Deepening Our Relationship with God

MEMORY VERSE: “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” —Galatians 2:20

I JOHN 4:13-19

THE Christian’s relationship with God can be deepened through prayer, through Bible study, and through faithfulness in his service. The Holy Spirit, which is the holy power of God, is available to us as a guide and helper in every time of need. We rejoice in the hope of a new life in the kingdom with Christ through the help of the Holy Spirit in opening the eyes of our understanding to discern the meaning of the many promises which are given to us, whereby we are made partakers of the divine nature.—II Pet. 1:4

If the Heavenly Father has taken us into his confidence and revealed his plan of salvation to us, we are able to appreciate the fact that he sent his Son into the world to be a Redeemer and Savior. There is little in the Bible in the way of “confessions of faith,” but in verse 15 we have such a “confession”: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God”

How simply stated is this great truth of the Bible, yet many have failed to grasp its meaning! Even while confessing that Jesus is the Son of God they are confused with the error that the Father and the Son are one and the same person—that Jesus was his own Father, and the Father his own Son. How thankful we should be that the Holy Spirit has revealed to us the truth on this subject, so that we can testify with Paul that to us there is but one God, the Father, by whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things.

Those who dwell in love, the apostle explains, dwell in God: “In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.”—vss. 17,18, RSV

In these few words the Apostle John strikes directly at one of the foundations of false religion. The Christian’s “judgment day” is during the present age, and the present life of the individual. It is described by Peter as a time of fiery trial and testing. (I Pet. 4:12)

The Christian religion that is presented in the Bible does not use fear of punishment as a means of making or keeping converts. God does not want anyone to serve him because they are afraid of him, and afraid of the punishment he may inflict upon them if they are not wholly pleasing to him. Neither a hell of torment nor purgatory have any rightful place in the heart and mind of a true follower of Jesus.


“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (vs. 14) Here again the Scriptures stress the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the Heavenly Father, not the Father himself. “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” Paul continues, “that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”—vss. 15,16

Verse 17 emphasizes the importance of Christ dwelling in us by faith: “That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”—vss. 16-19

Our memory verse presents an interesting truth concerning the Christian life. We know that Christians, although justified to life through faith in the shed blood, will die apparently the same as other people. But actually we die, not because of condemnation, but because by yielding ourselves in sacrifice we are planted together in the likeness of Christ’s death. (II Tim. 2:13) The life we now live is upon the basis of our faith in the blood of Christ, so when we give up our lives in sacrifice we have the assurance that we will be acceptable to the Lord.


Are the Heavenly Father and Jesus one and the same person?

Is fear of punishment a Christian motive for serving the Lord?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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