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Your own Personal Jesus; Is a "personal relationship" with Jesus biblical?

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Is a "personal" relationship with Jesus biblical?

  • yes

    Votes: 6 100.0%
  • no

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • not sure

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6
Member
I live in a country where many people have walls, Christian and Non-Christian alike. A response that I often get when attempting to talk about the gospel is that, "It's personal, between myself and God/Jesus" This got me wondering is the term "personal relationship with Jesus" biblical? I understand that the intention behind the phrase can be harmless, that we must each develop a relationship with Christ, but I'm afraid that it has become something else altogether.

The phrase "A personal relationship with Jesus" is being used as a means to make God/ Jesus what we want when we want, a phrase used to hide behind, to wear as a mask. A means to not share our testimony and have our own individual relationship.

What do you think?

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, -2 Timothy 1:8

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, - 1 Peter 3:15

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. -Romans 1:16

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. -Mark 16:15
 
Loyal
Our relationship should be both personal and community based. Both are needed to serve Christ the way He would have us do so.
 
Loyal
Rather than me simply posting dozens of scripture references.
Check out how many verses say "I never "knew" you".
His sheep "know" His voice.
If we say we have "fellowship" with Him but remain in sin we are liars.
How can you say "show us the Father" when I have been here with you the whole time?
There are dozens of others.
He knew your name before you were formed in your mothers womb, He know the number of hairs on your head.
If we will open the door, He will dine with us.
You are my beloved.
God came to the garden daily to talk with Adam and Eve.

Does this sound like a stand off God who is watching "from a distance"?
 
Member
Does this sound like a stand off God who is watching "from a distance"?
I don't think God is watching from a distance. My question is on the phrase "personal relationship", and how people use the phrase as a means not to share what God has done for them with others, and also as a means to treat other Christians who do share their testimony as oversharers.
 
Active
not to share what God has done for them with others,
this is actually scriptural, see 2 Kings 13-16 and 2 Kings 18:5
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.

God rebuked Hezekiah thru Isaiah for not discerning what to disclose.
 
Member
If I remember the story of Hezekiah correctly, then Hezekiah showed his proverbial pearls to some swine. Hezekiah didn't suffer the consequences for his lack of discernment, but his kids did (Matthew chapter seven and 2 Kings chapter 20).
is being used as a means to make God/ Jesus what we want when we want, a phrase used to hide behind, to wear as a mask.
So if I am understanding your question correctly @margoeli then what you are saying is that some folks consider "my personal Jesus" or "my personal relationship" a means to not proclaim the gospel? Something like an actor putting on a mask and pretending to be something they are not and God is like a santa clause?

Or are you saying that some folks invent their own god to suit their needs?

Either way it is the relationship one has personally with Jesus that matters for all eternity including today.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
@margoeli

The relationship is based on their convenience. Sometimes a better question is to ask them "How's your Bible reading." You're more likely get a truer reaction to where they stand.

If Jesus is precious to one it's not personal in the sense that I can't talk about it, but rather it's words that fail to describe the fullness of what we share.

Nice insight. Thanks for the post.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Member
If I remember the story of Hezekiah correctly, then Hezekiah showed his proverbial pearls to some swine. Hezekiah didn't suffer the consequences for his lack of discernment, but his kids did (Matthew chapter seven and 2 Kings chapter 20).


So if I am understanding your question correctly @margoeli then what you are saying is that some folks consider "my personal Jesus" or "my personal relationship" a means to not proclaim the gospel? Something like an actor putting on a mask and pretending to be something they are not and God is like a santa clause?

Or are you saying that some folks invent their own god to suit their needs?

Either way it is the relationship one has personally with Jesus that matters for all eternity including today.
Hi Strypes,

Yes, I am saying that people use the phrase "personal relationship" as a means not to share/talk about what God has done in their life with others. When I use the word mask, I am referring to how people hide behind the concept of Jesus being personal as an excuse not to openly talk about their faith, not to share with others who they are (their shortcomings/sins as well) and how good God is and what he's done for him. There is so much JOY in sharing with fellow Christians about how Jesus has changed our life. Sometimes I feel as though shouting what God has done for me from the rooftops, but I feel as though I have less of a voice here. there is less freedom in the European country I currently live in than when I lived in the USA (not that it was always easy there).

I was reading Acts and found this verse to be so beautiful

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, ...Acts 2:42-47

I can't count the number of times where I've heard Christians judge others for openly talking about what they're going through ( I work in a Christian ministry). It's as though the phrase "personal relationship with Jesus" has been taken to the point where others are looked down upon for being open. This got me thinking, Is the term "personal relationship" biblical. I couldn't find it. So I came to the forum to ask, and here I am.:smile:


 
Loyal
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. " Mark 8:38

Why is it a person would give an excuse rather than a testimony with regard to his relationship with God? If it is simple ignorance and misdirection given to them by someone else, perhaps we can help them move closer to God by eliminating some of the ignorance. If a person is really too lazy or actually ashamed of his relationship with God or his lack of understanding we may still be able to help him as the Lord helps to do so.

God doesn't force-feed His Way of anyone, but He will certainly help anyone who comes to him honestly seeking help. If a person is really ashamed, that means something is seriously wrong and it needs to be fixed. We may not be able to help, but God certainly can. He may even use us.
 
Member
@margoeli

The relationship is based on their convenience. Sometimes a better question is to ask them "How's your Bible reading." You're more likely get a truer reaction to where they stand.

If Jesus is precious to one it's not personal in the sense that I can't talk about it, but rather it's words that fail to describe the fullness of what we share.

Nice insight. Thanks for the post.
YBIC
Nick
<><
Thank you for your kind words Christ4Ever, I like your suggestion.
 
Member
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. " Mark 8:38

Why is it a person would give an excuse rather than a testimony with regard to his relationship with God? If it is simple ignorance and misdirection given to them by someone else, perhaps we can help them move closer to God by eliminating some of the ignorance. If a person is really too lazy or actually ashamed of his relationship with God or his lack of understanding we may still be able to help him as the Lord helps to do so.

God doesn't force-feed His Way of anyone, but He will certainly help anyone who comes to him honestly seeking help. If a person is really ashamed, that means something is seriously wrong and it needs to be fixed. We may not be able to help, but God certainly can. He may even use us.
This is what I must pray for. For God to use me in the way he wishes to do so. I sometimes feel silenced when it comes to others, I wonder if God wishes for me to speak up, but I am not really sure how to deliver it humbly, so I say nothing. Thank you amadeus2 for the verse, that verse strikes a chord in me, I am always wondering how I can speak up for God more, while still doing it in a way that's loving. Perhaps I will pray for more courage as well.
 
Administrator
Staff Member
The phrase "A personal relationship with Jesus" is being used as a means to make God/ Jesus what we want when we want, a phrase used to hide behind, to wear as a mask. A means to not share our testimony and have our own individual relationship.
You hit the nail on the head here. I think when people say that, they're generally not a true follower of Christ or possibly living in sin and ashamed to share details.
 
Active
"If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's." (2 Corinthians 10:7)

"For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." (Mark 9:40-41)
 
Active
I live in a country where many people have walls, Christian and Non-Christian alike. A response that I often get when attempting to talk about the gospel is that, "It's personal, between myself and God/Jesus" This got me wondering is the term "personal relationship with Jesus" biblical? I understand that the intention behind the phrase can be harmless, that we must each develop a relationship with Christ, but I'm afraid that it has become something else altogether.

The phrase "A personal relationship with Jesus" is being used as a means to make God/ Jesus what we want when we want, a phrase used to hide behind, to wear as a mask. A means to not share our testimony and have our own individual relationship.

What do you think?

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, -2 Timothy 1:8

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, - 1 Peter 3:15

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. -Romans 1:16

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. -Mark 16:15
Heard phrases like that too many times.

It is true though. I don't think anyone who says it is lying. The thing is though that they don't grasp that their personal relationship with God is not a love relationship. It is based on their convenience. If anyone truly loves God, they will hate what is evil and cling to what is good Rom 12:9.
 
Loyal
This is what I must pray for. For God to use me in the way he wishes to do so. I sometimes feel silenced when it comes to others, I wonder if God wishes for me to speak up, but I am not really sure how to deliver it humbly, so I say nothing. Thank you amadeus2 for the verse, that verse strikes a chord in me, I am always wondering how I can speak up for God more, while still doing it in a way that's loving. Perhaps I will pray for more courage as well.
The courage comes from God as well as the words to say when words are needed. Develop a regular daily prayer and Bible reading/study time and always ask God to help you with your own heart and your own mouth. Several of the greatest Old Testament prophets and men of God were given special help in order to accomplish God's purpose in their lives, but the WAY there is not by overcoming shyness. I thought it was but I was definitely wrong. The Way is seen in this verse:


"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt 6:33

First things first and then as He requires it and as He puts words in your mouth you will speak the whatever is needed. The Bible reading/study part is the consuming of the raw materials (eating the Flesh of Jesus [John 6:53]) and the prayer is where those raw materials are brought to Life within you by the Holy Ghost.
 
Loyal
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

A person who has eternal life is the one who has an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who do not have a "personal" relationship with God / Jesus Christ does not have eternal life.

When a person has a "personal" relationship with Jesus Christ, that fact can not be hidden from anyone as their life would be a "living epistle" known, and read by all men!!!
 
Active
Good opening post. I cannot find anything in the Bible that equates to the phrase 'personal relationship with Jesus', and I'd struggle to find a place where the phrase would naturally fit.

I don't use the phrase because it carries the dangers of presenting Jesus as smaller and tamer than he is. For the same reason I have never told my children that Jesus is your friend. Personal relationship with Jesus talk also leads us unhelpfully in the direction of an individualistic private faith.

Of course I'd never say that following Jesus is an impersonal thing, or that Jesus is not our friend. It's a matter of emphasis rather than right/wrong
 

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