The good news is that we are so lost and broken that we cannot find God or fix ourselves, so God has come to find and save us. To do that he became a man, Jesus of Nazareth, who lived an ordinary human life, distinguished only by the startling fact that he never did anything wrong. He kept all of God’s laws, both internally and externally, and having done so, he transferred all the credit for that obedience to those who love and trust him.
In addition to giving us the credit for his perfect life and obedience, Jesus went further and willingly took the punishment that was due to us for our imperfect, rebellious lives. Dying on the cross, he forgave those who were killing him. When he rose from the dead, Jesus demonstrated that death had no hold on him, nor on any who entrust their lives and souls to him.
the good news is that...god has come to find us and save us
Entering into relationship with God, therefore, doesn’t depend on our own efforts, or even the strength and sincerity of our faith. It is not the quality of our faith that saves us, but the quality of the One in whom we put our faith: Jesus Christ.
The power of this grace and acceptance into the family of God has a transformative effect in the life of a Christian. Since we are no longer trying to earn God’s approval, we are free to love him out of gratitude and joy. Our “good deeds” become truly good for the first time, as they are motivated by thankfulness, rather than done to accrue “good behavior credit” with God.
Slowly we come to resemble the master who has freed us from our cravings and compulsions. As he served a world which neither understood nor appreciated him, so we are called to love our neighbors whether they believe like us or not. Jesus called himself the servant of all and said that we, his followers, needed to serve others sacrificially if we are called by his name.
what you must do
There first must be an admission that you have been living as your own master and worshipping the wrong things. “Repentance” means you ask for forgiveness and turn from that stance with a willingness to live for and center on him.
Faith is transferring your trust from your own efforts to the efforts of Christ. You were relying on other things to make you acceptable, but now you consciously begin relying on what Jesus did for your acceptance with God. All you need is nothing.
You can offer this prayer:
“I see I am more flawed and sinful than I ever dared believe, but that I am even more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I turn from my old life of living for myself. I now rest in what Jesus did and ask to be accepted into God’s family for his sake.” When you move toward God like this, two things happen at once: 1) your accounts are cleared, your sins are wiped out permanently, you are adopted legally into God’s family and 2) the Holy Spirit enters your heart and begins to prompt change so that you begin to become more like Jesus.
Tell a Christian friend about your commitment. Get yourself training in the basic Christian disciplines of prayer, worship, Bible study, and community with other Christians. We couldn’t be more thrilled that you’re ready to begin exploring the reality of life with Jesus Christ. We’d love to talk with you about your journey and get you connected with people who care about you, whether that’s at Waterstone or elsewhere.
What is God doing in your life?
If you have questions about what you have read above or if you have a story to share about what God is doing in your life, please contact our Connections Pastor, Madison Campbell.