God loves you and created you to live in a relationship with Him. Although this is the most important issue we face in life, many people have never considered what it means to have a relationship with God. God’s Word (the Bible) says that we must understand three important truths in order to have a relationship with Him.
Man is separated from God by sin.
There is a barrier between God and man because of sin. Everyone has committed acts of sin (like lying, cheating, thinking evil thoughts, and engaging in immoral behavior). In addition, each person has chosen to go his or her own independent way apart from God. This is characterized by both active rebellion and passive resistance to God. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Because God is perfect (holy) He cannot allow sin into His presence. Sin becomes a barrier between God and man which no good deed can bridge. Good deeds − such as trying to live a good life, helping other people, attending a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple − do not solve the basic problem of sin, because no matter how good a person is, the barrier of sin is still in place. Sin forever separates man from a personal relationship with God. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin [that is, the “payment” due to man for engaging in sin] is death . . .” This “death” is eternal separation from God.
The good news is that there is a way that the barrier of sin between God and man can be bridged. This leads to a second truth about a relationship with God.
Jesus Christ bridged the barrier of sin.
Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Romans 5:8 tells us, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ’s death on the cross in our place paid the penalty required by God for sin. Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days later, demonstrating that sin and death were conquered and God accepted His great sacrifice for mankind. There is no other way to a relationship with God. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
How do we enter this relationship God provided for us through Jesus Christ? The answer to this question is the third truth we must understand.
We must individually receive God’s gift to us by faith.
Jesus Christ is God’s gift to us. He paid the debt for our sin on the cross when He died. He offers us the gift of eternal life and a relationship with God. How do you receive a gift someone gives you? You accept it! In practical terms this means that you believe that Jesus Christ died for you and paid for your sin, and that He alone offers forgiveness of sin, entrance into heaven, and an eternal relationship with God. John 1:12 puts it this way: “To all who did receive Him [Jesus], who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” “Believing in Jesus” is more than just believing a set of facts. It is trusting, relying upon Jesus Christ for eternal life. The Bible tells us, “For by grace [a free, undeserved gift] you have been saved [delivered from sin’s penalty] through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If you have never entered into a relationship with God, you can receive Christ into your life by faith right now. Here is a suggested prayer you might want to pray:
“Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve a relationship with You. But I believe Your Son died for me and rose from the dead to purchase that relationship for me. Forgive my sins and make for me a place in heaven with You. Thank you for the forgiveness and the life I now have with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
What’s the Next Step?
Just as a newborn baby grows physically, we grow spiritually by taking the following steps:
- Read a few verses in the Bible each day (we suggest at least one chapter). Start with the gospel of John. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk [of the Word of God], that by it you may grow . . .” (1 Peter 2:2). (If you do not have access to a Bible, let us know and we will be glad to provide one for you.)
- Spend time each day in prayer (communication) with God. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication [petition] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
- Worship regularly in a church that teaches you the Bible and honors Jesus Christ. “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day [of Christ’s return] drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
- Tell others about your relationship with Jesus Christ. “Follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).
If you have made a decision to begin a relationship with God, why not write, call, or e-mail RHMA. We can help you get connected to a local church in your area.
Morton, Illinois, 61550