2001-08-24 - Our One-on-One Relationship with God
Basics of the Christian Faith, Part 8
In the lastcouple months, we have examined foundational Christian beliefs, and today wewill examine our relationship with God.
A basicChristian belief and understanding is that the only intermediary we need withGod, is Christ. All we who are Christians can pray directly to God. Though weshould gratefully welcome people's prayers for us (1 Thess. 5:21), we can speakwith God ourselves, one-on-one. InChrist'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 withGod was often a frightening experience, and took place at carefully prescribedplaces. Leaders like Moses received messages for the people.
Isaiah 6:4-7 (NASB) And the foundations of the thresholdstrembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling withsmoke. Then I said, ;Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man ofunclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seenthe King, the LORD of hosts.'' Then one of the seraphim flew to me with aburning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touchedmy mouth with it and said, ;Behold, this has touched your lips; and youriniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.''
Under theOld Covenant, it was necessary for a priest to be the go-between, because oursins separated us from God. Praying for our fellow Christians is something weall should be doing (1 Timothy 2:1, James 5:16). This is a responsibility andprivilege of being in the Christian family. But under the New Covenant, whenChrist 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 anotherHigh Priest; Christ is the only one we need. He made it possible for us toapproach God ourselves. We no longer require a go-between.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB) For we do not have a high priest whocannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in allthings as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne ofgrace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Thanks toour 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; Pourout your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.