We’re glad you found us.
You may wonder how God feels about you right where you are right now. You do your best to be a good person, to be kind, and even to pray on occasions. You may be turned off by organized Christianity altogether, but it’s impossible to turn off the spiritual thump that pulsates within. The longing you have for your life to be whole and meaningful is insatiable. You may or may not believe in God, but we believe that He believes in you. And God wants to satisfy your soul and set you free. We’re not here to preach to you. We’re not here to say that we’re better or smarter than you. We’re here simply because we’ve found some hope and life and want to offer you a taste of it. The life we’ve discovered was offered long ago when God created men and women in his image.
Biblical scholars have discussed for centuries what it means to be created in the image of God. We are free agent human reflections of the divine. God has created us with the ability to choose. He wants us to choose to have a friendship with Him. Adam and Eve, the very first couple God created, experienced happiness and joy in life because they walked and talked with God on a daily basis. With freedom, however, comes risk and responsibility. It’s true for a nation. It’s true for a business. It’s true in raising teenagers. And it’s true for us as individuals. Because God gave us freedom to choose, we can freely choose to live independently of God. That’s what Adam and Eve did. They signed on their own “declaration of independence,” and in doing so, declared themselves to be “King of the Mountain.” Their independence has been passed down to every human generation. Because you and I (and everyone else) are descendents of Adam and Eve, the Bible identifies us as…
- children of God’s wrath 1
- sinners 4
- spiritually dead 2
- separated from Christ 3
- without God 5
Talk about bad news! You may try to be a good person, but the heart of the problem is not only that you do bad things. The main issue is that you were born with an identity problem. You were born a sinner because you descended from Adam. Even though God’s heart aches to enjoy a relationship with you, your sinner-identity prevents you from having an intimate relationship with God. It’s a wall standing between you and God, keeping you from knowing and experiencing true life. 6 But God’s pursuing love never gives up. God came to earth in the form of a person named Jesus. Jesus was God becoming a human. He lived a perfect sin-free life then took upon himself every wrongdoing that you and I have ever or will ever commit. Our shame, our guilt, our condemnation, and our punishment was placed on him. He willingly allowed Himself to be arrested and sentenced to death as a criminal in our place. Therefore, this was no ordinary execution. That should have been you and me on that cross, but God loves us so much He died for us. 7 Jesus was resurrected three days after His death. He spent a little more time on earth, and then He ascended back into Heaven. He looked forward to the day when you and I would believe in Him and get to know Him. That makes all the intense suffering He underwent worth it.
So where does that leave us?
7 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” - John 3:16 (Read this chapter in the Bible) Well, because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, we can experience a different identity than the “sinner” identity we inherited from Adam and Eve. Instead of being “in Adam” and like Adam we now have the option of choosing to be “in Christ” and like Christ. What are the benefits of being “in Christ?”
- You are justified and redeemed 7
- You are holy, set apart 8
- You are a new creation 9
- You are liberated 10
- You are blessed with every spiritual blessing 11
- You are forgiven 12
- You have life! 13
Through faith in Jesus Christ, all these things plus many more wonderful changes too numerous to include here can be true of you. You may have heard preachers use the term “repent.” The term basically means to change your mind, think differently. It means that you reject your old “King-of-the-Mountain” life. By faith, you believe that your old life was crucified with Christ on the cross nearly 2000 years ago. 14
There is nothing magical or mystical about the words below. It’s not a formula but belief that matters: You might pray this to trust God to be the center of your life:
Jesus, I’m sorry for the way I have treated you. Please forgive me. I reject my “King of the Mountain” life of rebellion against you. I believe you are the Son of God who came to this earth to save me from a life that I have lived apart from You. Please save me from this “sinner” identity and give me a new identity that is holy, acceptable, and (as unbelievable as it may seem) saintly. I believe that I am now in You, and You are now in me. Change me from the inside out. I mean this. Though I will surely fail at some point, I believe that You will never fail in me. Thank you. Amen.
You have new life. You have every reason to celebrate. You may not feel any different yet, but faith and feelings don’t always agree with each other. It’s okay if fireworks don’t go off or you don’t hear God’s audible voice, or you don’t hear a choir singing “Hallelujah.” You still have a new life. Believe it by faith. Faith is living like God is telling the truth.
So what’s so different then about this new life?
Your life has been exchanged. You may have exchanged a Christmas gift or two, but you’ve never exchanged anything like this. You have actually exchanged your old self-centered, self-serving, sinner life with the life of Christ. The Holy Spirit has now moved in and taken up residence within you. It is the Spirit of God that now lives in you that causes Christ’s life to be expressed through you. This happens by daily learning to depend on Christ. 15 Branches do not produce fruit, branches only bear fruit. It’s the life inside the vine that actually produces the fruit. In the same way, Christ’s life will produce your love for God, through you, by faith. 16You have a new spiritual identity in Christ. You can stop thinking of yourself as a sinner because that’s not who you are. You are a saint! It’s not that you don’t sin; it’s just that when you do, your behavior isn’t matching up to who you really are. What you believe about yourself determines how you live and behave. Believe that you are an accepted, deeply loved, child of God, and gradually your behavior will begin to reflect that. Be patient with yourself. Experiencing this life in Christ is the way life was meant to be lived. You’ve got life! You have just won the spiritual lottery. Now go spend it hilariously!
1 “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” - Ephesians 2:3 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
2 “…even when we were dead in our transgressions,” - Ephesians 2:5 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
3 “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” - Ephesians 2:12 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
4 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
5 “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” - Ephesians 2:12 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
6 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
7 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” - John 3:16 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
8 “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: “ - 1 Corinthians 1:2 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
9 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
10 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” - Galatians 5:1 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
11 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” - Ephesians 1:3 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
12 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” - Ephesians 1:7 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
13 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” - Ephesians 2:5 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
14 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” - Galatians 2:20 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
15 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5 (Read this chapter in the Bible)
16 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” - Philippians 4:13 (Read this chapter in the Bible)