How Can You Know God?
Mankind’s greatest need is the Bible’s central theme. Mankind is sinful and separated from God. This is a horrible situation. God wants to bring us back to Him. God wants to be our Father and friend. God sent Jesus Christ in response to this problem. Through Jesus Christ we can be restored to God.
This Horrible Drama—the Fall of Man
This horrible drama began with the first man and woman. The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Fellowship with God was broken. Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden. The world changed in an instant. “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5: 12, NIV) Mankind was condemned to a life of sin, ending in death and eternal punishment.
Are we being condemned because of Adam’s sin? Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. But I have plenty of my very own sin. The Bible says:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3: 10-12, NIV)
Here’s the problem. Sin results in death. It’s our own fault. We sinned and are separated from God. We got into this predicament all by ourselves. Each one of us chose to rebel against God. We ignore God. We turn away from His love. What’s wrong with us? We choose sin, selfishness, and self-involvement instead of God’s love. But God continues to love us. He does not want us to die in our sins.
The Amazing Solution—Salvation through Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ came to earth and took the punishment for our sins. The prophet Isaiah foretold this seven hundred years before Jesus came.
“Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. Yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities . . . 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: 4-6, NIV)
Adam brought sin into the world. Jesus Christ died to remove sin’s curse from us. “For if the many died by the trespass of one man [Adam], how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many.” (Romans 5: 15, NIV)
Jesus died. Three days later He rose from the dead. He lives eternally at the right hand of God. Jesus offers us eternal life. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5: 24, NIV)
The world is condemned by sin to darkness and death. What was God’s response? He sent righteousness and light and life. He sent Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God reached out to a world that hates Him. He sent us salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Incredible Offer – Knowing God as Master and Friend
Knowing about God is important. But it is not enough. You must come to know God through a personal relationship. You must have a personal relationship with God.
What is a personal relationships? It’s more than book knowledge. It’s intimate, personal knowledge. This intimate knowledge of another person comes only through a close relationship. One on one. Face to face. Sharing yourself completely with another person.
For example, knowing about marriage does not make me a good husband. I can study marriage for years. I can have lots of friends who are married. I can be the child of a married couple. This knowledge may help me know about marriage. I may even learn enough to counsel people in their marriage. But I am on the outside, looking in. Unless I marry I will never know what it is like to share myself with another person.
There is only one way I can gain this intimate knowledge. I must become a husband. I’m not talking about a ring, a license, and a ceremony. It’s more than that. I must become personally involved in a marriage relationship. I must find a woman and ask her to become my wife. I must enter into a personal, living, loving partnership. I must become a husband.
God wants to start a personal relationship with you. Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14: 23, NIV) This close personal relationship is more than going to church. It is more than trying to be a good person. It’s laying your ego aside and lowering your defenses. Let God come into your life. Share life with the Creator of the universe!
You can have a personal relationship with God! This is the most fantastic promise in the Bible. God wants to come to you. He longs to share Himself with you. He can transform your life, if you will let Him. This is the secret of the Christian life. It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1: 27)!
The Required Response – Let God Come In
God is making you an offer. But an offer must be accepted or rejected. You must make a decision. Will you accept God’s offer through Jesus Christ?
How can you accept this offer? Is there a contract to sign? No. It’s a personal relationship. Think again of the marriage. Yes, there’s legal requirements. But those are just window dressings for the state. The heart of the marriage is commitment to and sharing yourself with another person?
How does it start? One of the persons, usually the guy, must ask the girl to begin a personal relationship with him. The traditional formula involves getting down on one knee. One person asks the person he loves to marry him. The other person accepts the offer. The process of forming a personal relationship begins.
God is making the offer to you right now. God loves you! How amazing! God wants to become your master and friend. He wants a personal relationship with you.
How can you start a personal relationship with God? Talk to Him. Remember, for most of your life you have been ignoring Him. This causes God pain. But He still loves you. Ask him to forgive you for the hurt you caused Him.
But hurting God is wrong. There is a mark against you. This mark cannot just disappear. How can that mark be erased? I cannot wash away the marks of sin on my life. I cannot make myself clean before God. Will God rescue me from my sin? How much does God love me? Really, how much? The Bible says:
God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him [Christ]! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! (Romans 5: 8-10, NIV)
Jesus Christ did this for you. In another place the Bible says:
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. (I Peter 3: 18, NIV)
God loves you! Because of the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God can forgive you. Believe this. Receive it. Start a personal relationship with God. The Bible states:
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, NIV)
Let down you defenses. Ask God to come into your heart.
Jesus is the truth about eternal life with God. He is the solution for mankind’s greatest problem: sin and separation from God.