What Sort of Relationship Should We Have With Jesus Christ?
A Study Outline
I. The relationships we have with others in this world form a very large part of our lives.
A. We really cannot exist in this society without having others around us helping us with various aspects of living: farmers produce our food, builders construct or houses, auto workers produce our cars, oil workers extract oil and refine it, etc.
B. The relationships we form within the ecclesia are the most important of all, for God commands us to be friends with those who keep the commandments (John 15:14), and to show preference to our brethren (Galatians 6:10).
II. Our relationships to our heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ, of course, are the most important of all relationships.
A. We are to serve only the one true God — Yahweh Elohim — with every fiber of our being.
1. Exodus 20:2-3. “I am the LORD your God, which has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” See also versus 4-6.
2. Deuteronomy 6:5. “And you shall love the LORD you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
3. Matthew 6:9. “After this manner therefore pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” We are to pray daily to our heavenly Father, and keep in constant contact with Him.
B. Yet, much confusion has been injected into the proper understandings of our relationship with our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ — who are distinct spirit beings — by the introduction of the Trinity concept. This false doctrine states that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each distinct beings, yet are “one”. We know through Scripture that the Father and the Son are distinct spirit beings, and that the holy spirit is the power of God going out from the Father, not a being like the Father and Son.
C. We are to walk in Christ’s footsteps, and suffer as He did.
1. I John 2:6. “He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.”
2. I Peter 2:21. “For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”
3. Romans 8:16-17. “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”
III. Our basic, foundational relationship with Jesus Christ is as brothers.
A. Romans 8:29. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
B.Colossians 1:18. “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.”
C. Revelation 1:5. “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
D. Matthew 12:46-50 even more broadly defines our relationship with Christ, we being members of His family: “For whosoever shall do the will of My Father who is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother” (verse 50).
E. Other relationships extend from this basic brother — to — brother relationship, which include Friend (Matthew 15:14-15), Savior (I Timothy 4:10), and Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; I John 2:1; Romans 8:34), besides others.
IV. We are destined to be like Jesus Christ, as brothers, in most every way.
A. Rulership over the nations.
Jesus Christ. John 18:36-37. “My kingdom is not of this world ….”
world (strong 2889) = kosmos, “orderly arrangement [of society].” See also Revelation 1:5; 19:14-16; Ezekiel 37:24.
Us. Revelation 5:9. “… and has made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” See also Revelation 2:26-27; 20:4.
B. Inheritance of all things.
Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:15-17: verse 16. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.”
Us. Matthew 5:3, 5. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” See also Revelation 21:7.
C. Receive God’s spirit at baptism.
Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:16. “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:”
Us. Acts 2:38. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the holy spirit.” See also Acts 9:17-18; 19:5-6.
D. The same Father, and we (Christ and the saints) are all brethren.
Jesus Christ. Matthew 12:47-49 (partially quoted in III); Romans 8:29. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” See also John 16:28; Revelation 1:5.
Us. Hebrews 2:11, 13 [in Isaiah 8:18]. “Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion.” See also John 17:21; Colossians 1:18.
E. Sent to earth by the Father.
Jesus Christ. John 16:28. “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” See also John 13:3; Luke 1:35.
Us. Hebrews 2:13-14. “And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God has given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” See also Ephesians 1:4-5.
F. Will reign together on the Father’s throne.
Jesus Christ. Hebrews 8:1. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;” See also Revelation 21:22.
Us. Revelation 3:21. “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”
G. Will be worshipped as God.
Jesus Christ. Romans 14:11 [in Isaiah 45:23]. “I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” See also Philippians 2:10.
Us. Revelation 3:9. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” See also Isaiah 49:23; 60:14.
H. Pray directly to the Father.
Jesus Christ. John 17:1. “These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Your Son, that your Son also may glorify You.” See also Matthew 26:39.
Us. Matthew 6:6, 9. “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. After this manner therefore pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
I. The Father speaks directly to us.
Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:17. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” See also Matthew 47:5.
Us. He speaks to us through Scripture. Ephesians 6:17. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” See also II Timothy 3:16.
J. Endure trials, and overcome.
Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:15. “For we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” See also I Peter 2:21; Isaiah 53:3-5.
Us. I Peter 1:6-7. “Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations; That the trail of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, through it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” See also Romans 8:17-18; I Peter 2:21-24; Galatians 2:20.
K. Ministered to by angels.
Jesus Christ. Matthew 4:11. “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” See also Luke 22:42-43.
Us. Hebrews 1:13-14. “But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” See also Hebrews 13:2.
L. Forgive the sins of others.
Jesus Christ. Matthew 9:2-6 [verse 6]. “But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (then He said to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up your bed, and go unto your house.” See also Luke 23:34; I John 1:9; 2:12; Psalm 86:5.
Us. Matthew 6:12-15 [verse 12]. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” See also Matthew 18:35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 6:37; 17:3-4.
M. Equivalence as spirits at the resurrection.
Jesus Christ. John 20:17. “Jesus said to her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.” See also Revelation 3:21 [in Psalm 132:12].
Us. See the scripture above. Revelation 3:21. “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”
N. The Law is written in our hearts, and we do the Father’s will and have His mind.
Jesus Christ. John 5:19. “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He does, these also does the Son likewise.” See also John 17:21; Matthew 5:17-19; Jeremiah 31:33.
Us. I Corinthians 2:16. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” See also Philippians 2:5; Acts 2:17-18.
V. Like Jesus Christ, we are to look to the Father of us all for direction in life, and we follow Jesus Christ as He follows the Father (John 5:19), … and we follow the apostles, and even one another, as we set examples of the Father’s will in our lives.
A. I Corinthians 11:1. “Be followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
B. Ephesians 5:1. “Be you therefore followers of God as dear children.”
C. I Thessalonians 1:6. “And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the holy spirit.”
D. We are all wrapped up in one another — The Father, the Son, and ourselves — in a holy family (John 17:21).
E. Recall that Jesus Christ called only the Father good, not even Himself, despite His sinlessness (John 19:17)., Likewise, we, being made perfect through the washing away of our sins in baptism and receiving God’s spirit, ought to call only the Father “good”. We, like Christ, as His brothers, have only one Father.
V. Therefore, unlike most Protestant groups that usually lift up the name of Jesus Christ only, we ought to lift up the name of our heavenly Father, whom Jesus called “good”, and whose will we must look to as the source of all of our being and strength … while living the example of Jesus and the saints.
A. John 4:34. “Jesus said unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.”
B. John 6:38. “For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.”
C. We are indebted to the Father for our having been called and given His spirit (John 6:38-44), and to our elder brother Jesus Christ whose shed blood has given us renewed life by washing away our sins: “As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats Me, even He shall live by Me” (John 6:57).