OceanSide church of Christ
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QUESTIONS & ANSWER ABOUT…
Victor M. Eskew
A. One of the best ways to learn is to ask questions.
B. A good answer to a question can
1. Turn on lightbulbs in the brain.
2. Open doors to further knowledge.
3. Challenge us causing even more questions.
C. In this series of lessons, we will be looking at several different subjects, but we will examine them by asking and answering questions about the topic. Thus, we have entitled this series: “Questions & Answers about…”
D. In our first lesson, let’s look at the subject: “Questions & Answer about…Christian Living.”
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY CHRISTIAN LIVING?
A. Every human being rises to meet the world and live his/her life each and every day.
B. Our lives are governed and guided by certain beliefs, laws, and principles that have been gained over the course of one’s life.
1. They are given to us by our parents.
2. They are given to us by our friends.
3. They are given to us by our teachers and professors.
4. They are given to us by the media.
5. They are given to us by our religious affiliations.
6. They are given to us by our politicians.
7. Sometimes we can them through the experiences of life.
C. Christian living involves a person being guided by the Christian religion.
1. The beliefs, laws, and principles of Christianity are first and foremost in how he lives his life.
2. Other factors might be present in his life, but they must be in harmony with the teachings of the Christian religion if the individual is going to follow them.
D. What living the Christian life is not intended to be.
1. A life where a person presents himself as “holier than thou,” that is, better than other people.
2. A life that comes off as “goodie two-shoes.”
3. The Christian life is not supposed to turn people off. Instead, others should be intrigued by the kind of life the Christian lives.
II. WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING?
A. What our standards are not:
1. Our own opinions and feelings
2. The systematic beliefs of another human being
3. The teachings of some fictitious religious guru
B. The standards of the Christian religion are two-fold.
1. First, our standard is found in a person, Jesus Christ the Son of God.
a. Jesus is God who came to earth clothed in human flesh, lived a perfect life, died on Calvary for the sins of the world, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven where He rules as King of kings and Lord of lords and occupies the position as the High Priest over the house of God.
b. He is our pattern for living.
1) What Jesus had to say:
a) John 13:15
For I have given you an example, that ye should to as I have done to you.
b) John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
2) What Paul had to say:
a) Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
b) Philippians 1:21
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
c) Philippians 2:5
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
3) What John had to say (I John 2:6)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
c. WARNING: This should never be a subjective practice. We must know that what we are doing is precisely what Jesus would do. We must never just “think” this is what He would do?
2. The second standard for Christian living is the Word of God.
a. Numerous passages teach us this.
1) Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
2) Philippians 1:27a
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…
3) II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
b. As we use the Word of God to direct us, we must be careful to rightly divide it (II Tim. 2:15).
c. We must never reject it and lean to our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6).
d. Remember, it will be God’s Word that will judge us in the Last Day (John 12:48).
III. DOES CHRISTIAN LIVING HAVE ITS BENEFITS?
A. Some would answer this question with a “No.” They see the Christian life as a life of restrictions and “don’ts.”
B. Christian living has several benefits.
1. A life of better physical health
2. A life of more happiness
3. A life with less stress and depression
4. A life of real purpose
5. A life that sees two sides of struggle
6. A life of hope after death
7. A life that is well-pleasing to God.
C. John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
IV. IS CHRISTIAN LIVING DIFFICULT?
A. There are some things that can make Christian living difficult.
1. Fighting temptations
2. The sacrifice of self for others
3. Having to make choices between the carnal and spiritual
4. Ridicule and rejection by others
5. Possible persecution
6. Church problems
B. The difficulties, however, are easy to overcome if…
1. You love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt. 22:37).
2. You are fully committed to following the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23).
3. You make a clear distinction between the carnal and spiritual (Gal. 5:13-18).
4. You put the kingdom of God first (Matt. 6:33).
5. You understand the good that comes from trials (James 1:2-4).
6. You keep your eternal goal constantly in mind (II Cor. 4:16-5:1; Phil. 3:13-14).
V. WHY DON’T ALL CHRISTIAN FULLY ENGAGE IN CHRISTIAN LIVING?
A. Some do not fully engage because they have a love for other things.
1. For some reason, they do not love God the most.
2. They love work, sports, family, travel, personal time, etc. more.
3. I John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
B. Some do not engage because of the influence of others in their lives.
1. It could be a spouse who is not a Christian.
It could be children who have fallen away.
It could be friends who are not Christians.
It could be friends who are in other religions.
2. Jesus warned us about human relationships taking precedent over our relationship with Him (Matt. 10:37).
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is nor worthy of me.
C. Some do not engage because they do not really have an interest in spiritual things.
1. Worship, Bible study, prayer, the work of the church, fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, and other things related to spirituality are not their interest.
2. Sports, movies, television shows, games, hobbies, and other things have captured their interest.
a. They can spend hours doing them.
b. They will spend great sums of money engaging in them.
c. They will keep up with all of latest information.
d. They will talk hours on end about these things.
3. This describes the condition of Israel in the days of Ezekiel (Ezek. 33:31).
And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
D. Some are not engaged in Christian living due to the sin in their lives.
1. Instead of Jesus being their Master, sin is their master.
2. For some, they know their sin is wrong and they do not want to appear to be hypocrites in their service to God.
3. Others are fighting a battle between being faithful and serving sin.
4. These individuals are much like the Jews of old (II Kings 17:33).
They feared the Lord, and served their own gods…
5. According to Jesus, it is impossible to serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and love the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
A. The term “Christian living” exalts the name of Christ.
1. This is what Christian living is all about.
2. We want Christ to be living in and through us.
B. When others interact with us, we want them to see something different. We want them to be able to say: “I figured you are a Christian.”
C. Does your life reflect Jesus Christ? Are you living by His Word? Is your life really about Christian living?