NT3 – How to live as a “Christian”?
© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 27 May 2020
What comes next?
This “new birth” is the beginning of a whole new life journey. God’s intention for all Christians is for them to share with Him in expressing His own glorious nature 2Peter 1:3-4NLT. They are to show what He is really like by what they are and the way they live 2Peter 1:5-8NLT. So a Christian is to be a wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ always, as He said Mark 12:29-30NLT.
How do we go on living as Christians?
Jesus Christ explained that His followers will continue to be taught and guided by the Holy Spirit John 16:13,14-15.
The main way the Holy Spirit guides us is through reading the Bible and “hearing” what it says. This reading is preferably daily. Other Bible-based Christian media can help too. All Christians need to increase their understanding of Jesus Christ and how this applies to them now 2Timothy 2:15NLT.
But the key thing is to DO what the Bible says, not merely know about it James 1:22NLT. This means keeping on “feeding” and stirring up God’s new ways of thinking – and doing them (as well as “starving” and killing off any old bad ways and influences). So the Holy Spirit within will empower us to change – if we keep choosing to obey Him.
This also leads into praying often to God, honouring Him and asking for His help to live in His ways Luke18:1. As we respond to God wholeheartedly like this, He will be changing us. We will begin sharing with God in fulfilling His primary purpose! 2Thessalonians 2:13-14NLT.
We can’t do this all on our own
God is 3-in-1 . . . So likewise we are meant to join in fellowship with other Christians and live this new life together Ephesians 4:3-6NLT. It’s vital to join in with a church that is aiming to be Bible-based. Early on, we should be baptised in water as the biblical way to declare to everyone that we have become committed Christians Galatians 3:26-28.
Then keep on learning from the Bible and the church’s teachers, and encouraged by fellow Christians. This helps us understand what it is to live as a Christian Ephesians 3:16-21NLT. Also learn how to to treat all people with respect and compassion. This often opens the way to tell them about God’s great gift, our experiences of receiving it and living for Him.
These are basics for continuing and growing in our new life “in Christ”. We will actually be getting to know God – developing a relationship with Him! This can be the ultimate joy and reality for any person to experience! Christians typically start speaking about God more personally as “my Lord”, “dear Jesus” and so on, as He said John 15:14-15, 10:10.
What about if we have failures in trying to live as a Christian?
Obviously this Christian life is not easy and can result in many conflicts, including struggles to maintain a full commitment. Why?
The Bible reveals that God is surrounded in Heaven by angels – other powerful spiritual beings. Yet even they also love Him only on a voluntary basis. And many of them chose not to love and submit to Him! Revelation 12:7-12.
This has much to do with why we live in a troubled, un-loving world. Life is often difficult to understand and can be personally devastating.
How are we supposed to cope?
It’s not easy to keep on living for God. Even basic things can challenge this priority. These include concerns for personal security, comfort, people’s friendship and approval, or just being busy with other things. To be a follower or ‘disciple’ of Jesus Christ involves self-disciplines, experiencing and learning to apply what the Bible says 1Corinthians 10:13.
There will still be difficulties, discouragements, fears, mistakes and sins. God’s enemy Satan will keep trying to draw us away from God. He targets our motives, thoughts and emotions, through our circumstances, what we see and hear, and the influences of other people. We just need to admit any failures to God and ask Him to forgive us and help us not to sin again. We can trust Him that he always will 1 John 1:9.
Then re-commit ourselves to fully following, obeying and serving Him. This is for our whole life. That will probably be a long time and the Bible is a big book! So we must stick at it, persevere, one day at a time. As we do, we grow stronger James 1:2-3,4-5.
God has always been “on your case”
There is another inspiring fact in this struggle Philippians 1:3-5,6. So God clearly intends you to “make it”. In fact, He also often says that He chose all those who become Christians, even before they believed 1Peter 1:2, Romans 8:28, 29-30, Ephesians 1:4-5, 2Thessalonians 2:13,14.
Looking back now, you may be able to see that your becoming a Christian was actually not only up to you – to make a totally freewill choice. God was drawing you to Himself John 6:44. After all, He loved you already and was working on winning your love!
So, were there many significant people and incidents along the way that influenced your decision? Do you think that God could actually have been behind these too?
What specific activities may God intend a Christian to be involved in?
God has gifted every Christian in some way to be able to really benefit others Romans 12:6-7,8, 1Corinthians 12:4-31.
As we grow in Christian maturity, our concern for others and influence for good shall increase. God even wants to change whole communities through Christians. He intends them to be good examples personally, to care for the needy and also address wider social issues such as exploitation, oppression, injustice and other evils Isaiah 1:17.
Again, remember the overwhelmingly good news
Christians are already OK with God!
He has accepted us because we have accepted the profound gift He offered us. This gift is forever! There is nothing further to be “earned”.
Amazingly, despite ongoing imperfections, God now regards us as perfect! From His point of view, He only sees our substitute – Jesus Christ!