Living the Christian Life

The Aim of the Christian life is holiness.

1 Peter 1:15-16 [1 Thessalonians 4:3]

The means is the Holy Spirit's work in the Christian.

1 Peter 1:2

The evidence is a life of obedience.

John 14:15; [2 Corinthians 10:5]

What is the aim of the Christian life?

It can be seen in three ways:

To glorify God - 1 Corinthians 10:31

To enjoy God - Psalm 73:25-26 [Psalm 37:4]

To be as God wants us to be, holy - 1 Peter 1:15-16

What is holiness or the process of holiness, sanctification?

There are two basic ideas:

(a) Separation or consecration to God ('otherness')

(b) Purity

Sanctification is the process by which the believer is transformed in heart, mind, will and conduct and is conformed more and more to the will of God and to the likeness of Christ until at death he is made perfect in holiness, and at the resurrection on Christ's return his body will be like Christ's body.

Remember always what we were saved for:

Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:29.

This process of sanctification is like a three stage rocket

(1) Lift-off ( once for all radical break with sin).

(2) Progress ( the fight to be rid of the remains of sin as we live this life.

(3) Arrival ( freedom from all sin in heaven (glorification).

Lift-off ( once for all radical break with sin

This occurs at conversion. Before conversion we are bound by sin's power and rule. At conversion that bondage is broken. We are removed from the realm of sin and placed in God's kingdom.

Romans 6:2-6; Colossians 1:12-14 [1 Peter 2:24]

How does this happen? In union with Christ. Christ died, defeating sin. In him, united to him by faith, we share in that victory. We have risen to a new life.

This once for all break with sin does not mean we are sinless. It means we are no longer bound to sin. We have the power to live differently and should do so. We are set free to serve God.

[Read the whole of Romans 6.]

The progressive change

(a) God works in us so we can do his will.

Philippians 2:12-13 [1 Thessalonians 5:23-24]

(b) There is conflict with indwelling sin.

Romans 8:13 [Romans 7:14-25; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 6:12; Colossians 3:5]

(c) We have a responsibility to move the work of holiness forward in our lives.

2 Peter 1:3-11 [2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; John 15:5-10]

(d) There is a spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:10-18 [James 4:7-8 1 Peter 5:8-9]

As we are progressively changed there are negative and positive aspects to the work. Look these up at home:

[Negative: Romans 8:13; Ephesians 4:25, 31

Positive: Romans 13:11-14; Ephesians 5:1-2

We are to be active, e.g. Philippians 3:12-14 Acts 20:32.]

What practical things can we do to promote this progressive change?

(a) Ask God to give us what we need to serve him.

James 1:5,17

(b) Pray.

Ephesians 6:18

(c) Read the Word of God ( this promotes the renewing of our mind and equips us for all that God wants us to do.

2 Timothy 3:15-16; Psalm 119:9-16; Romans 12:1-2

(d) Be an active part of a redeemed community (church).

Ephesians 4:11-16

(e) Be involved in worship and fellowship.

Hebrews 10:24-25

(f) Be mission-minded.

Matthew 28:18-20

Pray => Read the Bible => Obey the Bible => Become more like Christ.

All this is done with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Arrival - the final state: glorification

(More on this in the section on heaven)

(1) It's certain.

Romans 8:28-30; Philippians 1:6

Those truly saved persevere in following Christ and arrive as God planned and promised in glory.

(2) It's being like Christ.

1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21