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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 6

Do We Really Need Christ?

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Let us pray together:

Our Father,

Please help us through this lesson, as we study the most important message found in the Scriptures: the salvation of man through Jesus Christ’s grace.

We pray in His name.


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Romans 3:10

It is written, «There is none righteous, no, not one.»


Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.


In the previous two lessons, we saw how evil appeared on earth, and how man, by choosing to disobey God, inherited a sinful nature which he could not get rid of by his own.

This sad condition would finally lead him to eternal death.

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John 14:6

Jesus said to [Thomas],

«I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me.»


Acts 4:12

Neither is there salvation in any other [than Jesus Christ], for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


We also saw that God, in His love for the lost mankind, set up a plan to save us so that we might have eternal life instead of eternal death.

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Mark 10:17

And when [Jesus] was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him,

«Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?»


Acts 16:29,30

Then [the keeper of the prison] called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas.

And he brought them out and said, «Sirs, what must I do to be saved?»


What must we do to be saved?

Let’s find together the answer in the Bible.

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Acts 2:37,38

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles,

«Men and brothers, what shall we do?»

Then Peter said to them, «Repent.»


Luke 13:3

[Jesus said,] «Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.»


The first essential stage is repentance.

We must first recognize that we are sinners, regret this sinful condition, and acknowledge that we absolutely need a Savior.

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1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Unfortunately man, stained by sin for thousands of years, cannot repent on his own.

Therefore, what must we do to receive repentance?

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Acts 5:31

Him [Jesus] has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.


Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.


The answer is straightforward: we must ask God’s help to get through this first stage, that is, repentance.

God will then impress upon us our sinful condition, as well as our great need for a Savior.

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Ezekiel 18:30,31

Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit.


Repentance, given by God, causes us to be aware of our spiritual misery, our guilt, and the ugliness of sin.

Therefore, it prepares us for the second stage: the confession of our sins.

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Proverbs 28:13

He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.


To be delivered from the guilt of our past sins, we must humble ourselves before God and confess our sins.

The repentant sinner does not try to justify his faults: he simply recognizes them and asks forgiveness to God.

If our confession is sincere, we will try to rectify our misdeeds toward others, as much as possible. This step is sometimes painful, but in the end it brings great satisfaction.

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Psalm 51:1-3

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your loving kindness: according to the multitude of Your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions.


Psalm 51, composed by David, is a vibrant example of the kind of confession God asks from us: we recognize our sins, without trying to justify them, and we humbly ask God to forgive us.

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Luke 15:21

And the son said to him,

«Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.»


Luke 19:8

And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord,

«Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.»


So this is the second stage of God’s plan of salvation: sincere confession of our sins and, as much as possible, setting things right.

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Luke 5:21

Who can forgive sins, but God alone?


Many people teach that Jesus gave the apostles, including Peter, the power of receiving men’s confessions and forgiving their sins in the name of God.

This belief comes from a faulty interpretation of the following verse...

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Matthew 16:19

[Jesus said to Peter,]

«I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.»


In spite of the clear teaching of the Bible that God alone can forgive sins, many people have understood in this verse that Jesus gave Peter nothing less than the power of granting or refusing forgiveness for sins.

But let us pay close attention to the following verse...

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Acts 8:20,22

But Peter said to [Simon the sorcerer],

«(...) Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.»


Scandalized by the offer of Simon the sorcerer, who wished to pay to get the Holy Spirit, Peter did not in any way decide whether or not to forgive such a thought. He told him to pray to God in order to obtain forgiveness.

What, then, did Jesus mean by saying, «Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven»?

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2 Corinthians 2:15,16

For we are to God a sweet smell of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.

To the one we are the smell of death to death; and to the other the smell of life to life.


Peter and the apostles did not receive the power to dispense or withhold forgiveness of men’s sins. What they received was the mission to preach Christ’s gospel.

By presenting this gospel, Christians bring the hearer face-to-face with a choice: to reject or to accept Jesus as one’s personal Savior.

That choice will then bind or loose this person in heaven.

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Psalm 32:5

I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity have I not hid.

I said, «I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,» and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.


Ezra 10:11

Now therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers.


Only God has the power to forgive our sins.

We must therefore confess our sins to Him alone, without any Mediator other than Jesus Christ Himself.

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Isaiah 55:7

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.


1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


The third stage of God’s plan of salvation: accepting without condition God’s forgiveness, and believing that this forgiveness is real!

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1 John 1:7

The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.


Romans 5:9

Being now justified by His blood (...).


The only way to be justified, that is, to be made righteous before God and before His law, is to accept Jesus as one’s personal Savior.

His blood, spilled at the cross, then cleanses us personally from all our sins, and Christ’s righteousness becomes ours.

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Habakkuk 2:4

The just shall live by his faith.


1 Peter 1:9

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.


Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


To save us, God needs our cooperation: all that is required is simply to have faith in Him, to trust Him entirely.

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Ephesians 2:8

By grace are you saved through faith.


Faith is placing all our trust in God for our salvation.

Through faith, we believe that God’s plan of salvation is enough to grant us eternal life.

But then, what can we do to increase our faith, our trust in God?

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Romans 10:17

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Through the attentive study of the Bible, in a sincere and humble spirit, each one of us will learn to know God more and more, and thus to increasingly trust Him.

Our faith in God and in His plan of salvation will grow day after day: this is exactly the goal of this set of Bible lessons.

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John 3:36

He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him.


Acts 16:30,31

«What must I do to be saved?»

And [Paul and Silas] said,

«Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.»


God grants us His salvation on one condition only: that we desire this salvation with all our hearts.

He asks us to believe in Him, and to put all our trust in His plan of salvation.

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Galatians 2:16

A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.


Last essential point to understand: we cannot do anything to earn our salvation.

No work, however great it may be, could contribute to saving us from our sins.

Salvation is God’s free gift, and the only work that contributed to it is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Let us carefully read the next verses...

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Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.


Ephesians 2:8,9

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.


A Christian is called to practice good works, not TO be saved, but rather BECAUSE he is saved.

Please read again this last sentence, because it is absolutely essential that we correctly understand this point.

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Isaiah 64:6

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.


Romans 3:10

There is none righteous, no, not one.


Therefore, we must remember this: we can’t earn our salvation by our good works.

Our good actions cannot make us righteous in God’s sight.

The only way leading to salvation is to recognize our powerlessness to save our soul on our own, and to accept Jesus as our personal Savior. He will then give us His perfect righteousness.

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Isaiah 64:6

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.


Zechariah 3:3,4

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. And He answered and spoke to those that stood before Him, saying,

«Take away the filthy garments from him.»

And to him He said, «Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with change of raiment.»


The Bible often describes man’s own righteousness as a filthy garment, but Jesus Christ’s righteousness is depicted as a pure, white garment.

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Luke 15:21,22

And the son said to him,

«Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.»

But the father said to his servants,

«Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him.»


In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus uses this illustration of dirty clothes replaced by clean clothes, to show that when God forgives us, He replaces our stained righteousness by the perfect righteousness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Isaiah 61:10

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation.


Romans 13:14

Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ.


We are invited to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, to put on His robe of righteousness, His garments of salvation, that we may appear as white as snow before God.

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Revelation 7:13,14

And one of the elders answered, saying to me,

«What are these which are arrayed in white robes, and from where came they?»

And I said to him, «Sir, you know.»

And he said to me, «These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.»


Don’t we, too, want to put on this white robe?

God has prepared one of these robes especially for you, and He offers it to you now.

Why not accept this free gift of eternal life?

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Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Hebrews 2:3

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?


2 Corinthians 6:2

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.


Do not postpone your decision till tomorrow: accept Jesus Christ now as your Lord and personal Savior.

Who knows, tomorrow could be too late.

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The plan that God has especially prepared to save each one of us.

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Let us thank God for His wonderful plan of salvation:

O Lord,

We recognize that we are sinners, and that our wages should be death. But we ask You to place repentance in our hearts, that we may see how much we need a Savior.

Please forgive all our past sins, and help us to repair, as far as possible, all the misdeeds caused by those sins.

We trust You completely, Father, and accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

We also ask You to help us to renew this commitment day after day. In Jesus Christ we pray.


The test of Lesson 6 is waiting for you!

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