Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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His Love for Us
Living in Relationship with Jesus
Terry R. Baughman
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
In contemporary culture, being in a relationship is not always a signal of something good or moral. As more and more people live together outside of marriage this phrase can often mean living like being married but without the license or the responsibility. As a result the whole idea of a relationship, as well as the concept of marriage, is often cheapened and doesn’t mean the same that it once did. It may just mean that a couple is in a temporary living arrangement where they have the option to walk out when things don’t go well.
In reality a relationship should denote commitment and good character between two parties with a clear understanding as to what is required of each. Marriage is a covenant relationship where promises are made and solemn commitments are expressed before witnesses. It is intended to be a lasting relationship with real consequences if either party decides they want out of it. This is why divorce is required to break the bonds of matrimony and the effect of such a dissolution is often felt for a long time. This is a real relationship!
God desires to have a relationship with His people, the bride of Christ. The church is made up of many people who have chosen to follow Christ’s teaching and are living in relationship with Him! It is a privilege to be called into a relationship with Jesus and there is no better way to live. It does, however, necessitate commitment and it contains responsibilities.
Consider the extent of God’s love that provides the opportunity for us to live an abundant life in the Spirit and to have a personal relationship with our God. The text above is the most quoted and best known verse in the Bible. It expresses the love God demonstrated through the provision of His own sacrifice to bring everlasting life to all those who believe in Him. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” He went on to say, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:10–11).
This relationship cost Him a great deal. He freely gave everything for the benefit of our relationship. His life and blood was given to purchase our freedom and release us from the devastating judgment of sin in our lives. John’s prophecy honored His sacrifice, death, and resurrection, “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
Paul recognized the love of God revealed in our redemption and the grace He has shown us. Paul said, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4–5). God’s love is the great motivator that brings us together and makes relationship possible. Salvation is our only hope and His grace makes it available. Again Paul wrote, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:5 NLT).
We rejoice in the relationship Jesus has extended to those who respond to His love and receive the promise of His Spirit. Let us live in the reality of this relationship!
“Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Romans 5:18 NLT).