Part 15 – First Steps To Living The Christian Life
So … how can we live the Christian Life? By now, it should be obviously, that it is impossible to live the Christian Life. However, there is a way for the Christian Life to be lived … in and through us!
Invite Christ Into Your Life And Receive The Highest Life
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16, NIV).
When we receive Christ, we receive Eternal Life, the Life of God Himself, into our lives. There is no other way to receive the Life of God, except through Christ. He alone promised that He, and no other, would send the Holy Spirit when He returned to the Father after His ascension.
Recognize The New Life Within You
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, NIV).
Don’t you know …? Sadly, it seems that many people do not know, or do not understand the implications that the Spirit of God lives in them. So take the time to recognize, consider, reflect, and become moment by moment conscious of the fact that the Holy Spirit, the Life of God Himself, dwells in you!
Learn How To Live By A Life Not Your Own
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV).
I have been crucified … I no longer live … Christ lives in me. If I am to live the Christian Life, I must stop living, and let Christ live His life through me. I must stop trying to do anything to live the Christian Life, and instead learn how to let Christ live in and through me.
Accept No Substitutes
Jesus said, I have come, that you may have life.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV).
Jesus came to give us Life, full Life, abundant Life, God’s Life.
That makes intellectualism look like ignorance, legalism is madness, and Christian performance is foolish. It is foolish for a dead tree to try to bear fruit. Instead, the life within us must bear the fruit.
Intellectualism and philosophy are pursuits only of fallen man. No life form above us, or below us, pursues them at all. They are only important to fallen humanity.
As you move up the zoe-ological scale, things of the soul become secondary, and things of the spirit became central.
Also, until 150 years ago, illiteracy ran from eighty-five to ninety-nine percent of the human race. So intellectualism and philosophy were elitist, and nothing like the values of God.
The Christian faith can be known in all its depth, glory, and fullness … without scholarship, intellectualism, higher education, or giftedness.
Why? Because Jesus Christ is known and encountered deep within the inmost depths of our spiritual being. Jesus is known “within”, within our spirit.
“… nor will people say,’ Here it is,’ or’ There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21, NIV).
“‘Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” (John 7:38, NIV).
To live the Christian Life, we must live by the Christ within us, the Life of God within us. And when we really get in touch with the Christ within us, then our whole value system, and our whole focus, will radically and forever change.
(Note: I am indebted to Gene Edwards for many of the concepts in this series.)
… Next time …. Part 16 – Comparing The Various States Of Man