Part 3 - Relationship
"Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:12).
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace where we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:1-2).
We exist for loving relationship and fellowship with other conscious beings, beginning with God, and then proceeding to people. The entrance of sin into the world brought alienation between the Lord and those created in His image for the purpose of a life lived together. Adam and Eve hid in the trees from God, and sewed fig leaves to hide themselves from each other. This is the default position of humanity. The desire for relationship is intrinsically woven into our very being. Sin's spiritual and moral damage, however, greatly complicates our exercise and application of the capacity. This is especially true regarding God, to the degree that any apparent seeking of Him in our lost condition actually involves the desire for His benefits rather than Himself. "There is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11).
If relationship with God is to occur, He must seek us. And He does, even as the Lord Jesus Christ declared, "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost" (Luke 19:10). Just as the Lord came looking for Adam after the fall - "Where art thou?" - so He comes looking for us in our lost estate (Genesis 3:9). He desires to freely grant pardon, peace, and ensuing relationship with us through the Lord Jesus, and by the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3). We do nothing to enter into the bond of love and fellowship, except receive the freely given grace offered. "To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). Thereafter, the possibility of loving and living fellowship with God presents itself to us at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. "Christ Jesus our Lord... in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Ephesians 3:11-12).
God so desires loving fellowship with us that He gave His Son to a cross of unimagined sorrow, loss, pain, forsakenness and death in order to freely give the relationship with Him we could never purchase. The largesse of the gift is also ongoing. We never earn our way to the Throne, as it were. Walking with God involved a gift continually given, and a gift continually received by those who come through Christ, as enabled by the Holy Spirit. Such realization increasingly amazes the supplicant who comes by way of the Blood-stained path that leads the Throne of God. In the light of such grace, we realize that our Heavenly Father desires fellowship with us far more than we desire fellowship with Him. He made the gift free - "freely given… freely received" - to institute and eternally secure the holy bond. We do well to realize the magnitude of such grace in this moment, and to join the Psalmist in his grateful determination to avail himself of the gift, the gift of fellowship with the Life of our lives…
"Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD"
Weekly Memory Verse
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.