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Faith as Relationship

“In theory, our modern culture believes that relationships with other people are merely psychological phenomena – they are all in our head. There is occasional research to try and establish some notion of extra-psychological relationship (such as ESP), but even that is largely an extension of psychology. But there is an entire realm of human experience that such a belief ignores. And it is an experience that lies at the very heart of classical Christianity. This experience is found in the concept of communion. It refers to a true participation and sharing in the life and actual existence of another. It is not a label for a set of feelings nor a synonym for being close with someone. It is a term that truly means what it says. The Greek is koinonia, a state of “commonality.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…human beings cannot be fully understood by simply observing how they are, or act, as entities in themselves within the created world. God's relationship with the world and the role that human beings play in that relationship are defining elements of being human. Against all kinds of reductionism, the Greek Fathers insisted that we cannot fully comprehend or define what a human being is. Even the fact that human beings are created in the image of God does not define their humanity but signifies an intrinsic relation between God and human beings without determining what the image of God actually is.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

“The life in Christ is a relationship. We tend to think we know other people through physical association, but much we know of others is gained through our mind and heart. We know God primarily through the heart, via our spirit, for “God is Spirit” (Jn 4:24). The Lord provides a rich array of tangible means for knowing Him: access to His temples, true writings concerning Him, holy communion, icons, and fellowship with other members of His Body, especially those who are well-acquainted with Him. Through these media we find “grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God” (2 Pt 1:2)..The moment we begin to share life with Christ, we participate in God’s divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). He rubs off on us, so to speak, infusing Himself into us and changing us as we heed Him.” (Dynamis 2/19/2021)

“…human beings are made by and for the Creator who is known in Jesus Christ. In other words, to be truly and fully human, we need to “find” ourselves in relationship to the One who made us and for whom we are made. The gospel is the way we learn to be human.” (James Smith)

“Our relationship with God is something that builds over time, like all relationships...You don’t know yourself unless you know yourself in relationship to God.” (Abbot Tryphon, Pastor Timothy Keller)

“I prefer to see the world as a gift from God, with amazing opportunities and possibilities. I see the world as the means by which we develop our relationships with God and each other. This world is a place to discover and delight in God and all that He creates for us.” (Bishop John)

“In order to walk with integrity, we must focus on Christ within us, who unifies our life at home, at work, at church, and in all our associations. Truly, an integrated person is at one with himself because of his relationship with Christ our God…Our inner life, our relation to self and God, inevitably manifests itself to others. This applies both to those who walk in the way of Christ and to those who turn away from Him.” (Dynamis 3/12/2015)

“If Christianity is dull and boring, if it is a burden and not a blessing, then most likely we are involved in a project, not a Person—a system not a Savior, rules rather than a relationship... Our Christian faith is not so much about doing as it is about being—being in a relationship. And this must precede anything we try to do or it will prove to be little more than pretense." (Joseph Stowell, Monte Swan)

“…a living relationship with God depends on right relationships with others…Our growing relationship with God will result in growing relationships with others…True Christian faith results in loving behavior...” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Peter 3:7, 1 John 2:7-8, 3-6)

“…faith assumes an active, day-to-day relationship with God as the absolute pre-condition for Christian life… Faith is not merely “confessional,” but relational…Christianity is not merely a religion; it is a relationship with a Person...Through Christ, people can have a personal relationship with God…” (Dynamis 1/31/2015, Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou, Henry Blackaby, Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 12:1-3)

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