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  #1  
Unread 10th March 2012, 12:29 AM
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Is a 'personal relationship with Jesus' the Gospel?

I was sitting in a Bible study the other night, answering discussion questions. Two men in the Bible study came from different backgrounds. One was from a Methodist background and the other Lutheran. We had discussion questions asking about a 'personal relationship with Jesus.' The Lutheran said he never got what people meant by that. he said his faith was there, and it was a part of him, but he didn't get exactly what they were talking about. The Methodist had a similar answer.

I suppose someone might have accused these fellows of not believing and not being saved. But I don't know if that is fair.

Here is my question:
Is having a personal relationship with Jesus part of the gospel message?

If it is, why isn't it in the presentation of the Gospel we read in the Bible? Why didn't Peter stand up and tell the 3000 to have a personal relationship with Jesus? Why didn't Peter mention it in his message in the temple or int he Sanhedrin? Why didn't Paul mention this in any of his presentations of the Gospel in Acts? Why doesn't this show up as part of the Gospel in the epistles? Why doesn't Paul include having a 'personal relationship with Jesus Christ' as a part of the Gospel in

I Corinthians 15:1-3
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,


Why does Paul say all those things about the death of Christ for our sins and the burial and resurrection of Christ? Why didn't he say anything about having a 'personal relationship with Jesus' and 'ask Jesus into your heart.'?

After all, based on a lot of presentations of the Gospel you hear, you might think preachers consider telling about the death and resurrection of Christ is an option part of the Gospel, and the core message is a personal relationship with Jesus and asking him into your heart?

Btw, can anyone find anything about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ being a part of the Gospel in the Bible? Can you find anything at all about asking Jesus Christ into your heart? I can't find either.

Also, I'd like to point out that I am all in favor of a personal relationship with Christ. I'm all into recognizing Christ as being with us to the end of the world, listening to what the spirit says, receiving direction from the Lord, hearing God speak to our hearts, and all the 'personal' aspects of the Christian life. But don't people get saved first by believing the same Gospel we read about in the Bible and then grow in these 'personal relationship' aspects of the faith?
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  #2  
Unread 10th March 2012, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by LinkH View Post
I was sitting in a Bible study the other night, answering discussion questions. Two men in the Bible study came from different backgrounds. One was from a Methodist background and the other Lutheran. We had discussion questions asking about a 'personal relationship with Jesus.' The Lutheran said he never got what people meant by that. he said his faith was there, and it was a part of him, but he didn't get exactly what they were talking about. The Methodist had a similar answer.

I suppose someone might have accused these fellows of not believing and not being saved. But I don't know if that is fair.

Here is my question:
Is having a personal relationship with Jesus part of the gospel message?

If it is, why isn't it in the presentation of the Gospel we read in the Bible? Why didn't Peter stand up and tell the 3000 to have a personal relationship with Jesus? Why didn't Peter mention it in his message in the temple or int he Sanhedrin? Why didn't Paul mention this in any of his presentations of the Gospel in Acts? Why doesn't this show up as part of the Gospel in the epistles? Why doesn't Paul include having a 'personal relationship with Jesus Christ' as a part of the Gospel in

I Corinthians 15:1-3
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,


Why does Paul say all those things about the death of Christ for our sins and the burial and resurrection of Christ? Why didn't he say anything about having a 'personal relationship with Jesus' and 'ask Jesus into your heart.'?

After all, based on a lot of presentations of the Gospel you hear, you might think preachers consider telling about the death and resurrection of Christ is an option part of the Gospel, and the core message is a personal relationship with Jesus and asking him into your heart?

Btw, can anyone find anything about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ being a part of the Gospel in the Bible? Can you find anything at all about asking Jesus Christ into your heart? I can't find either.

Also, I'd like to point out that I am all in favor of a personal relationship with Christ. I'm all into recognizing Christ as being with us to the end of the world, listening to what the spirit says, receiving direction from the Lord, hearing God speak to our hearts, and all the 'personal' aspects of the Christian life. But don't people get saved first by believing the same Gospel we read about in the Bible and then grow in these 'personal relationship' aspects of the faith?
One cannot have faith/believe without hearing the One in whom they believe . That is the beginning of the personal relationship . Hearing Him and believing what He says *is* the personal relationship .

Here is one sentence among many to help ... "but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."(NIV).
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  #3  
Unread 10th March 2012, 08:23 AM
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Asking Jesus 'into your heart' is just as biblical as alter calls, not at all.

As far as knowing Him, John declares the three stages of maturity as such:
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his nameís sake.
I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

1 John 2:12-14
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  #4  
Unread 10th March 2012, 12:03 PM
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We would all agree I believe that Peter, James, John, etc. all had a personal relationship with Jesus. They spent almost 24/7 with Him for about 3 years.

He said this and they were distressed because He said He was going away.

John 16:5-6
5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?

6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. KJV

Then Jesus comforted them with this.

John 16:7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
KJV

The Amplified expounds on the word "Comforter" and says this:

John 16:7

7 However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
AMP

Jesus also said

John 14:16-20

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you .

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you .
KJV

There just cannot be any more of a personnel relationship when a person is "in us".

That is the personnel relationship we have with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
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  #5  
Unread 10th March 2012, 12:07 PM
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I asked a similar question recently about the whole 'asking Jesus into our heart' thing. I do believe being saved means inviting GOd's leading in our lives through His Word, through HIs Spirit, and into His presence via prayer and worship. I'll be staying tuned to this discussion to hear more views on this too.
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  #6  
Unread 10th March 2012, 03:10 PM
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Knowing the Lord is a benefit of salvation.

But is the way to get saved to pray for a 'personal relationship with Jesus' to 'accept Jesus as your personal Savior' and to 'ask Jesus into your heart'--without knowing anything about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard Charismatic and Pentecostal preachers throw an altar call on at the end of a sermon in which they did not explain about Jesus' death for our sins or His resurrection. The nature of Christ, and Who He is was not explained.

Sometimes they throw in some details into the "sinner's prayer" at the end-- after the person repeating the prayer. How could they determine if they believed before praying the prayer if it is done this way?

It just doesn't make sense. Why should a preacher assume that a visiting unbeliever knows the Gospel if the preacher hasn't preached it?
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  #7  
Unread 10th March 2012, 03:12 PM
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The personal relationship emphasis probably came in response to liturgical types thinking they are saved because they were sprinkled as infants, and went to liturgical churches from time to time.

What concerns me now is people can go to a church where they hear a little offer to 'accept Jesus as your personal savior' at the end with an emphasis on 'having a personal relationship with Jesus' and are told to 'ask Jesus into your heart."

And with
No preaching on the need to repent on repentence on the part of the one who repeats the prayer,

No preaching of the cross or the resurrection, and no faith in it on the part of the oen who repeats the prayer,

one can be declared basically saved. They can go out and tell people they have a 'personal relationship with Jesus Christ' and that they have 'accepted Christ as their personal Savior.'

How is this any less damaging than the liturgical churches where they go through a catechism and learn some Christian doctrine and repeat creeds that affirm the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ?

If we don't think the pope and Roman Catholic bishops in the 1500s had the authority to cancel men's sins with an indulgence, why would we believe that preachers nowadays have the authority to declare men saved by having them repeat a prayer when they have not heard the gospel?
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Unread 10th March 2012, 03:12 PM
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Definitely something to consider for sure. My husband and I have also doubted how real the altar call is, not that nobody ever means the prayer, but does it 'stick'. I think if the parable of the sown seeds, seed was sown but then was blown away or stolen away quickly thereafter.
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Unread 10th March 2012, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JRSut1000 View Post
Definitely something to consider for sure. My husband and I have also doubted how real the altar call is, not that nobody ever means the prayer, but does it 'stick'. I think if the parable of the sown seeds, seed was sown but then was blown away or stolen away quickly thereafter.

Interesting statement.

How can one person tell anther's heart.

Only God can do that. Aren't you glad we do not have that responsibility!
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Unread 10th March 2012, 07:17 PM
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Yes, I'm very glad we don't. But it does help us to think about how we present the Gospel message.
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