WHAT IS THE CHRISTIAN LIFE SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE?
The question as to what the Christian life is supposed to be like is very vital, owing to the fact that some so-called Christians merely bear the ‘ Christian’ title without actually having a grasp of what it entails to be a Christian.
The Christian Life is a life of repentance, faith and good works lived through the power of the Holy Spirit and by Grace. The Christian life is one that is enabled, activated and sustained by faith. Faith is an integral part of the Christian life because one cannot work his way to salvation. Strictly obeying the law cannot lead one to eternal life. Salvation can be achieved only by faith in Christ Jesus. Romans1:17 makes it clear that ” For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, The righteous will live by faith.”
Also, The Christian Life is Christ-centred. It is a life that has Jesus Christ at its core. A Christ-centred life is focused on a commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord. There is motivation at the core of every human decision. We are sometimes motivated by money, a job, a goal or even family which is actually not wrong but whatever we centre our lives on can become our God. The believer is expected to worship God alone as that is the essence of the creation of man. The moment we begin to expend more energy, time or money on anything more than we do on God, that thing automatically takes the place of God in our lives.
Since the Christian life is one that is supposed to be centred on Christ, it means that Christians must be dead to themselves. Paul in Galatians 2:20 says “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.” In living the Christian life, we must sacrifice our desires, pleasures and ambitions and replace them with that of Christ. Humanly speaking, this is impossible, but it can be achieved only by faith.
Christians who have genuinely dedicated their lives to Christ become more like him in all they do. They choose to obey his commands out of love and not from fear of being caught in sin. The greatest desire of believers is to please Him and be more like Him. Philippians 3: 10 says ” I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” The major aim of the Christian life should be to glorify God, not religion and the law as the Pharisees did. Love is key and of utmost importance in the Christian life. God first loved us. He demonstrated this love by sending his only son to die for our sins. Christians are expected to love God with all their hearts, soul and might and also to love their neighbours as themselves. The best form of love for neighbours will involve doing all he or she can to bring them the message of the gospel. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” says the risen Jesus. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:18–19). Christians should be identified by the type of love they show.
A true Christian stumbles fall and sins sometimes but he should not remain in sin and disharmony with God. The right thing to do is to confess and seek forgiveness from God so as to continue fellowshipping with him. Irrespective of the many temptations Christians face, we are expected to persevere till the end as stated in Hebrews 10:38-39 the number as we” Now the just shall live by faith, but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but to those who believe in the saving of the soul.” God is not pleased with those who draw back from Him. Those who live by faith will never drawback because they are kept by the Holy Spirit who assures us that we will continue with Christ until the end. Believers are encouraged to pray without ceasing and diligently study the word of God for understanding as we fellowship with other Christians. The true believer is one who believes to the end.
God has chosen to use instruments through which to bring his grace into our lives. They include the scriptures, the church, prayer and the sacraments( baptism and Holy Communion). The Christian life is life in Christ made possible by Grace.