Man has a natural desire to control his own life and to ignore God's principles for living. The Bible calls this attitude sin.
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not is us." I John 1:8
Sin is not a popular concept in our culture. But, the Bible says that we are ALL sinners. The problem with our sin is that it prohibits a close relationship with God. It causes us to fear God and try to live our lives outside of His will.
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"But your iniquities have separated you from your God." Isaiah 59:2
"For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23a
Consider the diagram below:
Even when we know that our deepest need is God, we often try wrong ways of getting to know Him.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 16:25
"I'll work real hard and earn it."
"I'll be religious and go to church."
"I'll give up all my bad habits."
None of these things will ever be enough to make a relationship with God possible. We will always "come up short" in our attempts to reach God.
Consider this diagram:
So what is the solution? If our sin is such a big problem, how can we have a relationship with God?
Jesus answered, "I AM THE WAY, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except THROUGH ME!" John 14:6
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
God came to earth as a human being to bring us back to Himself. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross so that it would be possible for us to have a relationship with God. If any other way would have worked, Jesus would not have had to come!
Look at this diagram:
God has already done His part so that we could have a relationship with Him. He took the initiative. Now He wants each of us to individually accept what He has done for us. Here's how:
- Admit that God has not been first place in your life and ask Him to forgive your sins.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9
- Believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins and that He rose again and is alive today.
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name (Jesus) under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
- Accept God's free gift of salvation and don't try to earn it.
"For it is by grace you are saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8,9
A relationship with God can not be established by anything we do. It is possible because of what Jesus already did for us!
- Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and be the director ("Lord") of your life.
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." John 1:12-13
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..." Revelation 3:20
Do you desire to have a relationship with God?
If you do, you can pray a simple prayer like the one below and, if you mean it, God will forgive your sins and bring you into relationship with Him.
"Dear Jesus, thank you for making me and loving me, even when I've ignored you and gone my own way. I realize I need you in my life and I'm sorry for my sins. I ask you to forgive me. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Please help me to understand it more. As much as I know how, I want to follow you from now on. Please come into my life and make me a new person inside. I accept your gift of salvation. Please help me to grow now in my relationship with you."
"...Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" Romans 10:13