Jesus came to earth so we could have a relationship with him?

That was the reason given in a book that was really popular (and still might be) when it was published a couple of years ago. I came across it because a small group of folks where I work who have a mid-week Bible study over lunch decided to read it and talk about it.

This post is not a critique of the book so it will go unnamed. This post is about the primary reason given for Christ’s coming – ‘so we could have a relationship with him’. It’s a wildly popular notion and if you presented it to the vast majority of today’s evangelical Christians you would get a hearty “Amen!’

But IS it the reason Christ came to earth? What does the Bible have to say about it?

First of all we can ask Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. When he was probably undergoing some angst over marrying a woman already pregnant with a child not his, an angel appeared to him and told him that Mary’s pregnancy was a ‘God thing’ and that the child was to be named ‘Jesus’ because “he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). No ‘relationship’ talk there.

Then we have the account of the first sermon preached when the church was birthed at Pentecost and an emboldened Peter preaching to a large crowd of Jews gathered in Jerusalem, telling them that the very Jesus they (the Jews) delivered up to be crucified was their long awaited Messiah, their savior! In face, we are told that although they had him crucified, it was God’s preordained plan that it would happen. (See Acts 2) No ‘relationship’ talk there either.

In fact, after more than a few readings through the Bible, I have yet to find any specific ‘relationship’ text given as a reason for Jesus’ coming to earth in the first place. While you can certainly assert that our relationship with God, and His Son, was a matter at stake in Christ’s coming (we are adopted into God’s family), the Bible tells us that everyone ever born has an ongoing relationship with Jesus from the moment of birth!

From the lips of Jesus:

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18, emphasis mine)

Tough words. ‘All those who are in a state of unbelief in Jesus would have to include everyone who has not yet come to a point of belief. They are condemned already.’

From the lips of the Apostle Paul to believers in Ephesus:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:1-3 emphasis mine)

More tough words!

Dear friends, we all have a relationship with Jesus. He is either our savior or our judge, right here, right now! If Jesus’ coming was about relationships, it was to change ours from condemnation to eternal life, from bound by the chains of sin to freedom in Christ!

What a tremendous thought for the 4th of July!

The author of the book would have been closer to the reason for Christ’s coming if he had stated it was about condemnation v. eternal life, or bondage v. freedom, but in my opinion he would have still missed the mark a bit.

Jesus came to pay the ‘death penalty’ required by a just God, His own Father, for our sin – for our freedom. Jesus drank the cup of His own Father’s holy wrath against our sin (Luke 22:42).

So yes, Jesus’ coming had a lot to do with our relationship with Him, but it wasn’t the primary reason he came to us. He came to bear the penalty for our sin, the guiltless One on behalf of the guilty, by the express predetermined will of His own Father!

And because Christ paid our penalty, if we believe in the name of the Son (John 3:18) we now have eternal life instead of condemnation, and instead of slavery and bondage to sin, freedom from its penalty and power while we yet life and one day from it’s very presence!

What a reason for celebration!

_________________

Food for thought on this 4th of July.

29 responses to “Jesus came to earth so we could have a relationship with him?

    • Sadly, the ‘relationship’ mantra seems to be the prevailing notion these days, probably because it’s also been the prevailing notion in evangelicalism for quite some time. So why IS it the main reason given for Christ’s coming? That sounds like a separate blog post.

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      • You still don’t get it. Sin is the SEPARATION FROM GOD. Jesus took our sin so that we could have a relationship with him, so that we are NOT SEPARATED FROM GOD. It’s called a UNION. A union is a marriage. We are the Bride of Christ. RELATIONSHIP is in marriage. HELLO? IS THERE ANYONE HOME?

        The Purpose of him dying on that cross was to RESTORE that broken relationship.

        There is no hope for you, because there is no such thing as saving faith. Jesus said in the gospels, YOUR faith has saved you. He never said, “The faith that my father gave saved you.”

        Nope, No hope for B4B.

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        • Ed, what you say is true, about SIN and being separated from God, and Christ dying to restore the relationship. It’s the only way the relationship could be restored. I have never said otherwise. The title of the post asks the question “Christ came to earth so we could have a relationship?” It further posits that we all ALREADY have a relationship – either objects of God’s wrath in unbelief, or restored to fellowship for placing ‘saving’ faith (as opposed to non-saving faith) in Christ Jesus. There IS faith that saves and faith that does not save. I know you think that ‘saving’ faith is an invention of John Calvin, but that is sheer nonsense and betrays confusion concerning the doctrine of salvation as well as Calvinism. I could provide you with quotations from well know non-Calavinists attesting to two kinds of taith, but your mind seems made up. If you really want to know, I’m sure you will do a little research and settle in your mind the definition of ‘saving’ faith.

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          • The Bible states that we are saved by grace thru faith. It’s ONLY IN CALVINISM that teaches that saving faith stuff. So it is a Calvin thing, only. What other denominations that attribute themselves to non-calvinism teaches that saving faith stuff?

            Now, you tell me that you can provide quotes from non-calvinists…What denomination do they belong to? What are their origins? I would tell them that they are wrong, too.

            WE GIVE GOD FAITH, and in return, HE GIVES US GRACE.

            The only thing God does in INCREASE our faith by TEACHING US THINGS. The more we know, the more we grow IN FAITH. That is a natural progression.

            No, there is no such thing as saving faith.

            For that matter, BOTH CALVIN and LUTHER, being former Catholics, did not give up everything Catholic, now did they?

            Both Fresh out of Catholicism, and they are going to be the experts for generations to come? HAHAHAHAHA! Never. They were both wrong in many areas. They just had the guts to defect.

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              • The Bible does not teach two kinds of faith.

                Hebrews 11:1
                faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.

                HOPE is defined as: EXPECTATION.

                EXPECTATION is defined as, JUST WAITING FOR IT TO HAPPEN.

                Did you know that we are SAVED BY HOPE?

                Romans 8:24-25
                24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

                25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

                There is only one kind of faith.

                What do you HOPE for?

                Hope does not mean “Wish”.

                Faith is the substance of what we are waiting for.

                We believe that. And we boast of it.

                Whoever is teaching you different kinds of faith, you need a new teacher. There is only one teacher, your father in heaven, not Calvin.

                I have just as much dislike for Calvin as I do in Charles Taze Russell, and Ellen G. White, and as much dislike as you have for all of the Catholic hierarchy. After all, isn’t that what the “reform” was all about? All because someone didn’t like to be Catholic anymore?

                Can’t you just be a Christian without putting a label of a man’s name on it, i.e. Calvin, Luther, etc.?

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              • The Bible does teach that there is false faith -faith in works for salvation. See James 2:14-26. Genuine faith always produces good works. False faith does not produce good works.

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              • You had said:
                “The Bible does teach that there is false faith -faith in works for salvation. See James 2:14-26. Genuine faith always produces good works. False faith does not produce good works.”

                Where are you getting this?

                There is no such thing as “faith in works”…it’s either faith or it’s works, not both. That is NOT A BELIEF SYSTEM at all.

                James and Paul were discussing two different works.

                Paul from Romans Chapter 4 is discussing OBEYING THE LAW OF MOSES.

                James is discussing Good works as a result of salvation, not a prerequisite of.

                Good works = Love they neighbor as yourself, the golden (ROYAL) rule.

                If you LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, you are SHOWING MAN your faith by what you do.

                Do, is another word for WORKS. See what the children of Israel said about the being obedient to the Law of Moses…they said, all that God told them, they will “DO”. DO is WORKS.

                We are not to be heares only, but DOERS.

                If we just sit on our butts and do nothing, then we are a liar if we say that we have faith.

                I debate Catholics on this all the time. But the Bible does NOT TEACH this to be a false faith, or a true faith or any kind of faith.

                The Catholics teach it as faith, but the Bible doesn’t.

                The Bible presents faith as an opposite of works in Romans 4, as that of being OBEYING THE LAW OF MOSES. There is no faith in that. Abraham didn’t have the law of Moses. The law is a barrier to faith. There was no barrier with Abraham.

                Ed

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      • 2 Corinthians 5:19
        To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

        Colossians 1:20
        And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

        2 Corinthians 5:18
        And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

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        • There is much in those passages concerning ‘reconciliation’, God’s and ours. Jesus reconciled His People by dying for their sins, in their place. That’s the whole point of this post, that Jesus came first and foremost to die foe the sins of others, and that a restored relationship is the result of the primary reason He came.

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          • That is not how you wrote the blog. The title of your blog is:

            Jesus came to earth so we could have a relationship with him?

            You make it sound as if the answer is NO.

            The answer is an huge ABSOLUTELY.

            In the Garden there was a relationship, and SIN got in the way of that relationship. God told Adam that in the day that you (get knowledge) eat of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil that you will surely die.

            That death is the separation from God. Sin is a separation from God.

            The ONLY way to MAINTAIN that relationship is SACRIFICE.

            That is how God first showed Adam. That is why I don’t believe in the depravity of man.

            God killed the first animal. That COVERED the sin, until the NEXT TIME Adam sinned. Then a separation again happened.

            If Adam was oh, so totally depraved, then God would have had to have sacrificed ALL animals. But God showed Adam how it was done, and Adam knew exactly what to do to get that relationship back.

            So, he sacrificed an animal…NO TOTAL DEPRAVITY HERE.

            Jesus LAST SACRIFICE EVER NEEDED.

            Believe that, and you are saved. No depravity here.

            But you think that believing is “works”, and if believing is works, then one is able to boast about believing. Well, we do boast about believing. It’s believing faith, not saving faith. Grace saves. Our faith, God’s grace.

            Yes, The Sole Purpose that Jesus came to this earth was to restore our relationship to God, and the only way to do it was by the cross that he had die on to accomplish that.

            He loves us that much. Yes, you know, that mushy word that is only for the woosies. Ya, us woosies who get emotional.

            Where is your love? Greater love hath no man…

            Jesus laid his life down FOR US.

            Why? JUST TO TAKE AWAY SIN?

            Why was that necessary to take away our sin? For us to have eternal life, or for him to have children in heaven with him? Or both?

            Your HEART is missing in your write ups. It’s all about being MILITANT for you.

            Ed

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            • I also explained that we ALREADY have a relationship, a personal relationship, even in our unbelief. We are under present condemnation if we are in a state of unbelief. It’s not good to assume something not in the title, which you clearly did. I thought the post explained what I was talking about. Maybe you should read it again.

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              • That is what you said, yes, but that is impossible. We have no relationship with God in our unbelief. Death is the separation of that relationship.

                I did read it. Again, and again.

                You mention relationship as the end result, but not the ultimate purpose.

                Ed

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              • Actually the ‘condemned ‘already’ was something Jesus Said: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God..” John 3:18

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              • Let’s dissect that for a moment. In order to believe, or not to believe, one must first be presented the facts of the case.

                The ignorant are not a part of the “not believed is condemned already.”

                In the book of John, he was discussing the Jews, for Jesus also said that he did not come but for the House of Israel.

                Your explanation about wrath being a relationship is, sorry to say, but nonsense.

                Hell is the ultimate place of the separation form God. There is no relationship. In the same way, those of God’s wrath are not in a relationship with God. Neither is God in a relationship with them, either.

                I don’t know who is teaching you, but you need a new teacher.

                Ed

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              • Their is no neutral state as you suggest. If you don’t believe Jesus, try Paul, who told the Ephesians believers that they were once ‘by nature’ children of wrath.

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              • Your reference is about “sin”, in that “for all have sinned”. It has nothing to do with “condemned already”. Sin, for all, has consequences of God’s Wrath. But as children of God, Jesus took that wrath upon himself.

                While you interpret that ONE WAY, look at Romans 2:14-16

                14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

                15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

                16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

                In YOUR reference, all sin has consequences, whether you BELIEVE OR NOT.

                Ephesians is not discussing CONDEMNATION for not believing, but that sin has consequences.

                Again, in order to believe, or not to believe, one must be presented the facts of the case, and the ignorant are judged based on Romans 2:14-16, not by either believing or not believing, because they DO BY NATURE the things contained in the law.

                In other words, they don’t need God’s law written on stone and parchment to know right from wrong, good from evil…it’s already written in their hearts, and their conscience judges them, and Jesus is the judge of their conscience, based on the Gospel of Paul, whether they believe or not believe. They are ignorant.

                Sin, however, has consequences, whether you are ignorant, or not ignorant, whether you believe, or not believe.

                Ed

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              • A study of the state of fallen men would do you a lot of good, Ed. You are pointing to some sort of ‘neutral’ state until one is presented the gospel, That’s not the Bible’s position.

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              • I am not a novice at this. I don’t need to study something that I studied years ago. I provide scripture, you provide opinion.

                YOUR explanation of the state of the fallen man is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than the BIBLE explanation.

                Note that I never said that the ignorant are without sin. I said that the ignorant or neither believers or unbelievers. That puts them in a neutral state, in that God judges them based on the LAWS WRITTEN ON THEIR HEART, their conscience.

                You have a lot of BIBLE to learn. I could go on and on debunking EVERY BIT of Calvinism. It’s the MOST abusive and dangerous religion outside of Jim Jones, and you want the people to drink the Calvin Kool-Aid.

                I breakdown scripture, you provide opinion that I should listen to so and so, and such and such.

                I am very analytical. I know what I am talking about. I’ve told you that before.

                I served in the US Navy for many years. I know how to be analytical. I have 2 Navy Achievement Medals due to it, as well as a Letter of Commendation, and great Eval’s.

                That being said, you are MILITANT in your approach to Christianity. But, wasn’t that the personality of Calvin? How many people did he have murdered who didn’t believe his teachings? And you wish to be called by that name?

                That’s just as equally bad as someone being called a MANSONIST, or a HITLERIST.

                I only listen to the LOGOS of God, not the RHEMA of others.

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    • That is my point. All sin has consequences. The Ephesians were sinners, just like everyone else. HOWEVER, if they were NEVER presented the FACTS OF THE CASE, they are neither believers or nonbelievers.

      They are NOT CONDEMNED for what they don’t know.

      Romans Chapter 3 AND 4 AND 5 discusses this.

      Romans 5:13
      13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

      NOT IMPUTED means that SIN IS NOT PLACED ON YOUR ACCOUNT.

      Romans 4:8
      8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

      WHAT IS SIN?

      Sin is the TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW (1 John 3:4)

      WHAT IS THE LAW?

      Romans 3:20
      20 …the law is the knowledge of sin.

      No knowledge, no transgression, no imputation.

      Romans 4:15
      15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

      NO KNOWLEDGE OF SIN = NO TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW = NO IMPUTATION OF SIN = BLESSED.

      Adam to Moses = NO LAW
      Moses to Jesus = LAW
      Jesus onward = NO LAW

      No law = blessed.

      There also is no such thing as original sin, which is a Catholic belief…didn’t you people abandon Catholicism? I guess not everything Catholic.

      If I abandoned Catholicism, I would run away from all beliefs of Catholicism. But then again, I was never Catholic.

      Ed

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    • By the way…NO WE ARE NOT BORN WITH SIN. We are born IN SIN, NOT WITH SIN.

      I can prove that one, too. I do not now, nor have ever believed in ORIGINAL SIN. And, I can also prove that it doesn’t exist.

      I study controversies on purpose. You Catholic Calvinists really amaze me, or is that Calvinist Catholic? You both believe in the same things, it’s hard to tell you people apart sometimes, except for the clothing.

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      • Well, there you go, Ed. Oversimplifying the issue of the law again and also again denying the true nature of fallen human beings; minimizing it if you will. Not actually the topic of this post, but I will respond one last time to your ‘theology’ in this post.

        Concerning the law, Christ came to fulfill it, not abolish it, so your LAW/NO LAW paradigm crumbles under the weight of Jesus’ own words in Matt 5:17-18:

        “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

        ‘Original sin’ is nothing more than a term that describes the condition of anyone born since the Fall. It is also called the ‘sin nature’ . It means that the sin that entered God’s creation at the Fall has affected every part of us, and that human beings, even our hearts, minds, and wills. Therefore, we are born WITH sin. You seem to think that we are all born in the same condition as Adam before the Fall.

        If the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14); and apart from Christ we are totally dead in our trespasses and sin, by nature children of wrath, LIKE THE REST OF MANKIND (Eph 2), and we sin when we are drawn away by our own sinful passions (James 2), .To say that we are not borh WITH sin is intellectually indefensible.

        This has nothing to do with any theologian, dead or alive, or any sect/denomination of Christianity. It’s what is written. I can either accept the plain text of scripture, or I must leave my Bible on the bookshelf. If I leave my Bible on the bookshelf. Ed, your argument isn’t with me, It’s with what is written.

        Back to the original intent of this post – Christ died to save us from our sins. That we have a restored relationship is a by product of God’s purpose in sending His Son to the Cross, made possible when we place genuine saving faith in the Son.

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  1. I know this blog was several days ago but I was just reading it and the dialogue above. This all has been good! It gave me a real déjà vu experience. I grew up attending a church that does not believe in the doctrines of Grace. I graduated from a Bible College that did not adhere to the doctrines of Grace. For the most part the Bible was a book of loosely connected stories with a lot of “proof texts” for soul winning. Along my pilgrimage after graduating from college I continued to study to learn God’s Word. I came across some writings that explained the doctrines of Grace far better than my college professors. It was like watching the tumblers of a gigantic lock all fall in place, the fog lifted, the stories all connected and there was more to the scriptures than those “proof texts”.

    After some time of studying the doctrines of Grace I was concerned because this was a radical departure from the last 20 some years of my life. I put all of the studies on the doctrines of Grace aside and pulled out my Theology and study books from college and began to read the teachings with intensity. To my surprise the writers that did not believe in the doctrines of Grace convinced me of the truth of the doctrines of Grace by their arguments against them.

    Reading Ed’s comments above made all those memories come back like a flood. I was back reading all of those disjointed arguments again. The Apostle Paul goes to great lengths in Romans 5 to explain what has been called “original sin”. In verses 13 through 17 he makes a parenthetical statement to illustrate this is common to “all men” yes even to infants and to set it in juxtaposition to the gift of righteousness. Sad to say but there are those like Ed who will take 10 words, a half of one sentence, out of 5 verses of a parenthetical explanation and use them to support what they want to believe and that being the exact opposite of the illustration in the parenthetical statement.

    Sometime ago I read where a local congregation was having a series of meetings. I knew they abhorred the doctrines of Grace and particularly the doctrine of “original sin”. One service the preacher was going to preach on the necessity of Christ being born of a virgin. This peaked my interest and I asked if I could get a tape of the message. The minister brought it by my office and half way inquired as to why I wanted to listen to it. In his conversation with me he alluded to the doctrine of “original sin” but when he spoke of it, it was with great distaste. It turned out that the sermon was about how the liberals were watering down the scriptures by calling Mary a “young woman” instead of a “virgin” in some of the newer bible versions. The truth is the reason that Christ was born of a virgin was because the “seed” placed in Mary’s womb was not stained with the original sin of Adam so that Christ’s righteousness could be imputed to all those of Adam’s race, that had death pass on them by Adam’s transgression, that they might come to know and receive the truth, that “even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life”.

    I had the opportunity of walking my mother and sister through the doctrines of Grace. Mother is gone now but my sister told me how mother had remarked of how much comfort and peace she had now with her Christian faith. There are those like Ed that still have that vail over their eyes. I once was there with Ed but am so thankful for the day Christ allowed me to walk with Him and He taught me from the scriptures all things concerning Him.

    Keep Battling Brother!

    Wayne

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    • Nice to meet you, Wayne! I’ll get back to your response when I have more time this evening. We have a lot in common concerning having been with ‘Ed’ at some point and the written word having brought us to our senses!

      Finally have a chance to get back to you. I agree that the doctrine called ‘original’ sin must be valid Just because of what the Bible tells us Fallen man is like, specifically that we are “by objects of God’s wrath” (Eph 2). In Paul’s words, we don’t ‘become’ objects of God’s wrath at some point when we either commit actual sin after birth or consciously lose our innocence by rejecting Christ. It is ‘by nature’ and Paul excluded the remotest possibility he was speaking to just the Ephesian Christians by including “like the rest of mankind”.

      If there was no original sin, Jesus came to die for whatever sins we would commit and we can indeed leave sin on the back burner, or let it fall off the stovetop, since Christ only died so we could save ourselves with a decision.

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    • *******Ed, this is Dan. I’m posting your comment, it it’s entirety because you replied to Wayne, not me. Wayne should be able to respond to you, although the doctrine of ‘original sin’ is a topic unto itself. I If it is ‘made up’ it is because of what the Bible has to tell us about Fallen men. I cannot read I know how I would reply to you, but will reserve that for later, or not at all.********

      Your comment:

      If what you say is true, then Jesus would not have been able to die, not matter how much that you tried to kill him on the cross, as death did not pass to Jesus.

      Romans 8:3
      For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

      Jesus was tempted just like we are. He was sinless, but had the capability to sin, because he had the flesh of sin on him, born of a woman.

      That seed thing that you discuss is crap. It’s a made up story. Use scripture to back your statements up, like I do, but when I do, you folks don’t believe scripture…you bypass it, ignoring it.

      But, as it is, no one holds the guilt of Adam. Adam was gonna die ANYWAY. Reference is 1 Cor 15:36-50.

      If Adam already had eternal life at the moment that he was formed, there would not have been a NEED for the TREE OF LIFE in the garden.

      The tree of life was blocked AFTER they ate of the tree of knowledge, PROVING that they COULD STILL OBTAIN ETERNAL LIFE, IN A FALLEN STATE.

      i HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO DISCUSS IN REGARDS TO THE FALLACY OF ORIGINAL SIN.

      Sin causes spiritual death, not physical death. Death was gonna happen anyway (1 Cor 15:36-50)…THAT WHICH CAME FIRST WAS “not” SPIRITUAL (ETERNAL LIFE), BUT NATURAL (A DYING BODY).

      I WISH YOU CALVINISTS WOULD LEARN TO DISCERN.

      ED

      Like

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