So what's the big deal about faith?
Yes, I'm a Christian - and my faith is really important to me. "Why?", I can hear you asking. "Aren't all religions the same?" Well, the truth is, that no, they're not.
You see, most religions have a similar philosophical base - that is, they all agree that you should become a better person and practice doing good. But the thing that really sets Christianity apart from other religions, is it's emphasis on RELATIONSHIP - our relationship with God and with others.
Are you interested yet?
So, you ask, what's this stuff about relationships?
Please be patient as I explain:
I'm assuming you think you're a good person, right? And being a good person should be enough to get you into heaven, yeh? After all, you're sure you've got nothing to hide (well nothing really serious, anyway)! So lets take a look at you against the ultimate benchmark:
The Ten Commandments
Here are just four of them:
- Have you ever told a lie - even just a little one? (Haven't we all?)
- Have you ever taken anything that wasn't yours? (Come on, you know you have)
- Have you ever lusted after someone? (The Bible says that just thinking about committing adultery is as bad as doing it)
- Have you ever hated someone? (The Bible says that if you hate someone then you have committed murder in your heart)
If you answered yes to just these four questions, then by your own confession you are
a lying, thieving, adulterous murderer!
You see, in God's economy, sin is sin - it's not about degrees - good can't be bad, and bad can't be good. And its not just about what we've done - its about the state of our hearts - and if we are honest with ourselves, they are as black as pitch.
God is all good - he's perfect, pure, holy. And that means that he can't be around anything that isn't good - that is, anything sinful, blemished, imperfect, impure or unholy - which is what we are. That means that sin, any sin - no matter how big or small - separates us from God, and there is nothing that we can do to fix that because we are the problem. We can't score brownie points with God because he knows us.
Now, here's the good part
God originally made us with the intention that we should have a relationship with him, but he already knew that our imperfection would get in the way. According to his own law, a sinless person could pay the penalty for us and restore that relationship.
But he also knew that there was only ever going to be one sinless person, and that was his own son, Jesus. Jesus never committed a sin, yet he died a shameful death so that you and I could have a relationship with God, his Father. Think of it - God loves us so much that he graciously sacrificed his own Son! And Jesus willing made the sacrifice of his own life.
So what's the catch?
There isn't one! That's the best part! Remember, there is NOTHING you can do to make yourself right with God, so quit trying so hard!
All he asks is that you:
- Admit your sinfulness
- Repent (that is, turn away from your sinful ways and choose not to do them again)
- Acknowledge that Jesus died for you and that you have been forgiven
- Ask Jesus to help you become the person he intended you to be
If you think you can do that, then here is a prayer that you might want to pray:
I acknowledge that I am a sinner, and no matter what I do, I can never make myself good enough. I accept that you have paid the price for my sin and that I am forgiven. I repent of all my sin, and ask you to take control of my life and make me more like you. Amen.
If you just prayed this prayer, then...
Not only have your sins been forgiven, but God has adopted you into his family as his child and all of the benefits of his kingdom are yours!
Now, about that relationship...
Get into the Bible! The Bible is the Word of God and everything you need to know about him is in there. If you don't know where to start, take a look at the Gospel of John to find out about the lives of Jesus and his followers. Then take a look at the Acts of the Apostles to see how people in the early church lived out their faith.
The more you read the Bible and spend time with God in prayer, the better you will get to know him and love him! Spend time with others who know God, too - if you can't find the way, then they will show you. The easiest and best way to find people who can help you is to enquire at your local church.
Finally, if you prayed the prayer, please email me at and let me know so I can pray for you!
Below are some websites that you might find helpful: