How To Know God
How can we know God?
Maybe we should first ask, "CAN we know God? Does God even WANT us to know Him?" The good news is, "YES!"
God answered that question when He gave us His Word, the Bible, which shows us His nature, desires and truth. It really is God's "word" to us, and in it He tells us this: "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) He clearly wants to be found by us.
But KNOWING God involves more than simply knowing ABOUT God. You could read the entire Bible and still not KNOW God. God wants us to respond to His invitation to enter into a personal, intimate, vital relationship with Him.
Ah, but there is a problem: He is a holy God and we are unholy people, separated from Him by our sin. As it says in Ephesians 2:1-3, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."
But God was so merciful and wanted so much for us to know the joy of living in relationship with Him that He made a way for us to come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. God's perfect justice required that someone pay for our sins so that we could be forgiven and enter into a relationship with God; Jesus volunteered to be that "someone." (Now THAT is love!) Jesus took the blame and punishment for our sins and made a way for us to come home to Father God. See how this is described in Ephesians 2:4-7: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
So, we come to know God through His Son, Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6) Contrary to what you might hear out there, there are not many paths to God. There is only one, and His name is Jesus.
If you acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made for you and express to Him a desire to be forgiven and to enter into a relationship with God, you will, as it says in Colossians 1:13, be "rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son." It's like the best rescue adventure story ever written! (And if you don't think you need to be rescued, you haven't looked closely enough at your life or inside your heart.)
If you allow God to rescue you from darkness (sin) and transfer you into the kingdom of His Son (Jesus), you will inherit the promise of eternal life -- heaven. If you grew up with the idea that doing good deeds is a quick ticket to heaven, here's a news flash: it doesn't work that way. "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) Nobody's good enough to deserve heaven on his or her own merit -- not even the best person you know.
Heaven is a gift -- a gift God gives to His children, those who have entered into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Here's another verse that expresses this truth: "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23-24)
When we come to God the Father and receive His forgiveness through Jesus, an amazing thing happens -- we get "credit" for the righteousness of Christ. We can't earn it or deserve it -- it is a gift of grace that allows us to live in relationship with a holy God. It's humbling to realize we can't be good enough to earn God's love ... but it's also incredibly freeing!
And are you ready for this? When we come to God and are saved from our sins, the very Spirit of God takes up residence in our hearts and begins to mold us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ, from "one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our desires become more like God's desires and our lives begin to display what the Bible calls the "fruit of the Spirit " -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
What a deal!
And all of this -- heaven, the fruit of the Spirit, living an incredibly rewarding, adventurous life in relationship with the God of the universe -- begins when we humble ourselves, acknowledge and turn from our sins, and accept God's invitation to relationship and eternal life through Jesus.
As one writer put it: "Know Jesus, know life. No Jesus, no life".
We pray you'll make the decision to choose Jesus today, right now.
Hell is real and you don't want to end up there. And the good news is, you don't have to.
Feel free to call our office (864-223-0002) if you would like to talk to a staff member about what it means to follow Jesus and to know God. You'd make our day if you called! If you prefer, you can fill out this short form.
If you would like to read a popular, concise explanation of the Gospel that has stood the test of time, click here: Four Spiritual Laws.