Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/18/2017

Charles Cash

 

Our Eternal Relationship

With Christ

 

  Christianity is relationship—relationship with God and Christ—relationship with one another.

 

  First of all, we need to know God and Christ. I could tell you about my dear mother who meant so much to me. She has been gone for some 25 years. I could tell you the kind of person she was and what she did, but you didn’t know her and you never will. I could tell you about Jesus, who He was, what He did, how we all need Him, but you must personally know Him. This is what Jesus said: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” This is not just intellectual knowledge, but an experimental knowledge, an experience with Jesus the Christ.

 

  Jesus is the Christ of history! The birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ are not some abstract theological doctrines, but historical facts. H. G. Wells, in his “History of Civilization,” wrote, “It never occurred, even to Christ’s bitterest enemies, to deny the historical existence of Jesus.”  In Luke 2:11 we read, “For there is born unto you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This is the Christ of history!

 

  Jesus must not only be the Christ of history, but also the Christ of experience. The apostle Paul gives us his personal testimony: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians2:20) That is the Christ of experience!

 

  Pertaining to our personal experience with Christ, there are several aspects of our relationship with Him.

 

  A Doctrinal Relationship. We believe with all our heart and confess: “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of god.” Bill Banowsky wrote: “Christ is not the hero of some vague fairy tale, nor the memorable character of a sentimental old book. He is more than the speculative focal point for the theological theories of vain men. He is much more than the founder of one of the world’s great religions. He lives!” Jesus said to a gathering of Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) Jesus is the eternal Christ. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He is “the way, the truth, and the life.”

 

  A Redemptive Relationship. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…….but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (I Peter 1:18-19) Paul wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood,, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) One writer wrote: “If I owned all the cattle on 4,000 hills, if I could dig every ounce of gold from the bowels of the earth, and every diamond, if I could gather every pearl from the seven seas and multiply their value by one million fold, I still could not pay off the mortgage on one single soul.” One day Christ put one soul on one side of the scales and the whole world on the other side. The world flew up light as a feather when He said, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul….” (Matthew 16:26) Forgiveness is man’s deepest need, his highest achievement.

 

  An Institutional Relationship. The redemptive relationship automatically brings us into the kingdom of God, the church. One cannot be called out of the world by the gospel, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, and not be a part of the called out body (ekklesia), the church. The church is Christ’s spiritual body on this earth. “He is the head of the body, the church." (Colossians 1:18) “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46)

 

  An Ethical Relationship. The fruit of the above three relationships is born out in this fourth one.

 

  The apostle John says the Christian “walks as Christ walked.” (I John 2:6) We must have “the mind of Christ.”(Philippians 2:5) We are to be transformed into “the image of Christ.”(2 Corinthians 3:18) We are to “follow His steps.” (I Peter 2:21)

 

  A Family Relationship. Christians are “the children of God.” (I John 3:1) Jesus said, “Forwhoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother, sister and mother.”(Matt. 12:50) We are God’s children, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”  (Romans 8: 17) Christ is a Brother, a joint heir with each of us.

 

  A Friend Relationship. Christ uttered this great truth: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) That is exactly what Christ did! Then He said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”(v. 14) Isn’t it amazing? The architect of the universe, the redeemer of mankind, the Son of God, Deity, wants and courts our friendship.  We often sing these words: “What a friend we have in Jesus.” What a friend indeed!

 

  It takes two parties to have a relationship. God never fails to do His part! The question for us is: “Are we living up to our responsibilities and holding up our end of the relationship?

 

—CHARLES CASH