrated his divine power by performing miracles.

Why is Jesus being both fully man and fully God important? Because only someone who is both could ever save us! If Jesus were just another human being like us, he would be sinful. One sinful person cannot save other sinful people. What we need to be saved is for someone to live a perfect, righteous life – the kind of life that’s impossible for us! We need this perfect someone to die in our place, taking our sin upon their perfect shoulders. Jesus is the answer! Because he is the Son of God, he was without sin or imperfection, just like the Father. Jesus never sinned, so he is uniquely capable of defeating death and saving us from our sins! And the amazing news is that’s exactly what he did! King Jesus died in our place, taking our punishment upon himself, securing forgiveness for our sins, making us righteous in God’s sight, and securing our place in God’s presence forevermore. Let’s talk a little bit more about that…

Jesus Died In Your Place

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” That’s what John the Baptist, a prophet, said when he saw Jesus walking toward him. Lamb of God? Every first-century Jew would have known exactly what John was saying about Jesus at that moment. It was a reference to the Passover, which was a festival remembering how God delivered Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Back then, God had warned the Egyptians to let his people go or he would inflict plagues upon them. The Egyptians did not, so God visited a series of plagues upon them, culminating in a final warning that, if His people were not released, an angel of death would sweep through the land, killing every firstborn child. This judgment would include Israelites as well if they did not obey God’s instructions to them. Each family was to kill a perfect, spotless lamb and put some of its blood around the doorframe of their house. God promised if they did this, the angel of death would see the blood and “pass over” that house and no one would die in that place.

The Passover lamb is a symbol of the idea that the penalty of death for one’s sins could be paid by the death of another. Every year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would go into the presence of God in the temple and offer an unblemished animal as payment for the people’s sins. Year after year, the people’s sins were paid for by the blood of this perfect lamb.

Jesus knew from the very beginning that he was the true Lamb of God, sent by his Father to die for the sins of mankind. All of the Old Testament sacrifices and God’s commands to offer a lamb on the Day of Atonement were pointing to Jesus! There would be no more need for yearly lamb sacrifices to cover people’s sins because the Lamb of God finished the job once and for all. Jesus, knowing this, foretold his death many times during his ministry, though no one seemed to understand what he meant. All of the events of Jesus’ life happened exactly as God intended and prophets had prophesied about hundreds of years before. He was betrayed by one of his disciples and sentenced to death on a cross, though no one could find any reason to do so. He was nailed to a wooden cross on a hill called Golgotha, in between two thieves. Crucifixion was the worst kind of punishment, reserved for criminals, yet Jesus, having done nothing wrong, hung there and died. As he hung on the cross, Jesus bore all the horrible weight of the sin of God’s people. All their rebellion, all their disobedience, all their sin fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death and condemnation that lay upon us was struck down for good. The wrath of God against sin was poured out onto Jesus. This is why Jesus cried out in agony “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God, his Father, the Holy and Righteous One, with eyes too pure to even look on evil, looked at His Son, saw the sins of His people upon Jesus’s shoulders, turned away, and poured out his wrath on his own Son.

We’re the ones who should have died, not Jesus. He took your place. His death means your life.

Jesus Defeated Death

The news of Jesus’ death is only good news because King Jesus is no longer dead! He died on the cross and was buried in a tomb, with a large stone and 2 guards covering the door. When a couple of Jesus’ followers came to the grave a couple of days later, an angel appeared to them and said “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen.” Jesus is alive! He later appeared to his disciples who were gathered. He showed them his hands and feet, where they could see and touch his wounds. He went up into heaven, where he lives today, at the right hand of the Father.

If Jesus Christ had remained dead, his death would have no significance. He would have been like every other prophet who died. His claims to be God would just be that, claims. Humanity would have still been in our same hopeless state, waiting for someone stronger than death. But Jesus rose, and that makes all the difference. Death could not defeat Him! He truly is the Son of God! And we know that one day, he’s going to return to bring his people back to him.


What else do you do when you hear a piece of news? Chances are, you respond to the news in some way! Like any piece of news, the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection calls for some kind of response!

Now that you’ve heard the news, what will be your response? Even as you read these words, think through how you’re going to respond to the good news of Jesus, the son of God, dying on the cross as your substitute, taking your place, offering you the forgiveness of all of your sins and a restored standing before God. The free gift of God is available to you right here, right now. It doesn’t matter what you have or haven’t done in your past. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. It doesn’t matter if you have a Ph.D. degree or you dropped out of high school. We all receive the righteousness of Jesus Credit credited to our account in the same way. So the question is, how do I receive this for myself? Two words: Believe and Repent. Throughout the New Testament, this is what we see the apostles calling people to do in response to the gospel. Jesus began his ministry this way, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” What exactly does that mean?


The word the Bible often uses to describe belief in Jesus Christ is faith. When you think of faith, you may think of a child having faith in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. While faith in Jesus does include an element of believing things you cannot see, the Bible describes faith in Jesus as much, much deeper than that. It’s not believing in something you can’t prove. Faith is reliance. A rock-solid, unshakeable trust in the risen Jesus to save you from sin. This faith is based on the promises in the Bible. The book of Romans promises us “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” That’s a promise you can take to the bank.

The greatest human need is to be found righteous in God’s sight. How will that happen? It’s only through faith in Jesus and rely on him to stand as our substitute that we are counted righteous. Our unclean record is substituted for Jesus’ perfect record. There’s nothing you can do to prove to God that you’re worthy of salvation. It’s not your best effort + Christ’s death = salvation. The righteousness we need comes from simply believing that Jesus is who he said he is and that he did what the Bible says he did.

This is a fundamental difference between Christianity and every other world religion. Every other religion says that you need some level of your good deeds to reach salvation. As humans, we’re inclined to think we earn things. We want to contribute something. Putting your faith in Christ means that you utterly renounce any other hope of being counted righteous before God, including your morality.  Trying to earn righteousness through the good things you do may make you an upstanding person, but you’ll still be an unrighteous person. But if you believe in Jesus, trusting in Him alone for the forgiveness of sin, God looks at you and doesn’t see your sin, he sees Jesus’ righteousness covering you and welcomes you into His kingdom.


Repentance describes turning away from sin and turning towards God. Repentance is when we recognize the sinful path we’re on, do a 180, and start pursuing God’s path. When we repent, we turn from our sin because we hate it. We recognize our sin from the awful offense that it is and want nothing to do with it anymore! Repentance is crucial to life as a Christ-follower, marking out those who have been saved by God and those who haven’t.

Put simply, you cannot be a follower of Jesus and not repent of your sin. One aspect of repentance is that you receive Jesus not just as your Savior, but your Lord. He becomes the king of your life. He dictates your thoughts, your priorities, your actions, the way you treat others, etc. You turn your back on your old sinful ways that led to death and you turn towards Jesus, submitting yourself to his way of life. It's Jesus’ way that leads to the good life today and eternal life later. Repentance does not mean you’ll be perfect. Christians are still sinners, even with new spiritual life inside of us. The difference comes in our response when we sin. Those who follow Christ declare war against their sin. We dedicate ourselves to resisting it with God’s help. When you put your faith in Jesus, God gives you His Holy Spirit to help you follow Him. Through the Holy Spirit’s power, our lives look different than they did before we were Christians. More and more, we live like Jesus lived. We start to think like Jesus thought. We will never be perfect, but we’re striving to be more like him.

When you stand before God at the final judgment, you will make one of two pleas. The first is “God, on account of all the good I did, justify me!” This plea will not satisfy. The holy and righteous one will look upon and condemn you as guilty because your unrighteousness has not been atoned for. The second plea is “God, look at your Son. Count me righteous, not because of what I’ve done, but because of Him. I’ve renounced my efforts to save myself. Justify me, O God, because of Jesus.”

So, what plea will you make before God? How will you respond to the good news of Jesus Christ? It’s our deepest hope and prayer that you will respond by saying yes to God’s offer of forgiveness and reconciliation! If you’re ready to repent of your sin and put your trust in Jesus, there’s no better time than right now!

If you’ve decided to follow Jesus, praise God! Let someone know by contacting us at WBC here. One best steps you can take as a new Christian is to begin reading the Bible for yourself. We recommend starting with the book of John to learn about Jesus. Another important step is to start attending a church, and since you’re here, we’d love for you to check us out at Woodhaven Bible Church! We have a worship service every Sunday at 10:30 AM.

If you have more questions about the gospel and would like to talk with someone about your questions, feel free to contact us here. Someone will be happy to talk with you about the gospel.

Decided to Follow Jesus?

Praise God! One best steps you can take as a new Christian is to begin reading the Bible for yourself. We recommend starting with the book of John to learn about Jesus. Here's a link to a Bible we recommend. Another important step is to start attending a church, and since you’re here, we’d love for you to check us out at Woodhaven Bible Church! Click the button below to start planning your visit to WBC this Sunday!

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Do you have more questions?

If you have more questions about the gospel and would like to talk with someone about it, feel free to contact us at the link below! Someone will happily talk with you about the gospel and answer your questions.

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