The Gospel

How to Enter Into a Relationship With God

Have you recently decided to start a relationship with Jesus?

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The word gospel literally means “good news.” For Christians, the gospel is the good news that God, through his Son, Jesus Christ, made a way for humanity to be reconciled to God. But why is this good news?

God created the heavens and the earth, animals and humans, and it was good. It was perfect. Humanity lived in obedience and fellowship with God (Genesis 1–2).

But humanity was deceived, disobeying and rebelling against God by choosing to eat the fruit God had told them not to eat (Genesis 2:15–17). This severed humanity’s fellowship with God and allowed sin and brokenness to enter the world, leaving humanity spiritually dead and without hope. This is why Ephesians 2:1–10 says that every human is “dead in [their] trespasses and sins” and they are “deserving of judgment” (vv. 1–3). Humanity needed a Savior—someone to remove their sin and bring them back to God.

Being reconciled to God was not something we could accomplish on our own. If we were to be united to God again, it would have to be of his initiation. Thankfully, despite our rebellion, God showed himself to be “rich in mercy” and full of “great love” for all people. Because of this, he sent his Son, Jesus, to die in the place of humanity, taking on his judgment and “[making Christians] alive with Christ” (vv. 4–5).

This is the gospel. Jesus in our place.

But Jesus’ death only begins the story of healing. Christ died, rose again, and will come back to make all things new, restoring completely the perfect fellowship between God and humanity that we can experience, in part, today. Until that day, God has given Christians the Holy Spirit as a helper, his presence within his people.

From beginning to end, our reunion with God is a gift from God. It is, in a word, grace (vv. 6–10).

But this grace must be received.

Are you ready to walk in faith, trusting that Jesus has done everything necessary to save you?

Faith in God is displayed through repentance and belief. Repentance is a deep sorrow for the sin (ways we’ve disobeyed and rebelled against God) we’ve committed. Belief is proclaiming and trusting that God has saved us through the work of his Son, Jesus Christ. By continued repentance and belief, we walk daily in renewed obedience as the Holy Spirit works within us, making us more like Christ as we await his return.

If you’re ready, the Apostle Paul shows you how to respond.

He writes, “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” (Romans 10:9).

You can pray now, even if you never have or you don’t know how. If you’re struggling with the words, say something to God like this:

“God, I confess that I am a sinner. I repent of my sin. I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross in my place and that he rose again as a promise of new life. Thank you, Jesus, for living the life I should have lived and dying the death that I deserved. God, I give you my life, knowing that I am now yours to fulfill your plans in me. Thank you for showing your love to me.”

What Happens Next: How to Start Growing Your Relationship With God

1. Let Us Know

We are so excited you’ve decided to follow Jesus Christ as your Savior. We know your first steps as a Christian can be confusing, so we want to commit to walk alongside you on this journey. Would you let us know about your decision?

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2. Get Connected

Outside of the weekend worship services, the most important next step for every member and guest is to engage in a virtual group. Virtual groups consist of eight to ten people who meet weekly to study the Bible together. They are organized by campus, day of the week, and are either co-ed or single-gender.

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3. Study the Bible

One of the privileges of entering into a relationship with God is getting to know him and enjoying him through the Bible, his Word. Through God’s Word, we get to listen to him—learning more about him and his love for us.

A good place to start in your Bible reading journey is the book of Mark. In Mark, you’ll learn more about who Jesus is, his life on earth, and why he came. Below you’ll find a 30-day reading plan through Mark.

As you read, try to write down at least one thing you are learning about Jesus each day. For example, as you read Mark 1, you might see that Jesus has the authority to heal (Mark 1:21–45). At the end of the week, take some time and review your list, reflecting on all you’ve learned about God through his Word.

Reading Plan