These days it seems like opinions about Jesus, the Bible and religion are all over the map. But for the next few minutes, let’s try to cut through the noise and get to the core of what it means to follow Jesus. Because the awesome thing is that Jesus didn’t come to start a religion, he came so that we could have relationship with God. Let’s dive in.
God wants to have a relationship with you. The Bible, God’s written word, is one of the ways God reveals Himself to us most clearly. In it, He says that He loves you so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to make a way for you to know him. Because of God’s grace, His love doesn’t change regardless of where you’ve been or what you’ve done.
He created us to know and love Him, and worship Him. His word makes it clear that a truly full life — a life of deep joy and lasting satisfaction—is found only in relationship with Him. God wants us to have this life not just on earth, but for eternity.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
At this point, you might be wondering why we need Jesus to know God.
All of us have sinned and sin separates us from God.
God designed us to have fellowship with Him, but because of our selfishness and pride we chose to go our own way. Our relationship with God has been broken. Our rebellion, our turning from God to do what we want, shows up in many different forms, and the Bible calls it sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
God is completely loving, completely holy and completely just. He’s all of these things all of the time. And because of his holiness and justice, our sin has disastrous consequences. These consequences leave us owing a penalty for all of eternity.
The wages of sin is death. - Romans 6:23
Our sin isolates us from God. And because we are designed for relationship, we’re always striving, through our own efforts, to reach God and the full life. We turn to things like money, careers, human relationships, or religion. We try to make these things our gods—to reimagine what a full life is, based on our own wants—but inevitably we come up empty.
There’s only one way to restore our relationship with God.
Jesus is God's answer for our sin problem. Through Him can we can know God and experience His love.
Jesus, God in the form of man, came to earth. He lived a sinless life, and chose to die in our place. He was crucified, murdered on a cross, to take all the punishment for our sins. The Bible also refers to Jesus as “Christ” which is based on a Hebrew word that means “the chosen one.” This title signifies that Jesus is the king who came to rescue humanity.
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
It looked like Christ’s death would be the end of this true story, but God was just getting to the best part: After his death, Jesus rose again. And in that moment, God defeated death!
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures … He was buried … He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. - 1 Corinthians 15:3,4
Because He is the Son of God and the one who defeated death, the Bible makes it clear that Christ is the only way we can be reconciled with God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. - John 14:6
God, through his mercy, restored humanity’s relationship with Him by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. What an amazing gift He offers us. All we have to do is accept it!
Each of us must individually receive Jesus as Savior. This is the way to begin a relationship with God, to experience His love and wholeness in our lives.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. - John 1:12
Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” - Revelation 3:20
By the grace of God, we can receive Jesus by faith. We turn to God and trust Christ to forgive our sins. We invite Him to come into our lives, surrendering our own will and, through the power of His Holy Spirit, trusting Him to bring about what’s best for us now and for eternity.
Did you notice that there aren’t any requirements about following rules or trying harder or acting religious? That’s one of the beautiful things about really following Jesus. He has already done the work, trading his life for our forgiveness, no matter what we’ve done.
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
You can receive Christ right now through prayer
Prayer is simply talking to God. God knows your heart, so He’s more concerned with your thoughts and your heart than He is with specific words. You can pray something like this:
"Jesus, Thank You for dying on the cross in my place. I need You in my life. I open my heart to you. Help me to live a life that reflects your love."
If this prayer expresses your heart, you can pray right now and Christ will come into your life.
So that’s what the message of Jesus is really all about. Still have questions? No problem. We understand that some of this might seem new and overwhelming. We’d love to talk with you more about having a relationship with God. You can connect with us by phone at 719.388.5000. or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d also be excited to welcome you to any of our Woodmen campuses for a weekend worship service. Please take a few minutes to swing by Connect Central before or after the service, there’ll be friends there who would love to answer any questions you have and help you on your faith journey. Click Here for more info about what to expect when you join us for a service.