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Bible Basics (5th. ed.)


Study 1: God || Study 2: The Spirit Of God || Study 3: The Promises Of God || Study 4: God And Death || Study 5: The Kingdom Of God || Study 6: God And Evil || Study 7: The Origin Of Jesus || Study 8: The Nature Of Jesus || Study 9: The Work Of Jesus || Study 10: Baptism Into Jesus || Study 11: Life In Christ   11.1 Introduction || 11.2 Holiness || 11.2.1 The Use Of Force || 11.2.2 Politics || 11.2.3 Worldly Pleasures || 11.3 Practical Christian Life || 11.3.1 Bible Study ||11.3.2 Prayer || 11.3.3 Preaching || 11.3.4 Ecclesial Life || 11.3.5 The Breaking Of Bread || 11.4 Marriage || 11.5 Fellowship


11.3 Practical Christian Life


After baptism, we should bring forth “fruit to holiness”, living a life led by the Spirit rather than the sinful nature (Rom. 6:22; 8:1; Gal. 5:16,25). It is through God’s Word abiding in us that we bring forth spiritual fruit (Jn. 15:7,8). We have seen that we are led by the Spirit in the sense that God’s Spirit is in and works through His Word. Throughout our lives we must keep close to that Word through regular Bible reading and study.

A thoughtful study of God’s Word results in a person realising the need for baptism, and therefore performing that act. This process of letting the Word influence our actions and direct our lives should continue; baptism is but the first step in a lifetime of obedience to God’s Word. There is a very real danger of familiarity with the Bible and the basic doctrines of the Gospel, leading us to a position in which the Word no longer influences us: we can read words and they have no practical effect upon us (see Appendix 2). For this reason it is wise to say a brief prayer before each reading of the Scriptures: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18).

The Word of God should be our daily food - indeed, our dependence upon it, and natural desire for it, should be even greater than our instinctive appetite for physical food: “... I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” was Job’s feeling (Job 23:12). Jeremiah likewise: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). Making time during each day for regular Bible reading is therefore a vital thing to build into our pattern of daily life. An uninterrupted 30 minutes of Bible study first thing in the morning is bound to start us off each day in the right spiritual gear. Such faith-forming habits are vital.

To avoid the natural tendency to only read those parts of Scripture which naturally appeal to us, the publishers of this book also distribute a programme of reading called “The Bible Companion” (available from the publishers). This gives a number of chapters to be read each day, resulting in the New Testament being read twice and the Old Testament once in the course of a year. As we read the chapters day by day, we can take courage from the thought that thousands of other believers are reading the same chapters. Whenever we meet, we therefore have an immediate bond; the chapters which we have recently been reading should form the basis of our conversation. But let us be aware of the ease of surface level Bible reading. We must let the word really bite in our lives. Jeremiah commented: “My heart within me is broken because of the [words of the] prophets; all my bones shake…I am like a drunken man ... because of the Lord, and because of His holy words” (Jer. 23:9). He paralleled God with His word, and therefore He felt the presence and imperative of God Himself as he read and heard His word.

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