Our heavenly Father knows how we yearn to be accepted and to feel that we belong. He provides for both of these needs when we receive His Son Jesus as Savior.

Because of Adam’s sin, our spiritual connection with the Lord was severed (Rom. 5:12). Consequently, every human being since then has been born with a “flesh” nature that keeps man separated from God. But the Father had a plan to reconcile us to Himself through the shed blood of His Son (Col. 1:20). We must understand that we are sinners who cannot pay the penalty we owe for transgression and that Jesus’ death on the cross pays the debt on our behalf.

All who accept Christ’s sacrifice will be forgiven of sins and reconciled to God. Having been justified through the Savior’s blood—with our debt canceled and His righteousness counted as our own—we each become a new creation in Him.

At salvation, we are accepted into God’s family and given the right to call Him our heavenly Father. With this acceptance comes a sense of belonging. We are now part of a worldwide family who are joined together in Christ. On the outside, we look different from one another. But on the inside, we are united through the same Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12-14).

Our performance-driven society tells us that acceptance is based on what we do and how much we achieve. But God’s message is the opposite: Faith in Christ is the sole reason for our acceptance by Him. The presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit affirms that we will always belong to the Lord.

Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Carthage.