Have you ever wondered what it means to know God personally? Perhaps you’ve never even thought about having a close relationship with God. Maybe you’ve even wondered if God has an interest in knowing you? Well friends, He does! In fact, God created you for that very reason. The truth is that God created you, and He loves you very much.
What prevents us from knowing Him personally?
Even though God has given us life, we have all chosen to rebel against God and have fallen short of God’s perfect will for us (Rom 3:23). You may be thinking , “I’m a good person” or “I haven’t rebelled against anybody.” While that may be true according to our human standards, we all fall desperately short according to God’s perfect standard (1 John 1:8). Jesus demonstrated God’s perfect standard when He said that even looking at someone with anger without a cause is tantamount to committing murder (Mat 5:21-22). If you’ve ever been unjustly angry with someone, you’ve fallen short of God’s perfect standard.
God is perfect in every aspect. He is also always good, always right, and always fair. Because God is both perfect and fair, He cannot choose to tolerate sin. For example, a judge who doesn’t punish law-breakers is not a fair judge. Likewise, tolerating sin would make a perfect God imperfect. Since God cannot be in the presence of our sin, we separate ourselves from Him and experiencing His love. Our sin not only seperates us from a relationship with God while we’re here on earth, it also separates us from eternity with Him as well. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). This means that our fair punishment for our disobedience, or sin, is death or eternal separation from God.
Sometimes we still try to reach God while we’re separated from Him by our sin. We think that by living a good life, doing good deeds, or even by attending church that God will be pleased with our efforts. But inevitably we fail, because no matter how good we live or how many good things we do for other people we will never reach God’s perfect standard.
How can I connect with God if my sin has separated us?
Well, the good news is you can! We call it the good news, otherwise known in the Bible as the GOSPEL - God Offers Sinful People Eternal Life! God has made a way for us to have a relationship with Him even though we have separated ourselves. It’s summed up in John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Let’s take a closer look at that verse…
God: The one who made you.
so loved the world: Everyone, including you.
that he gave: Giving is a sign of love. God loves you. It’s a gift, you can’t earn it.
his one and only Son: Jesus Christ, the only way to God.
that whoever: Whoever means anyone, including you.
believes in him: Not just knowing about Him, but accepting Him as boss of your life.
shall not perish: Will not DIE the eternal death (the penalty of sin in Romans 3:23).
but have eternal life: Will be UNITED with God both here and in the future.
Because of God’s deep love for us (John 15:13), He has made a way to bridge the separation caused by our sin. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the life that you and I are unable to. Since Jesus is God in the flesh, He is the only one capable of living a perfect life. Jesus accomplished everything required from YOU and I by living a life according to God’s perfect standard.
Since God is completely perfect and completely fair, the penalty for sin must still be paid. Even though He was completely innocent, Jesus received OUR punishment (death and separation) when He took OUR place on the cross. According to God’s law, a perfect sacrifice needed to be made to atone for an offence. Because Jesus lived a perfect life, His sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay the penalty of sin for you and I. But the cross was not the end for Him. Jesus Christ, as God in the flesh, was crucified on the cross. He died and was buried. After three days in the tomb Jesus resurrected from the dead! The grave could not hold Him. He lives and sits today at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. This demonstrates the immense power of God! A real life testament that He created the universe and has power over everything in it.
This is the good news. That God arranged a way for us to reunite with Him through this perfect plan. By Jesus’ sacrifice He has made it possible to bridge the separation caused by our sin. However, it’s not enough just to know this information. God has done all He needs to do on His end to start a relationship but you must respond!
What do I have to do to start a relationship with God?
We all must personally accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. He is ready to accept you now. All you have to do is ask. Remember, Jesus died for you. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour means…
Submitting to Jesus Christ and His ultimate authority in your life. You can submit to Him by truly believing that Jesus raised from the dead, by turning your entire life over to Him, and by agreeing to follow Him as He leads you. The Bible tells us to speak these things, and not to just think them.
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe it in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Rom 10:9
Admitting that you’ve not been living according to God’s perfect plan for your life and that your sin has separated you from Him. We need to confess our sins directly to Him. The Bible tells us that when we admit our sins God is quick to forgive them.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Committing to leave your sin behind, through the power of the Holy Spirit who now resides in you as a believer in Jesus Christ. Once we accept Jesus as our Saviour he sends to us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to assist you in your walk with Him. The Holy Spirit will give you direction and let you know what is pleasing and not pleasing to God. Even though the Holy Spirit will guide us, it’s still our responsibility to take the steps. We should turn and walk the other direction from all things that are not pleasing to God. At times this will be very easy, other times it will be very hard. This is called repentance. The Bible says…
“…unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:3
If you are ready to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour by submitting to Him, admitting your sin, and committing to repentance here is a suggested prayer…
"Dear God, I know that my sins have separated me from You, but I want to be reconciled to You. By faith I believe that Jesus' death on the cross has completely paid for my sins. Today I receive Your forgiveness. Thank you for saving me. Please come into my heart and lead me from now on. Amen"
If you have made this commitment sincerely, you can be sure that God has indeed forgiven you and has started a new work in your life. More than that, all heaven is celebrating with you, you have crossed from death to life and have eternal life. It's important that you now continue to grow. Please feel free to contact our pastor or join us this weekend. We would love to meet you to encourage you and help you to continue your new journey. God Bless.