“For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by Him. We are no longer Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or free, or even merely men or women, but we are all the same–we are Christians; we are one in Jesus Christ!” Galatians 3:26-28 (LB)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN?
Most people live their entire lives without ever knowing “why”. They exist year after year with no idea of why they live or God’s purpose for their lives. The most basic question a person can ask is, “What is the meaning of my life?”
Everyone wants to be happy. People try many ways:
…Some look for happiness by acquiring possessions.
…Some look for happiness by experiencing pleasure.
…Some look for happiness by gaining prestige and power.
Real happiness comes from understanding your purpose.
WHY AM I HERE
1. God Made Me To Love Me!
God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love!” Jeremiah 31:3
“Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His through our union with Christ…because of His love, God had already decided that through Jesus Christ He would make us His children–this was God’s pleasure and purpose.” Ephesians 1:4,5 (GN)
2. We Were Created To Enjoy A Personal Relationship With God And To Manage All Of The Rest Of God’s Creation!
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:27-28 (NIV)
“God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17
Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness!” John 10:10
3. When We Know And Love God, And Live In Harmony With His Purpose For Our Lives, It Produces Tremendous Benefits In Our Lives:
Clear Conscience Life and Peace Help with Weakness
Romans 8:1 Romans 8:6 Romans 8:26
Purpose Confidence Security
Romans 8:28 Romans 8:31 Romans 8:39
Power and Strength Fulfillment Freedom
Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:19 John 8:32, 36
This is the kind of lifestyle God intends for us to live. Why then, aren’t most people really happy?
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM
Man has a natural desire to disobey and to ignore God’s principles for living.
“Look out for #1. Do your own thing.”
“ If it feels good, do it–regardless of what God says about it.”
“ It’s my life and I’ll do what I please!”
The Bible Calls This Attitude: SIN.
“All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, and each of us has turned to his own way.” Isaiah 53:6
“If we say that we never sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refuse to accept the truth.” 1John 1:8
Sin breaks our close relationship with God. It causes us to fear God and try to live our lives outside of His will.
“The trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God.” Isaiah 59:2 (LB)
“All have sinned and fall short of God’s glorious ideal.” Romans 3:23
When our relationship to God is not right, it causes PROBLEMS in every area of our lives–marriage, career, relationships, finances, etc.
When People Have Problems, They Often Try Many Different Ways Of Coping Before Turning To God.
“ There are ways that SEEM right to man, but they only end in death.” Proverbs 16:25
Even when we know that our deepest need is God, we often try wrong ways of getting to know Him:
* “My mother was a Christian, so…”
* “It doesn’t matter what you believe, just be sincere.”
* “I’ll give up all my bad habits.”
* “I’ll be religious and go to church.”
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
Jesus Christ said, “I AM THE WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father, except THROUGH ME!” John 14:6
God himself came to earth as a human being to bring us back to Himself. If any other way would have worked, Jesus Christ would not have had to come. The Way is a Person!
Jesus Has Already Taken Care Of Your Sin Problem!!
“The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
God did this for us because He loves us and wants us to know Him.
“God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still separated from God by sin, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God is on one side, and all people are on the other side, and Christ Jesus is between them to bring them together, by giving His life for all mankind.”1 Timothy 2:5 God has already done His part to restore our relationship to Him. He took the initiative. Now He waits for each of us to individually accept what He has done for us.
WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO”
1. Believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins and that he rose again and is alive today.
“ If you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“ But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31
2. Confess that God has not been in first place in your life and ask him to forgive your sins.
“ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from every wrong.” I John 1:9
“ Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32
3. Repent and be baptized as your response to the message of God’s great gift.
“ Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2: 38
4. Accept God’s free gift of salvation. Don’t try to earn it.
“ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Our relationship to God is not restored by anything we do, but on the basis of what Jesus already did for us!