Bridge to Life!!!

The Desire

God desires to be in relationship with us. In the Garden of Eden, God walked among Adam and Eve unimpaired. Mankind was in intimate, direct connection with God. God's plan for us was always to be with us and give us abundant life, and we all feel this desire deep inside of us. John 10:10 says, "The thief's purpose is to kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." 

The Problem

If God's desire is to be in intimate and direct connection with us and to give us abundant life, then why doesn't that seem to be true for so many people? The problem is sin. Sin comes from a Greek word (ἁμαρτάνω) which is literally translated as "I miss the mark." Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God's command. God said, "You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden - except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die." (Genesis 2:16-17) Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was a direct violation of God's command and caused them to miss the mark of God's standard. God is perfect, so we must be perfect to be completely with God. Because of sin, mankind is now in a state of separation from God. Romans 3:23 says, "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." The penalty of this "falling short" is death. This is not just talking about dying on earth. This is also talking about eternal death. Because we are not connected to God, we must eternally be dead away from Him. This is the price that we must pay for our sins. Romans 6:23a says, "For the wages of sin is death." There is not an exception. 

Our Attempts to Reach God

What can we do to reach God and receive life? Many people have tried a plethora of things to reach God. Some people believe that morality - being a good person - will get them to God. They think that they can bridge the gap between them and God by doing more good things than bad things. This is not the case. Isaiah 64:6 says, "We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind."  We can never do enough to save ourselves. Even committing one sin will cause us to break the whole law. James 2:10 says, "For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws." Some people try to use other religions to reach God, thinking that all religions will lead to the same place. This is also not true. Still others trust their reason and intellect, thinking that their minds can get them to God. This, too, is not true.

The Answer

There is only one way to get to God. Romans 6:23a says, "For the wages of sin is death," but Romans 6:23b says, "...the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." The answer to our separation from God is Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth fully human and fully God. He lived a sinless life and then was brutally crucified on a cross. In his death, Jesus took on the condemnation of our sins and paid the price that we could not. He then was dead for three days and rose again on the third day, conquering death so that we could follow in his footsteps. John 3:16 says that "this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." Because Jesus gave his life, we can live eternally in connection with God! "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8) We cannot take credit then for our salvation; God saved us by his grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." This was the greatest act of love ever committed. John 15:13 says, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." Jesus came to earth and died for those he loved - the ultimate love act. He says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." And his gift -salvation and connection to the Father - is free because of grace.

The Response

How do we accept the free gift of salvation? We must first confess that we have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standard. 1 John 1:9 says, "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." We must then confess that Jesus is the only way to God and that he is our Savior. Romans 10:9-10 says, "If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved." You must confess that you have sinned, be willing to repent and turn from sinful ways, and declare that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior and that he died and rose from the grave. "There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." When you enter into relationship with God, he will fill you up and empower you with his Holy Spirit.

If you would like to accept Christ's gift of salvation and enter into relationship with God, pray this prayer: 

God, I know that, in my lifetime, I have not always lived for you, and I have sinned in ways I probably don't even know yet are sins. I know that you have plans for me, and I want to live in those plans. I pray to you for forgiveness for the ways in which I have sinned. I am choosing now to accept Jesus into my heart. I am eternally grateful for his sacrifice on the cross and how He died so I can have eternal life. I pray that I would be filled with the Holy Spirit and that I would continue to live as You desire for me to live. I will strive to overcome temptations and no longer let sin control me. I put myself in your hands. I pray that you would work in my life and guide my steps so that I will continue to live for you. In your name I pray. Amen.

Just read this prayer and gave your life to Christ? Let us know!!