I know this seems like a strange question to ask in a pastor’s blog, but it is one Holy Spirit recently asked me. Like myself, you probably answered, “Absolutely” very quickly. Also, like me, you would be mistaken.
The nature of a relationship is somewhat precarious. Relationships take a lot of work, and even then, have a lot of stressful moments. Oh, I know they can be wonderful when everything is working correctly, but it only takes a cross look, or a word spoken out of place to turn everything upside down again.
As a minister, you have probably used the marriage relationship as an illustration of our relationship with Jesus. I know I have preached several messages on Ephesians 5:31-32. However, after being challenged by Holy Spirit I went back and took another look at that passage. What I saw surprised me. He is not saying that Jesus has a relationship with an individual, but rather, with the whole. In other words, I am not the bride of Christ, we collectively are.
As I searched the Scripture, it fascinated me that the Bible does not seem to talk about us having a relationship with Jesus. It only talks about a kinship. Listen to the words of Romans 9:8. “That is, it is not the children by physical decent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be offspring.” CSB
As with any relationship, there is always the danger of something going wrong and it can come to an end. But with kinship, the genetics never lie. My offspring will always be my offspring no matter what happens around then. Likewise, as an offspring of God, through Jesus Christ, we are no longer servants trying to earn a spot in the kingdom, or a bride trying to please her husband, but we are CHILDREN, (Offspring) of God. Our place in the Father’s house is secure and we are ready to be about the Father’s business. Now we serve as an offspring, not a hired hand.
I submit to you, that you are not in a relationship, you are in a kinship. Your life is no longer that of, stranger, outcast, or alien from Christ. You are his offspring, a co-heir with the first-born, Jesus, and his life will always remain in you. (See 1 John 3:9). So, relax my friend, and stop trying to earn a place in the kingdom. You are already an heir of the entire kingdom. (See Galatians 4:1).