Essentials 4 – Relationship
Essentials 4 – Relationship
Find out what Jesus has rescued us for.
Discover more about the loving relationship we can enjoy with each member of the Trinity.
Generosity is such an attractive quality. Think about how children respond when grandparents arrive with bags full of presents, or how we respond when a generous friend buys us the most expensive ticket for the biggest show in town. God is generous. Look around you. Our universe is teeming with countless examples of God’s abundant kindness. And it doesn’t stop with creation. God’s beautiful extravagance extends to the salvation that he offers. Forgiveness would have been amazing, but the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit offers us much more.
As well as forgiveness, we are invited to enjoy a relationship with the Divine Three, and this begins when anyone gets personally committed to Jesus. It’s vital to realise that Jesus didn’t come as a spiritual consultant but as a king. On the day of his birth, this is what an angel declared: The difference between a king and a consultant is huge. Consultants never command us. They will show us the options, but they will never give us any orders. They will give us some advice but they have no authority over us, whereas a king is different. A king is the one in charge – a king is the one who has the right to command us.
Instinctively we don’t like people telling us what to do. We may be happy to explore our spiritual options but we want to remain in charge of our future decisions. But that’s not what Jesus offers. Jesus is the promised King, the one who deserves and demands to be in charge of everything we say and think and do. Now that’s not a bad thing. The rule of Jesus is for our delight. Surrendering to this king will change us in beautiful ways. Think of it like a house restoration project. You may have seen those programmes where someone buys a house in a state of disrepair, and then, under new ownership, each room is gradually transformed till the end result takes your breath away. The same happens with a Christian. Under the loving rule of Jesus we are gradually changed to be made more beautiful.
Now, obeying Jesus in a world where many people don’t inevitably brings Christians into conflict with many competing ideas. Therefore, anyone who decides to follow Jesus can expect turbulence in their life. There will be difficult situations with friends and family and work colleagues, but following Jesus is worth it. With Jesus in charge, this life is much more colourful, and the next life will be infinitely more pleasurable. One of the privileges of surrendering to Jesus as King is that we get to relate to his Father as our Father. On one occasion Jesus’ followers asked him to teach them how to pray, and this is how he responded: No one is born as a child of God. We start off as his creatures, but when anyone decides to commit themselves to Jesus, they are united to him by faith and, as a result, they are given a place in the Father’s family.
It’s similar to what happens when two people get married – not only do they find themselves in a new relationship, they find themselves in a new family. Some people were surprised when Prince William got engaged to Kate Middleton. She certainly wasn’t poor but neither was she from royal stock, but as soon as she got married, she became a member of the Royal Family. Now, something even more glorious happens for a Christian – instantly, they become a child in the Father’s family. And this has three wonderful implications. First, it provides us with great security. A child who disobeys loving parents will certainly impair the relationship until reconciliation is achieved, but their position as a child is never in doubt. The same is true for a Christian – our future sins will never remove us from our new family.
Second, it provides us with many new brothers and sisters – brothers and sisters who will love us, and who we can love in return. And, third, it provides us with a powerful motivation to change, we are now part of a new family, and so therefore we should seek to behave in the way revealed by our perfect Father. Now you may fear you could never do that. Maybe you’ve tried in the past, and old habits haven’t been broken. Well, listen to how Jesus’ cousin John describes him. Jesus is the more powerful one, and the promise here is that he will send the Holy Spirit to live within his followers to help them to change. This means we don’t have to be enslaved by our past or present circumstances. There is hope! Power is available. Anger can be dealt with. Anxiety can be battled. Apathy can be replaced. Change is possible. God is generous – we are offered a relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The only question is, how will we respond?