We are a body of believers in Jesus Christ, made up of individuals who were once slaves to our own sinful desires and enemies of the God who created us. But now, our relationship with God has been restored as we have fully embraced the gospel message God has revealed in His Word—the Bible. Our desire is to minister this gospel in the northwest Phoenix, AZ area and around the world.
What About You?
How would you describe your relationship with God? To some people God seems distant or uninterested. Others may feel that they are too far away from God for hope. Still others may think they are alright just the way they are. Whoever you are and wherever you have been, God is personally interested in you and longs to share a close relationship with you. He has revealed Himself to you in the Bible so that you can know Him.
Close relationships are made by taking time to get to know each other. As you take time to investigate God’s amazing love through the following four characteristics of God, you can begin to know Him for yourself.
God is holy and cannot tolerate our sin.
One Old Testament verse states that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil,” and cannot even look on sin (Habakkuk 1:13a). God’s law is a reflection of His holy nature, and every time we break one of His laws we offend Him. This puts us in a dilemma because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God’s standard is perfection, and we all fall short of His perfect standard.
Imagine two people trying to touch the top of a 40-foot flagpole. One might be able to jump higher than the other, but neither would be able to touch the top. The same is true about God’s holy standard. Some people may sin less than others, but no one is perfect and without sin. There is more, but if this were all we knew about God, who would be able to have a relationship with Him? No one!
God is just and cannot overlook our sin.
As the just judge of all the earth, God must judge all of us by the same standard. Romans 6:23 teaches that God’s standard judgment for sin is death. Jesus gave this picture of the judgment day, “Then shall He say also unto them…, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matt. 25:41). The Bible teaches that the destiny of all men apart from the hope found in God’s grace is eternity in hell. You may be thinking, “How can this be? I thought God was a loving God.” Look at it this way, what would you think of a judge who let an obvious murderer go free? Would that be just? Now, if that murderer were the judge’s brother and he loved him more than any man on earth, would it be just to let him go free? No! Love does not undo the necessity for judgment.
God is loving and has reached out to us.
God could not simply watch men die and go to hell without doing something about it. He has provided a way for us to be close to Him that satisfies His holy, just nature. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus was in Heaven with God and came to earth in the form of a man. He came to give His life in exchange for ours. “Christ [Jesus] also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). He paid the penalty for our sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches that He completes the exchange by giving His perfect righteousness to us. Now, God can give us a home with Him in heaven forever and still be just.
God is gracious and offers salvation as a gift.
John 1:12 promises, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” You can receive Jesus by believing that He died in your place and rose to defeat the penalty of death for you. He will give you a satisfying relationship with Him and an eternal home in heaven.
Knowing the fullness of Who God is brings all of us to a decision. Will you believe that your sin keeps you from having a relationship with God, and will you receive the exchange Jesus is offering you? He wants to make you His child.
Do you believe that Jesus loves you and will give you forgiveness and eternal life if you ask Him? Then are you willing to receive Him right now? Here is a sample prayer. You can pray this in your heart if you really mean it.
I have sinned against Your holy nature and deserve judgment in hell. I believe You loved me enough to die in my place. Please forgive my sins, exchange my sinful record for Your holy one, and give me eternal life in heaven. Thank You, Jesus. Amenwww.exchangemessage.org. Used by permission.