Considering God

Is there a God?
Yes, God exists! The created world and even the intricacy of our own bodies could not have evolved by chance or accident. We believe our hearts’ deepest desire and its deepest need is to be in a loving relationship with our Creator.

What is God like?
God is both totally loving and completely just. People try their best to love those who love them. God not only loves those people who love him, but loves and desires a relationship with people who are his enemies.

How do we know this?
God is revealed initially in all of his creation. Scripture, both the Old and the New Testaments, also show God’s plan, God’s nature, and God’s promise. But the ultimate way God can be known is through Jesus Christ - God with us.

Who am I?
I am a child of God, created to be in a loving relationship with him. I belong to God and owe him gratitude for every moment I live in his creation. My chief purpose is to worship God and to enjoy him.

Why should I seek God?
Because I was created to worship, I will always try to worship something or someone - if not God, then a lesser god - something far less deserving of worship and enjoyment. It is only when we are faithful to the true God, our Creator, that we find fulfillment, lasting joy, and the ultimate purpose for our life.

Why do I need to know God?
Every day, consciously or unconsciously, I make the choices to reject God and to make myself, my concerns, my needs, my joy, and my happiness, my highest priority - my little gods. I refuse to surrender myself to God who created me, living as I was created to live. Because of this, my allegiance and the worship of my heart is turned toward other things and other people that promise to give me meaning - but they never can and they never will. This false worship along with my daily disobedience and my failure to live as God created me to live is called sin. My sin is a debt of disobedience that I owe to God. Because God is completely just, that debt is very real, and greater than I could ever pay. Because God is totally loving, he is willing to pay that debt of my sin for me.

What does God want from me?
God’s desire is to be my heart’s greatest desire. God wants you to bring honor to him and enjoy him forever.

Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God come to earth. Jesus lived a perfect life, loving and delighting in God with his whole heart. Then, instead of receiving his reward of eternal life, Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins - taking upon himself the pain and punishment we deserve. When we confess our faith in Jesus Christ, two things happen. First, our sin is forgiven - amazing as it sounds, Jesus’ perfect life is credited to us and our debt to God is paid! When God looks at us, he delights in us once again. Second, our lives begin to be transformed - God begins to work in us, making us more and more like Jesus. This in turn begins to transform our relationships with other people, the way we spend our time, the way we use our power and influence, and the way we invest the resources of our life. We are no longer living for ourselves - but for something far greater than we could ever have imagined before.

How do I ask Jesus into my life?

Repent
Admit that you are living for yourself, worshiping the wrong things, and ignoring God’s love. When you repent, you ask God’s forgiveness, turn from your sin, and live a life focused on him.

Believe
Admit that all you have ever done for God or for other people is worthless in earning your salvation. Rely on God’s promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ alone.

Pray
There are no “magic words” that form the prayer of repentance. Pray as God leads you, offering in your own words these thoughts:

Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and me sinful than I ever dared admit, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt on the cross, taking what I deserve in order to offer me complete forgiveness. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Amen.

What next?
Now that you’ve prayed that prayer, don’t worry if you do not “feel” different. Our feelings are not the gauge for our relationship with God, and our feelings can fluctuate wildly. The most reliable gauge of the reality of your new relationship with God are his promises found in the Bible. Here are just a few of the wonderful assurances God’s Word gives us:

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

John 1:12 “To all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Revelation 3:20 “Jesus said, ‘Here I am! I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”

Contact a believer - If you have given your life to Jesus Christ, you will have many questions and many different thoughts in the hours and days ahead. It is very important that you be in touch with a Christian friend who can listen to your questions, study the Bible with you, pray with you, and encourage you in your new life of faith. You may make an e-contact with a staff member at Calvin, or phone Calvin at 502-896-0303 and we will be happy to help you get started!

If you have a Bible, start reading about this Jesus who has forgiven you. One of the best places to start is with the Gospel of John, the fourth book of the New Testament. If you do not have a Bible, please contact Calvin and we will be glad to give you one in English or whatever language is easiest for you.

What if I say, “Not yet…” ?

You may not be ready yet to offer your love and allegiance to God. There may be a number of valid reasons for this. God’s love is equaled by his patience. Consider some of the barriers you may have to accepting God’s gift of life in Jesus Christ. These may include:

Things you do not yet understand about sin, faith, Jesus Christ, the reason for God’s sacrifice, or the extent of God’s love for you.

Intellectual problems you have with the claims of Christianity that you have not yet resolved.

Concerns about the exclusive claims of Christianity in the context of a very pluralistic culture.

Fears about committing your life to God and the cost of that commitment.

Three things you might do as your consider Christ:

Talk with a Christian about their faith. You may contact a staff member at Calvin, or Phone Calvin at 502-896-0303 and we will be happy to help you get started.

Read some books about the Christian faith. Titles you might consider include “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis and “Basic Christianity” by John Stott.

Talk with God. Honesty with God begins with honest doubt. Here is a prayer you can offer while you are seeking God’s truth.

“Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open me to the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is clear and that leads me to the life you promise.”