Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes. beingrecreated

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

Information

Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

If this was helpful please like it.

(It helps search ratings.)

How do I live to be a good Christian? What is good? What are the principles that underlie the Christian lifestyle? What is a good Christian? Christian living is fundamentally concerned with relationships for they are the outworking of the great commandment to love one another. The answer to the question, What do Christians do? Is often answered by standing back and asking, How can love be shown here?


Our lifestyle and our choices, especially when under pressure, show what we actually believe about life.  The life of Christ in us is seen through a lifestyle that demonstrates God’s values.


Bible Zone

This overview points to the main teaching on the subject in the Bible. To understand more, there is a web page on each subject.


Lifestyle

The Bible gives a simple guideline on what is involved in the Christian life.  In a complicated world the last thing we need is a string of does and don’ts.  Here then is a summary statement on what is involved in a life that pleases God.  It is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.  Here we look only at the introduction.

  1. What is the aim of a godly lifestyle?
  2. What is the motive by which Paul encourages such a lifestyle.


1 Thessalonians 4:1-11   1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters,* we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.   3 God's will is for you to be holy, …  9 But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,* for God himself has taught you to love one another. …  11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, …


The elements Paul elaborates on are -


  The detail of a godly Lifestyle


Do Good

As our Father does good, so we follow His example by doing good to those He brings across our path.  Good is an overriding value that comes out as we live with God.  It comes out in His dealing with us, and then we express it ourselves as His goodness influences the way we live.


Goodness is not necessarily what people think. Jesus gave a very simple teaching on how to live.  It acts as a guideline for every aspect of life.

  1. How could this teaching could apply to you in your life and situation?


Matthew 7:12 "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.


  A broader perspective on Do Good?



Be Generous

Generosity is a precious characteristic of God.  It is a beautiful fruit of knowing God. Generosity is not governed by rules, going beyond what is expected or given by right. Stinginess says, I might not have enough, and holds back.  Generosity gives, knowing that the Lord will in turn look after our needs.

  1. What is God’s attitude to generosity?
  2. How does God underwrite our generosity?


2 Corinthians 9:6-9     6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully."*8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.9 As the Scriptures say,

"They share freely and give generously to the poor.

  Their good deeds will be remembered forever."*


  A broader perspective on Be Generous



Witness

The life Jesus gives has amazing impact.  He revolutionises our lives and changes our relationships.  It is a shame to keep it to ourselves.  The message gets out through people who have been changed.  We need to pass on the news.

  1. How does the Father ensure that His light is seen in the world?
  2. How could you cooperate with the Father in displaying His light?


 Matthew 5:14-16   14 "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.


  A broader perspective on Witness



Tell Others

One of the great privileges Jesus has given to us, is that of sharing what He has done in our lives with those who do not yet know Him.   


A great way of doing this is to tell our story.  Here is an example of one person who was sent to a place where Jesus could not go.

  1. What did Jesus ask him to do?
  2. What was the content of the man’s message?
  3. How much training had he received to do this?


Mark 5:18-20 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.19 But Jesus said, "No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been."20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns* of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.


  A broader perspective on Tell Others


Trust Him in rest

The Lord asks us to rest from our work and spend time with Him.  In our pressured world that can seem a tall order.  This rest has an effects on us.  It gives us the rest we need in body and soul, it gives us space to lift our eyes to God and worship Him and finally it poses the question ‘Do I trust God?’  Is my God big enough to carry the consequences of stopping from what I need to do?

  1. What tensions are introduced by the attitude of rest?
  2. What is Jesus’ attitude to rest?


Luke 10:38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught.40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me."

  41 But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."


  A broader perspective on Trust God in Rest



Truth and Lies

We should tell the truth when speaking with one another.  Jesus is the truth, and so is the source of truth.  The devil is a liar and the source of lies.  This raises for us a question - who are we the most influenced by?

Lying belongs to our old nature, whic should be stripped off and replaced with the new. Colossians 3:9-10 -

  1. What are we commanded?
  2. What is the basis for the command?


Colossians 3:   9 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.


   A broader perspective on Truth and Lies



Purity in relationships

Our drives are strong, and so the temptations away from purity are significant. The Bible makes it plain that sin through moral failure is a cut above the rest. Intimate physical relations should be in the context of marriage.  Intimate physical relations unite a couple and so there are consequences when they are outside of marriage. These consequences being for a current relationship, or any future marriage relationship.

Marriage should be honoured through faithfulness.  Hebrews 13:4

  1. What link is there between marriage and faithfulness?
  2. What link is there between purity and faithfulness?


Hebrews 13:   4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.


  A broader perspective on Purity in relationships



Marriage and Relationships

Marriage is of great importance to God. The aim of marriage is both unity for the couple, and for the raising of godly children. The marriage relationship is a symbolic picture of the trinity, and of the relationship between Jesus and His Church.  

When Jesus was asked about marriage He referred to the beginning of marriage in Genesis 2:18-25.  This passage defines marriage.

  1. What was the purpose behind the creation of woman?
  2. The man who slept was different from the man presented with the woman.  In what way different?  And how might that explain man/woman differences?
  3. Why does the man desire to leave his closest relatives for the woman?
  4. V24 holds three factors of marriage -
  5. Leaving - What is left behind in marriage?
  6. Joining - What is joined together in marriage? What does it mean to be joined?
  7. United - This is a process - how do a couple become more united?
  8. What does it mean in a marriage relationship for there to be no shame?


 Genesis 2:   18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." ...  21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man's ribs* and closed up the opening.22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

  23 "At last!" the man exclaimed.

"This one is bone from my bone,  and flesh from my flesh!

She will be called 'woman,'  because she was taken from 'man.'"

  24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

  25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.


A broader perspective on Marriage and relationships



Be Content don’t Steal

A life that trusts God trusts that He is enough for us, and so lives in contentment. In contrast we do not steal, or try to get things out of other people by inappropriate means.

The Lord calls on us to be satisfied with God and what He promises.

  1. With what attitude are we to live?
  2. What does it mean for you to be satisfied with what you have?
  3. What do you need to trust God for in order to be satisfied?


Hebrews 13:   5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,    "I will never fail you.      I will never abandon you."*



  A broader perspective on Be Content Don’t Steal



Anger, Murder & Reconciliation

The life Jesus gives has amazing impact.  He revolutionises our lives and changes our relationships.  It is a shame to keep it to ourselves.  The message gets out through people who have been changed.  We need to pass on the news.

The way of life that God is looking for is not consistent with anger and bitterness against others.  God calls on us to change in order to be like Christ.

  1. How are told to change?  V20-24 & v31-32
  2. How are we told to deal with anger?
  3. What is the impact of our anger on the Holy Spirit?


Ephasians 4:   20 But that isn't what you learned about Christ.21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

...  26 ... "don't sin by letting anger control you."* Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

  ...  30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,* guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

  31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.


  A broader perspective on Anger and reconciliation



Forgive

When someone has harmed me, or those I love, I can feel so much anger that it is difficult for us to relate.  My orientation towards that person becomes one of seeking harm rather than seeking love.  When I forgive that person I am saying that the price is paid for the harm done.  We can move forwards in the relationship and begin to restore trust.


The great challenge that Jesus sets before us is that he asks us to forgive others.  He asks us to forgive not because a payment has been made to us, but because Jesus himself has paid the price, and are we willing to accept that?

  1. What reason are we given for needing to forgive others?
  2. What attitude does God ask us to put in place of our anger and unforgiveness?


Ephesians 4:30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,* guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.   31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.


  A broader perspective on Forgive



Respect Authority

Whatever our position in society there is always someone or some organisation in authority over us. God calls on us to respect and honour those in authority.


We live in a culture that bucks against authority.  Those in authority are often despised for their weakness and failures.  When we stand before God, those who have been given authority will be required to answer for their use of it.  This leads to a question for us - how do we as God’s servants show love by helping those in authority to come to a good place before God?

  1. What is the attitude behind our submission to those in authority?
  2. How are we counselled to act in the face of abusive authority?


1 Peter 5: 5 In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for  "God opposes the proud  but favors the humble."*  6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.


  A broader perspective on Respect Authority



Godly Decisions

Our lives are seen most clearly through our decisions.  However much a Christian says, it is how he lives that makes a difference.  Here Paul is on trial before the Romans. He sets out his way of life.

  1. What standard does he seek to live to?
  2. What (in the second passage) does it cost him?


Acts 24:  14 I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets.15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous.16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.


Acts 24:  25  "Go away for now," he replied. "When it is more convenient, I'll call for you again."26 He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.   27 After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison


  A broader perspective on Godly Decisions



GODLY LIFESTYLE