Christianity is a relationship – with God.
God created man and woman in His image (Gen 1:26-27) – to be like Him in certain ways. This was not His expressed intention with any other part of His creation.
From the beginning God entered into a special relationship with them. He spoke with them; He gave them authority over the rest of creation; He gave them the freedom of choice; and He gave them a commission to fill the world (Gen 1:28).
When they disobeyed Him and fell from grace, He came looking, and calling, for them. He confronted, challenged and banished them – but not before He had Himself clothed them, and given to them an indication of a salvation to come (Gen3). He took them very seriously.
From that moment onwards, we find God in contact with, and communicating with, His people – and He set in motion His plan for their salvation. He called Abraham, and gave to Him staggering promises for the generations to come (Gen 12:1-3). He was involved in the lives of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph [Gen 21-Gen 50) – and then in the great calling and commissioning of Moses, leading to the liberation of the Israelites and the transforming and mighty events of the Exodus(Ex 1-Ex 18). At Sinai, as a free people, the Israelites were faced with the opportunity to choose their future – to go with God, in trust and obedience, to be His special people – a treasured possession – or to go off into the future by themselves (Ex 19). As they would do later under Joshua [Jos 24), they chose God.
Down through history this incredible relationship of Almighty God, with a troublesome, and largely unfaithful, people continued – through blessing, banishment and new beginnings. And, although there were periods of silence on God’s part, the relationship never ended. Through creation, through the prophets, through Scripture, God remained in contact with His people, speaking to them through individuals whom He called, as well as through events.
And then, there came the dramatic, and stunning, event which had first been foretold in Eden. A Saviour.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
And all this took place because, as Jesus Himself told us:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
In Jesus Christ – the Son of God, the Saviour of the world – we find God providing forgiveness, healing and salvation for everyone who will accept it – and capable of being responded to individually. We see Jesus loving and reaching out to people both as groups and as individuals; and no individual who comes to Him was ever ignored. Such is the wonder of His being and love that a woman could draw healing from Him before He, seemingly, was conscious of her.
His promises were to all individuals who would believe and receive them – as was His promise of the Holy Spirit, who would not only be with us, but within us. Such intimacy with God is, almost, unthinkable.
But then, through the cross, Jesus has taken away the separation that existed between humans and God from the time of the Fall. He has opened the way for believers, individually, to enter the presence of Almighty God themselves –as creatures to the Creator but, far more significantly and preciously, as children to their wonderful Father.
And so He taught us to pray to “Our Father”(Matt 6:9-13), and the Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirits that we are God’s children – His sons and His daughters (Rom 8:16).
From the beginning of creation to the end as we know it, and then through the joy of eternity, God created us for a deep and glorious relationship with Himself. The birth, death and resurrection of Christ was to ensure that it would be restored in its fullness, continue, and never end – and that we could be a part of it as He had originally intended. We can enter into the increasing joy and depth of it’s reality at any time. Christ is forever knocking at the doors of our lives – we can open them for Him to enter, as He has promised (Rev 3:20).
Any difficulties that we might experience are not a sign that God has walked away. We live still as imperfect beings in an imperfect world, with imperfect knowledge and imperfect responses. Sometimes we will drift away, or allow pressures, problems and temptations to distract us. However, He who is perfect knows and understands us, and our situations, completely – and His promise is sure –
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Christianity is a relationship with God – founded not on law, but on His love and grace. Jesus Christ is the promise, and the Holy Spirit the guarantee. We could not ask for more – except, perhaps, to echo the prayer of the man who cried out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24)
May our mighty and loving Father, our glorious and faithful Saviour, and the ever-present and powerful Holy Spirit, lead us on in our journey into the very heart of God, where we might know and experience the fullness of His love for ourselves.
God bless you from who He is.
“According to Your love remember me, for You are good O Lord”