From time to time, I hear some folks in Grace circles say, “The Bible never says we are to have a relationship with Christ.” This comment always causes me to ponder exactly what they mean by that. So, I take digital pen in hand and offer my rare, but humble opinion regarding this.
Let’s start by defining this term. “A relationship is any connection between two persons, which can be either positive or negative.” Some synonymous or associated terms are kinship, union, likeness, bond, interconnection, affiliation.
I will concede that the word “relationship” does not appear in the KJV. Similarly, the words “trinity” and “rapture” are not found, and yet we use these terms to describe and teach important Biblical doctrines. I would propose to you that there is sound scriptural basis to support the fact of our personal relationship with Christ, as believers.
Would you agree that it is correct to refer to the association between a father and his son as constituting a relationship? Would you think that it would be correct to infer that a relationship exists when someone speaks of their children? Is it reasonable to conclude that a relationship exists between a person who wishes to designate someone as an heir to their estate?
Let’s look at a few verses of Scripture that would support the concept of having a relationship with Christ.
Romans 6:3-4 establishes our intimate connection with Christ. We are identified with His death, burial, and resurrection life. I consider that to be a relationship with Him.
Romans 8:9-10 declares that the believer is not IN the flesh, but IN the Spirit, and that Christ is IN you. This, too, speaks of a relational status.
Romans 8:15-16 describes the relationship we now have as the children of God.
Galatians 4:6-7 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Note, that we see our relational status with the whole Godhead, here.
Ephesians 1:5, 11 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” “IN whom (Christ Jesus) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will”. It was the predetermined purpose and will of God, before the foundation of the world, to bring into existence a “family” which would be appointed to a place of purpose and service to the praise of His glory. The expressed objective for every blood bought child of God is to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29) The Body of Christ is God’s agency which is destined to rule and reign with Christ in the heavenly realm, where His glory shall be revealed in us!
So, is there a connection with Christ? Is there a bond, a union, an identity? Have we not been acknowledged as Sons by adoption? Have we not received an inheritance, since we are children?
I would submit to you, that we indeed have a relationship with our Redeemer, our Saviour, our Brother, our Lord!