There is no Personal Relationship with God Without…
Many Christians love to tout the idea that they possess a personal relationship with God: they express this about their prayer life, their inner-consciousness and their primal spirit man. The primary role Christ suffered on the cross was to save the world from sin and to redeem the lost on this earth.
Aside from perhaps faith, nothing is impressed upon us by Jesus more than the love of his brethren, the church. As a result of our required service to others, we are indebted to manifest our relationship to our creator through Christ.
Too, nothing expresses this relationship better than Christ’s perpetual love for his people. That is what makes Christ’s witness on this earth personal: he came here in the flesh for us.
Thus, there is no personal relationship with God aside from his church, aside from the people he loves as that is how he expresses his love.
In the absence of Christ walking on this earth in the flesh: in actuality, there is no God for most as there is no personal evidence of it. Hence, whatever personal relationship we have with our Lord must be manifest to others in the love that Christ emulated in the flesh. This essential element is necessary as Christ called Christians to be disciplines and to pick up our cross and follow Him.
Reduced to its simplest terms, this means if we are to have a personal relationship with God, then we must in fact encircled a personal relationship with people. If we say we have a personal relationship without people, then we only deceive ourselves.
There is no way we can love one another without other people. There is no relationship unless there is a reaching out to those who are without: to those who are hurt and forsaken.
Salvation then becomes a personal and a collective effort as we find ourselves bonded to each other as a member of the other: the church. Our entire person then becomes a living sacrifice to others and by that sacrifice we become known for what we are: a true member of Christ through his church. This means we are nothing without all the others and without Christ we are even less. If we want Christ we’ll go after his desire and his desire is for all: that none will be left out. That doesn’t leave much room for person sanctimony that resides only from within. It means that all love, all energy must concentrate itself on everyone else. From that vantage point, then, through our brethren, the church of Christ, we possess and live our personal relationship with God.