A Few Thoughts About a Christian Lifestyle
Lifestyle defined: noun the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group. (Source)
The foundation, the first principle, of a lifestyle is
B1 Our human nature is corrupted by sin.
B2 Adam was the first sinner. Even though Eve committed sin first, Adam is credited with the curse being on the universe. Sin brings destruction.
C1 Romans 5:14 BSB Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.
C2 1 Corinthians 15:22 NKJV For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
B3 Original sin is not that we are punished for Adam’s sin, for we are punished for our own sins. Original is the sin nature that we all have. It is “Me First.”
When God created the universe and everything in it, He made it according to His rules and attitudes.
B1 The first principle is truth.
C1 Psalm 31:5 CSB into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, LORD, God of truth.
C2 Hebrews 6:18 CSB So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
B2 The second is love. Love is a choice, not necessarily an emotion. The actions of love in public and in private are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
B3 Love and truth are found together: 3 John 1:1 NET From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth.
B4 So we have the summary of the Law: Matthew 22:36-40 NIV "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
B5 This, in turn, is based on the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a summary of all God’s laws. Each commandment is a board category (I wrote about this here; scroll down to “Knowing temptation comes in 10 broad areas). Each can be in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. Each is to be followed in public and in private.
In the New Testament
B1 There are approximately 1,000 rules for Christians. Here is one list: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NET Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.
B2 To know God’s rules for Christians in different categories for marriage or lying, we can see
God’s rules don’t change
B1 Often people make the statement about God’s ways changing, but
C1 God’s character does not change
D1 1 Samuel 15:29 NLT and he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!"
D2 Numbers 23:19 NLT - God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
D3 Hebrews 6:18 NLT - So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
C2 He rules His kingdom with His laws that do not change
B2 God’s character does not change regarding His laws or promises
C1 Malachi 3:6 NRSV For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.
C2 James 1:17-18 NRSV Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
What God hates: Galatians 5:19-21 WEB Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
What God loves: Galatians 5:22-23 WEB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So, living the principles of the Christian life today are the same as they were when Christianity began at Pentecost. The rules, the promises, what God loves, what God hates are the same. We can safely read the Bible and live a Christian life.
We learn God’s will by things we must do, things we must not do, examples of things that pleased God or displeased Him, and principles that we can apply in many ways.
A Few Thoughts About a Christian Lifestyle