How to Know God
God wants you to know Him.
But there is a prerequisite for knowing God, of relating with Him.
Now don’t panic! You don’t have to be super-spiritual or go without sinning for some extended period of time. Anyone can have a relationship with God, but we must do it His way and not our way. And His way is through His Son, Jesus Christ.
So how do you come to know God?
Let’s go back to the beginning of time. God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a beautiful garden, where they experienced a perfect relationship with God before they sinned. But when they sinned by disobeying God in eating the forbidden fruit, they and their descendants became spiritually separated from God. That is because God is holy and pure and cannot associate with the ugliness of sin (Is 59:2; Ps 5:5; Hab 1:13). But God, our Creator, couldn’t leave us in that state—eternally separated from Him. He loved us and created us to have a relationship with Him. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus, as a perfect, sinless sacrifice to pay for our sins so that we could be reconciled and our relationship with Him could be restored. Consider the following illustration.
Filthy Rag Illustration
- Picture a spotless, white, beautiful tablecloth. This represents our God and His purity, righteousness, and holiness.
- Next picture a filthy rag, one that has all types of disgusting stains, dirt, oil, and puke. It stinks! This rag is so repulsive that you don’t want to even get near it, let alone touch it. That represents us, our sin, and even our righteous acts (Is 64:6). Even our good works are like filthy rags.
- Now just as we wouldn’t put a pure spotless cloth on a filthy rag, lest it get soiled, neither would God associate with us sinful creatures. Unless, of course, there was intervention.
- So God Himself intervened, because He made us and loves us. He sent His Son, Jesus, who, being God, became one of us (Phil 2:6). He lived a sinless, spotless life so that He could be the perfect sacrifice. Wrongdoing demands punishment. Justice must be done (Rom 6:23), and since our God is loving, He took the just punishment for our sins. When Jesus died on the cross, He bore every sin—past, present, and future. He was our substitute—our scapegoat. He willingly shed His precious blood as a payment for our sins because He loved us, and three days later He arose victorious from the dead. There was no other way to redeem mankind and no other way for forgiveness to occur and restore God and man’s relationship. What the justice of God demands (judgment of sin), the love of God provided on the cross.*
- So picture the blood of Christ covering your filthy rag, then picture another pure, spotless, white cloth over that. This white cloth represents Jesus’ righteousness imputed or placed upon us (Rom 4:22-24 KJV; Jas 2:23 KJV). Now there is no problem with the two cloths coming into contact with each other. Jesus Christ gave us His righteousness and holiness so that we can be close to God, both now and throughout eternity in heaven. Ephesians 2:13 says, “You who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
So in order for you to have a personal relationship with God you must apply Jesus’ blood to your life. This forgiveness of sins is available to every single human being, but it is not automatic. You must choose to accept this free gift of eternal life. Simply admit you are a sinner deserving of eternal separation from God and believe on Jesus’ work on the cross and His resurrection. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone (Rom 10:9, 13; Jn 3:16; Eph 2:8-9)!
If you have never expressed faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, we urge you; we implore you; do it! You will never regret your decision! And when you accept God’s forgiveness of your sins through Jesus, you will become His child (Jn 1:12) and enter into the most awesome relationship, which you can’t even begin to imagine!
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior you can do that right now! Simply follow the steps below.
How to Receive Jesus Christ as Your Savior
1. Admit and confess that you are a sinner.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23 NKJV)
2. Since God requires 100% perfection you cannot enter heaven on your own merit.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
3. Recognize that justice requires that wrongdoing (sin) has to be punished.
For the wages of sin is death…. (Rom 6:23)
Sin will eternally separate you from the presence of God.
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thess 1:8)
4. Since God created you for a love relationship with Him, He made a way for your sin to be taken away and forgiven by punishing His Son, Jesus Christ, in your place.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Jn 3:16 NKJV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn 14:6 NKJV)
When you were dead in your sins and in the circumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Col 2:13-14)
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. (1 Pet 3:18)
5. Accept Jesus’ work on the cross and resurrection for yourself.
…If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)
6. Repent and turn away from living life your way and live for Christ.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 Jn 2:3-6)
7. If you have done this—rejoice for now you are His child!
Yet to all who received him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (Jn 1:12-13)
* Chip Ingram, God: As He Longs for You to See Him (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004), 162.
NKJV: New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.