First Steps to Having a Fresh Start with God:
- This means that of all the creatures God created, only humanity can relate with God. We were created “in His image,” which in part means we have the capacity to connect with Him. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7, 15-25, 3:8a)
- We are all God’s wonderful and unique creation, but contrary to popular opinion, we are not all God’s children. (John 1:12; 1John 5:1)
- Having been designed to need a connection with God to be fulfilled, apart from God we will never be satisfied. (The book of Ecclesiastes, see 12:8-13 for summary)
- Having designed us with a capacity and need for Him, God also fitted humanity with a god-shaped void so that we’d never stop looking until we found Him.
- Nothing but God properly “fit” the void in our heart that is God-shaped. Try as you might, everything else only make the void more keenly felt rather than satisfying it.
- Rejecting and otherwise ignoring God, His authority, and therefore relationship with Him, started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 5:12-21)
- It continued to every one of us, no one is free from sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; Galatians 3:22; 1John 1:8-10)
- Sin is more than immorality, but is anything or anytime that we live without giving a thought to God, without putting Him first – independence, passive ignoring Him or flat out rejecting God. (Matthew 7:21-23, 10:37-39, 16:24-26; Mark 8:34-36; Luke 9:23-25; John 12:25-26)
- Technically, sin isn’t the ultimate problem, but the distance it creates between us and God, is.
- It in fact not only separates us from God, but it makes us His enemies. (Genesis 3:8; Matthew 12:30 [also Luke 11:23]; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:21)
- God loves the world but is angry with evil, and wicked people, who deny the obvious truth about Him, leaving them without an excuse for rejecting Him. (John 3:16; Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 2:1-3)
- Without a relationship with God (an empty god-shaped void), life will be frustratingly empty, meaningless, and we will be constantly driven, consciously or unconsciously, to fill that emptiness with all manner of things that don’t fit a void that only God can fill. (See the details under the first point.)
- No one is righteous, we all sin, we all fall short of the perfection needed to relate with a holy and perfect God. (Romans 3:10-12, 22-26; 1Peter 1:14-16)
- Sin must be punished by death, represented by blood. (Hebrews 9:22)
- We are utterly helpless in our need to be made right with God; we must have God’s help. (Romans 5:6-11)
- No one will ever be made right with God by obeying all the rules, because no one can do it. (Romans 3:20, 27-28; Galatians 2:16)
- Salvation is a gift from God, not something we earn the right to. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Just as God pursued Adam and Eve after they violated His one-and-only directive, He is still pursuing us. (Genesis 3:8a; Romans 5:6-11; Colossians 1:22)
- While still God’s enemies, and even though we’re the ones that started the “wars,” God made peace with us through Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:18-22)
- Jesus made a way for us to be reconciled to God, and then appointed us as His reps, His ambassadors, and has tasked us with the job of telling the world about the possibility of restoration with God. (2Corinthinas 5:17-21)
- Jesus is the only way we can be saved from the just punishment of our sins by being restored to relationship with God. (John 3:16-17; Acts 4:12 Romans 3:22, 25, 5:9, 10:2-3, 9-11, 2Corinthians 5:21)
- Technically, in the end, it is not a matter of who has sinned, sin isn’t what condemns us, but it comes down to what we do with Jesus Christ, what we believe and confess and accept. (John 3:16-21; Romans 10:9-11; Colossians 2:22-23a; 1Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 13:14-15; 1John 1:9)
- Receiving Christ (the same thing as believing the good news of the gospel) involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins so that we can begin our personal relationship with Him.
- We must each, individually, for ourselves, accept or receive Jesus Christ as our Savior from the sin the separates us from Him, and follow Him as Lord.
- We’re as different as if we started our lives all over, we born again, and lived as completely new people. (John 3:3, 2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 3:10-16a)
Here’s a list of all that’s new:
I am accepted…
- I am God’s child. (John 1:12)
- As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. (John 15:15)
- I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)
- I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit. (1Corinthians 6:17)
- I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. (1Corinthians 6:19-20)
- I am a member of Christ’s body. (1Corinthians 12:27)
- I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
- I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
- I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)
- I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
I am secure…
- I am free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
- I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. (Romans 8:28)
- I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. (Romans 8:31-39)
- I have been established, anointed and sealed by God. (2Corinthians 1:21-22)
- I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-4)
- I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
- I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
- I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2Timothy 1:7)
- I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. (1John 5:18)
I am significant…
- I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life. (John 15:5)
- I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16)
- I am God’s temple. (1Corinthians 3:16)
- I am a minister of reconciliation for God. (2Corinthians 5:17-21)
- I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. (Ephesians 2:6)
- I am God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)
- I may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)
- I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
(Taken from Freedom In Christ Ministries)
Are You Ready?
If you’re ready to take this step, here’s a sample of what you can say to God: “Dear God, I need you in my life. Thank you for accepting me just as I am. I believe that Jesus died to pay for my sin, and that He rose again, and now is in Heaven. Please forgive me for my sins. I repent (am committed to change) from my old ways and will now live for you. I receive You as my own personal Savior and Lord, and I promise to put You first in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen”
Congratulations on making a fresh start with God!
If you prayed this for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, welcome to a relationship with Jesus Christ.