What Is the Christian Life?

  • September 25, 2016
Sunday 25

Titus 3:4-7

The Christian Life is just that—a life, not simply a set of rules. Sadly, a lot of churches preach Christianity as a list of dos and don’ts. Then faith looks like a formula: Jesus’ saving grace plus doing good things minus doing bad things equals righteousness. Most of us have enough problems without worrying about whether we’re following the extra-biblical rules of a church.

A man-made formula for righteousness runs counter to scriptural teaching. Not only did Jesus condemn the Pharisees’ heavy-handed religion, but He Himself offered liberty through grace (Matt. 23:1-4; John 8:36). Neither keeping God’s law by self-effort nor adhering to extra rules makes a person free. Legalistic believers are in bondage and growing ever weaker.

When a person accepts the saving grace of Jesus Christ, he or she receives a new life. (See Rom. 6:4.) This is not an uptight lifestyle of doing good works. A believer is a changed person—the same body but a transformed mind and heart. Christ lives through you. His Holy Spirit flows into your spirit just as sap runs in a grapevine. It’s like getting a spiritual blood transfusion! Strength pumps into places where weakness once prevailed. Why rely upon your frail self when the courage and power to follow God’s will are available through Christ?

I know what it feels like to burn out from trying to do good in my own strength. My desire for you is that you’ll surrender to the Lord. Depend upon Him to change you from the inside out, and trust that He will. Jesus is your life. He will never get tired of transforming you.

Bible in One Year: Micah 5-7

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4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,

5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,

2 saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.

4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

1 Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek.

2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."

3 Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel.

4 And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.

5 This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men.

6 They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory.

7 Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the LORD, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men.

8 The remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue.

9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off.

10 It will be in that day," declares the LORD, That I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots.

11 I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications.

12 I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more.

13 I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands.

14 I will root out your Asherim from among you And destroy your cities.

15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed."

1 Hear now what the LORD is saying, Arise, plead your case before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice.

2 Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the LORD, And you enduring foundations of the earth, Because the LORD has a case against His people; Even with Israel He will dispute.

3 My people, what have I done to you, And how have I wearied you? Answer Me.

4 Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam.

5 My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So that you might know the righteous acts of the LORD."

6 With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves?

7 Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

9 The voice of the LORD will call to the city-- And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time?

10 Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness And a short measure that is cursed?

11 Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?

12 For the rich men of the city are full of violence, Her residents speak lies, And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

13 So also I will make you sick, striking you down, Desolating you because of your sins.

14 You will eat, but you will not be satisfied, And your vileness will be in your midst. You will try to remove for safekeeping, But you will not preserve anything, And what you do preserve I will give to the sword.

15 You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; And the grapes, but you will not drink wine.

16 The statutes of Omri And all the works of the house of Ahab are observed; And in their devices you walk. Therefore I will give you up for destruction And your inhabitants for derision, And you will bear the reproach of My people."

1 Woe is me! For I am Like the fruit pickers, like the grape gatherers. There is not a cluster of grapes to eat, Or a first-ripe fig which I crave.

2 The godly person has perished from the land, And there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; Each of them hunts the other with a net.

3 Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the desire of his soul; So they weave it together.

4 The best of them is like a briar, The most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you post your watchmen, Your punishment will come. Then their confusion will occur.

5 Do not trust in a neighbor; Do not have confidence in a friend. From her who lies in your bosom Guard your lips.

6 For son treats father contemptuously, Daughter rises up against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man's enemies are the men of his own household.

7 But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.

8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.

9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, And I will see His righteousness.

10 Then my enemy will see, And shame will cover her who said to me, Where is the LORD your God?" My eyes will look on her; At that time she will be trampled down Like mire of the streets.

11 It will be a day for building your walls. On that day will your boundary be extended.

12 It will be a day when they will come to you From Assyria and the cities of Egypt, From Egypt even to the Euphrates, Even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain.

13 And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, On account of the fruit of their deeds.

14 Shepherd Your people with Your scepter, The flock of Your possession Which dwells by itself in the woodland, In the midst of a fruitful field. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead As in the days of old.

15 As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles."

16 Nations will see and be ashamed Of all their might. They will put their hand on their mouth, Their ears will be deaf.

17 They will lick the dust like a serpent, Like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their fortresses; To the LORD our God they will come in dread And they will be afraid before You.

18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.

19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.

20 You will give truth to Jacob And unchanging love to Abraham, Which You swore to our forefathers From the days of old.

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Publish Date September 25, 2016
What Is the Christian Life?

When a person accepts the saving grace of Jesus, he or she receives a new life—not a new formula.

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