Is Jesus still interested in us? What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Christ, and in what way does it impact our lives? And how does someone go about making that kind of commitment?
Those are good questions, and typical of someone who understands the significance of Jesus. Here is some information to help answer these and other questions you may have about Jesus.
Because of Jesus' resurrection, his followers do not honor a dead founder
They have a vital, personal relationship with him. Jesus Christ lives today and faithfully enriches the lives of all those who trust and obey him. Throughout the centuries, multitudes have acknowledged the worthiness of Jesus Christ, including many who have greatly influenced the world. French physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal spoke of people's need for Jesus when he said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man, which only God can fill through his Son Jesus Christ."
You can! Because of God's deep love for you, he has already made all the necessary arrangements. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can enjoy a personal relationship. Jesus made it possible to bridge the chasm which separates us from God. The following four principles will help you discover how to know Jesus personally and experience the abundant life he promised.
God LOVES you and created you to know Him personally
John 3:16 "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 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
What prevents us from knowing God personally?
Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God].
Romans 8:6-8 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."
A great gulf separates man from God. Man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with Him through human efforts, such as living a good life, philosophy, or religion. But he inevitably fails.
The third principle explains the only way to bridge this gulf...
Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience God's love
Romans 5:8 "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
1 Corinthians 15:3-6 "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..."
John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
God has bridged the gulf that 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.
But it is not enough just to know these truths...
We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; then we can know God personally and experience His love
John 1:12 "As many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name."
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith. This does not depend on anything you have achieved, it is the free gift of God; and because it is not earned no one can boast about it."
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (a spirit of repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and make us what 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, as an act of our will.
Jesus Christ is waiting for an invitation to come in to your life. In fact, he says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in" (Revelation 3:20).
Perhaps you can sense Christ knocking at the door of your heart. You can invite him in by faith right now. God knows your heart so it doesn't matter exactly what words you use.
Here's a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Jesus Christ will come into your life just as he has promised. Once you invite Christ into your life, he promises to never leave you.
Hebreww 13:5 "God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"
How Can I Be Saved?