The Jesus Challenge
The Jesus challenge is a Transition Question that can be used to enter into dialogue about Jesus. It is taken from the question that Jesus asked Simon Peter in Matthew 16:15-16
The Question is: “Have you taken the Jesus Challenge?”
If the person says “no” then you ask if they would like to take it.
If yes then say:
“In the Bible Jesus was with a group of those following him and he turned to one of them and asked, ‘. . . who do you say that I am?’ so, the challenge is who do you think Jesus is and what did he come to do?”
Then you listen to their response and ask, “Would you like to know how the guy in the Bible answered the question? “
If they say “yes”, continue by saying or reading Matt 16:17. “He said, ‘You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
You can continue by asking, “What do you think he means by his response?”
Listen and say, “Can I tell you what many people suggest he was saying?”
If “yes”, then proceed to explain, “the term ‘Christ’ is the same term as the Messiah, he was the promised one whose coming had been foretold for hundreds of years. It speaks of the divine nature of Jesus and his distinct mission to rescue and restore man to God. The term the ‘son of the living God’ refers to the fact that Jesus is not born like us, the son of someone, by natural birth, adoption, or any other means. He is the unique direct “son of God” though the virgin birth. So, the answer implies that man is in need of being rescued and God has provide in Jesus Christ the son the provision to rescue us.”
Then ask, “Would you like to know why this statement about Jesus is so important?”
If “yes” continue, “can I show you what the Bible says about our need and God’s provision to meet that need?’
Here you can insert your gospel presentation, Is 55:6-7 or the one below using John 3:16
John 3:16 Model
Say, “Jesus spoke to another person in the Bible about our need to be rescued and how the Christ, the son of the living God can rescue us. May I show you?”
Quote, read or write John 3:16
Then say, “This verse will help you understand what the Bible says about who Jesus is and why he came.”
First, this verse tell us God’s Passion
Underline the words loved and life and say, “God wants us to experience his love and eternal life with him”
Ask, “So what prevents us from experiencing his love and eternal life?”
Second, the verse tells us Man’s Problem
Underline the word perish, and say, “We can’t truly experience God’s love and the life he offers because we are perishing. It is not that we will perish, but we already are.
So how did this happen? The Bible says two things: we are perishing because we are sinners by birth and behavior.
We are sinners by birth. We are born with a sin nature. The Bible says in Romans 5:12 that when Adam disobeyed God in the garden this caused sin and, the effects of sin, death to spread from Adam to all human beings. There was no way to escape being born this way, there was nothing that we could do or our parents do to prevent us from being born with this sin nature. We are sinners by birth.
We are sinners by behavior. We are not only born sinners with a sin nature, but our sin nature leads us to sinful behavior. We sin because it is in our nature. Sin is not caused by our surroundings or our circumstances, but because of our nature. We sin because our nature compels us to. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of our sinful behavior is death, so we are perishing.
So, how do we get the eternal life and experience the love that God offers if we perishing?
Third, the verse tells us God’s Provision
Underline the words he gave his only Son, and say Jesus, the son, is the savior by his sinless birth and behavior.
Jesus was unique and different from all other human beings.
Jesus is sinless by birth. The Bible says (Matthew 1:35) that Jesus was born of a virgin, he was born of God and was called the holy son of God. We are sons of Adam, Jesus is the son of God. We inherit the sinful nature of Adam, Jesus, who is God, possess the holy sinless nature of God. Jesus by a special birth was born sinless, so he did not possess a sin nature or the death sentence that sin brings.
Jesus is sinless by behavior. Jesus did not have a sin nature to lead him to sin. Like us, Jesus was tempted to sin. Unlike us, Jesus never sinned (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus lived a perfect sinless life. God’s provision for our sinful condition, that makes us perish, was to send Jesus to live a perfect life and die to take the penalty of our sin upon himself, by dying in our place (Rom 5:8). He gave Jesus to perish for us, so we could experience the love and eternal life he offers.
Fourth, the verse tells us Man’s Predicament
Underline the words whoever believes in him. Not everyone will experience God’s love and receive the eternal life he offers. Only those who believe they are perishing because of their sin and believe that Jesus lived a perfect life and died to pay the penalty for their sins. They alone will receive the forgiveness of sin and eternal life that God freely offers them. You must not only decide who Jesus is, but what you will do with him. Either to believe in him and surrender your life to him or walk away from the love and life that he offers whoever believes in him.
Those who believe in Jesus experience a new birth The Bible says (John 3:3) you must be born again. You must be born of God to remove your old sinful nature and receive a new nature that God alone can give.
Those who believe in Jesus exhibit a new behavior The Bible says (2 Cor 5:17) that those who believe in who Jesus is and what he came to do become a new creation in Him. They do not continue in their sinful behavior, but will, because of this new birth, exhibit a new behavior one that Glorifies God rather than gratifies self.
You experience this new life through prayer. You acknowledge your problem that you are perishing because of your sin. You affirm God’s provision that Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. You ask God to forgive you of your sins and give you the eternal life he promised to those who believe in him.
When you do this your will experience the fifth aspect of the verse:
Underline the words should not and but have
Jesus, who made this statement says if you believe in who he is and what he came to do you should not perish, but have eternal life.
Jesus wants you to experience his love and the eternal life he offers, but the question is,
What is preventing you from turning to Jesus right now?