Those are five words we all want to avoid, right?
Unfortunately , many people we know and encounter every day are experiencing the reality behind those words. Perhaps some of the anguish and questions they stir up are part of your own life.
The fact is, we live in a broken world and feel the daily impact of this brokenness. But there is an answer to this problem. It is found in a person, and his name is Jesus Christ.
Do you know him?
The Bible says Jesus Christ is God, who took on flesh and came into his own creation (John 1:1-14). In him, you can find the peace that overcomes death, conflict, loss, pain, and suffering. But to really know him, there are five other words you need to understand and accept. These words can be found in the book God wrote about himself, the Bible.
Do you know these five simple words?
What do you know about God?
Perhaps you know very little about him or even have doubts about his existence. Maybe you have never thought much about God, or you have thought about him but keep making excuses to ignore him. Whatever your view of God, it doesn’t change the fact that he wants you to know him!
God’s character and nature are awesome. He is eternal. God always existed and always will exist. Have you ever considered that God is unique? The Bible says “there is no other besides him” (Deuteronomy 4:35). Although people might talk about other gods, he is the one true God. He is holy. He is distinct and perfect in every way.
There is something else you need to know about God: He created everything, including you. God personally designed you because he wants to be in a relationship with you. That’s why he continues to make himself known to you.
You might be thinking, “If God created me to be in a relationship with him, why don’t I have one?”
Well, we all know what relationships are like. They’re messy and easily broken. Usually, relationships are damaged when one individual makes things more about him or herself than about the other person. In a similar way, we have all done the same thing to God. Despite the fact he created and loves us, each of us have chosen to make life more about ourselves. As a result, we have not given him his rightful place in our lives. We are born wanting to live a life that’s more pleasing to us than it is to God. This selfish tendency is called sin. The Bible is clear: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The bad news is your sin separates you from God. Although he still desires to have a relationship with you, it isn’t possible. Your sinful nature is a barrier between you and God’s holy character and nature. When sin is present and you desire to please yourself more than God, you’re making a decision to shut him out of your life. You end up with a massive debt of personal sin, and there is nothing you can do to pay for it. In fact, God says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). You are helpless. Unless you’re rescued, your debt will be judged and punished by eternal separation from God.
Thankfully, there is good news.
Did you know that God is love?
God loves every person. Unconditionally. Because of his love for you, God had a plan for you to escape judgment and punishment for sin. What you could never do for yourself, he chose to do for you. His plan provided a substitute to take your place.
The Bible says, “For our sake, [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, instead of leaving you with a debt you could not pay, God transferred your debt to his perfect Son Jesus Christ. Incredibly, God then took the perfect life of Christ and credited his perfection to all who would follow him. As a result, Jesus received the punishment for your sin—which meant he had to suffer and die on a cross. But that wasn’t the end of the plan. Three days later, after Jesus died in your place, God confirmed Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to pay for sin by raising him from the dead.
Thanks to God’s amazing love, you are able to receive forgiveness for your sin and have your relationship with God restored through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Good,” you might think,
“God’s plan took care of things for me.”
Well, that’s not the whole story. Yes, it is true God had a plan and made it possible to be in a relationship with him. However, do you personally believe that plan? Have you acknowledged the reality of sin in your life and turned from it? Do you personally accept that Jesus took your punishment and died in your place? Jesus said, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life” (John 5:24).
Believing doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the evidence and data you need. Nor does it mean you have everything figured out and have no further questions. It does mean more than agreeing and saying, “I understand.” True belief is when you personally acknowledge you are a sinner and that Jesus paid for your sin, asking for and receiving his forgiveness, and trusting he has rescued you from the debt you could never pay. In response to Jesus taking on your debt, true belief means choosing to live for him rather than yourself. The same power that raised him from the dead will give you the power to do it.
The benefit of believing in Jesus is much more than having your sins forgiven. It is also about receiving true life.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). For some people, life is about making money, pursuing pleasure, seeking relationships, or achieving great things. While none of these are wrong, true life is so much more. It’s about finding your significance, meaning, and purpose in God. It’s having hope for every day and beyond. It’s experiencing freedom from things that control you. Only when you live for God will you find true life. This is the life you were created for, and personal belief in Jesus Christ makes it possible. The Bible says, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).
There is something even better about this kind of life: It is eternal. That means the true life we receive through Jesus Christ is never ending. Yes, our life in this world will end, but Jesus gives us life even after death. That life is far better because there will be no more suffering, no more sin, no more struggles. Eternal life is lived alongside Jesus forever and ever.
What do you think?
Is it possible for you to have this kind of
relationship with God?
The answer is yes! It is possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you accept the fact that you’re a sinner, if you believe Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sin, and if you confess he is your Saviour and want to live for him, you can be saved. In fact, God is drawing you to himself at this very moment.
You can respond right now,
wherever you are.
Pray this prayer out loud and from your heart:
Lord, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe your Son Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and the ways I’ve lived only for myself and invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.