Your Relationship with God
God created you…God loves you…and He wants you to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with Him.
The three great questions of life; "Where did I come from?", Why am I here?, and, "What will happen to me when I die?" all find their answer in a personal and tangible relationship with God.
To answer these questions, we must begin by realizing the Bible doesn’t try to prove God’s existence; it simply declares He exists when it says in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created…”
The Pinnacle of God’s creation is man. Human beings were created in His own image. (Genesis 1:26-27)
In His love and care, Genesis 2:7-9 says that God created a perfect environment in which He provided for His creation's every need. He did this for the purpose of enjoying a relationship with them.
It’s impossible not to see the proof of God's desire to fellowship with His creation when we look at His communication with, blessing of, and provision for humanity in Genesis 1:28-29.
In the light of all that God had provided to them, Adam and Eve would be given a choice to trust God and obey Him, or trust themselves and reject God's commands. (Genesis 3)
God created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was due to the reality that He created Adam and Eve with the will to choose whether or not they would decide to believe and obey Him. God is not interested in a forced relationship. He would not violate their will to choose by leaving them with no other option.
Sadly, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve willfully disobeyed God's clear command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and, as with every choice we make to this very day, that choice had consequences. God warned them that if they chose to disobey Him, the consequence would be death. (Genesis 2:17).
Your Relationship With God – The Problem…
We are guilty by association:
The Bible says that we are all born in sin, and that the punishment for our sin is eternal separation from God in hell. (Revelation 20:12-15)
Adam and Eve may not have died physically that day, but they did die spiritually. Furthermore, they brought the curse of sin and death upon the whole earth and upon every facet of human existence (Genesis 3:16-19). The earth and its inhabitants have suffered the results of that curse ever since the day Adam and Eve chose disobedience and sin over their relationship to the God that created them.
What does that have to do with us in relation to God, all these generations since then? Romans 5:12a answers that question.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, …."
Because Adam and Eve sinned and died spiritually, every one of their descendants, including us, has been born in sin, and therefore in spiritual death. You and I are born separated from a right relationship with God partly because we are born in sin. But that's not all...
We are guilty by commission:
If being born a sinner wasn’t enough…we find ourselves guilty by our own personal choices to rebel against the moral commands and expectations of a just and holy God. Romans 3:23 makes this clear
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Not only are we born guilty, but at varying points of our lives, each of us chooses in our own will to disobey the conscience God gives us.
"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;" (Romans 2:14-15)
In the eyes of a holy God we are all tainted by sin, by birth, and have all also voluntarily rebelled against Him, and that reality has consequences that must be justly prosecuted. The Bible is clear, that penalty is death.
Your Relationship with God: The Penalty….
The Bible speaks of "death" in two aspects; physical and spiritual.
Both are regarded as a “separation," and, we, as sinners, are in danger of both.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, He told them that they would surely die as a result of the curse of sin (Genesis 2:17). Their "death" was in two phases. God said in Genesis 3:19, "...till thou return to the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." That is a reference to physical death. When we die, our soul is separated from our body, and our body is left to decompose. Adam and Eve both eventually died physically.
But, not only were they to experience physical death (their soul departing, or separating, from their body), but they also experienced a "spiritual" death, as they were separated from God's fellowship and presence that day in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:22-23 says,
"Therefore, the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden... So he drove out the man..."
Again, having sinned against God, they were subject to physical and spiritual death. The consequences for us are the same. One of these days, we will die physically.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)
As the verse states above, if we have not properly dealt with God regarding our sin and relationship to Him, we will then also die spiritually when, after death, we face judgment.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
So, when the Bible says, in Romans 6:23, that the wages of our sin is death, it is referring to physical death (our soul separating from our body) and spiritual death (our soul separated from God forever in the lake of fire).
Your Relationship with God: The Payment…
This is obviously a problem for each of us, and as individuals who are created with a natural desire to know God and fellowship with Him, many have tried through the centuries to deal with this broken relationship their own way…
Some will come to thoughts of God, and in fear of the unknown, reject them and become “gods” to themselves in the process. However, simply refusing to think about God doesn’t make Him or the reality of a coming judgment go away. The Bible says clearly that this is a foolish pattern of thinking.
"The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good." (Psalm 14:1)
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (Romans 1:21-23)
This leads us to the another avenue that people often turn down…
Many will be honest with themselves about this natural realization of the existence of God, but most try in their own efforts to redeem themselves by good works or religious exercise.
In Jesus day, there were some very religious men who would have been considered, by most, as the best candidates to be in Heaven…these men were called Pharisees….but Jesus stated in Matthew 5:20,
"Except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees,
ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
In other words, as moral and law abiding as they could have been, the Pharisees were still at the mercy of sin's devastating indictment. The Pharisees tried hard to clean up the outside with religious exercise, but Jesus revealed that on the inside, they were like a tomb full of death and decay.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness."
What righteous act could you and I perform that would elevate us above the righteousness of the Pharisees? The sad reality, and the point Jesus was making…it is impossible. There is nothing we possibly can do to earn God’s forgiveness…not because any one person says this….but because God himself has said so in His Word…
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin....For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:20-23)
We all come short…and sadly…we will always come short in our efforts to reconcile with God. Our sin debt is simply a bill we cannot pay ourselves. If there was hope to be had, it would require perfection that only One has ever, could ever, have…and that is God. But would God pay this penalty for us?
Your Relationship with God: The Presentation…
Well, the good news for you and me is that this is the very reason why Jesus, Eternal God robed in Human flesh, died on a cross, was buried, and rose again over 2,000 years ago!
"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Though we could never pay off the sin debt that we owe, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, paid this penalty for us by His death, burial, and resurrection!
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26)
We CAN be reconciled to God! Not by anything that we can or will ever do; but by the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins that was purchased through the sacrifice and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Your Relationship with God: The Pattern…
Jesus paid the penalty for us, and yet, the Bible declares that something must take place before forgiveness in the sight of God is a reality for each of us as individuals. Romans 6:23 calls eternal life through Jesus Christ the “gift of God.” Forgiveness and a home in heaven are a gift…but a gift must be received…
You may be realizing the gravity of your sin, and your own need for the gift of forgiveness from God through Christ now. If so that’s wonderful! That might sound odd, but this realization is the work of God's Spirit to your soul to convict you. (John 16:7-13). If that is where you are right now, the Bible gives us the most crucial instruction in Romans 10:8-13:
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
According to the Bible, all that stands between your soul and God is repentance and faith. Choosing to call out to God to forgive you of your sin, and to save you by the finished work of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection!
Will you receive this gift today? If so, would you please let us know by emailing or calling us? We would love to help you know for sure, from the Bible that you too can receive the forgiveness and security that Christ is offering to you, and to help you as you begin to grow in your relationship with God.
Your Relationship with God: The Prayer…
If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you could, right where you are, call upon Him in a simple prayer of repentance and faith:
"Lord Jesus, I believe I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins on the cross and rose again from the grave. The best I know how, I repent of my sin and am trusting You and You alone to cleanse me, forgive me of my sin and save me. I turn from any trust in my own goodness to trust in Your sinless life and selfless sacrifice for my salvation. Thank You for the free gift of eternal life. Please help me to live for You. Amen"