A. What is the Christian Life?
Some people think that as long as they try to do what is right in the eyes of the world, they are living godly lives. But are they? Is God pleased with men as long as they strive to have good character, live morally, are upright in their conduct? Cf. Romans 3:19, 20, Galatians 2:16. What does the Bible say of those who follow their own way of thinking or the advice of men in questions of right and wrong? Cf. Matthew 15:8, 9.
How does the Bible describe the godly life in Romans 12:1, 2? We must know what “that godly and acceptable and perfect will of God” is and live according to it. We are to present our bodies as “a living sacrifice” to our heavenly Father; we are to consecrate our lives to Him and live according to His will. Cf. Ephesians 6:6. Knowing and doing the will of God from the heart is living a God-pleasing Christian life.
But is man able to do the will of God? Cf. Romans 3:10-12; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19. Merely doing a few good works outwardly and trying to be virtuous is not doing all that God requires. God looks upon the heart. How does the Bible describe the heart of man? Cf. Psalm 14:1-3. By nature no man can live a God-pleasing life. What must first take place before a person is able to do the will of God? Cf. John 3:6; Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:26. A person must first be a Christian. How does Luther describe this change in the explanation of the Third Article of the Creed? What is such a person called in 2 Corinthians 5:17? In Galatians 3:26? The Bible teaches that only a person who believes in Jesus as his Savior can live a godly life. Galatians 5:6, 22; Hebrews 11:6. The life which the believer lives is the fruit of faith. Matthew 12:35
Must a person live a perfectly holy and sinless life before he can be considered a Christian? Cf. 1John 1:8, 10; Philippians 3:12. Why must a believer daily pray the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer? According to Romans 7:14-21, the believer has within him two different natures. Describe them. What is he to do with the “old” and the “new” man? Cf. Ephesians 4:22, 24. The fact that we cannot be perfect in this life should not discourage us from striving constantly to do the will of God more perfectly. Cf. 2 Timothy 3:17. What was St. Paul’s attitude? Philippians 3:13, 14, 17.
Coming next: B. Why a Christian Lives a Godly Life