What Saith the Scripture?
How to Succeed in Your Christian Life
by Tom Stewart
Many people today talk of being a Christian; however, few people live the Christian life. "And why call ye Me, LORD, LORD, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). Some are probably deceived about the true nature of Christianity, while others have never been properly taught what it is to be a Christian. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1Corinthians 13:11).
What is Christianity?
Christianity is a Total Commitment to the LORD Jesus Christ. "I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). The Christian walk is the picture of a man walking with God. "Noah was a Just man and Perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9). When a man begins to walk with the LORD Jesus Christ, he has passed from Death to Life, i.e., "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath Everlasting Life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from Death unto Life" (John 5:24), from rebellion to submission, i.e., "19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:19-20), from mere head to heart trust, i.e., "17 Even so Faith, if it hath not Works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast Faith, and I have Works: shew me thy Faith without thy Works, and I will shew thee my Faith by my Works" (James 2:17-18), from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness, i.e., "Not My will, but Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42), from Darkness to Light, i.e., "I am the Light of the World: he that followeth Me shall not walk in Darkness, but shall have the Light of Life" (John 8:12). The change is as radical as the difference between Heaven and Hell. "The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17). "2 In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3).
How Can a Man Know That He is a Christian?
Your own consciousness testifies to your body and brain of your existence as a human being. The Word of God testifies to our spirit that we truly are a child of God. We are told that we may know that we presently possess Eternal Life. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have Eternal Life" (1John 5:13). The Word of God is to the Christian's soul what your consciousness is to your body and brain. "But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him" (1John 2:5).
Because of the dominant importance of the Word of God to the Christian, it is essential to the Christian's existence and growth that he feed on God's Word as certainly as his physical body feeds on physical food. "Grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2Peter 3:18).
What is the Importance of Continuing the Christian Walk?
To continue the Christian walk is as important as beginning the Christian walk. "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be Saved" (Matthew 24:13). If you will not continue to walk with Christ, your claim to be a Christian has no foundation. "He that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth" (Luke 11:23). Only a liar will claim to walk with Christ while disobeying Christ. "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (1John 2:4). Liars have NO part of Christ-- only Eternal Destruction. "All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the Second Death" (Revelation 21:8).
How to Succeed in Your Christian Life: CONTINUE
To continue is more than a good idea-- it is essential to all who would call themselves by the name of Christ, i.e., Christian. "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (Hebrews 3:14). For this reason, the following instructions are given as a suggested guide to succeed in the Christian life.
"CONTINUE thou in the things which thou hast learned" (2Timothy 3:14).
C: Confess Christ to others-- tell others about your Saviour.
- "9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto Righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation" (Romans 10:9-10).
- "32 Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).
O: Obey God's commands.
- "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will Love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23). "6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in Darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth: 7 but if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1John 1:6-7).
N: Navigate through God's Word-- read, study, meditate, memorize, listen to the Bible.
- "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby" (1Peter 2:2).
- "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).
- "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).
- "13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation through Faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in Righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be Perfect, throughly furnished unto all Good Works" (2Timothy 3:13-17).
T: Typify Christ's Death, Resurrection, Return-- demonstrate your commitment to Christ by being baptized and receiving the LORD's Supper.
- "38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost... 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:38, 42).
- "And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My Body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
- "24 And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My Body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. 25 After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My Blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the LORD's Death till He Come" (1Corinthians 11:24-26).
I: Increase God's kingdom-- faithfully serve Christ.
- "14 For the Kingdom of Heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the Earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the Earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath" (Matthew 25:14-29).
N: Nullify sin through confessing and forgetting it-- cancel out the effect of sin.
- "If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9).
- "13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). [See our article, "Must We Then Sin?" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Must.We.Then.Sin.html --, to see a discussion of how man's First Sin does not necessitate anyone else's sin.]
U: Unite with God's people-- participate in a good church, even if it's only an informal gathering of Christians.
- "12 For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 till we all come in the unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 but speaking the Truth in Love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: 16 from Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in Love" (Ephesians 4:12-16).
- "42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the LORD added to the church daily such as should be Saved" (Acts 2:42, 47).
- "24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto Love and to Good Works: 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see The Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
E: Entreat God through prayer-- earnestly ask God for all that you need in your Christian walk.
- "9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:9-13).
- "And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation" (Luke 22:40).
- "Pray without ceasing" (1Thessalonians 5:17).
Remember, Jesus said, "If ye CONTINUE in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).
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