How’s Your Relationship with God?
1. Do you even have one? cf. Matt. 12:30; 11:28-30
2. We hear a great deal about having a “personal relationship” with God, & of Christians who confess they do not (or wonder whether they do).
a. The term is redundant: Is there any other type? You are involved!
b. We recoil from this denominational terminology because:
1) In practice it usually means “What Christ ‘means to me’ instead of the true relationship we can, should & must have with God in Christ.
2) It usually accompanies an emotion-based religion, not truth-based (self-based not God-based).
3. Jno. 14:7-11: This exchange emphasizes the relationship disciples of Christ have with Him. “Do you not know me?” (14:9)
I. TO BE A CHRISTIAN IS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH CHRIST, Jno. 14:6; Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:26-27 (4:8-9).
A. It is Personal, because it is your Salvation!
-When you are saved by the gospel, you know God, cf. 1 Cor. 1:21.
B. Christ Died for You & Saves You when You Trust & Obey.
-I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28-29); He that…. (Mk. 16:16).
II. TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP, CERTAIN THINGS MUST BE PRESENT:
A. A Relationship RequiresContact: You must have Contact with God, Jno. 14:7-9.
1. The Lord knows each of us, cf. Nathaniel, Jno. 1:47-48.
2. Question is, do we (you) know God? 1 Jno. 2:12-14 (What kind of contact do you have with God?)
3. Initial contact: Conversion to Christ. But, what then?
4. Illus: Decide not to have any contact w/ a person for 6 months: What kind of a relationship will you have him after 6 months?
5. cf. David knew God was with him, Psa. 23:4. Do you? Heb. 13:5-6
B. A Relationship RequiresSpending Time Together: You must Spend Time with God. (cf. young people)
1. Spend time in communication (Moses, Num. 12:7; cf. your friends).
a. From God: Spend time with the Bible! Jno. 14:10; Heb. 1:1-2; Psa. 1:2; 119:14-16
b. With God: Prayer (1 Ths. 5:17).
1) Quiet time with God, Mk. 1:35.
2) Pray about everything! Phil. 4:6-7
2. Spend time worshiping:
a. Rejoicing, adoring, praising, thanking, Phil. 4:4; Heb. 13:17.
b. How can we expect to know God when we will not bow before God?! (Psa. 122:1)
3. Spend time serving others.
a. When you help someone you get to know them.
b. By serving others we serve Christ & know Him! Matt. 25:40
C. A Relationship RequiresTrust: You must Trust God. Jno. 14:11 (BTW, we trust who we know.)
1. Faith (cf. Abraham, Jas. 2:21-23: Friend of God – companion).
-Do you trust what God commands you? What God promises you?
2. Obey (Lk. 6:46). He is sovereign; do you trust Him to rule you? 1 Jno. 2:3-5; Jno. 14:20-23
3. Cast all your cares upon God, 1 Pet. 5:5-7.
a. Trust takes humility toward the one we trust, 5:6.
b. Trust takes opening yourself up to God, 5:7. Expose your heart to God (He already completely knows you!).
D. A Relationship RequiresNurturing: You Must Take Care of Your Relationship with God. (cf. Marriage)
1. Someone says, “God seems so far away.”
2. In truth, God is as close or as far away as you chose to have Him in your life, Rev. 3:20. God is close to us when we…
a. Choose to learn, trust & obey His word, Jno. 14:23.
b. Choose to live for His pleasure & blessings; cf. Eph. 5:8-10.
III. THE RESULT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IN CHRIST.
A. You will become more and more like Jesus (He will influence you the most). Eph. 4:20-24; Phil. 3:7-11.
1. In your love for God & others (Matt. 22:37-39).
2. In your trust & reliance upon God (Matt. 6:33).
3. In your obedience to God in all things (Heb. 5:8-9).
1. The call of the gospel is to know God, and more importantly, to be known by God, Gal. 4:8-9.
2. Those who know Christ & are known by Him, “do the will of the Father,” Matt. 7:21-23.
3. Do not turn back to the sinful error & immorality