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Is a 'personal relationship with Jesus' the Gospel?

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by LinkH, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    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?
     
  2. New_Wineskin

    New_Wineskin Contributor

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    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).
     
  3. Faulty

    Faulty bind on pick up Supporter

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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 name’s 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
     
  4. Optimax

    Optimax Senior Veteran

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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. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

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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. :)
     
  6. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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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?
     
  7. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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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?
     
  8. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

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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.
     
  9. Optimax

    Optimax Senior Veteran

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    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!
     
  10. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

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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.
     
  11. Tobias

    Tobias Relationship over Religion

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    I think the essence of the Gospel is "a personal relationship with Jesus."

    Not that it has to be said in those exact words; nor that repeating "the Sinner's Prayer" at the altar is the best way to initiate the relationship. Some have said that in this age, it is the Holy Spirit who is the manifestation of God working on Earth right now. In which case it might be more accurate to have "a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit." But as long as we are all trinitarians, there is no need to sweat the small stuff! ;)
     
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  12. Deba

    Deba The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want (period)

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    Yes.

    Jesus came to cleanse us so we could be reconciled to God. The forgiveness of sins, does not require much of a relationship, but the trust and faith needed to allow sanctification does.
     
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  13. dollarsbill

    dollarsbill New Member

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    Do you think someone is going to do it for you?
     
  14. Simon Peter

    Simon Peter 14th Generation Protestant

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    There are a few verses that say we should 'know Him':

    John 10:14 ESV
    14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

    Hebrews 8:11 ESV
    11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

    I have no problem with 'altar calls' because they ask people to make a decision. God is looking for a response in peoples hearts not a physical walking forward, but the altar call helps people to form that response.

    There is also a Biblical precident for the Holy Spirit coming into a person's heart.


    peace,
    Simon
     
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  15. HolySpiritWOF2

    HolySpiritWOF2 Newbie

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    i agree... JESUS said to some very "christian" looking dudes.... depart from ME I never knew you.... i am really taken aback by the red words.... they thought they were christian or born again or something.... but HE said i NEVER knew you.... so to me that sounds like they never got personal with JESUS..... they maybe just did the "sinners prayer"... or converted to religion.... or something that was not truly a NEW CREATION experience....

    once someone HAS entered into a deep dwelling/abiding relationship with JESUS by the HOLY SPIRIT.... you just get hungry for MORE of HIM.... and when you get pre-occuppied and don't fellowship with HIM enough your joy fades and you MISS HIM terribly.... and are drawn back to the JOY of your LIFE.... fellowship with JESUS..... fellowship with the HOLY SPIRIT....

    john 15 is all about DWELLING/abiding.... it is the only way to bear fruit.... and no fruit means getting cut off.... sounds like the parable of the sower in matthew 13..... not everyone who hears the WORD bears fruit (matures and becomes a NEW CREATION).... i think we don't explain properly to people what born again/ new creation is.... i think too many people think it is a prayer or a religious conversion.... and they never meet JESUS.... and they NEED JESUS..... without JESUS they have NOTHING....


    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23


    4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
    5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:4-6
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
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  16. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    Yes that's true.

    LinkH also made an interesting point. I have heard gospel messages where the preacher did not explain why we need a saviour, why we need to be born again.

    I would not say that someone with an imperfect understanding cannot be saved, however it is more helpful to understand.

    :)
     
  17. Alive_Again

    Alive_Again Newbie

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    The gospel (good news) encompasses so much. We can be reconciled to God by the blood of Jesus. By believing in the finished work of Jesus at the cross, we can receive righteousness as a gift. That is only the beginning.

    Life is to know God. We can all know God. The Jews of the day could appreciate such news because you had to have a human high priest or you had to approach a prophet, etc. It was a limited righteousness and you could not approach God directly and get a response. We can enter in boldly to the throne of God and obtain by means of Jesus.

    Part of the repentance message was that the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord could be experienced. Jesus said if you hear His knock and let Him enter, He'll come right inside you and sup with you. He said that He'll manifest Himself to you. He and the Father will dwell in you. The Holy Spirit will fill you and the latter rain outpouring can begin. His sheep will know His voice in the language of the heart.

    From a beginning as a tiny seed, you can become a mighty tree. Knowing Jesus or having a personal relationship with Him beats just believing in a doctrine and then getting water baptized, and believing you won't go to Hell. You actually get to know God at some level and as a little child, learn to walk in His ways as He writes them on your heart directly.

    I would think that yes is the appropriate answer? Right?
     
  18. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    It's a sad fact I have discovered in my Christian life. There are a lot of pious, religious, stable folk in all churches who are not born again.

    Jesus said to see or enter the Kingdom 'You must be born again'.

    You can travel only so far in church on your own strength, but far enough to appear as a decent churchgoer.
     
  19. HolySpiritWOF2

    HolySpiritWOF2 Newbie

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    here are some of the scriptures i think speak of a personal LOVE relationship with JESUS.... and they match GOD's original plan in eden to walk in the cool of the garden everyday with man to have fellowship with him.... GOD created us in HIS image to have fellowship with HIM... HE already had created angels.... but HE wanted children.... us.... to fellowship with....

    truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3
    you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9
    Therefore if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, Philippians 2:1

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
    Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
    All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. John 6:37
    No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44
    And He said, “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” John 6:65
    But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

    JESUS SAID 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’[a] This is the first commandment.[b] Mark 12:30
    We love Him[a] because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
    Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20
     
  20. Yitzchak

    Yitzchak יצחק

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    I think that relationship is a crucial part of the Gospel message. We are entering into a covenant relationship. The Gospel is more than just the fact that our sins are forgiven and that we are saved from death. It is also that we are alive forever more and live that eternal life attached to Christ.
     
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