Acts 17: 27 Says, “He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’”.
We have been discussing the concept of faith in God. In the last issue we talked about faith being common to all decisions we make in life and that we must make a decision to have faith in God if we want to know Him. We want to continue by exploring our ability to approach God.
“Is God approachable? This is a question that has driven much of human endeavor. Most of the great structures, monuments and artwork of history were created for the purpose of relating to that culture’s concept of a higher being. The idea of man as the highest intelligence in the universe is a very recent one and is still accepted by relatively few people. Most of us feel a need to reach out to someone greater than us.
Sacrificing to “gods” has been a common practice in many cultures. There seems to be an innate knowledge in mankind that there is a need to make some kind of restitution to approach God. Even in our personal lives we often try to buy our way into God’s favor. The Bible confirms this need in the first few chapters of the book of Genesis. It tells us that through disobedience, the original relationship between mankind and God was severed. The offense required a price to be paid to satisfy justice. Humans were never able to pay a penalty sufficient to satisfy this debt and the whole creation of earth suffered the result.
The good news is God had such affection for the world He had created that He paid the price Himself. We can find this in the Gospel narratives (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) of the New Testament. He chose to put His Spirit in the body of a man and through that man, pay the penalty for all mankind. This man suffered rejection, humiliation, torture, and execution for the disobedience of his fellow humans. He could only do this because he had lived in perfect obedience to God and was guiltless. As proof that this was God’s work, He raised this man from the dead declaring him to be His beloved Son. This man was Jesus called Christ (The Anointed One). John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
The answer is yes we can get near to God! The offences we have committed, that separated us from God have been satisfied by Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. We have now been invited to fellowship with God, even addressing Him as Father, receiving an adoption through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
If we accept the sacrifice of Jesus as payment for our debt, we no longer have to wonder will we be accepted when we approach God. We can lay down our feelings of guilt and shame and come to God with confidence of his love and approval as His child. We can get as close as we want to our Father in Heaven.
Next time we will consider the question, can we please God? We hope you will join us as we continue this series. Please take advantage of the follow and share features below if you’re enjoying these teachings and feel free to share your comments with us as well.
*All scripture is taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible