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Relationship with Christ

“At the very core of Christian belief is the Trinitarian God. Trinity is not just a revelation of how we speak about God. It is also the revelation of the very character of existence….That many modern Christians struggle with Trinitarian belief and expression is evidence of how far removed modernity is from classical Christian roots. For us, “relationship” is a word that describes how we are getting along with another individual. For the Fathers, “relation” is an expression of mutual indwelling and coinherence. This exists because that exists, and they exist in one another. That is the true meaning of relationship (or, better, interrelationship).” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The Christian faith is not a religion. It has no merely human founder and does not concoct concepts to correspond with human reasoning. Christ did not establish a religion but a Church that offers actual participation in the Divine, a deep personal relationship with Christ that can never be adequately articulated or understood. Like love, it can only be experienced.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“At times in our excitement as well as our distress, we fail to focus on the most important thing of all, our relationship with Jesus Christ…We often fail to notice Christ’s presence because He comes to us disguised in our commonplace relationships, including relationships that may sometimes irritate and annoy us.” (Fr. Basil, Robin Phillips)

“We do not create relationships, nor do we have them. We are relationships and we either perceive this and pay attention or we do not. Inasmuch as we do not, we begin moving towards non-existence – death. This is not a description of massive and universal extraversion. It is possible to be very quiet, even a hermit, and yet be profoundly aware and responsive to our existence as interrelationship.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“It is not only preoccupations that can keep us from opening the door of our hearts to the Lord Jesus as He stands beside us. Even holy and sacred things can keep Him waiting. The beauty and grandeur of the rituals of the church may overwhelm us. The elation of corporate praise may overpower us. The eloquence of a preacher may stir us. But if these spiritual experiences do not lead us into a closer relationship to Christ, then they are distractions from what is essential to our salvation. They make us forget who it is who standing at the gate of our hearts, who it is who wants to stay with us and abide in us and we abide in Him (John 15:4).” (Fr. Basil)

“Saint Luke observes the Sanhedrin members marveling at the apostles’ boldness (Acts 4:13). They are intimidated, but not because they are faced with superior students of Scripture. Indeed, the council members are highly trained. Lacking illumination by the Holy Spirit, however, they hesitate before the truth. The council sees that the apostles are uneducated – they lack the refinements of learning, as their speech and manners reveal (vs. 13). On the other hand, these fishermen knew Jesus, who is the source of all truth and knowledge. For a full three years, Peter and John associated with the Lord in prayer, teaching, worship, and at table. The lesson is clear: before all else we must seek a deep, intimate relationship with Christ our God, rather than trusting exclusively in worldly knowledge.” (Dynamis 5/12/2021)

“We may not be slaves of the Mosaic Law with all its ritual, dietary, social, and religious regulations. But we may have unwittingly let ourselves be restrained, obligated, and liable to other forms of spiritual bondage. Our study of Galatians teaches that when human beings pose requirements for salvation other than faith in the grace of God, they are undermining the gospel. When human persons insert regulations, restrictions, and obligations between us and our relationship with Christ, then we should resist them. We should reject the focus on these substitutes for grace with the fervor that Paul expressed to the Galatians. Rather than being ends in themselves, the structures, practices, and hierarchies of the church should be sacramental. That is, the traditions of the church should be means of drawing us ever closer to the Lord and our fellow believers. If anything does not enlighten, equip, and edify us in the grace of Christ then we should free ourselves from it as Paul claimed liberty for the Galatians.” (Fr. Basil)

“…much of Christianity has created an “extrinsic” view of our relationship with God and the path of salvation. In this, God is seen as exterior to our life, our relationship with Him being analogous to the individualized contractual relationships of modern culture. As such the Christian relationship with God is reduced to psychology and morality.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“In order to follow our Risen Lord into the joy of the resurrection, we must also open our deepest personal struggles and wounds to Him for healing. Our bodies are not evil, but we have all distorted our relationship to them. Instead of pursuing a disembodied spirituality that ignores how God creates and saves us as whole persons, we must embrace the joy of His victory over death by living as those who are in a “one flesh” communion with the Risen Lord in every dimension of our existence.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters) 

“God did not become human so that humans could avoid the risk of experiencing relationship with God; He did not suffer for love so that we could be freed from the responsibility and privilege real love entails. In Christ the world is offered a place in God’s heart, if we want it. We are invited to place ourselves on the altar with Him, sharing the cross because we know that is what gives life to the world and what restores our own life dead from sin. Avoiding the cross only makes the cross heavier for all those who choose to bear it with Him out of love for the sake of the rest.” (Rev. Dn. Stephen Muse)

“What are the elements of a genuine, personal relationship with Jesus? It requires, as does any close relationship, that you communicate with Him regularly, candidly, lovingly. That means not simply “saying your prayers” but having a prayer life that leads to real communion with God, a sense of His presence in your heart and life.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Ask yourself what is prayer and why do we pray? The answer to these questions is simple. Prayer is the means by which we relate to Christ and continually develop our relationship with Him. It is the time we spend talking to Christ and, more importantly, listening to what He is speaking to our hearts.” (Sacramental Living)

“We may feel that our faith in God and our love for Christ and for others will always be inadequate. We will experience times of failure. But we can remain confident that Christ will help our faith and love grow as our relationship with Him deepens.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:14)

“For us as Christians, it does make a difference whom we hang out with. If you have friendships with individuals who are simply not interested in things of a spiritual nature, you will find yourself wasting precious moments in your journey to God. Having friendships with fellow Christians is the only way we can keep ourselves centered in Christ. Build a stronger relationship with Christ by spending time with people whose values are the same. If you waste your time with people who are only pursuing worldly pleasures, you’ll end your life doing the same.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Those in the world who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and therefore lack a discovery and experience of His love will often have a greater fear of losing love from others—their spouse, children, friends, and family members.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

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