It’s a Relationship
The release of captive Israel from Exodus began with a God who loves this world. His plan formed not with the thought of only one man, one sex, or one race in mind. Rather God’s plan, created before the foundation of the earth was laid, targeted the whole world with no single soul being held of a higher worth than another in regard to the offering of salvation. With this in mind, consider that God delivered the children of the Jacob to Mt. Sinai. There in Exodus 20, Moses would begin to share God’s laws with the people. The first of these, the Ten Commandments, demonstrate something critical about our God. God’s commandments are built on establishing a relationship. The first four mentioned focus on a relationship with Him. The next six indirectly demonstrate our relationship with Him through our relationship with man (Matthew 25:35-46). For a few moments, I would like to consider our relationship status with God.
A relationship with God has always required that the spirit of man desire to serve God and that the man walk in obedience to God (Romans 12:1). In no circumstance has man ever “earned” his relationship with our Heavenly Father. In the patriarchal age, Adam and Eve had a pleasing relationship with God until they were disobedient. Noah, a preacher of righteousness, had a pleasing relationship with God walking according to all God had commanded in building the ark (Genesis 6:9,22; Hebrews 11:7). Abraham was faithful to God (Hebrews 11) and he was called a friend of God. These are all relationships prior to the Covenants. Under the Law of Moses, Moses was in the presence of God often. He was chosen to lead God’s people to the Promised Land. Later, Moses and Elijah would appear before Christ when He was transfigured demonstrating their standing before God (Matthew 17:3-4). David under the same law would be called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). These people sought to obey God and have a relationship with him. All of them had sin as we have sinned (Romans 3:23). Obedience was required, but perfection at the hand of man was not.
The New Covenant era is not different in its requirement of obedience to have a relationship with God (Matthew 7:21, John 14:15, Hebrews 5:8-9). In the same manner, as in prior ages, a relationship with God does not require perfection thru the power of man. Yet, some live as if they were in and out and in and out again in their connection to God when they come short in their behaviors or thoughts. They live in a system of the flesh in which they operate as if they were earning salvation. This is not what God has put before the Christian. Christians have been transformed (Romans 12:2). Why would we try to live in a manner which God does not endorse (Galatians 1)? If you are a Christian you are not a sinner. You are a child of God. Your focus is simply to serve Him with good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17); your focus should not be continually upon your imperfection. God’s relationship from the beginning of time has never been contingent upon complete obedience. If it were, how could Enoch have been taken by God when we know that all have sinned (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5)? God has made certain things perfectly clear in life. First, if we seek Him, we will find (Matthew 7:7). Second, if we are seeking Him, we will be rewarded (Hebrews 11:6). Third, Jesus blood continually washes those who walk in His light.
A faithful relationship toward God is built upon love and obedience, but man’s status with God has never been built upon man’s behavioral perfection. Yes, disobedience is recognized by God. Yes, at times he has made an example of disobedience to show His displeasure with it. However, in all ages God simply desires a creation who wants Him above all things (Matthew 6:33). How are you living your life? Is it one where you aren’t constantly agonizing where you stand with God? Is it one where you aren’t trying to earn a salvation which you can never earn? Are you living by the eternal quality: “love” (I Corinthians 13:13, I John 4:8) – Love for God and love for man? If so, then continue forward in joy. If not, break out of the cycle of the flesh and live with a spirit acknowledging the salvation God has provided.