The Christian faith is all about relationships. First, you become a believer by receiving a relationship with your heavenly Father through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Son. When you were born into the world you were separated from God by your sins. Original sin – the fact that you were born into the human race which had suffered a fall from grace in our original ancestors Adam and Eve. And, in time, your own actual sins (of omission and commission) continued to distance you from God. This distance is necessary because otherwise the holiness and purity of God would simply burn you and your sins up. So, out of love, He ensures there is a continual distance between Himself and all sinners.
BUT, God is relational and He created human beings for relationship with Him. Thus, He sent His Son – God incarnate – to be one of us and with us (Immanuel) so that He could understand us and feel what we feel, be tempted as we are tempted, and thus share our humanity – except for sin. As a man Jesus died on the cross as a sinless sacrifice for the forgiveness of all sins because the book of Hebrews states that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. So, He willingly allowed His blood to be shed – the perfect sacrifice – so that we could be forgiven.
As soon as we recognize that we are sinners and in need of being forgiven because these sins are separating us from God both now and for eternity … as soon as we repent with godly sorrow and ask Jesus to forgive us – He gives to us a gift called eternal life (Romans 6:23b). This gift is defined in John 17:3 as a relationship with God.
Of course, once we have this relationship established and are no longer separated from God we will also not want to be separated from the Body of Christ, the Church. To know God in His fullness and to come to maturity we need other believers and need to be an active and living member of a local assembly of believers. Relationships must grow so that you can mature and grow.
While on Earth the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray. This prayer, recorded for us, is known as the Lord’s Prayer but really is the disciples’ prayer. The real Lord’s Prayer is the whole of chapter 17 in the Gospel according to John. The Lord’s Prayer is also all about relationship… In fact, the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer based on relationships…
Our Father in heaven – there’s the Father/child relationship as well as the Superior/subordinate relationship
Hallowed be Your Name – the Deity/worshipper relationship
Your kingdom come – the Sovereign/subject relationship
Your will be done – the Master/servant relationship
Give us this day our daily bread – the Benefactor/beneficiary relationship
Forgive us our debts – the Savior/sinner relationship
Do not lead us into temptation – the Guide/pilgrim or Leader/follower relationship
Deliver us from the evil one – the Guardian/dependent relationship
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever – the Creator/creature relationship
Every aspect of our rich and many-sided relationship with God is seen in the Lord’s Prayer and is meant to be constantly brought out and expressed to God through our words and praise to Him as we continue to build and celebrate the freedom and satisfaction that we find in our personal and corporate relationships with Him (our Father), His Son, the Holy Spirit and other believers.