Here is my analogy:
Let’s say two people know of each other. They’ve casually dated maybe. Then one day, one proposes to the other. They immediately grab a couple of witnesses, go down to the chapel, and get married. After the ceremony, they both go back to their respective homes and lives. They occasionally get together, chat on the phone, particularly during difficult times, but that is it.
How would you describe their relationship? Deep? Devoted? Supportive? Loving? Giving? Lasting? Probably not. We don’t really even have a term for it in our language, it makes so little sense.
Yet, that is the “relationship” so many people want to have with Jesus. Jesus invites us to be His bride. Over and over again He discusses our relationship together (and His relationship with the Father) in the same language of a wedding. The two become one. The relationship Jesus wants is a relationship of Unity, of coming together, Him transforming us, us being transformed in Him, everlasting, deeply spiritual.
The other key point I want to make in today’s lesson is to carefully read question 5. I read it incorrectly the first time and it is a much deeper and more meaningful question when read correctly. The question asks about the role scripture has in “people coming to Jesus in faith?” When I first read it (and answered it), it turned it around. I read it as people coming to faith in Jesus. But that isn’t what the question says. The question is regarding how you come to Jesus “in faith.” When you open the word of God, do you start with prayer? Do you call on the Holy Spirit to open your heart? Do you begin with openness and desire to experience the message and truth? Or do you come in doubt? Do you come in skepticism? Do you come with pre-conceived ideas looking for the scripture to support what you want it to say?
The scriptures are a portal to experience and see God, but if not entered in faith, they are a stumbling block at the feet of the proud.
The bible is the written word of revelation about God. It is the story of relationship between a loving God and mankind, told in fullness and truth including the things that have not yet transpired but are known by God. Without the revelation and teaching we would only believe in a God drawn from our own imagination. The bible is God’s way of teaching us about Him.
It is a holy connected relationship, not a distant acquaintance. It is a belief “in” Jesus as God incarnate, not a belief “about” Jesus. It is “in”timate. It is also transforming. The relationship brings life to a transformed heart and spirit, one that yearns to become holy and do the works of love. (compare to someone professing love for another person, but not making any life change.)
Physical death and spiritual death. Body vs. Soul.
That if we unite in belief with Jesus, then we do not die and will have eternal life.