Starting out in the Christian life can seem confusing; you have so much to learn, how are you ever supposed to live the way that God wants you too and avoid all the pitfalls and dangers along the way? It is greatly encouraging to know that all true Christians have the Holy Spirit living inside them to teach them, keep them and guide them throughout their lives. It is also wonderful to have God’s Word the Bible, where God can speak to us day by day and through this He can show us how He would have us to live. While there are so many verses that speak about this we have extracted a few of the key ones below, which we trust will be of help.
1. Relying on Jesus
Without me you can do nothing. John 15:5.
This first tip really is the core theme of Christianity. If we are Christians, then we realise that we could not save ourselves, we need the Lord Jesus to save us. Later we find that we also do not have the power to live as we should, and again we find that the power has to come from God. We have to rely on Him for everything, but when we do, although we can do nothing on our own we find that ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13). So on our own we can do nothing, but with Him we can do everything!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Prayer is a key part of the life of a Christian. That is partially because it is the way that we express that reliance (or dependence) on God. But prayer for a Christian is more than just asking for things, it is speaking to God, the One who made everything, yet who we know personally. We can tell Him everything, we can tell Him all of our hopes and dreams, we can worship Him, and (very importantly) thank Him for all He has done.
3. Reading the Bible
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
Alongside prayer, it is very important that we spend time to read the Bible. This is because if prayer is where we speak to God, reading the Bible is where God speaks to us. It is how He guides us, and how He gives us the spiritual food that we need for each day.
4. Quiet time
In his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Daniel 6:10
We might well ask, when should we read, and when should we pray? On the one hand we can pray at any time and read at any time, however we do get examples in the Bible of people who had set times in the day when they would spend time with God. Daniel for example would have three set periods in the day when he would pray and this is a very good example for us. These times are often termed as ‘quiet times’. How many times we do this is not prescribed in the Bible and will probably depend upon our daily schedule, but the important thing is to find a time and make it a regular item in our daily schedule.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
Just before Jesus went back to heaven he gave to His disciples what is known as ‘the great commission’. This commission was to go and spend the gospel, the good news about what Jesus has done, that the way to heaven and forgiveness of sins is open through the work of Jesus on the cross. After all, if we have come to know the amazingness of a relationship with God and a home in heaven, wouldn’t we want everyone around us to know this too?
6. Good works
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
If we are not careful a key obstacle that can stand in the way of our message is our practical lives. We have often heard the expression ’do what I say not what I do’, but that doesn’t work with Christianity. Our lives should positively complement the message that we share. We have the Holy Spirit inside us to change our lives, to the extent that it should be clear to all around that there is something different about us; something that cannot be explained away by good resolutions, but something real that can only come from God.
7. Keep short accounts with God
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
One thing that we have to understand in our Christian lives is that while we have the Holy Spirit and the Bible, we still will sometimes fail. We all have something called the ‘flesh’ in us (which we cover in our Romans course). The Bible says that we if we say that we never sin we are liars and deceiving ourselves. We also have an enemy who is called ‘the accuser’ who loves to remind us about all of our mistakes. But then we need to look at the cross, and see there that Jesus took care of all of our sins, past present and future. We can never lose our salvation! He wants us to confess those sins to Him, so that we can enjoy the true warmth of that relationship again. It has often been said ‘keep short accounts with God’, in other words, if you do fail and fall in to sin, confess it to Him straight away, thank Him that those sins were taken away on the cross and stand up and continue living for Him without delay.
8. Wait for the return of Jesus Christ
And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
The Christian life is a life filled with hope. Not a hope based on anything in this world but the hope that we will one day be with the Lord Jesus forever in heaven. The Bible also says that the Lord Jesus is going to return to take all true Christians out of this world to be with Him forever. This could be at any moment. What an amazing prospect! We can wake up every morning and think ‘it may be today!’. What an effect this should have on our lives if we know that today could be our last on this earth before Jesus comes again!
9. Meet with other Christians
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25.
One of the amazing things about being a Christian is that God does not just leave us on our own, but brings us into a new Christian family. As a family we can encourage each other and help each other in our Christian lives. We are therefore encouraged to meet together as Christians on a regular basis and the Bible gives clear guidance as to how we are to do this, and so that we are not left in any doubt. We can worship together, teach each other, encourage each other etc. In the Bible we have the pattern that the believers met together on the first day of the week (Sunday), but we can certainly additionally meet together on other days as well. We are sure that like us, you will find that spending time with fellow Christians will lift your spirits and re-focus your mind on the things that are really important, which makes meeting with other Christians a key part of the Christian life.
10. The company you keep
Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits. 1 Corinthians 15:33
While meeting with other Christians who are living the Christian life can be very encouraging and helpful, the Bible also warns us that keeping bad company can easily have the opposite effect, particularly when this is people who would seek to hinder us in our Christian Lives or present things before us that would stumble us in some way or slow our growth as Christians. We need to make sure that we are careful who we are spending our time with and think about what affect our friends and associates are having on our spiritual lives.
So there you have it, our top 10 tips for Christian living. We have only scratched the surface here but recommend you check out our free Bible course on this subject, the ‘Christian Living Course’ where you can look in much more detail at many other verses in the Bible that deal with the Christian life; we are sure that you will find much help in looking further into this subject, see below for details.