Riccardo Stewart from Redemption Church in Tempe, AZ spoke at Grand Canyon University’s Chapel service this week. He delivered a compelling message about the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ.
Riccardo started by explaining the difference between religion and relationship. While religion consists of the activities we do to make ourselves right with God and others, having a personal relationship with Christ means we know we can never do anything to truly make ourselves right before Him.
God is not impressed by our religious activity, but He is well-pleased by His Son. Therefore, if we accept Jesus into our lives, God is well-pleased with us. Through our personal relationship with Him, we are saved.
Riccardo discussed Philippians 3:1-10, where Paul talks about the importance of knowing Christ, gaining Christ and being found in Him.
Knowing Christ does not simply mean having knowledge about Him. It means knowing Him in a relationship sense. We are to give ourselves fully to Him, because of His great love for us.
In order to gain Christ, we must acknowledge our failures. When we acknowledge that we are in need of a Savior, we can accept His gift of eternal life through having a relationship with Him. To be found in Christ, we must love Him, because He first loved us. This comes through accepting Him as a gift and putting our faith in Him.
We live in a society that says we have to do things to get somewhere. For this reason, it is hard for us to accept God’s love as a gift. However, it is important to keep in mind that we do not have a “spiritual banking account.” We cannot do things to make God love us any more or any less.
Ultimately, it is important to remember God loves us no matter what, and we are fully known and fully accepted by Him. Rather than doing good works to earn His approval, our obedience should flow from His love and the personal relationship we have with Him.
Watch the full service below:
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.