It is almost cliché to say that you have a personal relationship with Christ considering most people know the Christianese language if they have been in church, even for a short while. Yet what does the Bible say…is it speaking of a relationship or something more. Personal relationship falls short of what the Bible teaches, and what many people have experienced in their life with God. The truth is the Bible teaches so much more and by keeping us blind to the truth the abundant life that Christ promised is seldom grasped by many well meaning, God fearing Christians.
God is Life…Christ is Life (John 14:6) and when we come to Him and receive Him we receive His life, which is eternal. That is why the Bible always speaks of having eternal life (John 3:36) in the present tense not in the future tense. We have union with Christ and now He is our Life (John 20:31) and He is in us and we are in Him (1John 5:20)…it is His life that He gives us (Gal 2:20) so that we are new creations in Him (2Cor 5:17). And in being in Him we are now Free (2Cor 3:17) because He completely purchased that freedom by His once and for all sacrifice (Heb 9:28).
Yet God will not force Himself on anyone…it is a personal decision that each one must receive or reject Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear that it is not a “intellectual assent” to a set of doctrines but so much more. You are the recipient of God’s eternal life…take a look at how John 1:12 puts it.
Joh 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
lambanō - to take, to get hold of, to grasp
pisteuō - to have faith (in, upon or with respect to, a person or thing), to entrust, to put in trust with
exousia- ability, privilege, freedom, liberty, power
John 1:12 But to all who take hold of him, who entrusted him…he gave the privilege and freedom to become children of God.
This is the door that Christ comes into union with you (Rev 3:20) yet who is responsible for opening it…He is knocking to be more then just a Savior; He desires to be your very source of life. When Christ is your life then freedom begins to reign in the person’s life. Not some religious routine but real freedom and victory because He promised and He delivers it. You will never be free if you do not believe because your beliefs have limited your ability to be free.
Humans devised a way to tame the most powerful land animal on the planet -- the elephant. They start by securing a baby elephant firmly with a strong rope and a sturdy stake driven deep into the ground. The baby elephant struggles to break free, but struggle as it will, it cannot escape its bonds. The young elephant eventually tires and gives up trying. Thereafter, as soon as it reaches the end of its rope, it goes no further. It has been trained always to think that it cannot break free of its bounds; its spirit has been broken.
As elephant grows it becomes stronger, while the rope becomes thinner and the stake smaller. Yet every time the elephant meets resistance from the end of the rope, it stops. It thinks it can go no further because it has been trained not to try to break free. Eventually the elephant reaches full size and, having learned the behavioral lessons of infancy so well, it can be easily restrained by only a thin rope and a tiny stake. It has long given up trying to break free of its bonds of captivity.
Could that elephant pull that stake out? Of course it could! Then why doesn’t it? Because it has been conditioned to believe that the stake will hold it, since it was a baby. Knowing the truth begins to set you free (John 8:32) but it is Christ Himself that sets you free indeed (John 8:36) because His life in you breaks every false authority that has been placed into your life.
Satan only has the authority that you allow him to have and he comes to steal, kill and destroy that abundant life in Christ (John 10:10) so turn to Christ for real freedom…acknowledge Him as living in you and your source of divine life (2Pet 1:4).
Happy New Year 2010