2001-08-24 - Our One-on-One Relationship with God
Basics of the Christian Faith, Part 8
In the last couple months, we have examined foundational Christian beliefs, and today we will examine our relationship with God.
A basic Christian belief and understanding is that the only intermediary we need with God, is Christ. All we who are Christians can pray directly to God. Though we should gratefully welcome people's prayers for us (1 Thes. 5:21), we can speak with God ourselves, one-on-one. In Christ's own words:
John 16:26 (NASB) In that day you will ask in My name, and Ido not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf;
In Old Testament times, speaking with God was often a frightening experience, and took place at carefully prescribed places. Leaders like Moses received messages for the people.
Isaiah 6:4-7 (NASB) And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ;Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.'' Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, ;Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.''
Under the Old Covenant, it was necessary for a priest to be the go-between, because our sins separated us from God. Praying for our fellow Christians is something we all should be doing (1 Timothy 2:1, James 5:16). This is a responsibility and privilege of being in the Christian family. But under the New Covenant, when Christ paid for our sins with His life, Jesus was acting as our High Priest.Though we need spiritual leaders to guide and teach us, we don't need another High Priest; Christ is the only one we need. He made it possible for us to approach God ourselves. We no longer require a go-between.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB) For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Thanks to our Savior / High Priest Jesus, we can have a one-on-one relationship with God.We can speak to Him as easily as we can speak with a family member or friend.And as one of my favorite verses reminds us, this is what God wants from us:
Psalms 62:8 (NASB) Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.