Wondering about God?
“Who is God? And can I know this God?” These questions are uttered from the lips of the young and the old. Every sane person that has ever walked the face of the earth knows their short comings (defined as sin) and that death is an unavoidable conclusion to life. These realities force them to ask questions of sin being forgiven and what happens after death. Prophets, philosophers, poets, preachers and prisoners have all attempted to answer these questions with rituals, teachings and claims, with some performing supernatural signs to verify their claims. Sorting through the maze of these contradictory claims has led many on pilgrimages, sleepless nights and fasts, while they consume texts and stories from the ancient teachers.
One man emerges above all men through his claims and actions while on the earth. He claimed to be God in the flesh, lived a sinless life, and trained ordinary men as disciples, while promising to rise from the dead as a sign to his message’s validity. Many leaders throughout history have done one or several of the things mentioned, but only one up to this point has ever been raised from the dead never to die again. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He was raised in a traditional Jewish home in modern Israel and he based his ministry on the Jewish texts that were written over the preceding centuries. He answered the question of who God was and how both Jew and Gentile (non Jews) could come into a relationship with this God. Jesus, due to his great love for every person, died a horrific death upon the cross to redeem sinful man who had been tainted with sin since their ancestors Adam ate of the fruit and disobeyed God within the Garden of Eden. This sin caused a broken relationship between God and man. As a result of man’s need, God who is a Father, sent his only Son, Jesus, into the world to reconcile humanity to Him by suffering the consequences of their sin through his own death on the cross. By believing and trusting that God did this for you and surrendering your life to be his servant, enables you to know God now. This relationship with the Lord enables you to live life at peace because he promised that those who knew him would not perish but have eternal life after their earthly bodies die.
The following verses from the Bible will confirm this simple message:
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
- That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9)
- Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
- For 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, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12)
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Surrendering your life to Christ can be initiated through a simple prayer that encapsulates the verses above.
“Lord, I confess to you that I am a sinner in need of salvation. I ask you to forgive my sins. I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Come dwell within me and make my life pleasing in your sight. I desire to live under your guidance and direction from this day forth. I commit myself to becoming a follower of yours both in my words and my deeds. Thank you for taking away my sins and giving me everlasting life. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen (so be it!)”
Steps of a New Christian
- You have been saved by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-10, Acts 15:11 and Titus 3:4-7)
- You are a saint NOW and stand justified in eyes of the Lord. You can approach Him boldly. (Psalm 103:12, Philippians 1:1, Ephesians 2:19)
- You are part of the Church, which is referred to as the Bride of Christ. You belong to a big family now with Christ as the head. (2 Corinthians 11:2 and Revelation 19:7; 21:2)
- You need to follow Christ’s command for His followers to be baptized in water as a testimony to their personal relationship with the Lord. (Matthew 28:19, Romans 6:1-4 and Acts 2:38-41)
- You can trust the Word of God (your Bible) as being 100% accurate, the source of proper doctrine and practice, as well as being the source to test all revelation to see its validity. (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21 and Acts 1:16 / Psalm 41:9)
- You have access to (and should earnestly seek) the same power given to the early disciples through the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4-5 & 8, Mark 16:16-18 and Acts 2:38-40) You should ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and expect that the infilling is in the same manner as in Bible days. (Acts 2:4, 10:44-46 and 19:1-6)
- Jesus is Coming Again to take His Bride the Church to the Supper of the Lamb. Patiently and eagerly await His return. (Luke 21:27, Acts 1:11, Hebrew 9:28 and Luke 12:40)
Resources to Pursue:
Bible- The standard of faith for the Christian Church. Necessary for teaching, training and conforming the heart of God’s followers to be in alignment with His. Good Study Bibles to purchase: Fire Bible, the Inductive Study Bible or the Spirit Filled Study Bible.
Seekers & New Christians- More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell (Former skeptic Josh McDowell is now joined by his son Sean as they examine the evidence about Jesus. Is he really the Lord he claimed to be? How can we know for sure? More than a Carpenter offers arguments for faith from a skeptic turned believer. Since its original publication in 1977, this modern classic has sold over 15 million copies, been translated into dozens of languages, and introduced countless people to the real Jesus.)
Buddhist Backgrounds- Lotus and the Cross by Ravi Zacharias (Have you ever wondered what Jesus would say to Buddha? Popular scholar Ravi Zacharias sets a captivating scene in this first in the intriguing Conversations with Jesus books. Through dialogue between Christ and Gautama Buddha that reveals Jesus’ warm, impassioned concern for all people, God’s true nature is explored.)
Hindu Backgrounds- Death of a Guru by Rabi Maharaj (Descended from a long line of Brahman priests, Maharaj with bestselling author Dave Hunt, traces his difficult search for meaning, and his struggle to choose between Hinduism and Christ.) For Questions about Hinduism and Christianity go to http://www.indiago.org/Questions-About-Christianity.html
Skeptics to the Christian Faith- Letters from a Skeptic by Gregory and Edward Boyd (This remarkable book is a compilation of letters exchanged between an agnostic father and his believing son in which they alternately raise objections to the Christian faith and responses to them, resulting ultimately in the father’s conversion.)