Class 6: Get to Know Your Creator (Part 3)
Welcome to Class 6 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young men. I am Daniel Whyte III, chairman of the National Association to Save Young Black Men in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men”. We are using that book as the text and its study guide to guide you through the course. The study guide was developed with the help of Jamie McCallum (M.Div, Truett Theological Seminary) and Charles Garrett (M.Div, Southwestern Theological Seminary). This course is for all young men, but especially for young black men and young men of color who oftentimes have a “difficult journey” in this great country called America. I call this class “the Ramp” to the Highway of Success because my goal is to get you on “the Ramp”. As a man, you ought to be able to make it from there. Out of respect for you as a young man, my job is to get you on the ramp and point you in the right direction, not to tell you all the details once you get onto the highway of success. With God, you can do great things.
— Let’s Pray —
As we begin, here are some more quick “Just Do It” action points that you can apply to your life today and that will help you stay alive as a young black man in America. These tips are from the National Black Police Association.
IF YOU ARE ARRESTED OR TAKEN TO A POLICE STATION
You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Don’t give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.
FINALLY, CONSULT AN ATTORNEY
Ask to see a lawyer, immediately. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have a right to a free one and you should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Don’t say anything without a lawyer. Within a reasonable time after your arrest or booking, bail will be set. Have your lawyer ask the judge about the possibility of lowering the bail. You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after an arrest. Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.
This concludes our discussion of what to do in an encounter with the police from the National Black Police Association. If you follow their advice, I can assure you that any encounter you have with law enforcement will turn out better — not only for you, but for your family and your community.
Today, we are going to continue our study from Letters to Young Black Men titled, Get to Know Your Creator.
As we begin this lesson, consider these words from A.W. Tozer: “No man is ever the same after God has laid His hand upon him.”
Let’s begin by reading a portion from Letters to Young Black Men:
Third, after realizing our sad and condemned condition, God wants us to understand that He loves us more than we love ourselves. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live, suffer, shed His blood and die on Calvary’s cross for your sin and mine. After Jesus’ earth-shaking death that day, He was buried and three days later He arose again by the power of God. You remember this verse, don’t you? You probably learned it in Sunday School when you were a child:
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In order to really know God, you must go through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Notice what Jesus Christ said Himself in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Now, please pull out your printed book study guide or your digital study guide as we begin this lesson.
III. What are we to do about this depressing situation of our sin and the impending punishment of sin? God wants us to understand that He loves us more than we love ourselves.
Romans 5:7-8 says, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
What does this passage say about the depth of God’s love for you?
God knew everything about you before He sent His Son to the cross. He realized that we could never atone for our own sin. Rather than give up on us and let us hopelessly experience the just punishment for our unrighteous lives, He proposed another option. And, this was a very personal option for the Father. Rather than watch as billions of His human creation perish, He sent His one true Son and allowed Him to be beaten, killed, and separated from the Father. What a sacrifice for a people who God knew would never measure up!
God knew the very worst sin we would ever commit. He knew that even though we tried to put on a good face on the outside that we constantly would struggle with our thoughts and emotions. God knew we would bow down to the false idols of this world. God knew that no matter how much of Himself He gave, people would still take His name in vain, would still deny His existence, and would still live their entire lives without ever acknowledging His presence. However, He also knew that some would love Him. He knew that some would seek to honor Him with their lives, that some would be so overwhelmed by the grace shown through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that they would seek to make His existence known to the ends of the earth. God knew that some would love Him so much that they would hunger and thirst for His presence to be known in their lives every day.
Now, in order to really know God, you must go through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at a few verses and note what they say about the significance of Jesus Christ in the process of being forgiven for our sins.
1. Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Even before Jesus was born His purpose was to save the people from their sin. Man had already realized he could not take care of the problem of sin on his own and was looking for a Messiah, or a Deliverer. God intentionally sent Jesus to be the once and for all Solution that bridged the chasm between His Holy presence and our sinful flesh.
2. Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Plain and simple — Jesus is the only way. He is the only One who God has given the authority to forgive sins. What a travesty that so many world religions teach that false gods have the power to do this task, when the Bible clearly says only Jesus is capable.
3. 1 John 5:11 says, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
The forgiveness of sins that only comes through Jesus Christ results in eternal life in Heaven! Though we are unworthy of spiritually existing with the holy, perfect God in Heaven, the grace shown through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ allows us to enter. What a gift! Nothing on this earth could be undeserved, so compassionate, so marvelous!
When Jesus came to this earth as a baby, God’s children were anticipating a Messiah. They longed for someone to save them from oppression and to reveal the Way of the Father. Even today people are searching for someone or something to deliver them from meaningless, dead-end lives. Jesus was the answer 2000 years ago, and He still is the answer today.
If you want to know God, the source of all love, joy, peace, real happiness, and true success, believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again for you. Ask Him to come into your heart and save you. And He will.
Are you certain that if you died today, your spirit would go to Heaven with God for eternity? If so, how great it is to remember the depths of despair that the Lord Jesus saved us from! If not, then would you ask God to forgive you of your sins? Would you acknowledge that Jesus really did come to this earth to save the lost, including you? Would you ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment? The Bible says “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Now, Just Do It
If you believe in your heart right now that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead, please pray a prayer similar to this:
Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life. Amen.
Take a moment to write a note to a friend, telling them how Jesus Christ has changed your life.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class. May the Lord bless you.