The biblical principles
for living the Christian life are quite simply
stated: The believer puts into daily practice the
principles of the Word of God by the power of the
We are to practice the
Biblical principles by the presence of the Holy
There is no other way to
become a mature Christian growing in the character
and likeness of Christ Jesus.
God saved us so that we
can know Him personally and enjoy a special
spiritual relationship with Him.
A NEW PRINCIPLE
He has "reconciled us to
himself through Christ" so that he can come and live
in us. The greatest mystery revealed to mankind is
"Christ in you the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
This great principle is
found in many passages of Scripture (Col. 3:4; Gal.
2:20; Rom. 8:10; Eph. 3:17; John 11:25; 14:6, 23;
15:5; 17:23; Rom. 6:11; Rev. 3:20; 1 John 2:24; 2
Cor. 6:16; 13:5, etc.). Christ is Himself the
essence of the Christian life.
The foundation upon which
we build the spiritual life is the new birth. You
cannot have a special spiritual relationship with
God without spiritual regeneration. "You must be
born again." Jesus said, "I tell you this solemn
truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot
see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3 NET). Every
individual must have a new spiritual birth because
he is "dead in trespasses and sin" (Eph. 2:1).
Your spiritual birth
took place at the moment in time when you placed
your trust in God’s saving grace in Christ Jesus.
However, the Christian
life is a life-long process of growing and maturing
spiritually in our relationship to God. By living in
the power of the Holy Spirit, we put into practice a
life based on Biblical principles. There are no
short cuts to spiritual maturity.
It is a life-long process
in which we practice the principles of the Word of
God in the power of the Spirit. The believer is
progressively and practically sanctified in his
daily living. It takes a whole lifetime to become
spiritually mature, and then we are not perfect
until we see Jesus face to face in glory.
A NEW POSITION
This lifelong process is
an out flow from our perfect positional
Our salvation came about
at a certain time and place when we put our faith in
Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and we
received the free gift of eternal life.
The great exchange
We are properly related
to God because of our eternal position in Christ
Jesus. The apostle Paul declared: "God made the one
who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in
him we would become righteous of God" (2 Corinthians
5:21 NET). "He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no
sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become
the righteousness of God in Him" (NASB).
The perfect righteousness
of Jesus Christ is imputed to the believer in such a
way that we stand in a perfect position before God,
not in our own self-righteousness, but in Christ’s.
In Christ Jesus we become the righteousness of God.
We stand clothed in His perfect righteousness.
We have been justified by
faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God is
imputed to us through faith in Christ. The object of
our faith is Christ Jesus. The believing sinner is
justified freely by His grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote,
"being justified as a gift by His grace through the
redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).
"You were washed, you
were sanctified, you were justified in the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God"
(1 Corinthians 6:11 NET).
Just as we have
emphasized that everything we do in the Christian
life is based on the finished work of Christ, we
need to stress that it is impossible to live this
life without power of the Holy Spirit enabling us.
Our vital union in
The Christian life cannot
be lived in our own personal power. This is a
spiritual life, and it is a spiritual battle we
fight. Only the Holy Spirit can produce the life of
Christ in us.
The only person who can
live the Christian life is Jesus Christ. I cannot
live it. Only Christ can live His life. But the
great mystery is "Christ in you" is "the hope of
glory." I in you and you in me is the great
principle. God has put us in Christ and Christ in us
in a vital union.
It is Christ living in
you and me that allows us to live the Christian
life. "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if
anyone does not have Spirit of Christ, this person
does not belong to him" (Romans 8:8-9 NET). The
Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ and the Holy
Spirit all refer to the same person. He has taken up
residence in our spiritual person. God allows us to
have a personal relationship with Him.
"Moreover, if the Spirit
of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in
you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will
also make your mortal bodies alive through his
Spirit who lives in you" (v. 11 NET).
The fruit of
righteousness is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is
the very life of Christ lived in and through us.
Paul gives us a contrast between the works of the
flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians
PRACTICE YOUR POSITION
Therefore " . . .
continue working out your salvation with awe and
reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both
the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good
pleasure—is God" (Philippians 2:12-13 NET). Our
responsibility is to work out what God has already
worked in us through the new birth. This is not a
works salvation; this is practical sanctification.
Our calling is in
holiness (Eph. 1:4; 1 Thess. 4:7). God’s goal is to
make us completely holy in the likeness of His Son
(Rom. 8:29-30; 1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor.
15:49-55; 2 Cor. 3:18).
We live the Christian
life as we consistently put into practice over time
the principles in the Bible through the presence of
the Holy Spirit. As the believer grows spiritually
and matures, he depends more and more upon the Holy
Spirit dwelling in his inner person. It is His
presence that enables us to live the Christian life.
The more attention he gives to the Word of God and
obeys its teachings, the more he will indeed
practice his position in Christ.
There are certain
evidences you will see in your spiritual life as you
move from being a spiritual baby to a mature person.
We will gradually become more and more like Christ
in character, conduct and conversation.
God has provided
everything we need to be all that He wants us to be
in this life. Therefore, our responsibility becomes
We must spend time
in God’s Word.
We must learn to think
biblically. We need to saturate our minds in the
Scriptures. We need to spend time memorizing it,
meditating on it, studying it and putting it into
"All Scripture is
inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; so that the man of God may be
adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy
Jesus said, "If you
continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of
Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth
will make you free" (John 8:31-32). We need to be
like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who tested everything
by the Word of God. They were "open minded" and
"eagerly received the message, examining the
Scriptures carefully every day to see if these
things were so" (NET). The result was many of them
believed on the Lord Jesus. They accepted the facts
after careful examination. We cannot obey what we do
not know. If we are to become mature Christians, we
must know the Biblical principles in order to apply
We must by faith
obey the Word of God.
We must take God’s word
as fact and apply it to our personal lives. We take
God at His word. Jesus said, "If you love me, you
will obey my commandments" (John 14:15 NET).
We must act on what we
know to be the truth. The biblical principles must
be applied to our lives daily.
If you have never done
so, will you make a once and for all commitment of
your life to Jesus Christ as Lord? Jesus Christ
purchased you, and He has every right to be the Lord
and Master of your life (2 Cor. 5:14-15). He has
every right to be your boss and to tell you what to
do. Will you yield your life to him and daily be
obedient to His Word? If you do not yield your life
to His control, you will continue to be a frustrated
Romans 12:1-2 calls for
this kind of dedication and obedience on a daily
basis. "Therefore I exhort you, brothers and
sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to
God – which is your reasonable service. Do not be
conformed to this present world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test
and approve what is the will of God – what is good
and well-pleasing and perfect" (Romans 12:1-2 NET
Make a personal
commitment to live the Christian life by putting in
daily practice the Biblical principles by the power
and presence of the Holy Spirit.
If you need help in
becoming a Christian here is A Free Gift for You.
the Principles of Christian Living