Your Most Important Relationship

Your Most Important Relationship

1. You are an original masterpiece created by the God who made all things and your purpose and security in life is found only in Him. (References contained on this page are from the Bible and should be read in context wherever possible.)

God is your Creator … but you already knew that:
"Ever since the world was created, the qualities of God, His nature and eternal power, have been clearly seen through what has been made." He created all things and we find our life in Him.
(Romans 1)

God's Love

"God loved the world in such a way that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have a new kind of life that will never end."  (John 3:16)

God's Plan

[Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" [that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life?

2. We are all SINFUL and SEPARATED from friendship with God. Therefore, we cannot know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

Humanity Is Sinful (Rom. 1.18-23)
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We were created to have communion with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we choose to go our own independent way, and friendship with God is broken. Our self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference toward God, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

We Try to Make Life Work Without Acknowledging God

"The wages of sin is death" [a broken relationship with God] (Romans 6:23).
This diagram illustrates that God is holy (perfect, pure love) and mankind is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that naturally, we are bent on trying to make life work without communion with God. We keep trying to create our own meaning and purpose in life apart from God through our own efforts and plans based on our own rules & values. Apart from communion with God, everything we do, even a “good deed” is marred by selfishness and self-centered pride. Everyone has a sense of guilt about this in their heart. Some people try to cover up guilt by living “a good life,” trying philosophy, “religion,” or even rebellion, but we can never find the life we were created for by ourselves. We were created to enjoy close friendship with God. God did not create anything that gives us more pleasure than Him. However, because of our sin and rebellion, no one naturally seeks God.

If you think you are a "good person," just glance at the 10 Commandments ... have you ever told a lie?  If so, what does that make you?  Have you ever taken something that wasn't yours?  If so, what does that make you?  Jesus takes it even further and applies the law of God to our hearts and says if we've hated someone, we've murdered them in our hearts.  Have you ever hated someone?  Jesus also says if we look on a woman with lust, we've committed adultery with her in our hearts.  Have you ever looked on someone lustfully?  If you've said, "Yes" to these questions (like I have), then you would be a lying, thieving, adulterous murderer ...

How can we get to know God?
3. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Only through Him can you know and experience God's love and the abundant life he promises.

He Died in Our Place

"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:23)
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus did not sin and did not deserve to die. Instead, his torture, suffering and death was the punishment for the sins of all who confess their sins and accept His sacrifice on their behalf. This demonstrates God’s justice (he punishes sin) as well as His mercy (he has made a way for sin to be forgiven).

He Rose Bodily From the Dead

All other religious leaders are still in their tombs. Only Jesus has proven he is the way by rising bodily from the dead.
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..." (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to heal your relationship with God

All major religions point to Jesus and call him a “good teacher, a good man or an expression of God.” When you look at Jesus’ own teaching, He only points to himself.
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'" (John 14:6).
This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
4. We must individually REPENT (turn from our own ways and turn to God and His ways) and RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Savior (the one who saves us from having to pay the penalty for our own sin) and surrender to him as Lord (ruler of our lives); only then we can know and experience God's love and abundant life He promises.

We Must Receive Christ

"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)

We Receive Christ by Grace, Through Faith

"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast"
(Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth. God adopts us into His own family and sends His own Spirit to enter our lives, to declare us as His very own and begin to change us from the inside out. (Read John 3:1-8.)

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self reliance (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us who He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, in response to His Spirit drawing our hearts toward Himself.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Self –Directed Life
S – Self is on the throne
† – Christ is rejected by the life
• – Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration
Christ–Directed Life
† – Christ is in the life and on the throne
S – Self is yielding to Christ
• – Interests are directed by Christ
resulting in harmony with God’s plan

Does what I have shared with you so far make sense to you?
Which circle best describes your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?
Is there any reason you can think of why you would not want to turn from your sin, accept Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for your sin and receive Jesus as your savior and lord of your life right now?
It is important for you to realize that a desire to turn from sin to God is only possible when God is at work in your heart drawing you to himself. You can rely on him for the strength you need to live this new life by his spirit at work in you.
The following explains how you can receive Christ as a starting point for a new relationship with him:
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer (Prayer is talking to God).
God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. 
The following is a suggested prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I want to respond to the work you are doing in my heart, mind and life. I have sinned against you and need your forgiveness and a new heart.
Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I confess that Jesus is Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life by Your Spirit’s presence in my life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."
Do you sense God at work in your life, making this prayer the desire of your heart?
If you do, pray this prayer right now, and respond to the work God has begun in your life.

The Bible promises eternal life

"The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life"
(1 John 5:11-13).

Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You can know on the basis of His promise and the changes in your life that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life. He will not deceive you.
An important reminder...

Do not depend on feelings

The promise of God's Word, the Bible - not our feelings - is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship among fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).
The train will run with or without a caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, as Christians we do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.

Now that you have received Christ

The moment that you received Christ by grace, through faith, many things happened, including the following:
1. Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20; Colossians 1:27).
2. Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
3. You became a child of God (John 1:12).
4. You received eternal life (John 5:24).
5. You began the great adventure for which God created you
(John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than receiving Christ? Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what He has done for you? By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.
To enjoy your new life to the fullest...

Suggestions for Christian Growth

Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus Christ. "The righteous person shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11). A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly with every detail of your life, and to practice the following:
G    Go to God in prayer daily (John 15:7).
R    Read God's Word daily (Acts 17:11); begin with the Gospel of John.
O    Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).
W   Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).
T    Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).
H    Holy Spirit – submit to His control and let Him empower your daily life and witness
(Galatians 5:16,17; Acts 1:8).

Fellowship in a Good Church

God's Word instructs us not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25). Several logs burn brightly together; but put one aside on the cold hearth and the fire goes out. So it is with your relationship with other Christians.
If you do not belong to a church, do not wait to be invited. Take the initiative; call the pastor of a nearby church where Christ is honored and His Word is preached (not all churches are good). Start this week, and make plans to attend regularly.

Special Materials Are Available for Christian Growth.

If you have come to Christ personally through this presentation of the gospel, helpful materials for Christian growth are available to you. For more information, simply contact us.
Email: Bill