Why Did Christ Die for Me?

The Bible tells us that when God first created people, they lived and walked with Him. Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth and they didn’t have any separation between them and God. Because they chose to disobey God and do the one and only thing that God told them not to do, they were kicked out, not only of paradise on earth, but also the direct presence of God.

Ever since then, humans have walked on earth apart of the presence of God. Our human nature is one that is selfish and sinful. We always do our own thing first, no matter the consequences.

God’s nature is perfect, separate from our selfish human nature. To find our way back to being in the direct presence of God, we must find a way to be with Him again: to be made pure again.

Adam and Eve chose to be separate from God because they didn’t believe that God would do what He said. God said if they ate of the fruit, they would die. They ate, and they did die. First, spiritually in that they were separated from life with God, and second, physically, after years of sweat and labor to live outside of paradise on earth.

We have a choice as well. We can choose to enter back into the presence of God and become pure again by believing that God will do what He says He will. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the way to the Father. By believing on Him, we can be saved spiritually. We can be returned to the presence of God and be made one with Him again.

God didn’t have to make this way back to Him. He could have left us out there on our own. But there’s a reason He didn’t: He wanted to be back with us. God missed us and wanted to have us with Him in eternity. He made a way for you to come back to Him and be with Him again. Jesus Christ, the perfect son of God, died on the cross so you could choose to believe that God will do what He said He will do.

Who is God?

I am God. I am from the beginning and to the end. I am Alpha and Omega. I know all and can be known by all. Come to me and learn.

Today, we hear so much about spirituality and various religions that it can all be confusing. We have different names for if you think we can know if God exists, agnostic, or if you actually don’t think He exists, atheist. On a global level we hear about so many different religions beyond Christianity that claim a god or gods. Where do we start in understanding the Christian idea of God?

There are three points that come under consideration when talking about who God is. Your thoughts and beliefs about these three point define your view not only of God and faith, but also your perspective on the world and often of other people. These three points are:

  • God Exists
  • God’s Nature
  • God Is Involved

God Exists

In order to continue this discussion, the first point that must be settled is that God exists. I believe that God exists and that impacts all the following beliefs that I have. Many of you will have settled this in your mind, but perhaps some of you haven’t. In addition, you never know when you will encounter someone who hasn’t settled this. I promise, no good comes out of a religious debate where halfway through you realize the other person hasn’t firmly settled on their belief in God’s existence.

I live in the Bible belt, or at least on the edge of it, so I do not often encounter many people who do not believe in the existence of God. The next two points, however, are more likely to be up for debate: God’s nature and God’s involvement.

God’s Nature

The Bible says that God is good and kind and loving, among other things. He demands justice, but is merciful. He is all-powerful, but gives choice to people. These kind of nature questions can be difficult to work through, and some we spend the rest of our lives understanding. One common question is, “If God is good, how can he allow bad things to happen to people who follow him?” It’s a difficult question, and one that I won’t dig into right now.

What I do think needs to be settled in our minds is this: we must choose to believe that God’s nature is how the Bible describes it, no matter our own personal feelings or our circumstances. The Bible says that God is good, therefore He is. We may not understand many things that happen to people in our world or to us. However, if we base our view of God’s nature on what we see, our view of Him will shift each time our world does.

God is bigger than everything around us. I choose to remember that He is the creator and not the created. I choose to believe that God is who He says He is in His Word. I don’t claim to understand everything or have all the answers for who He is, but when I find a truth in His word about who He is, I will keep that close and pray about all the things that I don’t understand.

God Is Involved

The final piece is God’s involvement. This again is a simple question with a complicated answer. Many teach that the entirety of creation is like a giant clock, all winding down slowly from the moment of creation with an inevitable outcome and a God that is far off, trusting His machine to do all the work.

I don’t take that view. The fact that we have a Bible, that Jesus came to die for us, that today teachers of the Bible come to help us live closer to Him all convinces me that God wants us to be involved with Him and with each other. I believe in God’s involvement in my life and in the world. I believe in His word being alive to me to help me be transformed to be like Him.

These three points are the foundational point for knowing God. You must settle in your mind where you are on these questions or other beliefs down the road might sink into spiritual quicksand instead of bolstering you up and supporting you. For example, it can be difficult to trust the goodness of God in hard circumstances if you aren’t fully convinced of His goodness.

These beliefs are deeply rooted in our walk with God. As we go daily with Him, we may find holes in these beliefs can bubble up and cause doubt and dismay in what we see in the world around us. Placing these beliefs before Him and choosing to find what the Word says about who God is can set our spiritual feet on solid ground to be able to move through our lives with confidence and surety.

The God of Heaven Will Help Us Succeed - Nehemiah 2:20

You Have No Right Here!


But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king. They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked. I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.” – Nehemiah 2:17-20 (NLT)

We each have work that God had for us to do. In fact, he not only knew us and knew who we’d be (Psalm 139), but he even made good works for us to grow into (Ephesians 2:10). As we walk through life and we find our calling and learn to submit our heart and mind to the Lord in order to do this work, we will face opposition. People will scoff and laugh and tell us we can’t do it; sometimes, it will even be people we love and want support from. When we face this, we can learn from Nehemiah how to respond to this.

Nehemiah was in the time of the Babylonian captivity. He had a job (cup-bearer) very close to the King of Babylon. When he heard that Jerusalem had been destroyed and burned, he was heartsick. So much so that the king noticed how sad he was. When the king asked about it, Nehemiah not only was honest about what upset him, he also asked for permission to go fix it. In the day when kings were the ultimate law, taking it on yourself to ask for something when he didn’t start the conversation shows either a world of trust, a little insanity, or, I believe in Nehemiah’s case, faith in the Most High God.

In answers to Nehemiah’s prayers, the king responded positively to his request. The king even went so far as to give him letters to show he was working with the King’s permission and to pass through the lands as well as officers and men to accompany him. Even with all that, the enemies of the Israelites were upset that someone was coming back to try to build up the city.

This is a direct parallel to our own lives to many times. We think we have it all set and we’ve got all the blessings we need to keep walking. Then, before we’ve even really started, opposition comes at us. It can be so disheartening! We want to have the feelings of enthusiasm keep us moving, but it can seem so draining to feel like our best laid plans aren’t quite good enough or strong enough. But, like Nehemiah, we can stand up and renew our commitment to our God-given work.

Nehemiah said three things to the opponents that we can use in our fight.

  1. Know the Source – “The God of heaven will help us succeed.”
    We need to know who the source behind us is. If you don’t fully and completely believe that God is with you, growing you and changing you and causing you to succeed, you risk faltering when the road gets rough. It’s not about you, thank God. It’s about Him and He takes his job very seriously.
  2. Know the Task – “We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall.”
    Nehemiah was very clear on his task. He didn’t worry about any work that hadn’t been assigned to him. We must find this kind of clarity and choose to keep our focus. One quick way to fail is to start getting distracted or increasing the size of the task the Lord has given you. There will always work to be done, don’t worry about that. Instead, claim the work you have and focus on it and only it until you’ve completed it.
  3. Know the Boundaries – “You have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
    Nehemiah knew that he was in the right place doing the right thing and that his enemies were in the wrong. He didn’t give them ground and he didn’t entertain their claims. So many times we let the words of the enemy into our hearts and our minds. We forget that we’re on a divinely appointed mission and we start listening to those voices. “Maybe I don’t have wat it takes. Maybe I’m wrong in what I believe. Maybe I should quit now and risk looking foolish.” On and on the voices go, trying to take back land that doesn’t belong to them. Throw those voices out! You have the right to be serving your God and no amount of doubt or nay-saying should throw you off course.

Always remember, God is with you and you can do what he’s called you to do. Not because of who you are, but because of who he is: the Great God and Creator of the universe. He is strong and He is moving and He will lift you up and cause you to walk in His light and His truth.