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How the Bible Helps Cement Broken Relationships

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From beginning to end the Bible is a book about relationships—how they can be revitalized and restored.

Nothing characterizes our modern age more than fractured, dysfunctional personal relationships. Indeed the initial breakdown started not long after the creation of human life itself. Adam and Eve became estranged from God; their elder son killed his brother, and such breakdowns continued from there right down to our modern age of disjointed human relations.

Britain’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, describes the general state of our relationships. “Today many parts of Britain and America are marked by vandalism, violent crime and a loss of civility; by the breakdown of the family and the widespread neglect of children; by an erosion of trust and general loss of faith in the power of governments to cure some of our most deep-seated problems, and by a widespread sense that matters crucial to our future welfare are slipping beyond our control.”

We don’t trust each other anymore. Relationships have lost their permanence. Lifelong marriages have ceased to be the accepted norm. Lasting careers are disappearing. Not so long ago a person could expect to work for one corporation for 40 years and then retire with a company pension and perhaps a gold watch. No more. Young people can now expect to have to learn several trades in a lifetime, with the accompanying disruption to relationships, just to survive economically.

The diagnosis is simple. Relationships that work are based on common rules. When standards become vague and people cannot agree to accept and adhere to the same values, society goes awry. There have to be agreed-upon principles for human beings to follow. Otherwise we will continue to experience chaos in our relationships.

The Bible is the book about relationships. It emphasizes the most important relationship any human being can have— with God Himself! It shows how reconciliation with God leads to a right restoration of our relationships with other human beings—marriage partners, friends, fellow church members or fellow employees.

What is the nature of God’s relationship with His Son Jesus Christ?

“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand … For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does …” (John 3:35 John 3:35The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.
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; John 5:20 John 5:20For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
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Many other scriptures show that Their relationship is one of love, harmony, cooperation and outgoing concern. Theirs is a perfect relationship!

Do the Father and Christ offer to extend Their own harmonious love to men and women made in the image of God?

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21 John 14:21He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
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God the Father and Christ the Son extend Their love to men and women. But notice that Their love is based on adhering to eternal values and standards that originated with the Father. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24 John 14:24He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
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; compare 1 John 4:16-19 1 John 4:16-19 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.
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; John 17:22-26 John 17:22-26 22 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. 26 And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
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The Father and the Son are fully united in the laws by which They govern humankind. Those laws show God’s way of love and are given for the benefit of humankind (1 John 5:3 1 John 5:3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
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; 2 John 1:6 2 John 1:6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
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; Deuteronomy 5:33 Deuteronomy 5:33You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
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). Those who oppose those laws of love bring untold suffering and misery upon themselves and others. Often these agonies are manifested in the form of broken, dysfunctional human relationships.

What else is offered, both now and forever, to those willing to follow the spiritual standards and values of Jesus Christ and the Father?

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
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“… As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
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“… But godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 4:8For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
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Salvation is freely offered to those who are called now and willing to repent of past misdeeds, becoming obedient to the Father (compare Acts 2:37-39 Acts 2:37-39 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
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). Note that repentance, water baptism and the laying on of hands are the specified biblical requirements for the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Having the Spirit of God is essential for salvation (compare Titus 3:4-7 Titus 3:4-7 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
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). Our free booklet The Road to Eternal Life explains these biblical doctrines in detail.

Should our relationships reflect the harmony between the Father and the Son

“And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:21 1 John 4:21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.
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“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2 1 John 5:2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
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Love is governed and defined by eternal values coming forth from the very throne of God (1 John 2:3-7 1 John 2:3-7 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7 Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning.
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). The only real solution to our sad state of severed relationships is to repent and begin to keep God’s Ten Commandments—which define true love toward God and neighbor—both in the letter and the spirit (compare James 2:8-12 James 2:8-12 8 If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well: 9 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if you commit no adultery, yet if you kill, you are become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
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; Romans 13:8-10 Romans 13:8-10 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
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; 1 John 3:10-11 1 John 3:10-11 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
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Right relationships with God and man will lead us to a greater understanding of the purpose of life.

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