Practical Christianity

Music artist Rich Mullins once said...

"Every time I go to a different culture, I'm challenged to come back and look at my Scriptures again, because they underline different parts of their Bibles than we do...I have a feeling that if we went all around the world and collected all the Bibles and put them all together, everything would get underlined...
"There are some basic truths that are big enough that we can find unity in them, but I'm not sure that truth is quite the way we understand it; I'm not sure that it has so much to do with statements of belief. Truth is alive; it is a person; and that person is Jesus."

What does it mean to live in a Christian manner?

In essence, of course, this means that we believe the Bible, God's Word, teaches us how we are to live our lives. All Christians believe this, but not all Christians live consistently with that belief. And, like Rich Mullins said, we tend to focus on different parts of the Bible. This is appropriate: we are all part of one body (1 Cor 12:12-26; Rom 12:4-5) and we are all working on the same wall (Nehemiah 3). As a result, we can learn from each other and be reminded that the whole Bible instructs us in everything we do.

God's instructions for living are abundantly set forth in Scripture, from the Ten Commandments, through the Old Testament wisdom literature, to the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament letters. There are also many stories of men who lived according to God's law (or not), and received the blessings (or curses) of obedience (or disobedience).

Of course, the best example of Christian living is Christ himself. "What Would Jesus Do?" is a common question nowadays, and it's a good question as long as we consider our answer carefully, and don't slip into simple platitudes. (For instance, we believe Jesus enjoyed a good glass of wine now and then.) Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." (Jn 14:15) He demonstrated His love for the Father in keeping the law, down to the last jot and tittle. To live like Christ is to:

  • Live a disciplined and holy life. Display the fruits of the spirit, and avoid the "works of the flesh."
  • Live in community. As a member of the Trinity, Jesus demonstrates living in constant, loving, sacrificial relationship with the Father and the Spirit. As our Savior, he demonstrated the amazing willingness to lay down His life for His sheep. We can learn much from His example!
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