Practical Christianity

Christianity is a practical religion!

It is not just a matter of lessons learned; it consists of putting what we know to use. Unlike other religions, Christianity is not a system merely to be emotionalized or intellectualized; it is something to be modeled! Much more than just a way of thinking or believing, it is supremely a way of behaving! Too often, we focus on the Christian way in theory without saying enough about the Christian way in practice. We need to be more concerned about applying what we believe to everyday situations and problems. Real, practical Christianity, involves all of the following.

1. A way of living. It is impossible to be a Christian without living like one. Jesus taught that the life of a Christian set him apart from the rest of the world. "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid" (Matt. 5:14). One can no more be a Christian without living a distinctive life than he can be a sailor without sailing or a banker without banking!

2. A way of loving. One of the most remarkable things about Christians is their love. Jesus taught "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another" (John 13:35). Such love will demonstrate itself in actions.

3. A way of sharing. An outstanding trait of the early church was their fellowship. Luke tells us that they "sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from hose to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart" (Acts 2:45-46).

4. A way of learning. The Christian life is one of growth. Peter urged us to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). From spiritual babes, we are expected to grow into mature Christians (1 Peter 2:2). Only by a continuing process of study and learning can we develop properly as children of God.

5. A way of teaching. The first duty of the Christian is to teach others. Christ's final instructions before His departure from this earth were to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations ... " (Matt. 28:19). We are living the Christian life only to the extent that we are teaching others about Jesus. If we would be lights, we must shine!

It is not enough for Christians just to have the right interpretation of the Scriptures. We must translate the truths of the Bible into everyday deeds. We must not only tell the world about Christianity, we must give them a demonstration of it. Let us, therefore, determine to become living epistles, "Known and read of all men" (2 Cor. 3 :2), by the practical application of our faith.

by Bobby Dockery

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