Do some areas of your life seem very obviously ‘Christian’, while in others does your faith seem a lot less relevant? If so, you’re not alone. Many Christians find it hard to see the everyday relevance of their beliefs beyond personal devotions, church life and evangelism.
But God never intended us to compartmentalize our lives like this. As Christians, we’re called to live out our faith in Jesus in everything we do.
In this study series we will see that the God who created this world and will one day restore it, sends us out to serve him in all areas of life. God calls his people to live Christianly; engaging positively with society as active citizens.
In this first session, we will begin to look at what it means to be a full-time disciple of Jesus.
The Bible, and our experience, clearly teach us the reality of sin. But it would be a big mistake to see the world only in negative terms.
God blesses his creation in all sorts of ways: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1); he “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25), and “All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD” (Psalm 145:10). There is still so much good in this fallen world!
Despite the terrible reality of sin, the Bible teaches that planet Earth is also an exciting arena in which we really can serve and praise God. Being a Christian shouldn’t narrow our vision of today’s world. Rather, it should open our eyes to follow God’s will in all of life.
In this second study we’ll specifically look at:
- the significance of humanity being made in the image of God
- how everyone is a recipient of God’s ‘common grace’
- how as Christians we have been made to do good works to the glory of God
Some of us live to work. We love it – it dominates our time and energy. Others work to live, seeing it as a necessary evil – draining and unfulfilling.
Either way, school, training and work all take up a big chunk of our lives; we are likely to spend more time working than just about anything else. In your phase of life, work is in the form of studying, training and developing your abilities. Just as an adult works a job, your studies also take considerable time and effort.
If being a disciple of Jesus means living for him in all of life, that must apply to our studies and other duties also. But what does it mean to live for Jesus as a student, team mate or employee? How can we put our discipleship into practice in the classroom, on the sports field or in the workplace?
When God gives someone new life, he gives them good works to go with it. That’s not just evangelism or serving in the church, it includes our ‘ordinary’ roles and responsibilities. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men...You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).
Work has always been part of God’s purpose for human beings. Right from the beginning, the Creator has used our work to sustain and care for his world. For Christians this provides a wonderful opportunity to serve God and bless those around us.
Genesis 1:26-2:20 & 3:17-19
Living out our Christian faith will cause us to clash with today’s thinking on foundational biblical issues.
According to Jesus, ‘love’ sums up how we are to live – love for God and love for our neighbor. But what it means to love others depends upon what we think is ‘good’ for them. Society has all sorts of opinions of what is ‘good’, but thankfully the Bible gives us some vital truths. God’s word tells us that all human life is immensely valuable because
we are made in his image. This radically influences what it means to be loving when we come to consider difficult issues such as abortion and euthanasia.
The Bible also shapes what we see as ‘good’ in areas such as family and relationships. It would be foolish to disregard the patterns our Creator has given us.
Sadly, our secular culture rarely acknowledges the wisdom of God. So being faithful to Christ as our Lord will mean swimming against the tide. And it’s not just what we say about these things that counts – it’s the way we say it (1 Corinthians 13:4).
We must be gracious, compassionate, and loving towards both those who agree and those who may have a contrary view.
In this session we will try to untangle issues for which a biblical worldview is counter- cultural.
This short series has sought to encourage us to have a noticeable impact on the world around us for Christ and his kingdom. Especially in our relationship to authority, we have an obligation to honor God and promote the ideals that Christ taught in his earthly ministry.
Believers are first and foremost members of the Church – a community that transcends national boundaries. In fact we are ‘citizens of heaven’ (Philippians 3:20). Yet, just as we don’t reject our natural family when we become children of God, neither do we stop being citizens of the world.
As active members of society we have opportunities to do good to our neighbor. In a fallen world it’s important for Christians to play their part. Our influence on our friends, family and society at large really does make a difference.
There are some big questions to unpack when thinking about our relationship to the world: how should we view those in power, what’s the difference between the law of God and the law of man, and finally how does the Gospel’s power in our lives affect this fallen world?
1 Peter 2:9-17