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What the Bible says about Relationship with Jesus Christ
(From Forerunner Commentary)

John 1:1-5

This first chapter of John introduces Jesus Christ to mankind, but especially to those who are being called. Jesus, God's only begotten Son, was dispatched directly from heaven to be His personal witness before humanity to reveal both the Father and the Son and Their purpose. The Father sent His Son, His Heir, to be a living example of Their love toward all people. His elect need to know Him and cultivate a close relationship with Him as He is the most important element in our lives.

John immediately introduces Jesus as the literal Creator of the universe and therefore mankind's (and all other life-forms') Creator and Life-giver. All by itself, this stunning revelation must have amazed the apostles, considering they had walked with Him for three-and-a-half years.

We, too, need to reflect deeply on its profound meaning to us. The apostles enjoyed a package of elements we lack. They could literally hear His voice as He taught, see Him with their own eyes, and reach out their hands and touch Him. He directly taught the apostles, and they saw His behaviors as He carried out His responsibilities. In the beginning, they did not know His divinity as an absolute certainty but learned as they continued to follow Him. By the time of His crucifixion, that knowledge had burned into their minds as a conviction.

The apostle John focused on Jesus' oneness with the Father more frequently than the other apostles. His gospel thus provides a fuller and more exact description of Jesus' identity. In John 10:30, Jesus says, “I and My Father are one.” John 8:56-58 adds:

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad. Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

During His ministry, Jesus plainly stated who He was several times, but for most, it was too much to accept. Especially in John 8, there is more to what Jesus said than what English-speakers may think. Judging by the Jews' reactions, some apparently grasped the meaning of His statement to a much fuller extent than most Americans do, despite its predominantly Christian culture. They picked up stones to throw at Him, thinking Him blasphemous (John 8:59)!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Eight): Hebrews 1

Acts 4:10-12

The importance of this declaration by the apostle Peter cannot be underestimated. It is supported by numerous other verses that emphasize that Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His teaching are unique. Jesus Himself adds quite a few statements of His exceptional position, among them being Matthew 11:27: "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

This assertion affirms the exclusive relationship that exists between the Father and Son, as well as the fact that all access to the Father and all hope of a relationship with the Creator of all things rests in Jesus Christ. This is because the Father has delegated all things pertaining to His purpose to the Son. In John 17:3, Jesus explains that eternal life is to know God, which, combined with the thought contained in Matthew 11:27, shows we will never come to know the Father unless it is allowed through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is that important to us in reaching our destiny. He is truly unique in everything pertaining to salvation.

As early in His ministry as John 3:17-18, Jesus shows that He was thoroughly aware of how necessary He is to salvation:

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus asserts His necessity to salvation frankly in John 14:6, responding to Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." In I John 5:12, the apostle John adds to the vivid reality of Jesus' exclusive place in everyone's salvation: "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Any religion can offer salvation and rewards for a life well lived. However, only one religion, regardless of how high-minded and appealing to a person's hopes and dreams, has Jesus Christ as its Savior and centerpiece of truth. That religion is Christianity. This fact eliminates all other religions as of little value in terms of a person dedicating his life to observing their teachings. No true church will be found in them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is God's True Church Today?

2 Peter 1:11-13

If we love someone, we like to hear about him or her. I remember being taken when I was a boy to my grandmother's church, which was a Pentecostal church, and hearing and singing a song called, "Tell Me the Old, Old Story." I liked the song because of the melody, and some of the words have stuck with me. But the words are far more important to me now than the melody ever was because I understand a great deal more about the thought that the poet was trying to convey in the song.

I recently heard of someone who is upset and angry because he does not want to listen to recordings of Herbert Armstrong's sermons or broadcasts. What saddened me was that he does not have the spiritual capacity to look beyond his personal antipathy to Mr. Armstrong to the truths that he conveyed from God's Word. Instead, he is looking only at the messenger and metaphorically killing him, forgetting all about the message.

If we love someone, we find pleasure listening to someone else talk about him. We are all ears—at attention—whenever somebody talks about him. We want to hear him described, his activities expounded, his words repeated, and his plans explained. Others might be indifferent, but if we really love that person, why, we are all ears!

The true Christian delights to hear about Christ and enjoys most that fellowship in which He is being talked about.

We can see this principle at work in our culture with the groupies who form fan clubs so that they can get together and talk about their athletic hero or their entertainment star. They want to hear the latest that he or she has done. Who are they married to now? Are they expecting children? Have they been thrown in jail? Are they on drugs? Have they written new music or come out with a new albums? How many home runs have they hit? They want to hear about this person who they idolize. The principle is so easily seen. Some even go to the extent of publishing newsletters that contain the latest gossip about the one that they love because they want to be kept informed.

This same principle involved in our relationship with Christ. If we really love Him, we like to hear about Him all the time.

John W. Ritenbaugh
How to Know We Love Christ


 




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