But to many people, God seems very far away, distant and impersonal. Some try to be accepted by Him through living a good life, philosophy or religion. Others may even be skeptical about the very existence of a loving God.
The following principles will help you discover how it’s possible to have a relationship with God and live an abundant life that He promised.
1. God loves you and created you to know Him personally. He offers a wonderful plan for your life.1
“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, NIV)
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” [that it might be full and meaningful]. (John 10:10)
But many are not experiencing the abundant life! Why is this so?
2. People are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love and plan.2
We Are Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
The fellowship that we were created to enjoy with God was broken because of sin. Sin is evidenced by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference that every person has; a self-will that chooses to go our own independent way.
We Are Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God]. (Romans 6:23)
This diagram3 illustrates the great gulf that separates a God who is holy and people who are sinful. The arrows represent how humans are continually trying to reach God through our own efforts, but inevitably fail.
The third principle explains the only way to bridge this gulf…
3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love and plan.4
He Died in Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
He Rose From the Dead
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)
He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” (John 14:6)
The diagram5 shows us how God has bridged us to Himself by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
But just knowing these three principles is not enough…
4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.6
We Must Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.” (Revelations 3:20)
We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
What does receiving Christ mean?
- Acknowledging your need: Admitting that you have sinned, and desiring to turn away from that (1 John 1:8-9)
- Believing that Jesus Christ died in your place and rose again to be your Saviour, providing forgiveness for your sin (1 Corinthians 15:3-4:17)
- Choosing to invite Christ to direct your life and be your LORD.
What happens when you receive Christ into your life? This is what God promises in the Bible if we begin a relationship with Him to know Him personally:
- Christ comes into your life
- You become a child of God
- Your sins are forgiven
- You have eternal life
- An adventure of knowing God personally
What is your response?
These two circles7 represent two kinds of lives:
Which circle best describes your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?
If you wish to receive Christ, you can do that right now by faith expressed through a simple prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?
If it does, you can pray right now and begin a personal relationship with God. Tell us about your decision here!
If you are unsure, what are the questions that you have about receiving Christ? You can ask us here.
Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws and Would You Like to Know God Personally? by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.