How to Connect with God!
I’m excited you are here looking for information on how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus!
I’m sure He is excited too!
Living in Paradise
In the beginning, the all-powerful, infinitely ingenious, pre-existing God created the universe, including the earth, sky, and sea, and all that is in them (Exodus 20:11). He created all the plants and animals. He made two people in His own image, Adam and Eve, and put them in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 1 & 2)
In the beginning, everything was perfect, including the people.
“And God saw everything He had made, and, behold, it was very good” Genesis 1:31
Originally Adam and Eve were alive spiritually as well as physically because the Spirit of God was in them. God would even take physical form so He could walk with them in the garden. (Gen. 3:8)
God loves people and wants fellowship with us. To make that possible, God gave us a free will. That means we have the freedom to choose. We can chose whether to love Him, obey Him, and seek fellowship with Him. Or we can choose to reject Him, disobey Him, and go our own way.
Trouble in Paradise
In addition to the physical creation, God also made spiritual beings called angels. One of the highest angels, Lucifer (later renamed Satan), became proud and jealous. He was not content with serving God. He wanted to be God. So he rebelled against God and became evil.
Satan led a rebellion in heaven. One-third of the angels turned against God. The fallen angels that wickedly rebelled against God are now demons. They fight against God and seek to destroy His rule over them.
Rebellion in heaven was not enough for Satan though. He wanted more. He wanted to be like God. He wanted to rule over God’s creation.
God had given Adam one command, to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned Adam that he would die on the day he ate that tree’s fruit (Gen. 2: 17).
One day Satan entered into a serpent and tempted Eve. Satan found Eve alone and tricked her into believing that God was holding out on them. He accused God of lying to them. Satan convinced Eve the fruit was good to eat, and would make her like God. So Eve ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen. 3:1-6)
After she ate the forbidden fruit, Eve found Adam and gave him the fruit to eat also. The Bible tells us that Adam was not deceived (1 Tim 2:14).
Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in direct disobedience to God. He may have felt that he had to choose between God and Eve. Adam chose to sin with his wife rather than obey God.
Adam ate the forbidden fruit because he loved the woman God had given him more than he loved his creator. Evil entered into Adam along with that fruit. Adam now knew evil. By disobeying God, Adam had firsthand experience being evil. Adam was now a sinner.
Like begets like. By Adam’s sin, the whole human race became sinners by nature. Everything reproduces after its own kind. Because he was a sinner, all of Adam’s decedents are born sinners. That includes us.
We are all sinners by nature just like Adam
Our Connection Broken
Adam and Eve died spiritually that day. Their sin of disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit broke their spiritual connection to God. Instead of loving their creator, they now feared Him and tried to hide from Him.
But you cannot hide from God. He knows and sees everything.
There were also physical consequences for their sin. Adam and Eve had to leave their garden paradise. They began to age and die physically. God cursed the earth and made life more difficult for them. Death and bloodshed entered the world. The blood of innocent animals was required to cover their sin.
Since then all people have been sinners by nature, disobedient to God. We are all doomed to death and eternal punishment for our self-imposed separation from God.
Something is Missing
Mankind lost a lot that day. Like breaching a dam, all the trouble, tragedy and chaos we are flooded with today were set in motion by Adam’s sin. But our greatest loss was our spiritual connection with God.
The loss of God’s Spirit left a hole in our hearts that cannot be filled by anything else. “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll” may help us forget temporarily, but they cannot fill that void. No amount of money, possessions, or friends can take the place of a loving connection with our Creator.
The Bad News
You are a sinner
Adam’s sin resulted in separation from God, the curse, and death.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to everyone, because all have sinned.” Romans 5:12 (ISV)
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after god. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10-12, 23 (NKJV)
What is Sin?
You might ask, “What is sin?” Sin is any disobedience of God. And ignorance of His law is no excuse.
You may have heard of the 10 Commandments:
- You shall have no other God beside the creator God of the Bible
- Do not make or worship idols
- Do not take God’s name in vain
- Remember to keep the Sabbath holy
- Honor your father and mother
- Do not steal
- Do not murder
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not bear false witness (do not lie)
- Do not covet (desire something that belongs to someone else)
If anything else in your life has ever been more important to you than your creator God, then you have sinned.
If you have ever used “God” or the name of “Jesus” in a frivolous way, or as part of a curse, you have sinned.
If you have ever disobeyed one of your parents, you have sinned.
If you have ever stolen anything, no matter how small, you have sinned.
If you have ever had sex outside of marriage, then you have sinned.
If you have ever lied, you have sinned.
If you have ever wanted something that belonged to someone else, you have sinned.
If you have ever sinned, then, like everyone else in the world, you are a sinner.
We are all sinners.
The Really Bad News
God is Holy
and Must Punish Sin
“For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23a (KJV)
A wage is what you earn for the work you do. This verse tells us that what we earn by our sin is death. Sin has already separated us from God. We are born spiritually dead, and we are all dying physically. Sin is the ultimate cause of physical death, and physical death overtakes us all.
God is completely holy, righteous, and just so He must punish our sin. By our sin we have all earned death. If we die physically while we are still cut off from God spiritually, then death includes not only our inevitable physical death, but also eternal separation from God in Hell.
We have all earned eternal punishment in Hell
The Good News
God loves you and still wants to connect with you
The good news is that God, our creator, loves us! He does not want to punish us or to separate us from Himself. God loves us and wants our fellowship, just as any loving parent would want to be reconciled to an estranged child.
God made a way to forgive our sin
God’s holiness demands payment for our sin, but because of His love, God does not want to punish us. In order that His love and justice could both be satisfied, God Himself provided a substitute as payment for our sins.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (NKJV)
The Really Good News
God loves you so much that He paid the penalty for your sins
God Himself became a man, born of a virgin named Mary. This man was God in the flesh and had no human father, so He had no sin nature. He was born of a woman though, so He was still fully human. He was and is both fully God and fully man. His name is Jesus.
Being fully human, Jesus was tempted just as we are. However, being God and not having a sin nature, Jesus was able to live a perfect, obedient, sinless life.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (ISV)
Even though Jesus never sinned, He still paid the penalty of sin by physically dying on a cross. Because Jesus had no sin of His own to pay for, His death can pay for our sin.
Jesus took our place
He died as our substitute to pay for our sin
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NASB)
“For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
“For just as through one man’s disobedience many people were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience many people will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 (ISV)
The Gift of Eternal Life
The bad news is that we are all sinners and have earned eternal death by our sin.
The good news is that Jesus Christ has paid for our sins.
As a result, we can receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life as a free gift!
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (KJV)
Please note that salvation is an undeserved gift that God has made available to us because He is merciful. It must be humbly received.
Salvation cannot be earned
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
Making the Connection
The way you receive the gift of salvation from sin is by faith
You must believe what God’s Word, the Bible, says about your sin and your need of a savior. You must believe that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, that He lived a perfect, sinless life, and that He paid for your sins by dying on the cross.
Then you must ask for God’s gift of salvation based on Christ’s death on the cross. It is that simple.
“. . . if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 (KJV)
This is usually done by praying a prayer to God, like this:
Dear God, I believe that I am a sinner, that I deserve to go to Hell, and that there is nothing I can do to save myself.
But I believe that Jesus never sinned and He paid for my sin on the cross.
Please forgive my sin based on His death, come into my life, and save my soul.
The exact wording of the prayer is not important. It is the faith with which you pray. If you pray that prayer (or one like it), and really believe it, then God will forgive your sin and welcome you into His family.
Because of sin, we are all born spiritually dead. This leaves a hole in our life, which can only be filled by God. When you trust Jesus Christ as your savior, God not only forgives your sin and saves your soul, He also fills that void in your life.
Added Benefits of Faith in Jesus:
You are adopted into God’s family and become His child:
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12 (KJV)
You are born again spiritually:
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” John 3:3-7 (ESV)
The Holy Spirit of God indwells you (begins to live inside you).
This gives you spiritual life and connects you to God:
“When you believed in Him (Jesus Christ) you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance . . . .” Ephesians 1:13b-14a (ISV)
You become a new person:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
Becoming a child of God gives life meaning. Not only does God become your Heavenly Father, but all other born again believers become your brothers and sisters in Christ. You become part of a giant family; a loving and caring family. You become part of something much larger than yourself. You never need to be alone again because you can always have fellowship with God and His other children.
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:3-7 (ISV)
Here are some suggestions on how you can maximize your fellowship with God and His family once you have trusted Jesus Christ as your savior:
Do not wait. As soon as you realize that you have sinned, confess it to God and ask His forgiveness.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9 (ISV)
Get to know your heavenly Father better
by Reading His Word the Bible
God has revealed Himself to us in the Bible. We get to know God by getting to know His Word.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.”
“I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:9, 15-16 (NASB)
I encourage you to read at least 4 chapters of the Bible every day. This does not take long and is enough to read the whole Bible in a year. I suggest beginning with the New Testament.
God speaks to us through the preaching, teaching and reading of His word. We talk to God through prayer, and He wants to hear from us. Good relationships require good two-way communication. So pray to your Heavenly Father every day.
“Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NASB)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: You must love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (ISV)
We need to love God with all our heart
Make pleasing God your top priority in life
We also need to love other people as ourselves
The best way to love others is by simply obeying the golden rule
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (NASB)
Join a Bible-believing church where they preach the Bible
We all need fellowship with other believers. Just being part of the family of God is not enough.
We need to be involved with a local group of genuine Christians who love God and believe His Word. A burning log removed from a fire quickly grows cold and its fire goes out. A log needs the heat of other burning brands to remain aflame. So it is with us.
To keep our spiritual flame burning bright, we need the love, example, and encouragement that comes from close association with a group of other believers on fire for God.
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