Relational Theology

“These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said,

 ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee,

even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind,

that to all whom Thou has given Him, He may give eternal life.

 And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God,

and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent. 

I glorified Thee on the earth having accomplished the work

 which thou hast given Me to do. 

And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father,

with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was (John 17:1-5).’”

Our short study of the theology of relationship begins just prior to the death of Christ on the cross where he prays to His heavenly Father and reflects upon the eternal relationship with the Father, His work on earth and the impending reunion in Glory when Christ would depart and return to heaven.

In this conversation we see intimacy, community, dependency, eternal existence, togetherness as well as separateness and differentiation between the members of the trinity.

Mankind (Adam and Eve) is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27) which means we too were made with the same relational characteristics and needs:

  • Intimacy
  • Community
  • Dependency
  • Eternal existence
  • Togetherness
  • Separateness / differentiation.

I shall refer to this original creation by God, in our pure and unbroken state our first family of origin (FOO #1).

“Therefore, Just as through the one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12).”

In this short verse, we learn that because of the sin of our human parents, our second family of origin (FOO #2), the entrance of sin into the world and our fleshly nature, the world is broken, nothing works right … a broken planet with broken people where there are:

  • Natural disasters and the deformity of environment (post Eden) where according to Romans 8 the creation has been subjected to futility by God where natural disasters such as earthquakes and tidal waves wreak havoc unlike the original Eden.
  • Our DNA is confused and broken, our bodies have pain and disabilities, they physically decline and eventually die (II Cor. 4:15).
  • Emotions, reactions, motivations, animating desires don’t work properly, where events and things surpass the importance of people.
  • Relational distance and discord, families, communities, nations, races, genders etc.
  • Financial & vocational difficulties.
  • Spiritual discontent and darkness.

Enter God, with solutions for repair… even after colossal ruptures in the relationship with Him.

  • In the garden of Eden, God takes the life of an animal, and uses the skin of the animal to cover mankind’s nakedness (the first sacrifice of an animal).
  • In Genesis 4 we see Cain and Abel making offerings to God from their first fruits, acknowledging God as the ultimate provider.
  • Later in the Old Testament God instructs the Israelites to create a tabernacle and a Levitical priesthood which was a method of managing ruptures and repairs between a Holy God and sinful man through the sacrifice of animals. Ultimately, this was a foreshadowing of the cross.
  • The Cross of Christ at Calvary was God reconciling the world to Himself.
  • Therefore, even though Adam and Eve were born without sin in FOO #1, their sin contaminated themselves as well as all mankind. As a result of being decedents of from Adam and Eve (FOO #2) we are born in sin and separated from God (rupture) and repair is offered through the substitutionary death of Christ upon the Cross.

Thanks for listening,

Love and Blessings,

Milan & Kay