It is in knowing Jesus that you know the great God of heaven who loves you!
To know Jesus is to know true love.
The story of Jesus is the story of a rescue operation. God who is the creator of all things, including you and me, sent Jesus, His one and only son to rescue us. When Jesus was born, angels sang that peace was coming to mankind [Luke 2:14]. The coming of Jesus Christ was a declaration of war on the kingdom of Satan, not on the human race. God was sending His son to rescue us from Satan who hates God. In sending Jesus, God declares His love, His power over Satan, and His desire to bring peace to all who believe. For us, Jesus' coming is a sign of God's overwhelming love and His incredible desire to save us. As the Bible says in John 3:16, "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
Through Jesus, God has done for us what we can never do for ourselves. He has made it possible for self-centered, proud, and disobedient people to be forgiven and brought back into a loving relationship with God. We cannot do it on our own. We cannot be good enough. But Jesus takes up the slack for us. When we accept Jesus, God accepts us. It is not a matter of us being good enough; it is a matter of us trusting that Jesus has rescued us. It is a free gift.
If you have never accepted this free gift, please give it some thought. Please take a few minutes to read these scriptures below. It really makes sense, it really brings peace, and it will be a great adventure as you begin to live in love because you have been loved.
God loves you.
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." [John 3:16]
God is holy and just. He punishes all evil and expels it from his presence.
"But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness." [Romans 1:18]
God, who created everything, made us to find our purpose in life through a relationship with him.
"...for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him." [Colossians 1:16]
But we rebelled and turned away from God.
"All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all." [Isaiah 53:6]
The result is separation from God.
"It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore." [Isaiah 59:2]
The penalty is eternal death.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." [Romans 6:23]
God became human in the person of Jesus Christ in order to restore the broken relationship with mankind.
"For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross." [Colossians 1:19-20]
Christ lived a perfect life.
"He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone." [1 Peter 2:22]
Christ died as a substitute for us by paying the death penalty for our rebellion from God.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." [Romans 5:8]
He rose from the dead!
"I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said." [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]
He is alive today and gives us a new life of fellowship with God, both now and forever.
"The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." [John 10:10]
I must repent (180 degree turn) of my sins and turn to God.
"From then on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.'" [Matthew 4:17]
"I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent." [Luke 5:32]
I must believe Christ died to provide forgiveness and a new relationship with God.
"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." [John 1:12]
I must have faith and express my faith through baptism.
"Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory." [Romans 5:1-2]
"Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, 'Brothers, what should we do?' Peter replied, 'Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.'" [Acts 2:37-39]
There is no cost to you; salvation comes freely based on faith.
"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." [Ephesians 2:8-9]
But it comes at a high cost to God.
"For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God." [1 Peter 1:18-19]
Ultimately your response is a life of discipleship which means Jesus becomes Lord of your life.
"Then he said to the crowd, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.'" [Luke 9:23-24]
Jesus as Lord means a new life.
"Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." [Romans 6:1-4]
And a new Spirit, a new nature and a new lifestyle.
"So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives." [Galatians 5:16-25]