What does it mean to have a relationship with God? How does that affect the way we live our lives? Why did God create us? Why are we here? Why do we stay here once we have entered into right relationship with God?
What I am about to teach you, if studied in depth and meditated and reflected upon, has the power to change your life, shape your future, and determine your eternal destiny and your experience in this life! To that end, I have provided a number of Bible verses for your future study and reflection.
Let’s be clear about one thing at the start: the world is not as God created it! We’ve messed it up pretty good. God’s original creation was a place where substantial differences existed in the relationship between God and mankind. Three of the most notable differences were how people felt “naturally”:
The Natural Condition of Mankind at 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.” (Gen. 1:27-28)
"Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.'” And it was so. (Gen 1:29-30)
"The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." (Genesis 2:23-25)
What happened? Mankind in the original creation chose to rebel against God and against His laws. Because of this, there were severe consequences. Forevermore, those impacts have been passed on to every person in the human race(which means most of us!). Now the “natural” condition of mankind is very different:
The Natural Condition of Mankind after Rebellion:
Each of these relates to how we relate to God:
- Rejection(Genesis 3:8)
- Guilt and Shame(Genesis 3:8-4:9)
- Weak and Helpless(Genesis. 2:17)
If God intended for us to be in right relationship with Him, and if our “natural condition” after sin entered the world is to be separated from God, then how do we recover? God has made it possible for us to recover our relationship with Him by taking care of our problem through paying the consequences for us. When Jesus gave His life on the cross He was paying the penalty for our debt. It was a debt He did not owe and which we could not pay. Receiving this gift of Christ is what becoming a Christian is all about. Once we receive this gift of Christ, we enter into our new life with God.
Life determines identity…it is who you are. Being a Christian brings us a change of “natures”. We are no longer stuck in the natural condition of rejection, helplessness, and shame, separated from God and unable to live a life that is pleasing to Him. We actually now have the ability to be someone in Christ! In fact, here is a spiritual equation:
Spiritual Equation: You + Christ =wholeness and meaning
“Being a Christian is not just getting something, it is being someone” (Neil Anderson). In fact, several very significant things happen when you come into right relationship with God through receiving Jesus Christ:
We are His new creation
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (II Corinthians. 5:17)
We are His children
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as He is." (I Jn. 3:1-2)
We are His people
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." (I Peter 2:9-10)
We are His workmanship
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians. 2:10)
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