WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO KNOW JESUS? AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Christianity rests on four truths about Jesus, the One the Bible is all about:
- Jesus is fully God. He is the Creator of the universe, the definition of good, the giver of life, and King over all.
- Jesus is fully human. He came to earth to save us from our sins. Sin is doing anything against God’s good commands. Sin twists and breaks everything it touches, and it’s the root cause of brokenness and death. It broke our relationship with our holy (or perfect) God, who must punish sin or He wouldn’t be good or just.
- Jesus offers us the only possible rescue from sin and death. We can be rescued by putting our faith in Jesus. He is perfect, yet He took the punishment for our sins: dying on a cross. Then, He beat death by coming back to life. Knowing Jesus through faith restores our broken relationship with God because Jesus forgives our sins and clothes us in His sinlessness, as if we never sinned. He also gives us the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to begin to reject sin and live as new people in Christ.
- Jesus is coming back to make everything new. God’s people will be raised from the dead, living forever with God and each other, free from sin. But those who have refused His offer of rescue and relationship will face eternal judgment (or punishment) for their sin.
Romans 10:9-10 sums up these truths: “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” (NLT).
So, if you believe and that belief compels you to openly say that
- you are a sinner,
• Jesus is Lord, the true God and King of the universe,
• you trust Him as the only way to save you from sin and death…
then you are a Christian.
Some people say a prayer when they become a Christian. There are no magic words, but you are welcome to use the following prayer as a guide: “Dear God, I’m a sinner. I need to be saved from sin and death. You are the only way to save me because You are the living God and King over all. I trust You to save me, and I acknowledge that You are good and in control. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Still not sure? That’s okay! If you need more details about what it means to know Jesus, dig into the Bible—God’s Word to us—and talk to a trusted Christian in your life, such as a camp counselor or pastor. Some great books of the Bible to start with are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Romans.