Explore new horizons of a living faith
These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
The life of faith impacts every area of our lives. It gives us the strength and power to live a new life. The aim of this life is expressed by Jesus - “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself.” He desires for each of us to live His way. So He shows us how to be a good Christian.
So, how should Christians live or what is a Christian lifestyle?
As our Father does good, so we follow His example by doing good to those He brings across our path. Good is an overriding value that comes out as we live with God. It comes out in His dealing with us, and then we express it ourselves as His goodness influences the way we live.
Goodness is not necessarily what people think. Jesus gave a very simple teaching on how to live. It acts as a guideline for every aspect of life.
Matthew 7:12 "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Love acts for the best interests of others. We don’t know how to live like this, and when we try, we can feel a prisoner to our selfishness, yet God by His power frees us to love.
Jesus’s practical love for us is what makes it possible for us to love. This is what He says: John 15.
John 15:7-12 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love.11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
Issues of lifestyle can easily descend into lists of things we should or should not do. Whereas there are some clear cut activities that we should not engage it, when we speak along these lines we become focused on the boundary lines. Is this breaking the law or not. This thinking also tends to develop judgementalism in us. Before entering into a list of how we should or should not behave, the Bible brings us to the underlying principles.
Ephesians 4: 17 With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that isn't what you learned about Christ.21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Live by the Spirit
We are tempted to follow law since it appears to have the benefit of controlling our desires. Without law, we are left to choose which nature will govern our lives. Will we be controlled by our natural desires or by God’s Spirit within us. We see this In Romans 8:5-8
Romans 8:5-8 5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will.8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
How do I Tell Others
One of the great privileges Jesus has given to us, is that of sharing what He has done in our lives with those who do not yet know Him.
A great way of doing this is to tell our story. Here is an example of one person who was sent to a place where Jesus could not go.
Mark 5:18-20 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.19 But Jesus said, "No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been."20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns* of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.
God’s peace comes as an overwhelming wave that stills the heart in the midst of anxiety. We know this peace comes from God, for we experience it without having seen the causes of anxiety lifted. We look to our Father in heaven who loves us and is able to give peace in the midst of trial. It is because we trust Him, knowing that He has the power to protect us.
When Jesus was about to be executed, He gave His promise of peace. This is a peace with very different characteristics than people are used to.
John 14:27 27 "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.
Through Jesus we can find forgiveness and a new start. Free from an overwhelming sense of guilt; Clean after feeling defiled for so long; Able to live with my conscience.
It is one thing to be offered forgiveness but how do we receive it? Forgiveness is not automatic. We cannot presume upon people to forgive, it is the same with God. One of the greatest obstacles to being forgiven is that we would prefer to live in denial that we have done anything wrong. 1 John 1
1 John 1:7-10 .7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
“I can stand up to anything except temptation!” Life often presents us the things that tempt. God however, is greater than temptation and wants to help us past the traps. He does not often remove temptation, but helps us see choices and gives strength to stand. We are less driven to gratification If we are nurtured through prayer and the Bible such that we are filled with His Spirit. Temptation is not evil in itself, it is a testing ground developing character.
Temptation is not beyond anyone. With God we stand against it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
1 Corinthians 10:13 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
LIVE THE FAITH