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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 4, Chapter 2

Christianity Is
Relationship With Jesus

Page 1 of Pages 2, 3, 4, 5
Study Questions

God loves you and He has a definite unique individual present and eternal plan for your life regardless of how old or young you are. Eternity is forever and so whether you are five or a hundred-and-two it is never too late to enter into Godís eternal plan for your life at present.

The way we come to know Godís love and plan for our lives is through literally entering into relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (Jn 17:3).

When the Word "know" or "Knowing" is used in the Bible between a man and a woman, it is referring to sexual intercourse. In the Old Testament it states that Adam "knew Eve his wife and she conceived and bore Cain." (Gen 4:1). In the New Testament it states that Joseph "knew not her [Mary] until she bore a son [Jesus]." That is he kept her a virgin until Jesus was born. The Apostle Paul in the Epistle of Ephesians uses the marriage relationship as a comparison of Jesusí relationship to the church (Ephesians 5). Jesus literally wants to have spiritual intercourse with us.

Sexual intercourse is the strongest way for a man and a woman to come together and the closest possible way for them to know each other intimately. In the same romantic way Jesus wants to be completely intimate with us spiritually, knowing Him and Him knowing us. He loves us and He wants us to love Him. He is gentle and humble of heart. Jesus states in Matthew,

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." (Matt 11:28-30).

It is out of love relationship with Jesus that He leads us into His will and plan for our lives and transforms us into His image.

JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO OUR NEEDS

Jesus is the answer to our needs in Salvation, Sanctification, Righteousness, and in Wisdom and Understanding. Paul the Apostle writes in 1 Corinthians 1:30, "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom8 from God, and righteousness9 and sanctification10, and redemption11."

If we cannot save ourselves, neither can we sanctify ourselves. Just as salvation can only come about through looking to Jesus through the cross, so also sanctification can only come about as we look to Jesus to sanctify us through His power.

That is what this section in this book is all about: learning how to draw upon and apply practically the sanctifying work of Jesus in our lives individually and to see how this applies to principles of discernment in our relationship with God and man. Before we can understand though how Jesus sanctifies us, we first need to understand what the believerís relationship to the law is.

THE BELIEVERíS RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAW

What does the Law of the Old Testament represent? It represents man trying to gain Godís forgiveness for sins confessed and repented of through religious works and ceremony. Unlike all other religions of the world, a Christian is not forgiven of his sins and accepted by God through his religious works or sacrifices but through accepting by faith Godís atonement and sacrifice for his sins through Jesusí death and shed blood on the Cross. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:13-16,

"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." (Eph 2:13-16).

Before Jesus Christ died on the cross for manís sin there were two kinds of people in the world: those who lived under the Mosaic Law and those who did not. Those who did were called Jews and those who did not were called Gentiles. The Jews were very proud because they were not like the sinners among the Gentiles. They strove to live according to the law perfectly and looked down on the those who did not and would not have anything to do with those who did not. Jesus described this graphically in the Gospel of Luke in which He tells a parable about a self-righteous Pharisee:

"And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: ĎTwo men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get"í" (Luke 18:9).

Because of the self-righteous snobbery of the Jews, the Gentiles hated them and did not want anything to do with them either. The end result was enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles. The enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles was the Law of the Old Testament.

Paul the Apostle states, though, in Ephesians Chapter 2 that through Jesusí death on the cross the Law of the Old Testament, which caused this enmity between Jews and Gentiles, was abolished so that it is no longer the means by which we gain Godís forgiveness for our sins and have peace with God. Paul says in verse thirteen that no longer are we forgiven of our sins repented of through obedience to the ritualistic ceremonies of the Old Testament but through the blood of Jesus Christ. Because both Jew and Gentile alike are forgiven of their sins through the blood of Jesus there is now peace between each group because their unity is no longer based on how well they live by the Law. Their commonness and unity is now in their faith in Godís work of atonement for their sins through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Neither Gentile nor Jew gets into heaven based on their works for the forgiveness of their sins, but now only on the work of God through Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross. Concerning the work of God for the forgiveness of our sins, Paul states,

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." (Phil 3:8-9).

This is why Paul can say in Romans, "For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Rom 10:4).

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS

If we are not under the Law of the Old Testament then what are we under? We are under the Lordship of Jesus.

Jesus states in the Gospel of John, "And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (Jn 17:3).

If eternal life is knowing Jesus, then what does knowing Jesus mean? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer in the book of Romans,

"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation." (Rom 10:9- 10).

Paul tells us in this passage that knowing Jesus means two things: Confessing Jesus as Lord and believing that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead.

What does it mean to believe that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead? There are many accounts of resurrections in the Scriptures. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, for example, in the Gospel of John chapter 11. Why are we not saved by believing on Lazarusí resurrection? What is the significance of Jesusí resurrection? Paul again gives us this answer in the book of Romans. He states, "He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." (Rom 4:25).

Paul states two things in this passage of Scripture: he tells us that Jesus died for our transgressions, that is our sins and that God the Father raising Jesus from the dead is His way of letting us know that He does accepts Jesusí death in our place for our sins. To not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to deny the Fatherís acceptance of Jesusí death for our sins.

Paul tells us in the first half of Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death. . ." This is why doing religious things does not take away your sin. Only spiritual death takes away your sin and the shedding of blood. The Apostle Paul tells us and the writer of Hebrews tells us, "And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." ". . and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (2 Thess 1:9, Heb 9:22).

Study Questions
Continued on
Pages 2, 3, 4, 5
Bibliography & Notes
Section 4 Chapters
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