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Can we know God personally?
With all problems we get ourselves into, how can we really know God personally? How can we have the right to experience relationship with God?
The Bible tells us we can. Not only that that, but it also tells us how.
Would you be willing to consider what the Bible says about this? It is very important.
First, try to answer this question: Why did Jesus die on the cross?
Do you know? How does that help us today, 2,000 years later?
Now don't forget that question, because we will come back to it. But for now, let's go on to see how we can know God personally.
God is the holy creator and ruler of all things, and He made us in His image to live in obedient relationship with Him.
The entire Bible shows God revealing Himself to His human creation and making it possible to have relationship with Him for ever. God lovingly creates and rules all things, and He makes them for His purposes.
We are not an accident. God created us for a purpose and to live in relationship with Him.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
See: Genesis 1:26-2:2; 2:7-8; Psalm 19:1-3; 139:13-18; Titus 1:2; 1 John 5:11-13
God did not need to create us, but He chose to create us. God also chose to give us choice. The first humans chose to disobey God. Since then, we have all followed in their disobedience, with rebellion in our hearts.
Our fellowship with God has been broken due to our disobedience and rebellion toward Him.
The Bible tells why we are unable to fellowship with God on our own. We naturally do wrong (sin) against God, ourself, and others. We have rebelled God's goodness since the first humans disobeyed Him, and we deserve God's just judgment.
Our sin is destructive, and it separates us from our holy God. Similar to how our bodies could not hold up to being in the sun's presence, we cannot be in the presence of God with our sin. We are broken and in need of a complete repair that only God can do.
There is nothing we ourselves can do to fix our sin problem. Religion and good deeds cannot correct things either.
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Without being repaired by God, we will have to give account for living in disobedience to Him on our own. At death, we will be separated from God into an eternity without God. In the Bible, this is often called judgment, condemnation, the second death, or the lake of fire.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
See: Genesis 3:8-11; Isaiah 6:3; Romans 3:10-20; Revelation 21:8
Knowing we would sin, God chose the most loving way to offer us forgiveness, transformation, and restored relationship with Him.
God has always been forgiving and merciful to repentant sinners. In His wisdom, He has always provided a way for sinful people to turn from their sin and obey Him by faith.
See: 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 32:1-2; 51:1-17; 130:1-8; 145:8; 1 John 1:8-9;
The only provision that would fully satisfy God's holy justice is a perfect, sinless sacrifice bearing sin's judgment on behalf of those who have sinned. Since God is the only One Who is perfect, He chose to be that sacrifice.
This is where God's holy justice combines with his endless love on the cross.
1 Peter 3:18
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
God came to us as Jesus Christ--both fully God and fully man. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life on Earth and then sacrificially died in our place for our sin.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
See: Isaiah 9:6-7; 53:1-12; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1-14; 3:16-21; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:6-12; Ephesians 2:4-10; 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 3:4-7
Jesus rose again, showing He alone can give eternal life and victory over our sin and need for judgment. Jesus is the only way humans, created in God's image, can be healed from sin and restored to fellowship with God.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
1 Peter 1:3
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
See: 1 Corinthians 15:19-22, 55-57; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians 1:14-20
Jesus was blamed for sin so that sinners can be made righteous according to His innocence. Ever heard of a "scape goat?" Jesus willingly became one for the world.
Think of how a court expunges criminal records. Jesus bears the penalty of sin so that others may be "expunged." The Bible word for this is "justification."
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Those who trust in and submit to Jesus will live out God's purposes for them in eternal fellowship.
Not only does Jesus give life eternal, but also, He rules all things and will make all things new--even the world.
Those who have been forgiven and restored to God through Jesus will live joyfully under His leadership for ever and, in eternity, without sin.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How does one receive this salvation from sin and this restored relationship with God?
The Bible calls us to turn from our pursuit of sin and follow Jesus by faith. The Spirit of God convicts sinners of our need for Jesus.
Have you sincerely considered the message of Christ we have shared with you?
Do you agree with God that you, along with all of us, commit sin in both your heart and life?
Do you believe God is just and will judge all sin?
Do you believe that God came to us as Jesus Christ and that He died for our sin and rose again as the only Way to restore us to God eternally?
Will you trust in Jesus as your Savior and follow Him as your Lord?
Really think about these questions.
If you are willing to turn from your sin and trust in Jesus, then we invite you to tell that God. Talk with God, and in your own words, ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 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.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
If you have heard the message of Christ, and you believe, then call on and follow Jesus.
See: John 1:12; Acts 16:30-34; 20:21; Romans 3:21-28; 5:1-2; 6:11-23
If you are trusting Jesus to save and restore you to God, then follow Him.
God promises to save and transform all who respond to Jesus' message of salvation by turning with a change of heart and mind (repentance) and believing on Jesus to be their Savior and Lord (faith).
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Those to whom Jesus has given eternal life follow Jesus.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Followers of Jesus help each other continue faithfully by meeting together and learning Jesus' teaching together. This is what a biblical church does.
If you are trusting and following Jesus, it is important you actively participate within a local church that faithfully teaches the Bible.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
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