Friendship with God
The essence of a religious faith consists of intimacy with God. The Bible tells us that Abraham was called a friend of God and that Enoch was someone who walked with God. In John's first letter, chapter 1 verse 3, he describes the Christian experience as "fellowship with the Father and with the Son Jesus Christ."
In the Bible friendship with God is often called "knowing God." As Jesus said, "this is eternal life, to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent", John 17:1 The word "know" is used of the intimate physical and emotional relationship that exists in marriage. So, this gives us a glimpse of the depth of the relationship that is possible with God. From this relationship flows life, for to know God is to possess life in all its fullness, and to possess it for eternity. In simple terms, God is not willing to see his friendship with us broken by death.
The way we establish our relationship with God is by the gift of forgiveness. Corruption separates us from God, but because of Jesus' death and resurrection, he forgives those who ask. "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved", Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13. God's forgiveness is complete and everlasting and is the basis of our eternal relationship with him.
The Bible tells us that our friendship with God through Christ is actualized by the presence of the divine Spirit - a forgiven person is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ. God touches us when the Spirit takes up residence in our innermost being, our inmost personality, our inner consciousness, cf., Luke 11:13. As the Bible puts it, he comes into our heart. In this way we experience God's presence in our lives. "We know that he abides in us by the Spirit which he has given us", 1John 3:24. Through the indwelling Spirit "we know we are the children of God", Romans 8:16.
So it is that our friendship with God is not dependent upon externals - sacred people or sacred things. Friendship with God is ours when we confidently ask for his forgiveness. It is by this means that we possess the fullness of life, now and forever.