Christianity is not about rules or religious activity but an intimate relationship with God in community with his people. Did you know the bible is primarily a love story about God pursuing us for our good? God is willing to go the greatest lengths to bring us back to himself and to close the gap that separates us.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Read Genesis 1:26-31
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The bible describes God as Creator, Holy and Loving. He created us to have a thriving relationship with Him, but something is in the way.
Sin is seeking satisfaction independent of God. This is everyone's natural state of being. Think of sin as not only the wrong we do but also the life we are missing. Sin leads to human suffering around the world and leaves us under God's judgement. Life apart from God will end in physical and spiritual death. Romans 1
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
The Result of Our Sin
23 For the wages of sin is death... [spiritual separation from God] Romans 6:23
This diagram illustrates sin creates a gap between us and God that we cannot close on our own.
Jesus performed the greatest act of love the world has ever known. He subjected himself to temptation yet did not sin. He endured intense suffering, a brutal death on a roman cross and the full wrath of God so that we could live with God forever in a loving relationship.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:18a
Jesus Our Substitute
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
God satisfies his justice and proves his love at the cross where Jesus sacrificed his life for ours. Jesus died in our place to pay the penalty of our sin and to give us his righteousness (a perfect life record).
This diagram illustrates God's love to pursue people by sending his perfect Son to close the gap between Holy God and sinful people.
God offers a Perfect Life Record
Much like transcripts or resumes are required to gain access to college or be hired at a company, God's word demonstrates we must have a blameless life record to live with him.
These folders represent two life records:
When we exchange our imperfect life record with Jesus we begin living with God and are no longer separated from Him.
We Receive Jesus Christ by Faith
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
We Receive Jesus Christ by Personal Invitation
[Jesus Speaking] 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Receiving Jesus Christ Involves
Turning to God away from sin and from trusting in yourself. [repentance]
Trusting Jesus to come into your life and in his perfect life alone. [faith]
When we exchange our imperfect life record we are made blameless before God and can start living with Him.
Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to live a perfect life, to die for my sins and to overcome death. Jesus I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Please forgive my sins and exchange my life record so that I can live with you, experience your love and fulfill my purpose. By faith, I receive you into my life, choose to follow you and want you to be at the center of my life.
Does this prayer express your heart's desire? If so, would you like to pray this now? Prayer is talking with God. Jesus will come into your life as he promised and your life record will be exchanged.
When you invite Jesus Christ into your life by choosing to follow him; you become united to God and can live with him forever, experience his love and purpose.
Did you invite Jesus into your life?