These are questions we all must face. My name is Ben, and this is my story of how God changed my life.
At 20 years old, my girlfriend Crystal and I fought and couldn’t get along. I treated her terribly, never giving her the respect she deserved. She was done with me, she followed the advice of every sensible person she knew and moved out. I was a dead end as a boyfriend anyway, never planning to get married, definitely not having kids.
My story is not unique – many others have experienced the life-changing impact of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” We will all one day stand before God and be judged for what we have done on this earth. Many people think that it is like a scale, weighing our good works with our bad works.
However, God has given us the standard by which we will be judged: His law, which is expressed through the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17):
#1 – Have no other gods – Have you always put God first in your life?
#2 – Have no graven images – Have you created a god in your imagination, other than the God of the Bible?
#3 – Don’t take the name of the Lord in vain – have you ever used the name of God as a swear word or used it lightly?
#4 – Remember the Sabbath Day – Have you set apart any time for God, as He deserves?
#5 – Honor father and mother – Have you always obeyed and respected your parents?
#6 – Don’t kill – This commandment is further defined by Jesus; He said that anger in your heart is the same as murder. Have you ever been angry with anyone?
#7 – Don’t commit adultery – This commandment was also further defined; Jesus said that lust is the same as adultery. Have you ever looked with lust on another?
#8 – Don’t steal – Have you ever stolen, even something seemingly small or insignificant?
#9 – Don’t bear false witness – Have you ever told a lie?
#10- Don’t covet – Have you ever wanted and envied something that wasn’t yours?
If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we have broken most, if not all of the commandments given by God. The Bible also says in James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Even if we only broke one commandment one time, we would be in trouble with God!
Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death…” Because we have broken God’s law, we rightly deserve death, not just physical death, but eternal death, separated from God.
The good news is that God does not want us to die; He loved us, even while we were enemies against Him. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life. He then died on the cross for us, suffering not just the physical pain of death, but also the judgment of God poured out on Him for your sins and for mine. He took our place, as our substitute.
He did not stay dead, however; three days and three nights later, Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death once and for all and providing a way of eternal life for each and every person.
Jesus has provided the way of salvation from our sin and from the judgment we deserve. However, if we would receive this gift from Him, it requires a response on our part.
First, we must recognize our sin against God and repent of it. This means, we turn away from all of our sin and ask God to forgive us and to change us. The Bible says in Luke 13:3: “Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Second, we must refuse any effort on our own. We can never do enough good works to make ourselves right with God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Third, we must rely alone in Jesus as our only hope to save us. This means we have no other back up plan, but are trusting alone in His death in our place. Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Finally, we must receive Jesus as our Lord and our Savior. This means that we commit our life to Him, asking Him to save us and giving Him full control of every area of our life. John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
If you have any questions on how you can know for sure that you have a personal relationship with God, please feel free to contact us. We would love to share with you further what the Bible has to say about how you can be right with God and have peace, joy, satisfaction, and purpose in your life.