How Can I Know Jesus?
If you want a personal relationship with someone you need to know who that person is. So lets talk about who Jesus is.
Jesus is God, one of the Trinity. The Trinity is something that we humans sometimes have a hard time getting our brains around. It is God in three persons, the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. The important part to remember is that they are all God. God has always been, he has no beginning and will never end, therefore Jesus has no beginning and no end.
Jesus came to earth as a baby, born to a virgin (Mary) and this is why we celebrate Christmas. How could this happen? The Holy Spirit caused it to happen. After his birth, Jesus was still God, but he was also a human. Unlike us who are born as sinners, Jesus was born sinless. He lived a sinless life here on earth. That does not mean that his life was different from ours, He was affected by sickness, pain (physical and emotional) and he was tempted by Satan to do things which would have been sinful had he done them.
Jesus was a Jew. The old testament of the Bible is the history of the Jews up to the birth of Jesus. It foretold his coming. The problem was that the Jews thought that when he came he would set up his Kingdom on earth and rule from then on. Jesus did not do that, he came as a man and taught the people his God, his Father's, will. Many Jews rejected him because of this, and finally they put him to death on a cross like a common criminal. We remember this event during Lent.
Why would Jesus allow himself to be killed? Well after God created humans (Adam and Eve) they sinned. The punishment for sin is always death. Until man sinned there was no death in all of creation. Before Jesus came to earth, people had to desire and receive forgiveness from God for their sins with the blood of an animal sacrifice (death). The problem was this sacrifice was temporary, but it foreshadowed the true sacrifice that was to come. When Jesus allowed himself to be killed he became the true sacrifice for our sins. His blood covers our sins from God's eyes. So through his death we are forgiven.
All that you have to do is believe that Jesus is God, and that he came to earth as a man and died for your sins. After that God the Father raised him back to physical life, which we celebrate at Easter. Once you believe that you can ask him to forgive you, by paying for your sins with his blood, and to come into your heart as your Lord and Savior. When you do this, God gives the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to you.
You need to understand what making Jesus your Lord and Savior means. It means that you are going to follow Him. This is what he commanded us. He will help you, but you have to be willing to follow him.
Once you repent of your sins, ask him to forgive you and live in your heart as your Savior and he will help you with everything else. If any person had to change himself before he was forgiven there would be no hope for anyone. This is because we cannot do it on our own. However, don't take this to mean that God does not care what kind of lifestyle you live. He does care and He expects us to try to live a life that pleases him. Since we are incapable of doing so on our own, God will help us if we attempt to live right and allow him to control our life.
How do you know when you are ready to become a Christian? When you are ready to put your trust in God Jesus knows your heart and is not as concerned with your words as he is with the attitude of your heart. People come to Jesus in many ways; some are surprised when they first discover God's love, others have felt his love for a long time; for others faith doesn't come easy. Yet if you are seeking Jesus, you can ask him to be your Savior and Lord by having faith and praying a simple prayer, something like this:
Thank you God for loving me, and for sending your son to die for my sins. I sincerely ask your forgiveness for my sins. Please be my personal savior Jesus, and help me as I learn to follow you.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, you can tell God this right now and Jesus will come into your heart and life as he promised. Yet it is more than just praying a prayer, and we can help you grow in your understanding of Jesus. We believe God works through people, and we are here to talk with you about your new faith.
What comes next?
Get a bible. If you don't have one, we would be happy to give you one. Join us on Sunday morning for worship, or we can help you find a Biblically-grounded church where God wants you to be. Start attending worship services. This is where you meet people who can join you in Bible study, to whom you can ask questions, and who will support your journey.