Again we remind you that, in order to really benefit from these lessons,
you need to take your time and study each lesson carefully. Please do not
skim lightly, but take out your Bible and study each assigned passage carefully.
God's word deserves your careful, honest examination and meditation (Psalm
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By His death on the cross, Jesus made possible the forgiveness of our sins. When sins are forgiven we are no longer objects of God's wrath.
"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Romans 5:9)
But we need more than this. We need the kind of close friendship that existed between God and Adam before the fall of man.
REQUIREMENTS OF A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP
If a close relationship is to exist between God and man, we must understand God and feel comfortable in approaching Him. This is not easy.
God has unlimited power, unlimited wisdom and unlimited holiness. He is the creator of all things, the sustainer of all things and He knows all things. He is eternal, immortal and invisible. He is a Spirit (John 4:24) and as spirit, He has no flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). How can a mortal finite man ever hope to comprehend such a God? Contemplating His nature, the Psalmist wrote:
"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it." (Psalm 139:6)
But if we should succeed in comprehending Him, how could we ever approach Him? We feel the need of a lawyer to represent us before a human court; how much more before God! Job expressed this need in one of the earliest books of the Bible:
"For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman (umpire) betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." (Job 9:32-33)
Jesus is this daysman, this umpire.
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)
He is qualified to "lay his hand upon us both" because He is the Son of God (John 5:25), and also the Son of man (John 5:27).
JESUS REVEALS GOD TO MAN
"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." (John 1:18)
Paul wrote of Jesus:
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9)
"...The brightness of His glory and the express image of His person..." (Hebrews 1:3)
JESUS REPRESENTS MAN TO GOD
By becoming a man, the Son of God not only revealed Deity in tangible form, but He also became our brother so that He can represent us to God.
"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IN CHRIST
Through the good offices of Jesus we are God's temple and priesthood.
"You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)
We are God's children in Christ.
"In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith." (Galatians 3:26 RSV)
When Christ is in us, God is in us. Jesus prayed:
"I in them and you in me." (John 17:23)
When we are in Christ, we are in God.
"For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3)
GOD'S BLESSINGS FOR US ARE IN CHRIST
"Blessed be the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)
"...He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." (Ephesians 1:4)
"...He has made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7)
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance." (Eph. 1:13-14)
It is only in and through Jesus that we have access to God in prayer. He said to His disciples:
"You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (John 15:16)
In Christ, God grants eternal life.
"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."(1 John 5:11)
JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY
"He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12)
Jesus did not hesitate to claim that He was the only way to God:
"Jesus said to him, `I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:6)
This makes it essential that each of us be in Christ. Are you in Christ?
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27)
"He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9)
May we assist you in being united with Christ?
Please take out your Bible and answer the following questions. You may need
to refer back to the text to answer some of them.
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