the weblog of Alan Knox

Real relationships centered on Jesus Christ

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in blog links, community | 9 comments

Real relationships centered on Jesus Christ

Last week, I published a post called “What do you want to talk about?” In that post, I asked my readers what topics (related to the church) they would like to discuss.

In some ways, I was surprised at the responses in the comments. Usually, when I ask a question like that, I hear responses like “elders/pastors/leaders,” “the Lord’s Supper,” “church discipline,” “preaching/sermons,” etc.

But, the responses that I got this time were quite different:

“I’m just wondering if other believers are as discouraged and concerned about the decay of real community and fellowship even in the churches small group settings?” -from Glenn

“Maybe some concrete examples, suggestions, and tips on how to build relationships and friendships with people in our community, …especially when you live in a new area and don’t know anyone.” -from Jeremy

“I would be interested in hearing stories of how others are going about making disciples in their neighborhoods.” -from Mark

“Open fellowship is great, and the Lord does work sovereignly in that context, but there seems to be a difference when the headship of Christ is collectively sought. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how that can be more intentionally pursued and lived in by a body of believers.” -from David

Did you catch the common theme? Relationships. But, I think each of these commenters would agree that they are not interested in just any relationships. They are interested in relationships which are centered on Jesus Christ.

So, how do we pursue relationships with one another while continuing to pursue Jesus Christ together? What if we do not know anyone in our area (perhaps we are new to the area)? How do foster those relationships into mutually discipling relationships (or is that automatic if our relationships are centered in Jesus Christ)?

I think these are good questions – much better than the questions that I usually see people asking about the church. I think these are foundational questions. And, I also think that if we do not seek these kinds of relationships (centered in Jesus Christ), then it doesn’t really matter how we answer the earlier questions about elders/pastors, the Lord’s Supper, etc.

Relationships are easy to discuss on a theoretical level. But, in reality, they’re much harder to live. They’re messy. How we share our lives with one another (or don’t share our lives with one another) is a very good indicator of our relationship with God, however.

So, I’m glad that my readers are interested in discussing real relationships with one another which are centered on Jesus Christ. It’s a scary topic however…


9 Comments

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  1. 6-26-2013

    THIS is a great topic! We are finding this is a “no commitment/no strings” generation. We understand we are all free in Christ! Free individuals, one Father, one Family throughout a City, etc. But, if relationships in the Family of God are to model the natural family of God’s design, for example, we all have our natural parents and siblings in one home and we all GENERALLY remain with them while we are young, then go with our spouse to a new home when we are married, maybe make another move at another season in life… But, we don’t constantly jump from one family or home to another day after day, week after week. Shouldn’t we stick with the same community family group for a “season” like in our natural family? This doesn’t make anyone else in our citywide Church any less our Family either. Jesus had his 12 circle and then his 3. Or, when the Bible speaks of the “House of Chloe.” It was Chloe’s household who sought out Paul to let him know about the problems in Corinth. These were those that REGULARLY met together. This message from Chloe’s household prompted Paul to write the First Letter to the Corinthians, within which he urged unity. In other words, it wasn’t all about whomever, whenever, and whatever… But, with every REAL relationship there is love, commitment and responsibilities too. :-)

  2. 6-27-2013

    CHRIST-CENTREDNESS. As we turn our minds to Jesus today, we should bear in mind that He is IN SPIRIT, even as God and the Holy Spirit. How can mere mortals(spirit IN FLESH) HAVE A RELATIONSHIP with a Spiritual Son of a spiritual Creator of all ? It is through a sound fellowship with the HOLY SPIRIT. Now the question comes up, “how can we obtain fellowship with this Great Spirit of God who caused the conception , INSTRUCTION IN GODLINESS and the subsequent RESURRECTION of Jesus after His Death on the Cross ?”. Since this Great Spirit of God is ever-present but INVISIBLE then it requires MORE THAN THE MORTAL EYE to “see” and gain fellowship with Him.

    At this point the SON OF GOD offers the secret revealed by God which draws the Holy Spirit to man i.e we should LOVE GOD with all our heart and mind and soul and strength……AND ALSO…..LOVE OUR FELLOW MAN as our selves. If we BELIEVE this to be the whole duty of man, then of course its the ONLY WAY to tune in to THE SON IN GOD….AND….THE HOLY SPIRIT. Now then to obtain the Holy spirit requires ;

    1. LOVING GOD
    2. LOVING MAN as ourselves ( even more at times).

    How do we achieve missions 1 and 2 ?
    Will continue shortly.

  3. 6-27-2013

    CHRIST CENTREDNESS. (continued).

    Mission 1. LOVE GOD with our all.
    Mission 2. LOVE MAN as ourselves
    I believe we can only START loving God by learning to love man first , so its prudent we dwelt on the details of loving man first.

    TO LOVE MAN. Is there a better way to loving man than BEING JUST to him/her ? We should relate with each other in the spirit of brotherliness and JUSTICE , for our God is a JUST God. Committing acts of injustices against ourselves only results in hurting each other in THE FLESH. If the SPIRIT OF GOD should visit THE BODY OF CHRIST , this first step to “inviting” the Holy Spirit should be upheld by the Body of Christ…where everyone seeks the Good of His neighbour. Every INDIVIDUAL of the body should take this mission seriously , for its the FIRST IMPORTANT STEP. If we love and deal justly among ourselves, the natural progression is that we would extend this spirit of love to the world in general. There is no bigger comedian than an UNJUST “holy” man.
    Is the above all there is to inviting the Holy Spirit back into the Church ?, No. Remember Jesus revealed that THE SECRET is to Love God…..AND……Man ; these are two duties of man which in-folds one into the other but Justice stands out as the prime aim.

    If the missions are two then of course it take another set of n”instructions” to LOVE GOD . These “instructions” tie in seamlessly into mission 1.
    How can man love God seeing that HE CANNOT BE SEEN with our eyes in the first place ; UNLIKE MAN?
    Will continue shortly.

  4. 6-27-2013

    Awesome topic! We were talking about this again in my family, that Christianity has become a religion in the sense of man’s attempt to appease God rather than remained focused on our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is in that daily, moment by moment relationship and communication WITH him that all else flows. The commandments of scripture then become a description of the Christian’s life, their application is directed moment by moment by the Spirit. This should be easier than religion – but due to our pride it actually is easier to establish rules so that we don’t have to communicate with a Holy and Righteous God on a moment by moment basis. Christianity is not a religion in the current connotation of the word, it is a relationship! Then taking care of the widows and orphans will be a natural outflow.

  5. 6-27-2013

    In my family we discussed that the sermon’s on Sunday morning and the topics assigned in the small groups, should always be encouraging us towards a better relationship with Jesus, that should be the focus of all our edification, otherwise it is just education.

  6. 6-27-2013

    CHRIST CENTREDNESS.
    MISSION 2…LOVING GOD

    How can THE BODY OF CHRIST love a Holy and Righteous God ? Loving God would require that the BODY OF CHRIST….became HOLY even as God is Holy. Since God is a Holy SPIRIT , our spirits should be Holy too so that our fleshly temples become a WORTHY ABODE of a Holy God. There are indeed lots of sins that men commit in the flesh but the folliwing sins of the flesh affect the Spirit in us; this include SMOKING, DRINKING OF ALCOHOL, FORNICATION/ADULTERY and the rest as found in Galatians chapter 5:19-21. These are sins we commit in the flesh that mar, stunt , blind or summarily cause the “death” of our spirits. The BODY OF CHRIST may learn to live JUSTLY within its membership and with the world entire, but if it FAILS to initiate the onset of Godliness ( LOVING GOD) by living a Holy life before God through shunning these sins of the flesh against the Spirit within the individual and hence THE BODY, it would be difficult for the Spirit of God to live AS ONE with the spirit of man. Can you imagine a man famed for his Just dealings with his fellow men…..being labelled an adulterer or drunkard? This would be a sad irony. Now , LOVING GOD requires that a man became Holy even as God is Holy but the principles of holiness before God DOES NOT END with overcoming the sins that “kill” the spirit within man, we would come to this later but let me summarize all I have said so far.

    The Holy Spirit in man leads a man to live the holy and righteous life of of THE CHRIST, for which I chose the term CHRIST CENTREDNESS. This Life of THE CHRIST reveals that we should ;
    1. LOVE GOD with our all.
    2. LOVE MAN by loving him as ourselves, sometimes even more.

    Since we can only start loving God by loving man first, we talked about;

    LOVING MAN…….being JUST to man or simply put…..JUSTICE should be our watchword.
    LOVING GOD……..two parts……1. avoiding the ABOMINATIONS or sins we commit in the flesh that causes the “death” of the spirit in us…and which keeps the HOLY SPIRIT( God) from taking His Abode in us. With this in mind there is a second sub-mission to MISSION 2 / LOVING GOD but before we discuss that I would want to explain that MISSION 1 ( Justice upheld among the BODY OF CHRIST and the first submission of MISSION 2 , accounted for the whole spiritual doctrine of Jesus to Man which forms the FOUNDATION of the house we are building FOR GOD to come and reign INDIVIDUALLY AND HENCE COLLECTIVELY among THE BODY OF CHRIST.
    If JUSTICE and the avoidance of the ABOMINATIONS ( sub-mission 1 of MISSION 2 forms the FOUNDATION of the house we are building for God ( HOLY SPIRIT) within us , what is it that is left to be added is the “EXTRS OIL” OF GOD HIMSELF as revealed by God th

  7. 6-27-2013

    Sorry , dear children of God my finger accidentally brushed the “publish” button because of the small screen of my phone.

    My last statement was that….What is left to be added to MISSION 2 in order to complete our HOLINESS BEFORE GOD….OR “LOVING GOD”, is an “EXTRA OIL” of God which , though hinted at by Jesus and the apostles ( who LIVED IT), was not categorically given to the gentiles because we as fresh men in the college of God , needed to be introduced to this topic by the RETURNING CHRIST / HOLY SPIRIT – MADE-FLESH who appeared this time amongst us Gentiles as Jesus prophesied in St. John 10:15-16….emphasis on vrs. 16.
    THE COMFORTER RETURNED started His work on earth in the year 1956 amongst some people He drew to Himself and taught about the nature of the now descended New Jerusalem / Holy City. I am digressing so lets get back to the subject.

    The Apostles of Christ and Jesus Himself led a peculiar life-style of God which were not given to us because we were to exercise ourselves in the FOUNDATIONAL gospel of THE CHRIST / HOLY SPIRIT / COMFORTER / ARCHANGEL OF GOD…..RETURNED……amongst us…..to fulfill the GREATER WORK OF GOD which has been revealed in this end-time. As the prophets of old were sent by God to prepare the way for the FIRST APPEARANCE of THE CHRIST among the Jews, so did God send THE APOSTLES to prepare the Gentile hearts towards THE SECOND APPEARANCE OF THE CHRIST…..amongst us gentiles ( St. John 10:15-16….emphasis on vrs 16). Do we see why amongst other reasons, the apostles were not to call us COMMON ? The RETURNING CHRIST or HOLY SPIRIT-MADE-FLESH / COMFORTER was coming back to God’s handiwork…man…..AS A GENTILE. The CHRIST OF THE HEAVENLIES….has no nationality per se, but as He appeared as A JEW to establish His FOUNDATION of the Kingdom of God in Man, so did He RETURN amongst THE WIDER GENTILE WORLD to define , in completion, THE WALLS AND foundation of the Kingdom of God….IN MAN.

    What did the COMFORTER teach about the TOTALITY of God’s Salvational message ( “GREATER WORKS”) to man ? Its quite elaborate and would take some time to finish with it but lets have some patience. Next we shall discuss the “EXTRA OIL” of Holiness before God which forms sub-mission 2 of MISSION 2….Holiness before God or LOVING GOD.

  8. 6-27-2013

    Thanks everyone for the comments on this post.

    -Alan

  9. 6-29-2013

    Thanks Mr. Knox for your usual thought provoking topics. Perhaps I may continue another time, but we should bear in mind that the common platform for relating well with one another in the BODY OF CHRIST, is to put on the mind of Christ , as revealed in His heavenly ethics of life. It is the ONLY way.