What Does it Mean to Live the Christian Life?
This question is one that we don’t hear too often in Lutheran circles, but if you tune in to your local Christian radio station, you’ll find that much of the message focuses on how Christians should live there lives. Hopefully you’ll also hear the Gospel that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Savior, crucified and risen for your salvation, but that isn’t always the central focus. But hearing a message about how we as Christians are to live isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, Jesus does say “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” So what does this mean for you?
The criticism is sometimes made of Lutherans that there is little or no emphasis on sanctification, or in layman’s terms, Christian living. I find this criticism to be inaccurate. It’s not that Lutherans don’t talk about Christian living, but that Lutherans have a different understanding of how Christian living is defined than do many other main-stream Christian churches. The Lutheran understanding is that Christian living and good works are a response to the love of Jesus Christ, prompted by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, enriched through the study of God’s Word, and done for the good of our neighbor and the glory of God.
As we begin the year, how can we have a richer understanding of what it means to live the Christian life? A perfect starting place is God’s Word. I challenge everyone to spend more time this year in God’s Word. An excellent resource is YouVersion, which provides reading plans and audio Bibles in several versions, and even a mobile app which will allow you to listen to your daily readings while you’re on the go. I do a lot of driving, so the mobile app is great for me and gives me the opportunity to listen to the Word on a regular basis.
May the Lord Jesus and the Word of God enrich your daily lives!