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What exactly does that mean?
Is it even possible?
How does one achieve it?
How does one know that they've got it?

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In a sense. They're not saying it outside of the corporate body, but they're also not saying outside of the triune "body".

Ratatösk said:
... with the corporate body, you mean?
Moravians were liberal?
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
"Christ lives in me"
You can't get any closer than housing Christ, how much more personal can it be? or are you asking what that is like? I'm no more aware of Christ living in me then I am aware that my brain is functioning but I know both are true and both move and control my members. That is what a personal relationship means to me. It is intimate in that sense.
I'm responding to Raquels question but Hans post sparked my response or the scripture did
Hans Zaepfel said:
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I agree with Damian in that it's a recent development that "a personal relationship" is stressed as the goal rather than a foregone by product of living a Christian life.

Joshua Allen said:
I don't think this is entirely correct. When I read the writings of Theresa of Avila, Therese of Lascaux, Bernard of Clarivaux, John of the Cross, and many others; they talk of a very personal relationship with Christ.

As otsukafan alluded, this has been a primary use of images of Christ throughout historic Christianity. The purpose of the crucifix or picture of Christ is to enable you to set aside the distractions of the environment and "come into Christ's presence". Even without the use of physical props, the priests and saints throughout the ages have advised us to visualize Christ for this purpose.

I suppose you're referring to the perception that non-Protestants need to have a priest or other church official serve as mediator between laity and God. However, I think this perception is wrong, and has been for most of history. It would be equally wrong to say that Protestants eliminated the personal character of the relationship simply because they banished the imagery.

Damian said:
When we look at the history of the Church we see that the concept of "personal relationship" is of relatively modern development and comes out of the classical Protestant Liberalism of the post enlightenment era. It's been pick up, ironically, by the conservative Evangelical Christians mostly in north America in the last 100 years. I'm still somewhat confused as to why that is frankly? Is it the bad rep that the monergists have?

Damian
...or make some pilgrims progress perhaps?

I wouldn't describe the goal of my marriage as having a personal relationship, nor would I say that the day I was married I had a personal relationship. My marriage was the real beginning of furthering my relationship with my wife. It was personal before and grew up to the point we were married but has continued to grow every since, I will say that our marriage furthered that relationship a great deal but was neither the beginning nor the completion of our relationship.

I can say humbly, that my wife and I are growing into something that is continually better than we were before. I have begun to recognize her really good traits and have even adapted them so just through loving her somehow I have become better. I haven't set out to be a better person but through an attempt to be better for her because I love her I have become better at remembering birthdays, picking small gifts, etc.. She has made me more compassionate by showing how to be, and me adapting just through love and time spent with her. We are to the point even where people refer to us as a couple rather than an individual.

Asking me to describe what I have with my wife as a "personal relationship" is like calling a battleship a boat.

How would I go one to describe our communion with God. It's very minimalist to me to describe our endgame as merely a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ".

love4theword said:
sounds alot like works based stuff to me. I have a personal relationship with God now. I don't have to wait until I climb some 'ladder of divine ascent' to have one.
Seraphim
Damian said:
"...that "a personal relationship" is stressed as the goal rather than a foregone by product of living a Christian life."

I think that's an interesting and well stated summary.
I don't believe Ratatösk was equating relationship with justification, and I don't see any happy sappy universalism implied. Antipathy is still a relationship.

Forcing the issue of a 'close, personal relationship' with Jesus is just another pietistic inference that there are degrees of closeness in our relationship to Christ - and that it looks to 'me' that 'you' are not as close to him as 'I' am.
Hebrews 9&10

10:19-22
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
What does the Eucharist have to do with it? ;)

Amy F said:
Hebrews 9&10

10:19-22
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let's steer away from the personal attacks. Otherwise this thread will be closed and warnings sent.

In word: with grace. In action: with moderation. In all things: with love
Christianity is certainly concerned with relationship, as is clear from the predominant use of the possessive pronoun "my" throughout the Scripture.

But every relationship necessarily leads to the development of beliefs and practices which serve to define the nature and function of the way one relates to another. What would the family home be without the evening meal together? What would the Christian life be without daily prayer. Our Lord taught, When ye pray, not, If ye pray; and He outlined what kinds of things should be of concern in prayer, according to the nature of the One that we are to pray to. Without belief and practice there can be no vital ongoing development of the relationship; one would end up with a static ideal with no practical outworking.

Christianity is a religion of relationship. We believe God is Almighty, covenant-keeping, reconciled to us in Christ. We do not believe God is our servant, that He makes or breaks His word at pleasure, or that we must find our own way back to Him. These beliefs have a very practical bearing on the way we "relate" to God. Without them, Christianity would not be Christianity.
__________________

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