Topic Index

Apr 10, 2013

Relationship - Part One

From cover to cover, the Bible is about “relationship”. Webster’s defines this word as being “mutually interested and involved” with another.

In Genesis, God communed with Adam daily in an intimate relationship (Genesis 3:8). Moses relates to us that His presence was there, talking and walking with Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word Moses used that was translated as “presence” is a word that also means face, countenance, favor, person, sight, and with – all words that imply a personal, intimate relationship.

In Revelation, Jesus Himself says that He stands at the door of our heart, knocking, and waiting for us to invite Him in so that he can eat with us (Revelation 3:20). He does not force His way in. Rather, we open the door and invite Him in as we would a friend. In human culture for centuries, dining together has been one of the primary ways of having fellowship with one another, and pursuing an intimacy of relationship.

In John, because God loved us and desired to provide a way for us to be forever in His presence, He gave His Son that those who believe in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16). The word translated as “believe” does not mean just to be “acquainted with” or know “about” Jesus, but to have faith in, to entrust to Him your spiritual well-being, and to put your trust in Him (with the implication that actions based on that trust may follow). These are all part of an intimate relationship.

John later tells us that “eternal life” is this: that we might “know” the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (John 17:3). The word translated as “know” means to come to know, recognize, understand, and to have intimate relations with. Again, these are all requirements of a having an active relationship - not just a casual acquaintance.

In one of Paul’s prayers he asks God to give us wisdom and revelation so that we might “know” Him better (Ephesians 1:17). Later he tells us that he wants to “know” Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming like Him (Philippians 3:10). These are Paul’s desires for a relationship with God and Jesus.

God tells us that He “knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)”. But we will never know or realize those plans in our lives if we do not actively pursue Him in an intimate relationship. God goes on to say, “Then we will call upon Him, come to Him, pray to Him and that He will listen. He says we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart (Jeremiah 29:12-13)”. This passage we all know so well talks about everything
involved in a true and committed, active relationship.

Enoch “walked with God”. Moses was a friend of God. The Bible tells us that God would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to a “friend” (Exodus 33:11). David was a man after God’s own heart. Jesus called His disciples “friends” (John 15:15). He says we are His “friends” if we do what He commands us (John 15:14), and that He lays down His life for his “friends” (John 15:13).

Christianity is not a “religion”. It is a relationship with God’s Son, Jesus, by His Spirit in us!

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