For years and years Christians have begun talking about salvation in terms of friendship/relationship [as in 'having a personal relationship with Jesus']. We sing songs about being friends with God. We like this, because there is something inside us that wants to have a relationship with God; we're created in the image of the One who is community/relationship [Father, Son, Holy Spirit]. So while this has connected with something deep inside us, it is not the entire picture.
The problem with merely defining salvation as a personal relationship with God is that it does not leave space to talk about how we live. Personal relationships are all about connecting; they're friendships. If I have a personal relationship with God, it does not mean that I need to live my life any differently than if I did not have a personal relationship. God is not looking JUST to connect with us, he wants to change the very way we see/relate to/understand the world.
If we read the New Testament, we see that God is interested in Lordship. God is interested in how we live; actions, thoughts, & desires.
It is easy for Christians who see salvation as "Personal Relationship" to talk against lust, murder, & hate as sin; the Bible specifically says so. But this view of salvation has a hard time dealing with passages that deal with money - of course friends don't really tell each other how to spend their money [that's just not polite]. Yet, we see that in the New Testament, this seems to be a major point of conversation for the earliest Christians. God, through Jesus, is not just looking to restore a personal relationship with us; he is looking to become our Lord/Master/King.
What does it mean to have Christ as our master? Well it means he controls the way we live our life. He governs the way we think, plan, pray, dream, spend, & see. He wants to shape and form the way that see our neighbor, the way we respond to stress, and how we believe the world is being made better.
[I'd like to talk in the next few posts about ways Jesus is looking to become our Master/Lord/King]