How Can I Know God Personally?

Here are four truths that will help guide you into a relationship with him:

1.  God loves you and created you to know him personally.

The most well-known verse in the Bible says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

You see, this life is not the end of us.  This life is preparation for eternity.  We have the freedom to decide where we want to spend eternity: with God or apart from God. 

God thinks you’re so valuable that he wants to spend eternity with you!  The Bible says, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).  He planned the universe and orchestrated history, including the details of our lives, so that we could become his friends.  So, what prevents us from knowing God personally?

2.  Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know him personally or experience his love because of our sin.

The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
 
Visualize God in heaven and man on earth, with a great gulf separating the two.  Man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with him through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion – but he inevitably fails.
  
The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death [separation from God]” (Romans 6:23).  The third principle explains the only way to bridge this separation.

3.  Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through him alone can we know God personally and experience God’s love.

Jesus died in our place.  “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
 
He rose from the dead.  “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.  He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.  After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He is the only way to God.  “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me’” (John 14:6).

Visualize now that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from him by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.  Yet it’s not enough just to know these truths…

4.  We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience his love.  

We must receive Christ.  “As many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name” (John 1:12). 
 
We receive Christ through faith.  “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

When we receive Christ, we experience a new birth.  The Bible tells of how a man named Nicodemus experienced a new birth through Christ:

“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.  After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus.  ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘we all know that God has sent you to teach us.  Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.’  Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.’  ‘What do you mean?’  exclaimed Nicodemus.  ‘How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’ Jesus replied, ‘I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.  Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.  So don’t be surprised when I say, You must be born again.  The wind blows wherever it wants.  Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit’” - John 3:1-8

We receive Christ by personal invitation.

Jesus Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what he wants us to be.  Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins is not enough.  Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.  We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our free will.

How you can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer .

Prayer is just talking with God.  He knows your heart, so don’t worry about getting your words just right.  Here is a suggested prayer to guide you:

 Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. 
 Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.
 I open the door of my life and receive you as
 my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving
 me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take
 control of my life. Make me the kind of person
 You want me to be. 

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life as promised.

Did you pray to receive Christ just now? 

If so, Congratulations!  Luke 15:7 says that when one sinner accepts Jesus Christ as his or her Savior the angels rejoice.  So there’s a party going on in heaven right now over your decision!  Remember this date as your “second birthday,” the day you were born into a new life in Christ!  You have God’s Word that he answered your prayer.

The Bible promises eternal life to all who receive Christ: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11-13).

Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that he will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5).  You can know on the basis of his promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the very moment you invited Him in.

An important reminder

Do not depend on feelings.  The promise of God’s Word, the Bible, is our authority.  The Christian lives by faith in the trustworthiness of God and his Word.  There are differences between fact, faith, and feeling:

Fact:  God and his Word
Faith:  Our trust in God and his Word
Feeling:  The result of our faith and obedience

If fact–faith–feeling was a three-car train, the train led by fact would run with or without the caboose (feeling).  However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose.  In the same way, we as Christians do not depend on feelings or emotions, but place our faith (trust) in God and the promises of his Word.

Taking your next steps

The moment you received Christ – as an act of faith and free will – many things happened, including:

Christ came into your life (Colossians 1:27). 
Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14). 
You became a child of God (John 1:12). 
You received eternal life (John 5:24). 
You began the great adventure for which God created you (John 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what he has done for you?  By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.

enjoying your new relationship with God:

Go to God in prayer daily (Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2).
Read God’s Word daily (Acts 17:11).  We suggest you begin with the gospel of John.
Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).
Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).
Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).
Hand over control to the Holy Spirit.  Allow Him to empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16-17, Acts 1:8).

And finally…find a good church and get involved there.  God’s Word admonishes us not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together…” (Hebrews 10:25).  Several logs burn brightly together, but put one aside on the cold hearth and the fire goes out.  So it is with your relationship with other Christians.  If you do not belong to a church, do not wait to be invited.  Take the initiative; call the pastor of a nearby church where Christ is honored and his Word is preached.  Start this week, and make plans to attend regularly.

 


Water Baptism

 

What is Water Baptism?

At Calvary, we believe that water baptism is an act of obedience and a celebration of your decision to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.  Just as the symbols of the wedding and wedding ring are a declaration of a marriage covenant, water baptism is the outward declaration of the covenant you’ve made with God.  As your church, we would like to stand with you as you publicly declare that you have made the decision to surrender your life to the Lord.

What does water baptism mean?

It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection (I Cor. 15:3-4; Col. 2:12).  It illustrates my new life as a Christian (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:4)
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer - it shows that you already believe.  Baptism does not save you, only your faith in Christ does that.  Baptism is like a wedding ring - it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart (Eph. 2:8-9).

 

 

WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?

Because Jesus was baptized that way (Matt. 3:16).
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion (Acts 8:38-39).
The word baptize means "To dip under water".  The Greek word baptize means "to immerse or dip under water".  It best symbolized a burial and resurrection!

Who should be baptized?

Every person who has believed in Christ (Acts 2:41, 8:12-13).
At Calvary, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.

When should I be baptized?

As soon as you have believed (Acts 2:41, 8:35-38).
There is no reason to delay.  As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized.

 

CAN MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS BE BAPTIZED TOGETHER?

Yes!  If each person understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. 
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family or group tradition.  It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on others to join you.  This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience. 

If you would like to receive water baptism by emersion please 'click here'


Baby Dedication

Why have your baby dedicated? 

The baby dedication service is a public declaration of the parent or parents before God and man acknowledging with gratitude that the child is a gift from God.  It is a public recognition that every child is a gift from God and that the parents seek God's blessings, guidance, help and wisdom for the child's upbringing.  The parents recognize that with His help they will do their best to set the 

 

example for this child to follow in the way of the LORD.  Scripture teaches that this is an acceptable practice before the Lord, where parents brought their children to the place of worship to be dedicated.  God places great value on the life of the child, "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him."  (Psalms 127:3) reminds us that children are not only from the Lord but they are a 

 

reward from Him.  During our service we incorporate these themes by celebrating the birth of your child, praying for your child and praying for you as a parent.

If you would like to have your baby dedicated please 'click here'.