How to be right with the god of the bible

Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

The Bible says the Jesus came and died for our sins to make us “right with God”. This is relational language, pointing to God’s desire to connect with people and his willingness to make that connection happen. Think of it like marriage after a difficult fight: the husband and wife are not “right” with each other until reconciliation happens. That’s what happens to us and God. We need to be made “right” in relational terms.

By Nature, We Are Not “Right” with God

The Bible teaches that because of sin, every human being is separated from God. Our sin, no matter how small in our own eyes, is bad enough to disqualify us from a relationship with a perfect God. A simple definition of sin is going our own way rather than God’s way. And according to the Bible, everyone sins.

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

When it comes to marriage relationships, husband and wife usually own at least a part of the blame when it comes to conflict and strife. But when it comes to our relationship with God, he is perfect and we are not. Sin is our problem – the separation we feel with God is on us.

Jesus Makes Us Right through the Cross

But here’s the good news. Even though our relational problems are ours to own, the relational solution is owned by God. What Jesus did on the cross puts us on good terms with God. That means it’s not up to us to try to make amends and pay for our sins. Jesus went to the cross and paid the price in full.

Romans 3:25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.

Think of it like this. When you’re in a fight with your spouse, someone has to make the first move to make things right again. The same is true in your broken relationship with God: someone has to make the first move. That’s what happened at the cross. Jesus made the first move for us, sacrificing his own life to take the penalty that our sins had earned for us.

Our Response Is Faith

So there’s only one thing for us to do: respond in “faith” and accept the gracious gift that God offers through Christ. We can’t work off our sins to earn good standing with God, no matter how hard we try. According to the clear teaching of the Bible, there’s only one way to be made right with God.

Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

So ask yourself this question: have I trusted Jesus for salvation? That’s the most important question you could ever ask because your eternity depends on it. If you want to be made right with God, it only happens when you trust Jesus.

Key Points:

  • By nature, we are not “right” with God.
  • Jesus makes us right through the cross.
  • Our response is faith.

Quote This:

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Question: “What does the Bible say about holiness? What does it mean to be holy?”

Answer: In 1 Peter 1:13-16, Peter writes to believers, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” Peter is quoting from Leviticus 11:44 and Leviticus 19:2.

First, let’s look at God’s holiness. What does it mean that God is holy? Passages like 1 Samuel 2:2 and Isaiah 6:3 are just two of many examples of passages about God’s holiness. Another way to say it is absolute perfection. God is unlike any other (see Hosea 11:9), and His holiness is the essence of that “otherness.” His very being is completely absent of even a trace of sin (James 1:13; Hebrews 6:18). He is high above any other, and no one can compare to Him (Psalm 40:5). God’s holiness pervades His entire being and shapes all His attributes. His love is a holy love, His mercy is holy mercy, and even His anger and wrath are holy anger and holy wrath. These concepts are difficult for humans to grasp, just as God is difficult for us to understand in His entirety.

Next, what does it mean for us to be holy? When God told Israel to be holy in Leviticus 11 and 19, He was instructing them to be distinct from the other nations by giving them specific regulations to govern their lives. Israel is God’s chosen nation and God has set them apart from all other people groups. They are His special people, and consequently they were given standards that God wanted them to live by so the world would know they belonged to Him. When Peter repeats the Lord’s words in 1 Peter 1:16, he is talking specifically to believers. As believers, we need to be “set apart” from the world unto the Lord. We need to be living by God’s standards, not the world’s. God isn’t calling us to be perfect, but to be distinct from the world. First Peter 2:9 describes believers as “a holy nation.” It is a fact! We are separated from the world; we need to live out that reality in our day-to-day lives, which Peter tells us how to do in 1 Peter 1:13-16.

Finally, how can we become holy? Holiness only results from a right relationship with God by believing in Jesus Christ as Savior (accepting His gift of eternal life). If we have not placed our faith in God’s Son alone to save us from our sins, then our pursuit of holiness is in vain. So, we must first make sure we are born-again believers (see John 3). If we truly are believers, then we recognize that our position in Christ automatically sets us apart from the world (1 Peter 2:9). After all, we have a relationship with the living God! Then we must daily live a set-apart life, not trying to “blend in” with the world, but instead living according to God’s Word as we study the Bible and grow in it.

Related Topics:

What does the Bible say about holiness? What does it mean to be holy?

Question: “How do I get right with God?”

Answer: In order to get “right” with God, we must first understand what is “wrong.” The answer is sin. “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3). We have rebelled against God’s commands; we “like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).

The bad news is that the penalty for sin is death. “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The good news is that a loving God has pursued us in order to bring us salvation. Jesus declared His purpose was “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10), and He pronounced His purpose accomplished when He died on the cross with the words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Having a right relationship with God begins with acknowledging your sin. Next comes a humble confession of your sin to God (Isaiah 57:15). “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 10:10).

This repentance must be accompanied by faith – specifically, faith that Jesus’ sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection qualify Him to be your Savior. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Many other passages speak of the necessity of faith, such as John 20:27; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:16; 3:11, 26; and Ephesians 2:8.

Being right with God is a matter of your response to what God has done on your behalf. He sent the Savior, He provided the sacrifice to take away your sin (John 1:29), and He offers you the promise: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).

A beautiful illustration of repentance and forgiveness is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The younger son wasted his father’s gift in shameful sin (verse 13). When he acknowledged his wrongdoing, he decided to return home (verse 18). He assumed he would no longer be considered a son (verse 19), but he was wrong. The father loved the returned rebel as much as ever (verse 20). All was forgiven, and a celebration ensued (verse 24). God is good to keep His promises, including the promise to forgive. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

If you want to get right with God, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against You and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

Question: “What does the Bible say about holiness? What does it mean to be holy?”

Answer: In 1 Peter 1:13-16, Peter writes to believers, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” Peter is quoting from Leviticus 11:44 and Leviticus 19:2.

First, let’s look at God’s holiness. What does it mean that God is holy? Passages like 1 Samuel 2:2 and Isaiah 6:3 are just two of many examples of passages about God’s holiness. Another way to say it is absolute perfection. God is unlike any other (see Hosea 11:9), and His holiness is the essence of that “otherness.” His very being is completely absent of even a trace of sin (James 1:13; Hebrews 6:18). He is high above any other, and no one can compare to Him (Psalm 40:5). God’s holiness pervades His entire being and shapes all His attributes. His love is a holy love, His mercy is holy mercy, and even His anger and wrath are holy anger and holy wrath. These concepts are difficult for humans to grasp, just as God is difficult for us to understand in His entirety.

Next, what does it mean for us to be holy? When God told Israel to be holy in Leviticus 11 and 19, He was instructing them to be distinct from the other nations by giving them specific regulations to govern their lives. Israel is God’s chosen nation and God has set them apart from all other people groups. They are His special people, and consequently they were given standards that God wanted them to live by so the world would know they belonged to Him. When Peter repeats the Lord’s words in 1 Peter 1:16, he is talking specifically to believers. As believers, we need to be “set apart” from the world unto the Lord. We need to be living by God’s standards, not the world’s. God isn’t calling us to be perfect, but to be distinct from the world. First Peter 2:9 describes believers as “a holy nation.” It is a fact! We are separated from the world; we need to live out that reality in our day-to-day lives, which Peter tells us how to do in 1 Peter 1:13-16.

Finally, how can we become holy? Holiness only results from a right relationship with God by believing in Jesus Christ as Savior (accepting His gift of eternal life). If we have not placed our faith in God’s Son alone to save us from our sins, then our pursuit of holiness is in vain. So, we must first make sure we are born-again believers (see John 3). If we truly are believers, then we recognize that our position in Christ automatically sets us apart from the world (1 Peter 2:9). After all, we have a relationship with the living God! Then we must daily live a set-apart life, not trying to “blend in” with the world, but instead living according to God’s Word as we study the Bible and grow in it.

Related Topics:

What does the Bible say about holiness? What does it mean to be holy?

5 [ L Therefore,] Since we have been ·made right with God [declared righteous; justified] by our faith, we have [a] peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 ·who through our faith [b] has brought us into that blessing of [ L through whom we have access by faith to] God’s grace ·that we now enjoy [ L in which we stand/live] . And we ·are happy [rejoice; boast] because of the hope we have ·of sharing [or of experiencing; L of] God’s glory. 3 [ L Not only this, but] We also ·have joy [rejoice; boast] ·with our troubles [through suffering/trials/persecution] , because we know that ·these troubles [suffering; trials; persecution] produce ·patience [endurance] . 4 And ·patience [endurance] produces [tested and proven] character, and [tested and proven] character produces hope. 5 And this hope will never ·disappoint us [let us down; or put us to shame; dishonor us; C honor and shame were among the most important values in first century culture] , because God has ·poured out his love to fill our hearts [or flooded our hearts with his love] . He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.

6 [ L For] When we were ·unable to help ourselves [ L still helpless/weak] , at the ·right [or appointed] time, Christ died for ·us sinners [ L the ungodly/wicked] . 7 ·Very few people will [or Rarely/Scarcely will anyone] die for a ·righteous [just; pious] person. Although perhaps for a ·good [truly good; noble] person someone might possibly die [ C the “righteous” person may be someone who is outwardly religious, while the “good” person is genuinely generous and loving] . 8 But God ·shows [demonstrates; proves] his ·great [ L own] love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

9 And since we have now been ·made right with God [declared righteous; justified] by ·the blood of Christ’s death [ L his blood] , ·we will surely also [ L how much more shall we…!] be saved through Christ from ·God’s anger [final punishment; L the wrath] . 10 [ L For if] While we were God’s enemies, ·he made us his friends [ L we were reconciled to God] through the death of his Son. ·Surely [ L How much more…?] , ·now that we are his friends [ L having been reconciled] , he will save us through his Son’s life. 11 And not only that, but now we ·are also very happy [also rejoice/boast] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we ·are now God’s friends again [have now received reconciliation] .

Adam and Christ Compared

12 [ L Therefore, just as] Sin came into the world ·because of what one man did [ L through one man] , and with sin came death. ·This is why [ L …and so; or and in this way] ·everyone must die [death spread/passed to all people] —because everyone sinned. 13 Sin was in the world before ·the law of Moses [ L the law] , but sin is not ·counted against us as breaking a command [charged to one’s account; recorded as sin] when there is no law [4:15] . 14 But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, ·everyone had to die [ L death reigned/ruled] , even those who had not sinned ·by breaking a command, as Adam had [ L in the likeness of Adam’s disobedience/transgression] .

Adam was ·like [a type/pattern/prefigurement of] the One who was coming in the future. 15 But ·God’s free gift [ L the gift] is not like Adam’s ·sin [violation; transgression]. [ L For if] Many people died because of the ·sin [violation; transgression] of that one man. ·But the grace from God was much greater, since many people received God’s gift of life [ L …how much more did God’s grace and gift abound/multiply to the many] by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ [ C the death of the “one” saved the “many”; see v. 19; Is. 53:11] . 16 But the gift of God is different from ·Adam’s [ L the one man’s] sin. After Adam sinned once, ·he was judged guilty [ L his judgment brought condemnation]. [ L But] God’s free gift came after many ·sins [violations; transgressions] , and it ·makes people right with God [ L brought justification] . 17 [ L For if] One man’s ·sin [violation; transgression] caused death to ·rule over all people [ L reign; rule] because of that one man. How much more, then, will those people who ·accept [receive] ·God’s full grace [ L the abundance of grace] and the great gift of ·being made right with him [righteousness] ·have true life and rule [or rule in the future life; L reign/rule in life] through the one man, Jesus Christ. [ C Just as death “ruled” in Adam, so believers “rule” over death through Christ.]

18 So as one ·sin of Adam [ L violation; trangression] brought ·the punishment of death [condemnation] to all people, so too one ·good act that Christ did [ L righteous act/deed] ·makes all people right with God, bringing them true life [ L brings justification of life to all people] . 19 [ L For just as…] One man disobeyed God, and many became sinners. ·In the same way, [ L …so also] one man obeyed God, and many will be made ·right [righteous] . 20 The law came ·to make sin worse [or to reveal the true extent of sin; L to increase the violation/transgression] . But when sin ·grew worse [increased; multiplied] , God’s grace ·increased [multiplied/abounded all the more] . 21 ·Sin once used death to rule us [ L Just as sin reigned in death…] , ·but God gave people more of his grace so that grace could rule [ L …so grace will reign] ·by making people right with him [through justification/righteousness] . And this brings ·life forever [eternal life] through Jesus Christ our Lord.

5 We have been made right with God because of our faith. So we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are very happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. 3 And we are also happy with the troubles we have. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that these troubles make us more patient. 4 And this patience is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope. 5 And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.

6 Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time Christ died for us. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. 8 But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us.

9 We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger. 10 I mean that while we were God’s enemies, he made friends with us through his Son’s death. And the fact that we are now God’s friends makes it even more certain that he will save us through his Son’s life. 11 And not only will we be saved, but we also rejoice right now in what God has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus that we are now God’s friends.

Adam and Christ

12 Sin came into the world because of what one man did. And with sin came death. So this is why all people must die—because all people have sinned. 13 Sin was in the world before the Law of Moses. But God does not consider people guilty of sin if there is no law. 14 But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, everyone had to die. Adam died because he sinned by not obeying God’s command. But even those who did not sin that same way had to die.

That one man, Adam, can be compared to Christ, the one who was coming in the future. 15 But God’s free gift is not like Adam’s sin. Many people died because of the sin of that one man. But the grace that people received from God was much greater. Many received God’s gift of life by the grace of this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 After Adam sinned once, he was judged guilty. But the gift of God is different. His free gift came after many sins, and it makes people right with him. 17 One man sinned, and so death ruled all people because of that one man. But now some people accept God’s full grace and his great gift of being made right. Surely they will have true life and rule through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18 So that one sin of Adam brought the punishment of death to all people. But in the same way, Christ did something so good that it makes all people right with God. And that brings them true life. 19 One man disobeyed God and many became sinners. But in the same way, one man obeyed God and many will be made right. 20 The law was brought in so that more people would sin the way Adam did. But where sin increased, there was even more of God’s grace. 21 Sin once used death to rule us. But God gave us more of his grace so that grace could rule by making us right with him. And this brings us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Hand” most frequently represents the ownership, power, or control that its possessor (either an individual or a people) exercises. This can be seen in the story of the exodus from Egypt. God’s hand, described as mighty ( Exod 3:19-20 ), overcomes the hand of the Egyptians ( 3:8 ) through miraculous plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. These are performed by the hand of Moses and of Aaron who act as instruments of divine power, taking the staff of God in their hands ( 4:2 ; 14:16 ). As a symbol of divine power and salvation the hand is remembered at the Passover celebration in which a staff is to be held in the hand and the event described as a “sign on your hand” ( 12:11 ; Exodus 13:9 Exodus 13:16 ).

The hand can represent the whole person, symbolizing the achievement of what is promised with the mouth ( 1 Kings 8:15 1 Kings 8:24 ). The hand’s raised position can be used in blessing (pl. in Lev 9:22 ), in making an oath before God ( Gen 14:22 ), or in God’s making an oath ( Num 14:30 ; right hand in Isa 62:8 ). Placing the hand under the patriarch’s thigh forms part of the oath that his servant makes to Abraham ( Genesis 24:2 Genesis 24:9 ). The hand of the person seeking atonement for sins is placed on the animal when it is sacrificed ( Lev 1:4 ). More specifically, the thumb of the right hand receives the sacrificial blood or the oil when the whole person is ritually cleansed ( Lev 8:23 ; 14:14-28 ). This symbolism is carried into the New Testament, when Jesus and the apostles heal and deliver through the touch of the hand ( Matt 8:3 ; Acts 3:7 ).

The hand has a variety of other associations. The hand of the Lord comes upon Elisha through the playing of a harp and leads him to prophesy ( 2 Kings 3:15 ). Naaman expects Elisha to cure him through the waving of his hand ( 2 Kings 5:11 ). Writing on the hand can signify allegiance or ownership ( Isa 44:5 ; Rev 13:16 ). Mourning can involve the slashing of the hand ( Jer 48:37 ). If the lover’s “hand” in Song of Solomon 5:4 is a sexual metaphor, it avoids altogether the additional ritual associations of this phallic image in Ugaritic (and presumably Canaanite) religion. God’s hand is normally understood as a metaphor but in the prophetic books something like a hand is felt ( Dan 10:10 ) and is seen lifting Ezekiel ( Eze 8:3 ), writing on a wall ( Dan 5:5 ), holding a plumb line ( Amos 7:7 ), and emanating rays ( Hab 3:4 ; cf. Rev 1:20 and Rev 2:1, ; where Christ holds seven stars ).

The right hand can be used interchangeably with the hand in poetic texts ( Judges 5:26 ; Psalm 74:11 ). The hand of God, and especially the right hand, is also understood as a place of salvation, refuge, and protection (16:8). It is the favored position for the firstborn of Joseph to receive Jacob’s blessing ( Gen 48:13-18 ), for the bride of the king ( Psalm 45:9 ), and for the chosen one who sits at God’s right hand while judgment is rendered upon the earth ( 110:1 ; Jer 22:24 ). This is applied to Jesus ( Mark 14:62 ; 16:19 ). He sits at God’s right hand, where he intercedes as a priest for believers ( Rom 8:34 ; Heb 8:1 ) and exercises authority over all powers ( 1 Peter 3:22 ). The apostles extend the right hand of fellowship to Paul ( Gal 2:9 ), perhaps reflecting an ancient practice of greeting ( 2 Sam 20:9 ). In other cases the position at the right hand has no apparent advantage over the left ( 1 Chronicles 6:39 1 Chronicles 6:44 ; Jonah 4:11 ). In Hebrew, the direction “south” is designated by the word for “right hand” ( yamin [ im”Yim ]).

Bibliography . J. Bergman, W. von Soden, and P. R. Ackroyd, TDOT, 5:393-426; J. A. Soggin and H.-J. Fabry, TDOT, 6:87-98; W. Grundmann, TDNT, 2:37-40; E. Lohse, TDNT, 9:424-37; J. C. de Moor, An Anthology of Religious Texts from Ugarit .

Elwell, Walter A. “Entry for ‘Hand, Right Hand'”. “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology”. . 1997.

When people say they would like to “get right with God,” they usually mean they desire to stop some kind of wrong behavior and begin living for Him. In order to get right with God, however, a person must realize what is actually wrong.

The barrier that keeps us from being right with God is sin. Romans 3:23 teaches, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This sin separates us from God: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The only solution is to receive eternal life from Jesus Christ.

How can you receive eternal life? Jesus taught that eternal life comes by faith: “For 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 must believe in Jesus to escape death and the punishment for your sins and have eternal life in heaven with Jesus.

What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Romans 10:9 shares, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” First, you must believe Jesus is Lord. Second, you must accept that Jesus literally rose again from the dead. He defeated death to prove His power as God’s Son and offer eternal life to you.

Jesus shared a powerful example of His love in the account of the prodigal son in Luke 15. The son had left his father and wasted his inheritance. His only means of survival was working with livestock. He even craved the food the pigs ate. At his lowest point he decided to return home and ask his father if he could work as a servant. As he returned, his father saw him in the distance. The father ran to him, hugged him, and declared a celebration in the son’s honor, saying, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).

Today Jesus offers the same love this father offered to his lost son. If you will turn to Jesus, He will accept you and celebrate your decision to believe in Him.

There is no special prayer you must say to get right with God. However, if you would like to accept Jesus as your Savior and know for certain you have eternal life, you can tell God with a prayer similar to this:

“Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son who took the punishment for my sins and rose from the dead to give me eternal life and restore me to rightness with you. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life.”

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please click on the “I have accepted Christ today” button below.