A Personal Relationship with Jesus

A Personal Relationship with JesusText: Revelation 3:20

Many people in the religious world talk about having a “personal relationship with Jesus.” On the surface this may sound good/appealing, but what does it mean? We need to be concerned with what the Bible says. Are we to have a “personal relationship with Jesus”? If so, what is this relationship to look like?

Not Biblical Language

  • This should be a red flag – nowhere does the Bible talk about having a “personal relationship with Jesus”
  • This does not necessarily mean the concept it wrong, but we need to be sure what we’re talking about
  • Many people use this terminology – they often have an incorrect idea of our relationship with Jesus
  • Before deciding if the phrase is acceptable or not, we need to understand what the Bible teaches

The Relationship Described in the New Testament

  • Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 1:4) – deity in bodily form (Colossians 2:9)
  • Jesus is our brother (Hebrews 2:11) – possible because we are the children of God through Him (1 John 3:1)
  • Jesus is our Lord (Acts 2:36) – has authority; has the right to command us and expect us to obey
  • Jesus is our Savior (1 John 4:14) – offers eternal life so we can avoid the wages of sin (Romans 6:23)
  • Jesus is our King (John 18:36-37) – supreme ruler over His kingdom
  • Jesus is our Judge (James 4:12; Acts 17:31) – determines whether we are or have been faithful or not

This Must Be Personal

  • Our relationship with Jesus is “personal” because it pertains to us as individuals
  • Each one of us has the opportunity to become a child of God (Galatians 3:26-29; Mark 16:15-16)
  • Each one of us has the ability to choose to submit to the authority of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 3:17)
  • Each one of us has the potential to be saved by the Lord (Titus 2:11; John 3:16)
  • Each one of us has the chance to be part of the kingdom (Isaiah 2:2; Acts 10:34-35)
  • Each one of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) – we will be rewarded or punished based upon how we have taken advantage of these opportunities
  • No one can do these things for us – so any “relationship” with Christ will be “personal”

What This Does NOT Mean

  • It does not mean there is a different standard for each person (1 Corinthians 14:37; 4:17) – we must follow the same standard He has given to all men (Philippians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10)
  • It does not mean we are free to offer whatever service/worship is most meaningful to us (Genesis 4:2-5) – our worship/service are for God (John 4:24; Romans 12:1)
  • It does not mean that the local church is unimportant (1 Timothy 3:15) – many reject “organized religion,” but this is not the problem; the problem is man-made religion (Matthew 15:8-9)

How We Enter into This Relationship

  • We are able to call Jesus “Brother” by becoming sons of God through faith (Galatians 3:26-27)
  • We are able to call Jesus “Lord” by doing what He says (Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21-23)
  • We are able to call Jesus “Savior” by conforming to His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5; 5:10)
  • We are able to call Jesus “King” by being added to His kingdom, the church (Matthew 16:18-19; Acts 2:38, 41, 47)


  • Jesus stands at the door and knocks (Revelation 3:20) – we must make the decision to open the door
  • Will we accept Him as our Lord, Savior, and King? – not just in name only, but by obeying Him
  • If we want to have fellowship with Christ now and in eternity, we need to faithfully follow Him (cf. John 15:14)

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Hope, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Road Trip.