Way of Life

by Scarlett Stough

Timothy was exhorted to “set an example…in life.” (I Timothy 4:12) Not only did he have the responsibility of teaching the word of God correctly, he also had the responsibility to live it--to put it into practice himself. Others were watching what he did, not just what he said. The same is true of every Christian.

  • Christians are exhorted to consider the outcome of the way of life of their leaders. (Hebrews 13:7)
  • Paul exhorted the Corinthian church to follow his example as he followed Christ’s. (I Corinthians 11:1)
  • Jesus said that only those who did the will of his Father in heaven would enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
  • James wrote that we show our wisdom and understanding by a good life and deeds done in humility. (James 3:13)
  • Genuine belief in Jesus leads to a new way of life. (Romans 6:4)

This new life is set in contrast to our “former way of life” (Ephesians 4:22), a “previous way of life” (Galatians 1:13), and an “empty way of life.” (I Peter 1:18) The way we live our lives has the potential of motivating others to want to live a new life. (I Peter 2:12; 3:1-2)

Our heavenly Father instructs his children to live by faith (II Corinthians 5:7), to live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), to live a life of love (Ephesians 5:2), and to live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. (I Peter 1:14-16)

This sounds impossible; and without God in the picture, it pretty much is impossible. But we do not have to do it alone:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (II Peter 1:3-4)

He gives us his power through his Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:16, 25) Because we belong to Christ, we are learning a new way to live, to conduct ourselves in our every day life:

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace. (II Corinthians 1:12)

Genuine Christianity is a way of life. It is a life of living by God’s standard not our own; with his power and wisdom, not our own; with his righteousness and holiness, not our own. It is a real change, not merely accepting a religion.

Bible Study Guide: Set An Example in Life
Volume 8 Issue 6 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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