In our evangelical circles, we put a lot of weight behind and put a lot of emphasis on having a ‘personal relationship with Jesus’. In fact, we’ve been taught that this personal relationship is what differentiates us (Evangelicals) from religion (fill in any other faith-practice apart from Evangelicalism). I get it, and to the extend that it is implied, I agree with it.
after some thought, I’ve come to this conclusion: everybody has a relationship with Jesus.
Think about it. In some way, shape, or form, we’re in relation to Jesus. I mean, even the devil has a relationship with Jesus… only his relationship is one that is at odds with Jesus. All of us are in relation to Jesus, but not all of us are united to Jesus. This to me is simply a matter of distinction and probably another way I’m becoming hung up on words, but it’s an important distinction. Why is it important? Well, if you aren’t united with Christ, then you’re against Christ.
So how does someone become united to Jesus? (thanks for asking)
Faith. Faith in Jesus. Faith that what he has done on the cross satisfies the wrath that was to be poured out on you. Faith that the cross is the extreme and extravagant love of God onto people. Faith that Jesus was who he said he was, and did what he set out to do. This is how we may become united to Jesus and not simply related to Jesus.
So, having a personal relationship with Jesus does not save us unless it’s a saving relationship… do you have faith in Him – faith that He was who He said He was? Faith that He is and will do what He set out to do? May His grace continue to draw you in if you struggle like I do at times with my faith. And may you live your life in awe and worship of Him.