Life’s Great Questions – A Gospel Tract

Life’s Great Questions tract – FRONT

You are welcome to download this Word .doc and edit with your contact information. The page is set up for four front-and-back bookmark-sized tracts. I recommend saving as a .pdf and uploading that to your preferred cardstock printing service.

Life’s Great Questions (AND their answers):

1. Why do we need Jesus to save us?

A. Because we are born dead in our sin.

Ephesians 2:1

2. What does that mean?

A. It means that our sin has separated us from God.

Romans 3:23

3. What is sin?

A. Sin is disobeying God’s laws: not loving Him, not loving others, stealing, lying, and more.

1 John 3:4

4. Why does God get to make laws everyone has to follow?

A. Because He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign Ruler over all things. His Creation, His rules.

Psalm 103:19

5. Can’t we just try to live a good life?

A. You can certainly try, but you’ll never be good enough. God’s standard is perfection.

Romans 3:10

6. Then how can we be saved from sin if there’s no hope for us to be good enough?

A. That’s why we need Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God who, before time began, purposed with God the Father to save us because He knew we’d need Him.

John 3:16

7. How does Jesus save us?

A. Jesus was born into history, lived a righteous (sinless) life we could never live, and took God’s wrath for sin upon Himself to save people like you and me. He died a physical death and rose again to live forever so that we can live forever with Him.

Romans 5:8

8. So Jesus isn’t dead?

A. No! He is alive and is seated at the place of honor at God’s right hand in Heaven. There He advocates for us and prepares a place for us to live with Him forever.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

9. What if I like who I am and what I do even if it is sin?

A. That’s possible. But if what you’ve read here about Jesus makes you have grief and feel sorry because of your sin, then that is evidence of the work of God the Holy Spirit changing your heart.

Ezekiel 36:26

10. What must I do to be saved?

A. Repent & believe! Turn away from sin and believe in Jesus and what He has done. Sin is no match for Jesus!

Mark 1:15

Original Hymn: Welcomed to the Table

Feel free to sing this hymn in your church without changes, addition, or omission. Let me know all about it in the comments or via message here or on social media.

SHEET MUSIC

Welcomed to the Table | Words & Music: Ryan Cornett

Welcomed to the table of the King 1
Though no worth unto this meal we bring 2
Come! Rememb’ring Him, we dine and sing 3

Like no bread the fathers ate and died 4
This His body, broken for His Bride 5
Eat! Proclaiming Christ the crucified 6

This the cleansing blood of our High Priest 7
From His cup the low, the last, the least 8
Drink! Awaiting Heaven’s wedding feast 9

1 (1 Corinthians 10:17, Ephesians 2:13)
2 (Job 35:7, John 6:53-57)
3 (1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:30)
4 (John 6:58)
5 (1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 11:24)
6 (1 Corinthians 11:26)
7 (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12; 1 John 1:7)
8 (Job 22:2, Mark 2:17, Luke 17:10)
9 (Matthew 26:29, Revelation 19:7-9)

Our church really only sings one hymn about the Lord’s Supper, so I studied scripture and wrote this. I wanted to be brief (your church can sing this in about one minute) and really make clear what God’s people are invited and expected to do.

Believers are invited to come, eat, and drink. In partaking of the Lord’s Supper, we do so in remembrance of Him, we proclaim His death until He comes, and we await His coming and the marriage supper of the Lamb!

Original Stanza: Come Thou Fount

What a peace, thy life surrendered
Won for sinners such as me
And thy resurrection rendered
Death a sting-less enemy

I’ve no fear of all tomorrows
Thou dost ever hold me fast
Soon shall end all earthly sorrows
When I see thy face at last

I was listening to the Kings Kaleidoscope version of “Come Thou Fount” a few weeks ago, and had recently read Psalm 136 as part of my evening Bible reading. Verse 23 jumped out at me:

It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

” … remembered us in our low estate” is particularly poetic, and the wording seemed like it would be a great fit in the “Come Thou Fount” melody. Since I like to write new verses for old hymns, I got to work.

The line straight from Psalm 136:23 eventually morphed into something else, so I plan to use it in the future. But it did inspire a stanza with which I’m very pleased.

Original Poem: The Call

Would you call me brother
Or cousin, or son?
Is our blood so dissimilar
That we cannot coexist in
Living, breathing
Harmony?

From communities to inhabitants
Of the same zip code
Neighbors to acquaintances
To strangers we go.
We to I.
Us to me, my, mine.

This is not yet a wasteland
But a wasted land.
Not yet a cacophony
Although chaos rings loud.
For there is a voice on the horizon
Distant, soft, suffering.

Music descending to the ears of the hopeful
Noise soaring to the ears of the beast.
It is a call
A call to me, you, us:
Wake up from this reality
And dream again.

Original Hymn: All Who Have Loved His Appearing

Feel free to sing this hymn in your church without changes, addition, or omission. Let me know all about it in the comments or via message here or on social media.

All Who Have Loved His Appearing | Words & Music: Ryan Cornett

V1
Like saints before, let us repeat
“The good fight we have fought”
No works did we ourselves achieve
The fruit, the Spirit wrought

C
Laid up for us is a crown: his righteousness, our award
‘Tis not of efforts that we have made; the price was paid by the Lord
That great coronation is nearing
For all who have loved his appearing

V2
When all is done, then let us say
“Praise God, we’ve run the race”
For Christ we stood, by strength not ours
Yes, it was all of grace

V3
As breath departs, may we proclaim
“Through him, we kept the faith”
Our boast is only in the Lord
He, who alone can save

THE STORY

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8

When reading God’s Word, I look for phrases that are especially poetic to modern tastes and could possibly inspire an entire song. I have a list of dozens of such phrases from the Bible. One that particularly stood out and stuck with me for months was “all who have loved his appearing.” I kept coming back to it and the passage it’s in. The three things Paul lists: “fought the good fight, … finished the race, … kept the faith” seemed like a good place to start, with each victory having its own verse.

The chorus, or refrain, is inspired by my study of the doctrine of imputation. At the cross, our sins were imputed onto Christ and he bore the entirety of the punishment earned by our sin. Consequently, Christ’s righteousness can now be justly imputed, or credited to those who believe. And how glorious the thought that the Lord Jesus Christ’s righteousness is so richly, so deeply applied to us, that we are awarded for it–and with eternal life, no less! Our crown of righteousness was earned and laid up for us by our Savior Jesus. What a glorious day the Redeemed have to look forward to!

INSPIRATION

1 Corinthians 1:31
1 Corinthians 5:10
Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 4:30
Philippians 4:13
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Spoken Word: The Trinity

“The Trinity” is a human term that does not appear in Scripture
But truths throughout the Bible paint a crystal-clear picture
It and “Triune God” are phrases we use to summarize
What God has revealed about himself to human ears and eyes
The Trinity is present at and responsible for creation
Was there at Christ’s baptism and seen in Revelation
A very convincing verse is 2 Corinthians 13:14
The Son’s grace, the Father’s love, and the Spirit’s fellowship are seen
In Isaiah 44, the Lord says “there’s no other God besides me”
It’s also true that the Father, Son, and Spirit share divinity
But, the Spirit is not the Father, the Father is not the Son
The Son is not the Spirit, yet they are Three in One
We don’t serve many, no we serve one God in Three Persons
Yes, one Being alone is worthy of all creation’s worship
The God we serve is self-sufficient, in eternal community
He said, “Let us make man in our image,” all for his glory
God the Father, Son, and Spirit didn’t create out of need
We contribute nothing to God, he is perfectly complete
The Trinity does not change, doesn’t improve or get better
Oh, but the Triune God changes us; the Three work together
The Father purposed it, the Son, Jesus, purchased salvation
The Spirit produces it to make the one once dead a new creation
Changed, our thoughts of God rightly regard knowing him as serious
But God doesn’t illuminate everything; his ways are still mysterious
You can’t explain the Trinity, though some will try it still
They’ll point you to the simple apple—the seeds, the flesh, the peel
They take one thing with several parts to try and achieve their goal
And say, “God is like this apple here; the three parts make the whole”
They might even say, “Thinking of the Trinity as water will suffice”
“God is like it in its three forms of vapor, liquid, and ice”
But God the Trinity does not exist in equal parts divided
Coming together as the One True God only when united
As for thinking of the Triune God as forms like states of matter
Is that liberty or just wrong? I’m afraid that it’s the latter
You might be saying, “Hey, these words you’re bringing here are brutal”
But explaining the Infinite God with finite things is entirely futile
We could try forever to give a metaphor or a simile
But none are adequate, so I’ll just say, “God is One in Three”
God didn’t reveal more to us because this is how he planned it
And at least on this side of heaven we’ll never understand it
But doesn’t it make more sense that God’s beyond our comprehension?
It’s not an issue to struggle with how Three are One without division
And just how the Three could be one God, one being, and one essence
Maybe I’ll be able to wrap my mind around when in his presence
No matter what, when faith is sight from down on bended knee
I’ll worship my great Savior, the Triune God of one and three

Spoken Word: Imputation

Consider the beauty of the truth known as imputation
It’s how God chose to deal with our sin and its devastation
In order to comprehend why this doctrine is so great
First, we gotta understand those born of man’s original state
And for that we go back to the only man never born
To Adam, the first man, whom Genesis says God formed
From the dust of the ground and breathed into him life
Gave him dominion over the earth, even gave him Eve, his wife
But there was a serpent in the Garden, there just to cause problems
But praise God, in Genesis 3, He tells us how He’s gonna solve them
Before that, back to our story, the serpent said, “God should share the glory
“Eat this fruit, be absolutely like Him; don’t ignore me”
Eve, deceived, reached into the tree and took forbidden fruit to eat it
Adam, apparently there the whole time, should have told the serpent, “Beat it!”
But no, he stood there silently while his wife Eve took a bite
She gave him some, he ate, and instantly they knew things weren’t right
So, Adam fell and brought the stain of sin onto all humanity
Because he represented us, his sin nature was passed to you and me
You might say, “That’s not fair! When Eve shared we weren’t there to deny it”
But I say, “Trust me on this, if you were there, you would’ve tried it”
In wisdom, by making the first Adam our representative federal head
God is justified in the work of the Last Adam to raise His people from the dead
Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin 1
Righteousness comes through one man: Jesus, God’s great gift to men
And just like one man’s sin spreads out onto all, thus our sin nature
Righteousness is credited, or imputed, onto God’s people through the Savior
And it works both ways–our sins were imputed onto Jesus. Hear this:
He was made sin, who knew no sin, that we might become His righteousness 2
For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners 3
The many will be made righteous by the obedience of the Life Giver
God’s law shows us our sin, but also the grace that abounds all the more 4
So that grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Christ our Lord 5
Now that you’ve heard it, you might be asking, “What’s the modern application?”
Here it is: you live for Christ; righteousness is yours through imputation

1) Romans 5:12
2) 2 Corinthians 5:21
3) Romans 5:19
4) Romans 5:20
5) Romans 5:21

New Verse for “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”

I wrote this a few days ago when preparing to sing this song during the service on December 22.

O, Beautiful Star, what truth we’ve heard!

Christ is the Light, the Life, the Word

Savior of all the Father’s grace has drawn

Raised by the Spirit, born again

Soon to be free from death and sin

O, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

An Autumnal Poem

The drupes on the dogwoods that bloomed
Aren’t the only red here in these shadowy woods
Because the maple leaves are turning now
In a few, shortening days the Almighty
Will dip a big hog bristle brush into
Paint the three shades of fire and let loose
With a thousand foothill-wide strokes
By rifle deer season, all but the evergreens
Will yield to the coming winter’s turn
Sunlight will reach the forest floor
And the trees will give back to the earth
Has it ever occurred to you
That the cooling shade doesn’t fall away
Until we don’t need it anymore?
And boy, does it go out in style

— Ryan Cornett