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GLOBAL MISSIONS Statement of Faith
The Bible clearly teaches that God wants to have a personal relationship with each of us. However, we have a problem. The Bible says that we are not righteous: “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10), and it also says that we have sinned: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin has separated us from God and as a result we cannot, on our own, have a personal relationship with God. When we speak about a personal relationship with God, we are not talking about a religion but a relationship.* It is not about being a Protestant, or a Catholic, or Baptist, or even a church member. It is not about a religion, but about a relationship, a personal relationship with God. A personal relationship with God is something that we can only have on God’s terms, not ours. The good news is, God not only wants a personal relationship with us, but He has provided a way through which we can receive forgiveness of our sins, be saved from the consequences of our sins, and gain eternal life with Him in Heaven---all this is offered as a free gift to us by His grace. We can receive this gift through faith by merely believing in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior. The Bible says: “For 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). And “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believes in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9, 10) Many people have the concept that to gain God's favor they need to demonstrate to Him how good they are and that they need to be very religious and have done some exceptionally good deeds in order to earn His approval to gain eternal life. This is totally contrary to God's free offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ as a free gift as presented in the Holy Bible. If you understand this and recognize that it is not a religion that justifies you before God, but His grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and if you don’t remember ever receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior through faith by merely believing, you can do that right now by saying a prayer like the one below. It is really not the exact words that count in a prayer like this but the sincerity you have in your heart to act on faith to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you are not sure about your relationship with God but want to have a personal relationship with Him and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can do so right now through faith by merely believing in Jesus Christ and expressing this by saying the following prayer. If you would like to do that, then right now place your faith in Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Savior, and confirm that by praying this prayer by faith to God: Dear God in heaven, I need you. Thank you for your love and for giving Jesus Christ, your one and only Son. I believe in my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that you raised Him from the dead. I confess with my mouth--“Jesus is Lord.” I repent of my sins, and through faith receive your free gift of eternal life. I believe in Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. Take control of my life and make me the person you want me to be. I pray this in Jesus’ Holy name. Amen. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ and pray a prayer like this-- we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior; God has forgiven our sins; and God has given us eternal life. This is God’s promise to us! We then have a personal relationship with God. God wants that relationship to become closer and more intimate each day. To do this we need to pray to God daily thanking Him for His blessings and asking Him for His wisdom and direction in our lives. We need to read the Bible regularly and attend a good Bible teaching church. And most of all, we need to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and we need to love our neighbor as ourselves. God loves us so much! He wants the best for us and He wants us to experience love, joy, and peace in our lives, and be fulfilled in life. If you have any questions regarding this statement of faith, please feel free to contact Ray Berryman, Missions Pastor at Windermere Ministries (407-489-1332) or I have read and understand the statement above. I attest that I have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. Signature______________________________________________ Print Name ____________________________________________
*A relationship with God is vastly different from a religion. There are many religions, but only one relationship. A relationship with God is the position we have with God by being a member of His family through being “born again” in the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ, and a relationship with God is a free gift which we receive by God’s grace through faith. Religions, on the other hand, are organized groups that have developed doctrines and rules that they want their members to follow in the worship of God. We join a religion to fellowship with others to worship God, and this is a good thing. However, we can be a member of a religion without ever having a genuine personal relationship with God. Unfortunately, there are many people who are religious who have never received God’s gift of salvation, but have been led to believe that they can earn salvation and eternal life by their religious loyalty and their many “good works.” The Bible is very clear in declaring that salvation cannot be earned by good works, but it is a free gift from God, as a result of God’s grace, because of the all inclusive “good work” that Jesus did in paying the penalty of our sins by His death on the cross. Remember the Bible says: “For 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 NIV 11/12/08