I would never want you to leave me, this page or anything I do without telling you what matters most.
That is how to have a relationship with God.
Why is this such a big deal? I believe with everything I am it's not only a big deal, but it's the biggest deal. Deciding what you believe about God will define your existence here on earth and for all eternity.
Since this outcome affects everything, go with me for just a minute. Humor me with my illustrations and scripture and just take it in.
Physical Boundaries. Moral Boundaries.
I am no scientist, but I only have to be clumsy to experience The Law of Gravity. And as much as I would like to, I will never be able to spread my wings and fly like a bird.
I also cannot swim for very long under the water, just as a fish cannot survive out of it.
It's pretty safe to say that the Creator of this world put laws and boundaries around it, and subsequently on the life that was created to occupy it.
The Higher Power who took care to design an amazing place with such order and structure would not just stop at physical boundaries. There would also be moral boundaries and laws that would teach us how to live and dwell in this place that was created.
It's my belief that God created this world. And being the author of all things created gives Him the authority to determine how this world runs. I call it, God's House. God's Rules.
We all know of someone that when you step into their house they have their own set of "house rules". Does no shoes on the carpet, or always use a coaster sound familiar to anybody? Those are physical boundaries. There are also moral ones as well. For instance, I'm sure you'd get asked to leave if you tried to steal their china or threatened their dog. Those actions would greatly affect your relationship.
Think about this:
If God created this world, then God can design or use what ever rules He deems fit. Much like the Law of Gravity I talked about above, He also has a set of of laws that teach us how to live morally in this place He created. It's called God's Word, or The Bible.
In the beginning we had perfection. The Creator and the created lived in perfect harmony. Then sin entered into the picture, and the separation between a Holy God and sinful man occurred.
God wanted a relationship. He could not live with man in the state he was in. Not because God is a big meany, but because man was now on the path of death. It would be a permanent physical and spiritual separation from God. This was not an outcome God desired. As a result, the Bible spends the rest of it's entirety describing in detail how we, the creation, can return to that state of perfection with the Creator. It tells us how we can once again have a relationship that enables us to live with a Holy God, and no longer be separated by sin from Him.
It starts like this: Good News. Bad News.
Let's talk about the bad. This is one of the first moral laws we will look at from the Bible.
Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.
To sin means we've missed the mark. We're not good enough. We've fallen short. Well, short of what?? I am pretty good guy/gal. I don't break the law. I always pay my taxes. I treat my family right. I give to charities.
I believe a majority of people are this way. This is also very frightening because we use the wrong measuring stick when we look at ourselves as being "pretty good". Pretty good is not perfection. God, in his glory, is perfection. Perfection is what we've fallen short from. None of us on our very best day were ever perfect. Much less the overwhelming task of being perfect every day. Perfection is what is required. It's just not possible. But it doesn't end there.
More Bad News.
Romans 6:23 explains to us another moral law. The cost of not being perfect is death. It states that the wages of sin is death.
The penalty and cost of our sin is death.
Hebrews 9:22 gives additional information. It states that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.
So why Death? Why Blood?
The scriptures give understanding to death being the penalty of sin. If blood is required for forgiveness, and blood is the source of life (absence of blood = no presence of life), it only makes sense for death and blood to be the result of the penalty when viewed this way.
This seems so over the top barbaric when viewed through a human response to the situation. What we forget is that we may not like The Law of Gravity, but no matter how hard I try to defy it, it will always win. Why? Because it's The Law of Gravity for crying out loud! You'd have to leave this world to get away from it. If we are subject to the physical boundaries why would we not be subject to the moral ones? This is where we get tripped up every time. We are okay to comply with some of the boundaries, the ones that make sense to us, but not the ones we don't agree with.
If God determined that the cost of sin was death and that in order for it to be forgiven, blood must be shed, a life must be given, then He can. He is God, and it's His world. Not mine. I was just created to live here.
If this stills seems so overwhelming unfair to you that's because we do not have a right view of sin. We also do not have a right view of who we are and who God is. To be upset at the moral laws of this world makes about as much sense as shaking your fist at gravity every time you fall down. You would never do that in your right mind, but some how we think it's within our rights to shake our first at God in anger for how this world is.
Romans 9:20 says this, But who are you , O man to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"
Sin is costly. And the price is death. This is the Bad News.
So now what? This is where the Good News comes in. I'm about ready for it, are you??
The wonderful, good news is that God in his great pleasure and will made a way of escape for us. A way to side step death, and live in a relationship with him. He did this through his son, Jesus.
Romans 5:6 tell us that at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
What where we powerless to do? To be perfect. To save ourselves from certain death.
So what happened? Jesus Christ died in our place.
The difference being this: Jesus was able to take our place because He is perfect.
The very thing we were unable to be, Jesus is.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says this, God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Listen to Romans 8:1-4, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit or life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us...
What we were unable to do, God sent Jesus to do. We were bound to the law of sin and death, but through Jesus dying in our place, the righteous requirements of the law can now be fully met in us. It's through Jesus we can claim this.
So, now what?
The Bible has an answer for that as well. We learn in Romans 10:9 what to do. It states that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Saved from what? Saved from death. Saved from separation. Saved from living this life without the One who created it all.
There is a basic question we must all answer.
What do you believe?
Do you believe that God would send his son to die in your place? Do you believe that Jesus was capable of doing what the Bible claims he did? Do you believe enough to confess it with your mouth and believe it in your heart?
It's so easy to believe the physical laws exist because you can see and experience them everyday. The moral ones, are more difficult. They take faith. Faith is believing in something you can not see. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it's impossible to please God. It also tells us that we can pray for faith. In Mark 9:24 a man, whose son was dying, cried out for Jesus to, help his unbelief.
I don't know where you are today. If you're needing just a little nudge of faith, or a full blown windfall. I do know however, that God will give to those who ask. Matthew 7:7 tell us to ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Go, ahead. Ask. Find out for yourself that God is faithful. When you do, tell me about it. I'd love to hear your story and pray with you!
What Matters Most
What you believe about God will define your existence for all eternity.
Pretty good is not perfection.
The cost of not being perfect is death.
Jesus is perfect.
What do you believe?